On Gwyneth Jones… [updated]

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:

  1. The Tomb Wife
  2. Saving Tiamaat
  3. The Voyage Out
  4. The Fulcrum

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.

5 thoughts on “On Gwyneth Jones… [updated]”

  1. Gwyneth Jones is one of the great writer’s of sf. You have got to read the “White Queen” series. I think it’s brilliant, as is the singleton “Life” (which won the Philip K. Dick award). There are lots of others but those are my favorites. I, also loved “In the Forest of the Queen” . It was one of the best short stores of last year (right up there with “The Tomb Wife” ) Anytime a new novel comes out by her I order it from Amazon.co.uk because it’s a good bet that it will be a book want to keep in my collection! Really appy to hear about the new novel – it should be a glorious read.

  2. I’m almost tempted to ask Jo at Gollancz. Given that the book is finished, I can’t see why they’d need to wait so long. I’d figure an earlier date – sometime in the next 12 months – would be possible. I’m also wondering about US rights. Hopefully there’ll be a US edition too.

  3. Her recent Ann Halam YA Books, Siberia and Snakehead, are an amazing study in contrasts. One is cold, tough, bitter and harsh, the other is warm, rich, full of friendship and family. They really are incredibly good.

  4. Hooray! According to the Gollancz catalogue that just arrived, The Princess of Bois Dormant is due out in December of *this* year.

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