Jo Walton's fantasy novel starts centuries before the Trojan War.

Jo Walton

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. Among the City's children was Pytheas, secretly the god Apollo in human form. Six decades ago, the Just City schismed into five cities. Four decades 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. Convinced by Apollo to spare the Cities, Zeus instead moved everything on the island to the planet Plato.

Now, more than a generation has passed. The Cities are flourishing on Plato. Then, on the same day, two things happen. Pytheas dies as a human, returning immediately as Apollo. And there's suddenly a human ship in orbit around Plato. The latest instalment in the series that began with The Just City and The Philosopher Kings. (From Tor Books)

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From the book

I died on the day the first human spaceship contacted Plato. After that, I did all the things I'd been promising myself I'd do once I was back to my proper self. I established the laurel wreath as a symbol of poetic victory, in memory of Daphne. Then I spent a little while assembling the chronicles of the City — weaving together Maia's journals with Simmea's and Arete's, and composing a memoir of my own brief but intense period of mortality. Then I settled down to study sun formation, beginning with my own suns, naturally. Once I'd started looking into it, I became fascinated with the whole process. The song of suns, the dance of gravity and hydrogen, the interplay of radiation and magnetism and heat, the excitement of the symphonic moment when it all comes together and fusion begins — I never tire of it.

From Necessity by Jo Walton ©2016. Published by Tor Books.

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