Starlings by Jo Walton


An intimate first flight of short fiction from award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among Others, The King’s Peace).A strange Eritrean coin travels from lovers to thieves, gathering stories before meeting its match. Google becomes sentient and proceeds toward an existential crisis. An idealistic dancer on a generation ship makes an impassioned plea for creativity and survival. Three Irish siblings embark on an unlikely quest, stealing enchanted it...

Details Starlings

Release DateFeb 13th, 2018
PublisherTachyon Publications
GenreShort Stories, Fantasy, Fiction, Poetry, Science Fiction

Reviews Starlings

  • Bradley
    I was delighted to find out that I could read and enjoy Jo Walton's first short story (and poetry) collection on Netgalley and saving it just in time for xmas. I do that with authors I really enjoy. The fact is, Ms. Walton has taste. Granted, I've only read three of her books before now, with this one making number four, but trust has been earned.What else should I expect from someone who reads copiously and discerns with great verve? But then th...
  • Sara
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I always find short stories to be an eclectic mix of good and bad, and this was no exception, with some poetry and plays thrown in for good measure. Starlings covers the more folk and myths aspect of stories with a wide variety of settings, from a travelling coin who exchanges hands from thieves to lovers, to a retelling of Snow White (which I think was my favourite). There's even a...
  • Hannah
    I have wanted to read Jo Walton's novels for a while now and I can definitely say that after this collection of short stories that I am more excited than ever. As is sadly often the case with short story collections there were a few stories that did not work for me and a few poems that didn't either, however, the stories I liked, I adored.Jo Walton has a way of choosing pitch perfect voices for her stories and they all sounded completely differen...
  • Lata
    3.5 stars. While not every short story is stellar, there were a few that I particularly liked, and a few that I wish Jo Walton would expand into longer stories. Stories That stuck with me were:-Three Twilight Tales-Jane Austen to Cassandra-The Panda Coin-At the Bottom of the Garden-I can't remember the title, but the story is about people on a generation ship headed to a planet-Three Shouts on a Hill (A Play)
  • Sarah Marie
    Starlings by Jo Walton3 starsThis is Jo Walton’s first short story collection and she prefaces this collection with acknowledging that she isn’t very good at right short stories. I think that it is important to keep that in mind when embarking into this collection. Not all of these stories are good, in fact an awful lot of them are… well, awful. It is a horrible collection and I have read for worse, but this isn’t a particularly strong co...
  • Kaitlin
    * This was sent to me by the publisher for an honest review *I was really quite excited to receive this book as I have read Jo Walton's work before and enjoyed some of it greatly. However, I also knew that some of her work wasn't really my cup of tea, and I wanted to try out her short fiction to see what worked for me and what didn't. This is a collection of 21 very short pieces, and also 15 poems at the end of the book too. It's quite a mixture ...
  • Rachel (Kalanadi)
    Starlings was my first real dive into Walton's short stories and poetry. Ultimately it felt like a mishmash of stories I liked and pieces that didn't really feel like short stories. With Walton's own commentary about learning to write short stories, this collection naturally drew my attention to that question: "What IS a short story?"A few of the stories really worked for me, but some others just didn't gel, or felt a little stale. For example, d...
  • Alina
    ***Note: I received a copy curtesy of Netgalley and Tachyon in exchange for an honest review.The only thing that unites this collection is the author: the short stories are diverse, ranging from fairytale-like to SF, but all were entrancing and written with a lyrical voice that I liked quite a lot. I must confess I was afraid of the poetry part, but the poems read more like ballads, and I was glad to find them enjoying.I also liked the personal t...
  • Jessica
    Jo Walton is a delightful human being and a gifted author, but she's known almost entirely for her novels. The only non-novel works that I have read of hers was her collection of essays ABOUT novels. When this collection was announced, I was like, WHAAAAT? She does short stories too? But it turns out that she doesn't. Or, not usually, anyway! She explains in the introduction that she has tried many times, but all her short stories turn into novel...
  • Hollis
    Part of me wishes I had never requested this anthology of short stories, jokes, poetry, etc. I've long meant to read one of Walton's books (I have AMONG OTHERS on my shelf at the mo) and thought this would give me a glimpse into her writing or tease me to want to read other things she's written. Instead I was so bored I dropped my kindle on my face multiple times, skimmed, skipped, and put it down to do any possible other activity but read. Sadly...
  • Nikki
    Received to review via Tachyon; publication date 30th January 2018It’s no secret that I love Jo Walton’s work, and I’d better add here that I’ve spent time with her as well — I’d call her a friend. Still, I knew her work first, and this is a fun collection. Jo may say she doesn’t know how to write short stories, but all the same everything here works pretty well. I only knew ‘Relentlessly Mundane’ and some of the poetry before, ...
  • Melanie
    Sadly not my thing at all. I can’t say I fully got the point of these stories.
  • Leseparatist
