Farthing by Jo Walton

Farthing is another book that was part of the Women in Science Fiction book club and, uh, the third from that club that I didn’t make it through. I decided to call it quits at page 264. Why then and not before? I wanted to give it, one of the few alternative histories I’ve tried, a fair shot.

I’m not sure I really understand alternative histories. Historical fiction, sure.  Historical fiction are simply stories set in a “historic” setting and might involve a famous personage. Alternative history? That’s tricky. There are so many factors that go into and result from events that I’m not convinced that alternative history can be done convincingly. I suppose, in a way, it’s the same as science fiction. Honestly, I’m not sure anyone does science fiction really well either when it relies on prognostication. On the other hand, history is so rich and *it’s already there.* Why not use that instead of changing it? Weirdly, when all is said and done, I might be more of a history buff than a science fiction fan.

On the writing end, I didn’t find anything particularly compelling about the story or the writing. I understand that much of a mystery/investigation ends up being related instead of shown, but the telling was boring. At pg. 264, I had long since stopped caring about the characters and the book had become a chore.

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