Jo Walton's What Makes This Book So Great


Farthing. (Not Farther.) It’s old British currency, just like the other two titles in the series.

Thanks, typo fixed!

For Jo, probably the price.

The book does look fascinating, but like a lot of other books I’ve seen in the past few weeks, not £20 (hardback) or £9.36 (Kindle) fascinating.

Which leads to my main question here… how is a book’s price set?


Worth the price? I’ve found some amazing books by reading Jo’s Tor column in recent years. The most recent were Sarah Monette’s Melusine, Virtu, and the Mirador, which I would never have thought to pick up because they were published with covers that made them look like romance novels. They’re actually very original and incredibly good fantasy novels written in alternating viewpoints between a gay wizard and his lost half-brother, and she hooked me from the opening couple paragraphs. I read the first, reserved the next couple at the library and then was up until 1am the next couple nights finishing the other two. I had a couple miserable exhausted days at work, but I couldn’t stop reading them. Another book I tracked down because of her column was Candace Darcy’s Black Wine which is like nothing else.

I think my point here is that if you haven’t been reading the columns, then hell yeah it’s worth the price if it helps you find some books you’d never otherwise read.

I’m impatient for this to actually get published. Jo Walton’s reviews are a real highlight on - thorough, considerate, and enlivened by a mind that loves books and can see past surface failures to the interesting successes that can lie underneath.

Me, I like (most) old SciFi books. I get to listen to them on Librivox.

/Mind you, I could do without all the “…Karl took a long soothing drag on his cigarette…”

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