I don’t remember when I read a book or story by Gwyneth Jones for the first time. I was certainly aware of her work in Interzone, and I recall seeing the Allen & Unwin editions of some of her novels, but I never got around to picking them up. I also clearly remember having her ‘White Queen’ series of novels recommended to me. For whatever reason – perhaps I just wasn’t ready – I didn’t start reading her work until Bold as Love was published.
Hopefully all readers of this blog are familiar witht he five novels that make up the ‘Bold as Love’ sequence. The first book in the sequence is simply one of my favorite books. A barnstorming political rock ‘n’ roll fantasy, I loved it from the first and eagerly consumed the next four books as they came out. I dismissed then, as I do now, that the books are too British to find an American audience, and I’ve never been convinced by those readers who don’t find the idea of rock stars becoming political figures plausible.
Lately, though, I’ve fallen in love with her short fiction. She sent me a wonderful story, “In the Forest of the Queen”, for Eclipse One. I think her story in The Starry Rift, writing as ‘Ann Halam’, is possibly even better. And then there’s the story she did for The New Space Opera. You can see some of Gwyneth’s thoughts on space opera over at MindMeld, and I think they clearly underpin “Saving Tiamaat”, which is one of my own favorite NSO stories.
The reason I’m mentioning this now is that Gwyneth has posed four stories in her “Buonarotti” sequence on her blog. You can read:
If you’re not familiar with her work, you should really try these. It’s a wonderful mini-collection of great science fiction. And, if you’re as impressed as I am, you’ll be as excited as I was to hear that she’s finished a new space opera novel, The Princess of Boi Dormant, for Gollancz which hopefully will be out soon.
I should have mentioned that PS Publishing, one of my favorite small presses, has scheduled a new collection of Jones’ stories, Grazing the Long Acre, which is set to appear before year’s end. It should be an amazing book.