Jo Walton

Discover a true storyteller’s mind in this intimate first flight of short fiction from award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among OthersThe King’s Peace).



by Jo Walton

ISBN: Book ISBN: 978-1-61696-056-8 Digital ISBN: 978-1-61696-057-5

Published: January 2018

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Digital Books


An intimate first flight of short fiction from award-winning novelist Jo Walton (Among Others, The King’s Peace).

An 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 items via bad poetry, trickery, and an assist from the Queen of Cats.

With these captivating initial glimpses into her storytelling psyche, Jo Walton shines through subtle myths and wholly reinvented realities. Through eclectic stories, subtle vignettes, inspired poetry, and more, Walton soars with humans, machines, and magic—rising from the everyday into the universe itself.

Praise for Starlings

“An intriguing peek inside a fertile mind.”

“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 exiting—and the collected short fiction of Jo Walton is exemplary of the principle.”
—Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother

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

“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

About the author

Jo Walton has published thirteen novels, most recently Necessity. A fourteenth, Poor Relations is due out early in 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 Non Fiction award for What Makes This Book So Great. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are much better. She gets bored easily so she tends to write books that are different from each other. She also reads a lot, enjoys travel, talking about books, and eating great food. She plans to live to be ninety-nine and write a book every year. She takes writing biographies of herself terribly seriously at all times.

Praise for Jo Walton

On Necessity

“Brilliant, compelling, and, frankly, unputdownable.”

“As before, Walton has done a superb job of world building and character development, giving readers a novel that both stimulates and satisfies.”
Booklist, starred review

“There’s more substance here than in many actual philosophy books.”
Romantic Times

On Among Others

“A wonder and a joy.”
The New York Times

“Never deigning to transcend the genre to which it is clearly a love letter, this outstanding (and entirely teen-appropriate) tale draws its strength from a solid foundation of sense-of-wonder and what-if.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“There are the books you want to give all your friends, and there are the books you wish you could go back and give your younger self. And then there’s the rare book, like Jo Walton’s Among Others, that’s both.”

On The King’s Peace

The King’s Peace is the novel that The Mists of Avalon should have been.”
―Debra Doyle, author of School of Wizardry

“Walton writes with an authenticity that never loses heart, a rare combination in a genre where we are so often offered one or the other.”
―Robin Hobb, author of Assassin’s Apprentice

“There is not an ill-written sentence . . . Never lacks immediacy or loses its historical quality.”

Visit the Jo Walton website.


Introduction by Jo Walton

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

Three Shouts on a Hill (A Play)

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
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