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More On Spirit

Thursday 26th February
not much change, same low skies. Frog action in the pond, and my first Camellia.

More reviews of Spirit:

Brighton-based Gwyneth Jones' SF work had focused on Bold As Love, five books that explore utopianism and environmental politics via the bizarre, but quite brilliant, notion of rock musicians taking the reins of power. But how do you follow that? Initially, it seems, Jones has opted for light relief because Spirit has been trailed as a srollicking re-engineering of Alexandre Dumas's classic The Count Of Monet Cristo and, in part, that's exactly what it is. We follow the sotry of Bibi who, imprisoned for two decades, plots revenge after secret coordinates lead her to untold riches. Yet Jones never relies wholley on Dumas's template. This is also a serious, grown-up novel that riffs on current concerns by, for example, casting as its outsider heroine a woman born into a fundamentalist, tribal society.
Jonathan Wright, BBC Focus

Bob's book blog review of Spirit

Liviu's review of Spirit (one of the first)

Duncan Lawie's review on The Zone

I like 'em all, of course I do, or they wouldn't be linked here!, Jonathan Wright gets posted in full because his isn't available on line; but I have a special soft spot for Harry Ritchie in The Mail On Sunday, for his "warning, warning, astonishing adjective imminent, female SF writer Gwyneth Jones. . . "

I'm going to miss my father. I keep thinking of him, now that the parade's gone by. Family matters continue to occupy me, it'll be a while before I get my life back (but one never does, after such a transition, it will be a different life). Meanwhile, I watched Ivan The Terrible Part II last night, it was terrific, in spite of (because of) bearing as little relation to the historical notes provided as Shakespeare's Macbeth does to the historical record. Fantastically stylised, fantastic Prokofiev movie music. If they carry on like this I'll have to forgive LoveFilm for their relentless delivery of ancient culturally improving movies that certainly were not my "high priority" titles. Also watched Ghosts Of Mars, through not having the will to switch the telly off.

Reading: Charles McCarry's post-9/11 revival, Old Boys Can the grey tigers of the old school CIA reach the secret location in the Central Asian desert, where along with the Kirghiz Light, one can discover the secret scroll revealing that Jesus was a Roman agent, and Paul of Tarsus his case-officer??? Or will grizzly Osama bin Laden (okay, another name, and invented by McCarry 35 yrs ago) get to this world-destroying treasure first???

I've just discovered McCarry, which puzzled me, as I've been very curious about the fantasy/fiction half-life of World War II, for several years (cf Bold As Love). Oh, now I see. The first one I snagged was catch-up, filling in the ancient history of his main characters. Really it's Cold War spook nostalgia (though that means a world frozen in time circa 1945/50) In Old Boys the project is rolling back the callous, stupid current regime, and reinstating the old-school decent-conservative God's on our side days, when CIA operatives were a league of maverick gentlemen, doing good by stealth. Ah, how we all miss those guys! . . . It's nice enough, it's travelogue with violence, and interesting things to eat (which our heroes can't digest as they are all over 70 and used to proper American food). Don't think I'll pick up another.

Spirit, Gollancz, The Clarke

Ash Wednesday, 25th February 2009
cool, grey, low skies.

Jon Sullivan cover art for Spirit

SFX 178

The Guardian, 17th january

The Times Online

Fantasy Book Critic

reviewed in the mail on sunday

homepage SPIRIT entry with downloads

I've been rather preoccupied for the last two or three months (how time flies). Back at my desk for a brief spell last week, I finally looked at the reviews that had been arriving, from Gollancz and other sources, & also found I had an email from Tom Hunter, with a link to the list of books submitted for the Arthur C. Clarke award. That's funny, it was just a new space opera, nothing too noteworthy, but I'm sure I had a book out, a bit of a strange date, but definitely 2008. I wonder why...

A few emails later, and to resolve any confusion in the select band I call my reading public, I can now confirm (I think!) that due to circumstances beyond my control Spirit, Or The Princess Of Bois Dormant has been declared a 2009 title in some contexts, 2008 in others. Sort of. Ah, well. That's the way it goes. Anyway, I may yet do an explanations page, with some of my own refs for the novel, for those who wonder where the usual maniacal deconstruction has gone; meanwhile at least I've restored the link from here to the SPIRIT and Buonarotti downloads.

I'll get the hang of these Serendipity tools in time, I'm sure

Desmond Jones 21st September 1910-4th February 2009

Sunday 8th February, Brighton
Cold and grey, but no sign of frost or snow.

My father, who had been very ill since early December, died last Wednesday. He had a very good innings, a very interesting life: and he was the person who taught me how to tell stories. I've been up in Manchester for a couple of days, mainly with my mother in their Care Home. I'll be back in Manchester soon and it'll be a while before I'm really back at my desk.
My father on his 94th birthday

bold as love is back

Wednesday 4th February 2009

Bright sun, clear sky, withered scraps of snow.

So, it's been a long break, a lot has happened, to me and to the world. We have a new US President, Bold As Love pre-conditions continue to propagate weirdly in the real world, while in Gaza, in Central Africa, in the Middle East etc. nothing damned well changes much. Sadly, I don't think there's any chance of a half-Sudanese guitarist from Taunton turning up at the Carlsberg Weekend & saving the day, but anyway that future is now in my past, as I do believe I had a new book out (didn't feel a thing). The garden birds of Spring have already begun to show: starlings whistling by my window, greenfinch and goldfinch colonies seem intact, goldcrests come to feed on the fronds of last year's buddleia (can't tell what they're eating) & I keep seeing, separately, a thrush and a male blackcap mooching around the big sycamore, hope they bring partners and decide to stay. And here's a new blog, set up for me by my webmeister, which of course I plan to personalise and make beautiful. . . it'll never happen, I'll live in it the way I found it, but at least I promise to restore the full texts downloads page, and the links to Bold As Love and my content site