Guest Post: Ngaio Simpson on ‘Among Others’
Hmn, looks like I’m not such a lone wolf any more. Here is a guest post from my friend, the very talented Ngaio Simpson, lacemaker, artiste and fantasy fan. I’m currently working on a piece on texture in writing which I hope to have finished… sometime in the near future for her blog. But without further ado, take it away, Ngaio:
The story is a bit magical realism, a little fantasy and a bit of teenage angst. But not in the twilight way. More of a higher intelligence angst. Now, I know what you are thinking, “That makes no sense…”, but I think if you read the book you might understand. One of the most delightful things about this book has to be all of the book talk. If you like SF and fantasy and you’re looking for a new book for after this one, you could easily get one through reading this book. I think I’ll be Googling the book list from this book straight after writing this.
The main character is Mor, her father, mother and various other family members and school “friends”… Yeah I wasn’t that sure you could really call them friends. Mor has an unknown past muddled in with her crazy mother and twin sister and her injured leg. Some of these facts become clearer as the story goes on and some stay a little grey which I think is okay. We follow Mor as she attends a new school and tries to fit in and find some people who are interested in the same things she is. You will have to read it to find out how that pans out. Oh, and there are fairies and magical beings around so look out for them, they give the story it’s difference. I really wanted to believe that she was completely in her own mind but I have to say sometimes I wasn’t 100% sure if everything that was happening wasn’t just happening in her head.
I really like the main character, she was witty and had an interesting mind. Growing up I certainly craved the fantasy life and hoped that magic was real; I suspect this is one of the reason I have became a little negative about a lot of things while growing up…. Reality is just not good enough. I was magic and I will continue my search for it through reading fantasy and science fiction as a way to escape “real” life. And yes, I find nature and beauty and lots of things about life amazing but it really nothing compared to being able to move things with your mind or make fire with a thought.
I don’t know if I would read it again. I don’t have a very good history with re-reading books. This is one of those books that I remember so I think it has value to me even if it wasn’t what I originally thought I would get out of it. I expected more magic and for something more dramatic to happen. None the less I think I would recommend this book for it’s reading list alone so anything on top of that is a bonus really. If you are the sort of person that enjoys a little fantasy remember that this is more magical realism so it does have fantasy elements but it is set in the real world. A great cross over book for people who sit of the fence with fantasy.
I don’t think it will win the Hugo, after being nominated this year.
So great reading list Jo, I might check out some of your other books when my list runs dry.