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July 12, 2016

On sale today: Jo Walton’s Necessity, the concluding novel of Thessaly
Posted by Patrick at 04:45 AM * 17 comments

necessity.jpg On sale today in hardcover and e-book. Excerpt here. Author website (with upcoming appearances) here. Of particular local interest, Jo Walton and Ada Palmer will be reading and signing together tonight (Tuesday, July 12) at the Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 13) at WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn, New York.

(Making Light posts about the previous two books: The Just City and The Philosopher Kings.)

My flap copy (warning: spoilers for the previous two books):

More than sixty­-five 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.

Sixty years ago, the Just City schismed into five cities, each devoted to a different version of the original vision.

Forty years ago, the five cities managed to bring their squabbles to a close. But in consequence of their struggle, their existence finally came to the attention of Zeus, who can’t allow them to remain in deep antiquity, changing the course of human history. Convinced by Apollo to spare the Cities, Zeus instead moved everything on the island to the planet Plato, circling its own distant sun.

Now, more than a generation has passed. The Cities are flourishing on Plato, and even trading with multiple alien species. Then, on the same day, two things happen. Pytheas dies as a human, returning immediately as Apollo in his full glory. And there’s suddenly a human ship in orbit around Plato—­­a ship from Earth.

Some notices:

“Riveting…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)

“A glorious kitchen sink of genre, combining philosophy, time travel, aliens, and the gods….Engaging food for thought.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Comments on On sale today: Jo Walton's Necessity, the concluding novel of Thessaly:
#1 ::: Kelly Jennings ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2016, 09:52 AM:

My (pre-ordered) copy is arriving by 8:00 p.m. today. I have been waiting, and counting the days, since I finished The Philosopher Kings.

#2 ::: john, who is incognito and definitely not at work ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2016, 11:00 AM:

Ah, very good. I just put in a request for my library to buy this (they have the previous two).

#3 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2016, 01:47 PM:

I see Jo and Ada are reading in Boston this evening (Harvard Book Store). I figure I'll go. See how crowded it gets. :)

#4 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2016, 02:23 PM:

If I'm good, I'll go to the event at the Harvard Book Store tonight... this is facilitated by living about a five minute walk away.

#5 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2016, 05:02 PM:

My copy arrived today, but I'm rereading first two first.

#6 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2016, 05:11 PM:

Waiting for my library copy: I'm first in the HOLD line. Woot!

#7 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2016, 10:47 PM:

I really liked Necessity. It's different from the others, but fits in perfectly and brings a whole bunch of threads to a good point. And...the rest of my comments would be spoilers.

#8 ::: Steve Halter ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2016, 11:27 PM:

dotless ı:Ditto.

#9 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2016, 03:24 AM:

Very happy that it's so much easier and less expensive to get English-language books in Germany than it used to be. Nevertheless hoping that Amazon.de moves faster than the July 22 date they currently set for delivery of my pre-ordered copy of Necessity.

#10 ::: Kevin Marks ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2016, 03:41 PM:

70% through. Can we have a spoiler thread soon?

Also realising I should re-read all 3 once I do finish it.

#12 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2016, 10:46 PM:

Follow up to my comment at #6: while I wait for the county library to disgorge its copy of Necessity, I am re-reading The Just City and The Philosopher Kings.

#13 ::: micah ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2016, 01:28 PM:

So, is anyone making/selling those gold/silver/bronze/iron pins yet?

#14 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2016, 08:24 PM:

I hadn't read any of them before, and now I'm closing in on halfway through the second, with great interest.

#15 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2016, 12:29 PM:

As I've been saying on Twitter this week: reading a trilogy full of very human (and very alien) characters trying to achieve excellence and become more excellent is an excellent antidote to a world that does not seem to be seeking excellence at the moment.

#17 ::: john, who is incognito and definitely not at work ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2016, 09:06 AM:

I just got this from the library and am about halfway through it. I am enjoying it immensely.

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