- By Jo Walton

The Just City

  • Title: The Just City
  • Author: Jo Walton
  • ISBN: 9781466800823
  • Page: 214
  • Format: ebook
  • The Just City Here in the Just City you will become your best selves You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent Created as an experiment by the time traveling goddess Pallas Athene the Just City is a plann

    Here in the Just City you will become your best selves You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent Created as an experiment by the time traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future all Here in the Just City you will become your best selves You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent Created as an experiment by the time traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand 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 student Simmea, born an Egyptian farmer s daughter sometime between 500 and 1000 A.D, is a brilliant child, eager for knowledge, ready to strive to be her best self The teacher Maia was once Ethel, a young Victorian lady of much learning and few prospects, who prayed to Pallas Athene in an unguarded moment during a trip to Rome and, in an instant, found herself in the Just City with grey eyed Athene standing unmistakably before her.Meanwhile, Apollo stunned by the realization that there are things mortals understand better than he does has arranged to live a human life, and has come to the City as one of the children He knows his true identity, and conceals it from his peers For this lifetime, he is prone to all the troubles of being human.Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.At the Publisher s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software DRM applied.

    1 thought on “The Just City

    1. Reviewed by: Rabid Reads3.5 starsTHE JUST CITY by Jo Walton . . . is one of the strangest books I've read in long time.The premise is fascinating: the Greek pantheon exists outside of time, meaning the gods can move through it fluidly. They can also snatch humans out of their various centuries and dump them in a time and place of their choosing.Pallas Athene does exactly this, answering the prayers of intellectuals from as far in the future as the twentieth century and as far in the past as to b [...]

    2. 2.5 – 3 starsI’m not quite sure what it was about this book that didn’t quite gel for me, but while I appreciate the scope of what Walton attempted I wasn’t super impressed by the results. The basic premise is that Apollo and Athene decide to pick an out-of-the-way island in a backwater of the timestream and attempt to build Plato’s Republic in a way that is both free from outside obstructions and which will not unduly affect the course of history. To this end Athene cherry-picks think [...]

    3. This review was originally published at the Books and Pieces blog. Jo Walton is one of those writers that you can happily recommend to people who love SFF and people who think they don't. Her novels are always something different (she's a genre blurring genius) , something special and something that will leave you with a lot of thinking to do.If you've ever read any of Jostein Gaarder's philosophical novels (The Solitaire Mystery, The Christmas Mystery, Sophie's World) then this book will feel s [...]

    4. I needed a second reading to begin to articulate why I love this book so much. Walton does something different with every story arc, sometimes writing stand-alone novels (Lifelode, Tooth and Claw, Among Others) and sometimes series (Farthing series and her Arthurian-in-another-world series). The Just City is the beginning of a series, coming to an abrupt stopping place after a climactic debate.One thing I appreciated on this second reading was the book's structure. I seldom notice such things as [...]

    5. How can a novel that has as a climax a dialog between Socrates and goddess Athena, be anything but utterly wonderful? I've rarely encountered such a rich, flavored, powerful food for thought.

    6. This book tries to do too much and ends up doing nothing. On its surface, it’s complete catnip: time travelers set up the Just City as described by Plato in The Republic, aided by the goddess Athene. There are several POV characters, including the god Apollo in the guise of a teenager, one of the girls brought to grow up in the Just City, and one of the teachers who comes from Victorian England. The book begins with Athene founding the city (“Atlantis” har de har) and moves forward through [...]

    7. Full Review can be found at TenaciousReader: tenaciousreader/2015/0A very thought provoking and insightful book that makes you question the way things are in the world, as well as how they could be (and if that “other way” would really be better or worse).The Just City is an experiment carried out with by a Goddess. Her goal was to create perfectly balanced society where its citizens are judged solely on their own merits and abilities. There is to be no preferential treatment, people there s [...]

    8. “There will always be some who see excellence and envy it instead of striving to emulate it.” Thanks to Tor for sending me this advanced-reader-copy in exchange for an honest review. Ever heard of Plato’s Republic? Did you find it ridiculous? Do you agree/disagree with his plans? Well this is definitely a book to be read if you answered any of this questions, however is not really necessary to have read The Republic before, Jo Walton will explain everything to you. Athena is my favourite G [...]

