I love Among Others by Jo Walton. I’ve been telling everyone to go read it ever since it came out. If I had money, I would buy a copy for everyone I know. Therefore, I ridiculously happy that it got the Nebula and now the Hugo award.
It is a somewhat unique book, I think, mainly because it is meta-speculative fiction. It’s SF about SF. You can create a real reading list while reading Among Others (and by ‘real’, I mean consisting of books that actually exist). I did so, and I know other people who did the same. I went and read a bunch of Ursula Le Guin’s books after finishing Among Others.
It is also a unique SF book because it is written as a diary, and while that form of narration might not be everyone’s speed, it works very well here. Every geek and nerd can hear their own teenage voice reading Mori’s words in their head, especially if they had a somewhat unhappy teenagehood and books were what kept them sane. Everybody remembers what kind of books got them into SF, and if they happen to be the same ones Mori reads, the impact is even greater.
Apart from tugging at your heartstrings, Among Others is just a very well-written book. Which brings me to my next point: Jo Walton is a really good writer. Among Others is her latest book, but she has many other fantastic books under her belt. Go read Farthing for a chilling description of a world that could have been. Or read Tooth and Claw, which is a comedy of manners. With dragons (it works perfectly, don’t worry).
Because I love her novels so much, I’m very happy that Jo Walton also posts on Tor.com. Read her posts, and you will create a reading list that will last you for years to come. She reads and rereads an impossibly huge number of books, and writes intelligent reviews and blog posts about her reading. She also wrote a great series of posts about the Hugo awards, starting with year 1953 and ending in 2000. Warning: poking around Tor.com archives might consume hours of your life.
So congratulations to Jo Walton on getting both Nebula and Hugo! Absolutely well-deserved. I now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go reread Among Others.