Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.
"Subtle Character Piece"
More than 65 years ago, Pallas Athena founded the Just City on an island in the Eastern Mediterranean, placing it centuries before the Trojan War, populating it with teachers and children from throughout human history and committing it to building a society based on the principles of Plato's Republic. Among the city's children was Pytheas, secretly the god Apollo in human form.
In 1949, eight years after the "Peace with Honor" was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dicatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb. The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch king-and-country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain's prime minister and his new ally, Adolf Hitler.
"Middle book builds a world"
One summer weekend in 1949 - but not our 1949 - the well-connected "Farthing set", a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before....
"It Couldn't Happen Here, Right? RIGHT?"
Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community populated by over 10,000 children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future - all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past.
"The just city"
The god Apollo, living (by his own choice) a human life as Pythias in the city, his true identity known to only a few, is now married and the father of several children. But a tragic loss causes him to become consumed with the desire for revenge. Being Apollo, he goes about handling it in a seemingly rational and systematic way, but it's evident - particularly to his precocious daughter, Arete - that he is unhinged with grief.
"The Just City meets the world"
In 1941 the European war ended in the Farthing Peace, a rapprochement between Britain and Nazi Germany. The balls and banquets of Britain's upper class never faltered, while British ships ferried undesirables across the Channel to board the cattle cars headed east. Peter Carmichael is commander of the Watch, Britain's distinctly British secret police. Its his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, and to discover Jews.
"Concluding volume in this series (perhaps)"
Here is the tale of a family dealing with the death of their father, of a son who goes to law for his inheritance, a son who agonizes over his father's deathbed confession, a daughter who falls in love, a daughter who becomes involved in the abolition movement, and a daughter sacrificing herself for her husband.... Except that everyone in the story is a dragon, red in tooth and claw.
"An Austen/Aesop Collaboration"
It's 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. "Confused today," read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know - what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don't seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead.
"A strange take on an otherwise simple story."