Reviews 2002



      "The also site offers a line of merchandise featuring the fictional ppo-culture heroes (proceeds go to Jones's favourite causes), making a nice and highly significant link between the myth of stardom and the 'reality' of fiction. Take your dreams for reality, but remember the nightmares might not be far behind."

Debbie Shaw, Mute, May 2002

       "One of the few books to tell the truth about rock and roll in all its dirty glory..."
                                                                 Manchester Evening News, July 2002


         "A wildly imaginative take on what might happen if New Age Travellers and the like
         wielded real power...further proof that it's possible to do something triumphantly new          with  the fantasy genre..."
                                                    Interview on Dreamwatch, Sept 2002      

        "Her first novel was excellent. This one's better!"

                                                       Guardian, August 10th 2002

" Gwyneth Jones has written a novel in which a festival swallows up the whole country. She is one of Britain's most brilliant sci-fi writers, and one of the few authors worldwide to understand the scale of opportunity the genre offers..." Francis Spufford, The Guardian


"seriously unputdownable…" Bryan Talbot

"Jones's worryingly coherent portrayal of a competent dictator is one of the more impressive things she has done, and Fiorinda, with her conscience and her angst-ridden past is a passionately loveable heroine…" Ros Kaveney, for

"Lester Bangs would no doubt have called Bold As Love bullshit, but if it's bullshit it's a wonderful, optimistic, romantic kind of bullshit written by someone who's not afraid to hope…" Jonathan Strahan, Locus

"…pervaded by a sense of creeping evil that is carried by the strength of the characterisations. We continue reading, both to know what will happen and in dread of it happening, for we fear for the characters…"
Allessandro Rico, Enigma (Waterstones sf and fantasy review)
"(Gwyneth Jones's) ... characters are wonderfully real and her ideas are intriguing," Barbara Davies, Starburst
Imagine an England where the PM has pushed Tony Blair's cool-Britannia riff well beyond absurdity, mix in riots in the Midlands, child abuse, freely available drugs and a high level of authorial intelligence, and you're halfway to what this novel offers. Never has the nature of Englishness been as sweet, or more bitter.
Sat 11th August, Guardian, Jon Courtenay Grimwood
"poetic heroes with a tragic streak..." Mark Wright (Starburst)
"This is an amusing science-fiction novel, with likeable characters and some really interesting ideas" Borders 'What's Happening',

But just who, or what, is as Bold As Love? I'm sure I know but I'm not telling. Figure it out for yourself. Or you could just ask the Ax, he knows everything. Chris Butler, infinity


Bold As Love has collected a curious mixture of reviews. Is this a horror story? Is it a light-hearted romantic fantasy? Is it satire? Is it serious? Is it a dystopia? Is is wonderful, romantic, optimistic fun...? Or all of the above? Take your choice. Strangest of all (to me) is the response that Bold As Love is implausible because rockstars take over the government. Useless for me to protest that this isn't what happens. People perceive this to be a story about rockstars taking over the government, and for some reason this is beyond the bounds of fantastic-fiction possibility. There seems to be a subtext that I am missing, here... Oh well, I remember saying to Bryan Talbot, when the book was finished -this is public domain territory I'm moving into. Everyone will have their own ideas, I wonder how they'll react to mine.

When I read the lengthy (and in the end extremely favourable) review on the SF Site, I was finally moved to take a hand. "The premise that...rockstars would actually possess the political acumen to pull this off is... laughable..." You what? Say that again? What is the secret agenda behind this bizarre resistance, to a tale that puts contemporary (organic, original, not yet hereditary) princes and princesses in the genre fantasy roles??? I realised, after I'd fired off my broadside, that the SF site reviewer may actually be too young to er, actively remember that a few years ago (by my ancient elvish reckoning) his great nation was ruled by an outworn Hollywood B-movie actor, who saw no harm in consulting his wife's astrologer on matters of state.

Anyway, what is Bold As Love about, and do I have a right to write an adult fairytale about rock and roll music? We're arguing the point on the SF Site: Noble and wise politicians vs laughable rockstars, match compered by the inestimable Rodger Turner. (The correspondence won't be up for an issue or two, but you can find the review now, in the recent-features archive.) The SF site