    9. Time travel, robots, Greek gods, Atlantis, and Plato’s Republic. . .The Just City opens with Apollo deeply perplexed. Why wouldn’t Daphne dally with him? He’s a god! Why would she rather be turned into a tree by Artemis? Athena tries to explain that humans care about making their own choices, but that doesn’t make sense to Apollo’s god-brain way of thinking and he really wants to understand, so when Athena suggests he temporarily take on mortal form and join her philosophical experimen [...]

    10. SO FUCKING GOOD.That being said, I really can't wait for this to come out so I can see what other people think of it. The basic idea is that what if, throughout thousands of years, some of the people who read Plato's Republic prayed to Athena to live there, and what if that wish was granted? How does the idea of the perfect Just City actually work with imperfect people? The story is told by a freed slave, a bluestocking from the 1800s, and Apollo. The combination of earnest dedication to debate [...]

    11. An interesting book about an interesting project.As an experiment investigating human nature, the goddess Athena decides to set up a 'Just City' based on Plato's 'Republic.'To do this, she zaps every human being who ever prayed to her that they could live in Plato's 'Just City' (there are more than one might guess, from widely varied times and locations), and collects them all in ancient history, on the remote island that's sometimes been known as Atlantis. Their prayers are answered: with the g [...]

    12. Originally borrowed a review copy from Robert, then got approved for it on Netgalley, and then finally bought it, because I felt awful. It is not Jo Walton’s fault as a writer in any way; the book is fascinating, I just couldn’t sit still for it. I still don’t know why. I didn’t connect with it in the same way as I have some of Jo’s other books, but then I haven’t necessarily taken ages to read them because of that. There’s even stuff I love here: tons of classical references, as f [...]

    13. This is a book which took me far to long to get through considering the length of it but I will mention I had about 2 weeks where I didn't even try to read this. This was my first Walton book and it was one I decided to read as a buddy read which I think certainly made it more fun. The general premise of this is that we follow the gods Apollo and Athene as they decide to create a new city called the Just City, a concept which was originally theorised and proposed by Plato. The concept for the ci [...]

    14. My second book this year in which the Greek gods play main roles as characters (the first being Kraken Bake by Karen Dudley). Unfortunately, for me, I preferred the playful Kraken Bake to The Just City. Now I’ll confess at this point that I probably have read some Plato during my university education, but I don’t remember it at all. It made no impression on me. So I am not the target audience for this novel.I do like the idea that the god Apollo decides to become human in order to learn thin [...]

    15. And here it is, the review has now appeared on a blog of some nature. On the B&N one to be exact: barnesandnoble/blog/sc

    16. Oh man, so good. I could just read Jo Walton and Ursula K. LeGuin forever and ever. Who needs anybody else.I think a big part of the reason that I like Jo Walton so much is that she and I have similar (seemingly disparate) interests. So she writes stuff that I would write about, maybe, if I were a writer. Or that I like to read about, anyway. Victorian novels! Dragons! Ancient Greece! Time travel! Robots! Alternate timelines! Moon bases! Fairies! Reading other science fiction books! YES PLEASE. [...]

    17. Athena and Apollo try to create Plato's Republic. They pull together philosophers and dreamers from all eras of history to set the city up, then people it with ten year old Greek slave children. The book follows two of these children, Simmea and Pythias (actually Apollo reincarnated as a mortal), as they grow and learn within the system Plato's intellectual descendants have hammered out.The characters are wonderfully well crafted. Their minds are so perfectly described that it was only about two [...]

    18. So . . . what if the goddess Athena abducted everyone who wished that they lived in Plato’s Republic and got them to actually build it on Atlantis? Would it actually be awesome?(Whether or not the city is awesome, the book is awesome.)

