The Stone Gods

Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods
Jeanette Winterson travels to outer-space through her alter-ego Billie Crusoe in her new novel The Stone Gods and Ramona Koval jumps on board the spaceship.

An articulate and often writerly interview and Winterson reads from Stone Gods.

The Book Show … 063967.htm


The Sunday Times review put me off this one. The Sunday Times won’t touch lowly science fiction with a barge pole unless its written by someone such as Winterson. Now, I’m no sf nut, but I am partial to a good book with sf elements (or well-written sf with a great concept). In other words, I’m not biased against the genre or particularly partial either way; if it’s a good book I’ll read it without caring about the genre. It therefore really annoys me that The Sunday Times will overlook anything sf-like (though they are quite happy to review the ‘thriller’ genre) unless it’s written by an established so-called ‘literary’ author.

Of course, had the book sounded interesting, I’m sure I could have overcome my bias. :slight_smile: However, as soon as the review mentioned that such was the scope of Winterson’s scope that she was able to incorporate in her novel an incident that occurred earlier this year in which an editor left the manuscript of this very novel on a train… Well, they’d lost me.

Um, that was an off-topic rant, wasn’t it? Oh well.


I would pay money for an impartial review of good books.

Jeanette Winterson has a column in the Saturday Times where without fail she plugs her shop and mentions the district which it is in. Is she really going to get a stinking review ?

Books. music, films, TV programs. all need an impartial review which we do not get as the media is advertising lead rather than shop sales or honesty.

Within the film business I recall impartial reviews of films so that independent cinemas or distributors could make decisions.

Amazon review system sucks so buying good new books is rare for me now.
I use Abe for old stuff and buy “stuff” at the airport.


You might be cheered to learn that, in an alternate universe, Nobel Prizes for Literature have been awarded to
Jules Verne,
J.R.R. