Among OthersBook - 2010
Winner of the 2011 Nebula Award for Best Novel
Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Novel
Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.
Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Then her mother tried to bend the spirits to dark ends, and Mori was forced to confront her in a magical battle that left her crippled--and her twin sister dead.
Fleeing to her father whom she barely knew, Mori was sent to boarding school in England-a place all but devoid of true magic. There, outcast and alone, she tempted fate by doing magic herself, in an attempt to find a circle of like-minded friends. But her magic also drew the attention of her mother, bringing about a reckoning that could no longer be put off...
Combining elements of autobiography with flights of imagination in the manner of novels like Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude , this is potentially a breakout book for an author whose genius has already been hailed by peers like Kelly Link, Sarah Weinman, and Ursula K. Le Guin.One of School Library Journal 's Best Adult Books 4 Teens titles of 2011 One of io9's best Science Fiction & Fantasy books of the year 2011
From the critics
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Libraries really are wonderful. They're better than bookshops, even. I mean bookshops make a profit on selling you books, but libraries just sit there lending you books quietly out of the goodness of their hearts.
[From the introductory “Thanks and Notes”:] People tell you to write what you know, but I’ve found that writing what you know is much harder than making it up. It’s easier to research a historical period than your own life, and it’s much easier to deal with things that have a little less emotional weight and where you have a little more detachment. It’s terrible advice! So this is why you’ll find there’s no such place as the Welsh valleys, no coal under them, and no red buses running up and down them; there never was such a year as 1979, no such age as fifteen, and no such planet as Earth. The fairies are real, though.
Sometimes I’m not sure whether I’m entirely human.
I mean, I know I am. I shouldn’t think my mother is beyond sleeping with the fairies--no, that’s not how you say it. “Sleeping with the fairies” means dead. I shouldn’t think she’s beyond having sex with fairies, but if she did she’d boast about it. She’s never so much as hinted. She wouldn’t have said it was Daniel and made him marry her. . . .
What I mean is, when I look at other people, other girls in school, and see what they like and what they’re happy with and what they want, I don’t feel as if I’m part of their species. And sometimes--sometimes I don’t care. I care about so few people, really. Sometimes it feels as if it’s only books that make life worth living, like on Halloween when I wanted to be alive because I hadn’t finished Babel 17. I’m sure it isn’t normal. I care more about the people in books than the people I see every day.
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