Published: Jul 14, 2011
Gwyneth Jones’s novels have been acclaimed for three decades, and her modern fairytales Seven Tales And A Fable won two World Fantasy Awards in 1996. And now we have Grazing the Long Acre, the first UK collection of her short fiction. Some of the stories selected, including the BSFA award-winning “La Cenerentola”, have been anthologised; several have never before been reprinted. The earliest here “The Eastern Succession” was written in 1985, the most recent “In The Forest Of The Queen” in 2007. The settings range from a lyrical, Zelazny-influenced far-future South East Asia, to black comedy sci-fi in the New Space Opera style. There are ghosts and miracles, magical science and scientific magic; characters from novels, investigations of sexual difference, speculations on a future in which physics and neuroscience move into convergence, interrogations of our fascination with the other. Gwyneth Jones’s capacity to move and astonish the reader is undimmed, when distilled into the shorter form.