back to article The Just City: A brilliant, if puzzling, philosophical dialogue

At first glance, Jo Walton’s novel The Just City doesn’t seem to fit into the category of science fiction at all. We open with the god Apollo, who is confused about why Daphne the nymph chose to pray to the gods to be turned into a tree rather than sleep with him. Pleading with the goddess Athene for understanding, she …

  1. ysth

    I enjoyed this, and the (twenty years after) sequel, "The Philosopher Kings". Looking forward to the third one, when published.

  2. RobHib

    Not really boring mambo-jumbo.

    This philosophical dialogue stuff isn't really boring mambo-jumbo. I can't speak for the 'Just City' as I've not yet read it but the 'original' certainly isn't--not by a long shot. Do yourself a favour and just read Book 1 [≈12k words]. There are ten books in the The Republic but you only need Book 1 as that's where the main action is.

    It's probably the best formal logic dialogue ever written and pits injustice against justice. And of course, justice wins on argument (by Socrates). Shame we don't have debates in parliament like this, as it's a damning indictment of woolly thinkers, sophists and proponents of injustice.

    BTW, Jowett's translation, albeit 100+ years old, is wonderful. Even those who usually fall asleep in lectures stay awake for this one.

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