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Fiction Alternative History

Half a Crown

A Story of a World that Could Have Been

by (author) Jo Walton

Publisher
Tor/Forge
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
Category
Alternative History
  • CD-Audio

    ISBN
    9781522697428
    Publish Date
    Jul 2016
    List Price
    $14.99
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780765323156
    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price
    $20.99

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Description

For the first time in paperback, the culminating novel of Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Jo Walton's stunning Small Change trilogy.
Following the award-winningFarthing and its sequel Ha'penny,Half a Crown is an amazing alternate-world noir tale of resistance to encroaching fascism, from the author ofAmong Others.

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. It's his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, to discover Jews. The midnight knock of a Watchman is the most dreaded sound in the realm.

Now, in 1960, a global peace conference is convening in London, where Britain, Germany, and Japan will oversee the final partition of the world. Hitler is once again on British soil. So is the long-exiled Duke of Windsor—and the rising gangs of "British Power" streetfighters, who consider the Government "soft," may be the former king's bid to stage a coup d'etat.

Amidst all this, two of the most unlikely persons in the realm will join forces to oppose the fascists: a debutante whose greatest worry until now has been where to find the right string of pearls, and the Watch Commander himself.
"A literary Guernica—a top-notch thriller set in a terrified Britain that is all too willing to trade freedom for security, and which gets neither." —Cory Doctorow onHa'penny

About the author

Jo Walton has published thirteen novels, most recently Necessity. She has also published three poetry collections and an essay collection. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2002, the World Fantasy Award for Tooth and Claw in 2004, the Hugo and Nebula awards for Among Others in 2012,  and in 2014 both the Tiptree Award for My Real Children and the Locus Non Fiction award for What Makes This Book So Great. She comes from Wales but lives in Montreal where the food and books are much better. She gets bored easily so she tends to write books that are different from each other. She also reads a lot, enjoys travel, talking about books, and eating great food. She plans to live to be ninety-nine and write a book every year.

Jo Walton's profile page

Awards

  • Nominated, Prometheus Award Nominee

Editorial Reviews

“Haunting...Like meticulously nested Matroyshka dolls, both Farthing and Ha'Penny reveal complex arguments layered in their elegantly structured narratives.” —Sarah Weinman, Los Angeles Times

“Walton's understated prose and deft characterizations elevate this above similar works such asFatherland andSS-GB.” —Publishers Weekly

“Stunningly powerful.... A standout. Mainstream readers should be enthralled as well.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Farthing

“If le Carré scares you, try Jo Walton.” —Ursula K. LeGuin on Farthing

“A subversive, trenchant and simultaneously dark and light piece of speculative fiction. Can I get an amen? ...The parallels between her Britain and today's climate are never didactic and always effective. It's also a book about husbands and wives, and about class and sex. It is quite an achievement, brothers and sisters. Hallelujah.” —Bookslut on Farthing

“A stiff-upper-lip whodunit boasting political intrigue and uncomfortable truths about anti-Semitism.” —Entertainment Weekly on Farthing

“Walton realizes an all-too-convincing alternate world in which the Third Reich but not its spirit was stopped at the English Channel. The characters are highly plausible, and in every aspect from the petty snobbery hampering the inspector to the we-don't-do-that-here conclusion, the plot encourages warily reconsidering the daily news.” —Booklist on Farthing

“Amazing... One of the most compelling and chilling books of the year.” —RT Book Reviews on Farthing

“A beautifully-written alternate history thriller by World Fantasy Award-winner Jo Walton,Farthingis a smart, convincing tale of a country's slide into fascism that's sure to entertain casual and genre readers alike.” —Cinescope on Farthing

Other titles by Jo Walton