Starlings

“Exquisitely written feats of imagination, each one leaving an impression long after it’s done.”
—Kelley Armstrong, author of Rituals and Led Astray

An intimate first flight of short fiction from award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among Others, The King’s Peace, Necessity).An ancient coin cyber-spies on lovers and thieves. The magic mirror sees all but can do nothing. A cloned savior solves a fanatically-inspired murder. Three Irish siblings thieve treasures with bad poetry and the aid of the Queen of Cats. With these captivating initial glimpses into her storytelling psyche, Jo Walton shines through subtle myths and reinvented realities. Through eclectic stories, subtle vignettes, inspired poetry, and more, Walton soars with humans, machines, and magic—rising from the every day into the universe itself.

Praise for Starlings

“This collection of fiction and poetry from Hugo- and Nebula-winner Walton (The Just City) showcases her trademark focus on genre and philosophical questions . . . fans of the [short] form will have plenty to appreciate.”
Publishers Weekly

“Walton’s diverse collection of stories and poems sparkles with originality and fun. The joy of this book will linger with me for a while.”
—Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger

Starlings is a showcase of Jo Walton’s diverse talents—a collection too varied to be summed up in a few words. From fairytale fantasy to hard science fiction, from laugh-aloud play script to finely crafted poetry, with a writing experiment or two thrown in, Starlings should delight Walton’s existing fans and garner many new ones.”
—Juliet Marillier, author of Daughter of the Living Forest

“Stephen King once wrote that ‘a short story is like a kiss in the dark from a stranger’—that is, sudden, pleasant, mysterious, dangerous, and exciting—and the collected short fiction of Jo Walton is exemplary of the principle.”
—Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother

“Jo Walton’s short writings have for decades been among the things that make the Internet worthwhile. She makes science fiction illuminate life. This collection lives up to its title: iridescent, dark, gregarious, talkative and ever ready to fly up.”
—Ken MacLeod, author of Newton’s Wake and the Corporation Wars series

“Reading this collection felt like watching a wizard at the cauldron having fun with new spells . . . I recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys fantasy, Jo Walton’s previous works, or wants to try shorter works before committing to longer ones.”
Infinite Text

“Jo Walton’s delightful collection, Starlings, runs the gamut from homemade fairy tales to hard-boiled cloned-Jesus detectives (just wait for the shaggy dog); to a play with figures out of Irish myth, and a talking dragon; to a selection of her fantastic poems. It’s the kind of collection you can glide through, often while laughing out loud.
—Gregory Frost, author of Shadowbridge

“One of the things I love about Walton’s work is her range of human possibility, from laughter to horror, but above all a reveling in profligate beauty. This collection celebrates the best in the human spirit.”
—Sherwood Smith, author of Rebel and Revenant Eve

Contents

Introduction by Jo Walton

Fiction
Three Twilight Tales
Jane Austen to Cassandra
Unreliable Witness
On the Wall
The Panda Coin
Remember the Allosaur
Sleeper
Relentlessly Mundane
Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction
Joyful and Triumphant: St. Zenobius and the Aliens
Turnover
At the Bottom of the Garden
Out of It
What a Piece of Work
Parable Lost
What Would Sam Spade Do?
Tradition
What Joseph Felt
The Need to Stay the Same
A Burden Shared

Script
Three Shouts on a Hill (A Play)

Poetry
Dragon’s Song
Not in this Town
Hades and Persephone
The Death of Petrach
Advice to Loki
Ask to Embla
Three Bears Norse
Machiavelli and Prospero
Cardenio
Ten Years Ahead: Oracle Poem
Pax in Forma Columba
Translated from the Original
Sleepless in New Orleans
The Godzilla Sonnets
Not a Bio for Wiscon: Jo Walton

Biography

About the author

Jo Walton has published thirteen novels, most recently Necessity. A fourteenth, Lent is due out early in Fall 2018. She has also published three poetry collections and an essay collection. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2002, the World Fantasy Award for Tooth and Claw in 2004, the Hugo and Nebula awards for Among Others in 2012,  and in 2014, both the Tiptree Award for My Real Children and the Locus Award for What Makes This Book So Great. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are much better.

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