Show Notes for Ep. 53 "Jo Walton"

Dragons and alternate history; the research process; writing with particularity, and courage; character work; and more on this Deep Dive with author Jo Walton about her work across multiple genres. This interview is a part of the Portolan Project, an initiative to provide a wealth of exceptional creative writing courses and resources.

Find out more about the Portolan Project here:

Content warning: discussion of rape in Greek mythos in relation to Walton’s Just City trilogy

Recorded 2022 / Published August 21, 2023


  • 0:00:00 – introducing Jo Walton, how she came into her genre career, and writing Tooth and Claw
  • 0:13:10 – on writing Farthing
  • 0:17:03 – on Walton’s research process
  • 0:24:50 – on writing Among Others
  • 0:31:48 – writing to your specific particularity, with sincerity, and through fear
  • 0:45:48 – On Walton’s Just City trilogy (content warning for discussion of rape in Greek mythos and statues)
  • 0:57:04 – comparing Walton’s work to Ted Chiang’s on character building in terms of their environment
  • 1:08:36 – closing thoughts and Walton’s most recent book

Works Mentioned

Other Clarifying or Explanatory Links