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Starlings
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Tachyon Publications 2018
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Description
"Starlings isn't really a short-story collection. It's something better: a written showreel, illustrating yet again that [Walton's] imagination stretches to the stars (or the starlings), and that she's endlessly inventive in finding new methods to express it."—NPR Books.
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.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/23/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781616960575
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jo Walton. (2018). Starlings. Tachyon Publications.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jo Walton. 2018. Starlings. Tachyon Publications.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jo Walton, Starlings. Tachyon Publications, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jo Walton. Starlings. Tachyon Publications, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:31:30
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 18:31:30
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Dec 01, 2022 16:44:25
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OverDrive Product Record

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"Starlings isn't really a short-story collection. It's something better: a written showreel, illustrating yet again that [Walton's] imagination stretches to the stars (or the starlings), and that she's endlessly inventive in finding new methods to express it."—NPR Books.
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.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Juliet Marillier, author of Daughter of the Forest
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother
      • content: "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 exiting--and the collected short fiction of Jo Walton is exemplary of the principle."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ken MacLeod, author of Newton's Wake and the Corporation Wars series
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Gregory Frost, author of Shadowbridge
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sherwood Smith, author of Rebel and Revenant Eve
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Infinite Text
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Den of Geek
      • content: "I recommend Starlings to lovers of science fiction and fantasy who want bite-sized pieces to enjoy and savor. It's an eclectic mix of themes and tones, some humorous and some dark, that will keep you guessing."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 16, 2017
        This collection of fiction and poetry from Hugo- and Nebula-winner Walton (The Just City) showcases her trademark focus on genre and philosophical questions. Most of the fiction is very brief, and fans of the form will have plenty to appreciate. The strongest story is the relatively long “The Panda Coin,” which follows the path of a gold coin as it passes through the economy of a space station. Cleverest is “Sleeper,” the story of a future biographer interviewing a simulation of her 20th-century subject. The inclusion of “Tradition,” however, is unfortunate, as it’s an undisguised, nearly point-for-point rehashing of a very common joke, and the play “Three Shouts on a Hill” fails to rise above the tropes and clichés it attempts to interrogate. Of the poetry included at the end, “Machiavelli and Prospero” stands out as a rewarding and clever piece of character insight, and “Sleepless in New Orleans” is particularly striking for its voice. The collection will appeal most strongly to Walton’s dedicated fans and those with academic interest in her work.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 1, 2017
        Award-winning sci-fi novelist and essayist Walton shares her poetry, a play, and assorted short fiction, accompanied by lengthy insights about writing each work and complaints about not getting paid.Walton has some interesting and frank insights about her writing process and what she felt she needed to learn in order to compose a short story that works. She argues that it's vital to match a story length with the appropriate ending "weight." This is true, up to a point; and the selections in the book illustrate Walton's skill at crafting appropriate endings to her intriguing beginnings. However, she might want to devote more attention to developing story middles, many of which come across as either incompletely established or rushed. It's also true that short stories, particularly in speculative fiction, are wonderful opportunities for experimentation, to say "What if?" and carry the idea forward for a bit and stop. Several of the included works are mainly overt experiments of this kind, almost one-joke sketches, such as a brief correspondence between Jane Austen and Cassandra of Troy. But Walton, as she's demonstrated in her novels (Necessity, 2016, etc.), is an expert experimenter, and even her weaker efforts are worth a reader's time. Selections of particular note include "Three Twilight Tales," three brief and gorgeously enigmatic scenes at an inn; "Sleeper," about employing Cold War-type subversion in a near-future era of repressive capitalism and constant surveillance; "A Burden Shared," in which an app allows you to take on a loved one's pain (Walton is correct about these two; they're both successful, fully formed short stories); and "Three Shouts on a Hill," a delightfully metafictional and anachronistic play that retells an Irish legend, which Walton accurately claims as the collection's best work. The book also includes several poems, whose shorter length is well-suited to Walton's idea-tinkering.An intriguing peek inside a fertile mind.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2017

        In the introduction to Walton's first story collection, the author claims to have spent most of her career not knowing how to write a short story. One of the few pieces she acknowledges as a "proper" story is the marvelous and sad "A Burden Shared," set in a future where an app allows users to share their pain with others. But there are also first chapters of books never penned, extended jokes, and writing exercises that allowed Walton to play with a theme or point of view that intrigued her. All are enjoyable, no matter how brief. One of the entertaining experiments is "The Panda Coin," which follows a single coin as it is passed from person to person on a space station. There is also a hilarious play, "Three Shouts on a Hill," which pokes fun at the heroic quest. The volume concludes with a lovely sampling of Walton's poetry. VERDICT This collection of 20 stories, 15 poems, and a single one-act play demonstrates Walton's versatility as an author whose novels have also bounced among genres with kinetic abandon, including the Nebula- and Hugo Award-winning Among Others.--KC

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

popularity
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"Starlings isn't really a short-story collection. It's something better: a written showreel, illustrating yet again that [Walton's] imagination stretches to the stars (or the starlings), and that she's endlessly inventive in finding new methods to express it."—NPR Books.
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.
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tableOfContents
Fiction
At the Bottom of the Garden
Relentlessly Mundane
Unreliable Witness
On the Wall
What Would Sam Spade Do
What Joseph Felt
What Piece of Work
Three Twilight Tales
Parable Lost
Remember the Allosaur
Tradition
Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction
The Panda Coin
Joyful and Triumphant
Turnover
Sleeper
The Need to Stay the Same
A Burden Shared
Jane Austin to Cassandra
Out of It
Poems
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
Three Shouts on a Hill (A Play)