    I finished a book! Which is great, because I'm behind on my goals for collections of short fiction (of which I'm supposed to read five this year, and I'm at, um, three I think), on my goals for this month (meh), on reading stuff for NetGalley and on everything else.I was able to read this collection courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley; my opinion is mine.Starlings is Jo Walton's first collection of short prose fiction. I have by now read quit...
  • Girl
    I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley. The opinions are entirely my own.This is unmistakeably a Walton collection. Even if it didn't have Walton's name on the cover, I would be able to tell it is her by the style, the voice, the sensibility. In the introduction, Walton claims not to be able to write short stories, but there are some really successful ones here. I particularly enjoyed the brief retelling of Snow White ("On the Wall") ...
  • Nancy
    Starlings is a collection of short stories, some hardly more than extended jokes, all with a sci-fi/fantasy bent. Some were entertaining, others confused me. Most of the shorter works had an ironic twist a la Twilight Zone. Including a letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra, waylaid and delivered to the Greek myth Cassandra, who writes back to Jane. I did not feel propelled to read these selections. I don't think they are 'my thing.'
  • Pallavi Sharma
    ***3.0***This was the first time I got to read a short story collection on Magical realism, Aliens and anthology (!?). I liked the stories but not all. Some were too complex or too simple for me to understand, that is I am used to very straight forward stories. I am a dumb person in that matter. Plus the author was new to me and I was getting used to the style.The Stories I liked:1.Three Twilight Tales2.Jane Austen to Cassandra- This was Funny!!3...
  • Paula
    I read this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review Jo Walton says in the introduction to this book that short stories are not her cup of tea. She explains that it is difficult for her to write a story from beginning to end in three pages or less. The short story books are not my thing honestly. I have a hard time going from one story to another every three pages. It is very uncomfortable for me and I don’t seem to advance much when r...
  • Jessica
    Didn’t finish this one, but may try it again once I’ve read a full length novel by Walton (I have ‘Among Others’ on my shelf)This feels more like an info dump than a collection of writings. Nothing is present that seems to unite this collection. There aren’t really any common threads, although many are fairytale inspired, and even the writing style varies.All of the pieces I read seem to be writing exercises that don’t really have any...
  • Kayla
    I got sent this book in exchange for a honest review, all my opinions are my own and thank you so much to the publishers for sending me this book!I really enjoyed myself with these short stories, the collection was well written and well crafted.
  • Jessica
    [I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.]This is the first I’ve read by Jo Walton, although I had the pleasure to see her speak on a Tor panel at the ALA conference some time ago. She was entertaining and insightful, something I see reflected in this collection. It’s been a pleasure to finally get the chance to delve into one of her works. And what a work to begin with! It’s not in any fashion your typical ...
  • Mike
    By the author's own admission, several of the "short stories" in this book are not actually stories. They're exercises in mode, or jokes, or the attempts of someone who knows how novels work but not how short stories work to write a short story. This doesn't sound promising, but Jo Walton is such a good writer that she mostly gets away with it in any case. In fact, some of the stories have been published in prestigious publications like Strange H...
  • Hélène Louise
    I'd only read two of Jo Walton's books so far, but absolutely loved them and kept recommending them around me: "Among others" and "Tooth and claw" (the best Jane Austen's fan-fiction ever written!). I actually don't know why I waited so long to read another of her books, probably because some of the themes broached in them aren't some I like to read about... a shame and a wrong decision, probably. I will make an effort soon.Well. When I discovere...
  • Matt Braymiller
    Jo Walton came to our local F&SF bookstore on February 22nd of this year. It was a snowy day and not a lot of people were out and about. Her train had been delayed, but the book shop owner waited and met her and we spent an enjoyable couple hours as Ms. Walton read to us from this book and talked about short fiction, poetry, world building and tea. She admitted that (at least initially) she didn’t know how to write short stories. Her descriptio...
  • raquel (raqthereader)
    3'5 ★★★ «They chose to have a universe with stories, and there are no stories in utopia.» I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.{English}Starlings by Jo Walton is a collection of 21 fiction short stories and 15 poems in which we can appreciate not only the wonderful writing style of the author but also her magnificent ability to build many and different genres such as epic fantasy, sci-fi ...
  • Kelsey
    I received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for review.I would normally write a review of a story collection by touching briefly each of the stories, marking out my favorites and least favorites, and then speaking to how the collection as a whole coheres. I find I can't quite do that with Jo Walton's Starlings because I don't have much to say about a number of the many pieces in this collection, and by and large it DOESN'T cohere. B...