    19. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to explain why I liked this book so much. I recently picked it up for free as part of Tor’s eBook of the Month Club. I believe they offered it in September. I only read the first couple sentences of the synopsis, and it didn’t sound particularly appealing to me, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway. I vaguely remember liking Jo Walton’s book Farthing reasonably well when I read it several years ago.The general story in The Just City is that vari [...]

    20. 3.6 is my final verdict.This book was so different from my normal reads it was refreshing. Robots, 10 year olds, People from all times of history, Greek Gods All mangled into the one City? The city Plato wrote about? Well what could go wrong? How about most things.I haven't read Plato's The Republic so I went into this pretty naive in regards to what his view was and what his goal was but I think I picked it up pretty quickly.The Just City is just that, it's a city designed to be just. Everyone [...]

    21. The Just City is without a doubt one of the most interesting books I've read in ages. It combines a story that is highly readable with an enormous amount of food for thought. I could probably go on for quite a while on all the influences, history and philosophy that went into it. I haven't even discussed the importance of art for instance. Or the debates on what constitutes intelligence. Or the ever present question of how much of Socrates' teachings is Plato putting words into his mouth. It's q [...]

    22. (Full review here: bibliotropic/2015/01/13/th)I could go on and on about how good a book this is, how intelligent and insightful and entertaining it is, but like many of Walton’s books, any review I give really doesn’t seem to do the experience justice. It’s definitely a book for people who like to explore the “what if”s behind ideas, those who like to follow thoughts to whatever conclusion they end at, those who like to have their preconceptions challenged, and for that, I think very [...]

    23. In Jo Walton’s newest novel The Just City, the goddess Pallas Athena uses her divine powers to create an approximation of Plato’s Republic. As in, she literally sets up a mini-version of the ideal state as described in The Republic, transferring over 10,000 children and a few hundred adults to a Mediterranean island in the past, giving them The Republic as a general operating manual (as well as some handy robots from the future) and basically directing them to set up the Just City, where eve [...]

    24. I really wanted to love this book, because I’ve read Jo Walton’s writing before (the Small Change trilogy) and really enjoyed it, and because the premise of The Just City is so intriguing. Curious as to whether the idea of the perfect city laid out in Plato’s Republic could ever be a reality, the goddess Athene gathers together ten thousand Greek-speaking children and several hundred teachers from across a span of more than two thousand years and places them on a Mediterranean island in th [...]

    25. koeur.wordpress/2014/12/03Publisher: Tor BooksPublishing Date: January 2015ISBN: 9780765332660 Genre: FantasyRating: 2.8/5Publisher Description: Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand 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.Review: This was writte [...]

    26. I have no particular interest in Plato's Republic, but I loved this novel (the first in a series; just picked up the second one yesterday) about the goddess Athena bringing philosophers and seekers together from throughout time to actually build a planned community based on Plato's work. It's openly about gender, and the life of the mind, and the unfairness of politics, and the importance of consent, and then about bigger questions, like the nature of the gods and the degree to which people can [...]

    27. I'd probably go 4.5 stars.This book was tailor made for me. I teach political philosophy. I love Plato and Socrates and thinking deeply about free will and justice and privilege (what Walton refers to as equal significance.) I also love science fiction and fantasy. As such, I'm a little leery that my rating may skew high because I looooooooved this book in which a lot of people sit around and do nothing but talk about important issues like these, but there is action and it also keeps the plot mo [...]

    28. I really enjoyed this, even though I know almost nothing about Plato’s Republic and I didn’t recognize any of the historical figures except the obvious ones, Cicero and Socrates. Only once - with Ikaros - was I annoyed by hints that were meaningless to me.It’s about an experiment carried out by the goddess Athena: she creates a Just City, as described in Plato’s thought experiment. It’s run by a small group of adults assembled from various times and places throughout history (including [...]

    29. This novel explores the concept of social engineering. The Greek goddess, Pallas Athene, with the support of her brother Apollo, inaugurate a social experiment to determine if a community constructed on the principles outlined by Plato could actually give rise to a “just city” and “philosopher kings”. Willing intellectuals from every era are gathered to lead this community and pre-teens are bought from the slave markets of the ancient Greco-Roman world to populate it. The explicit moral [...]

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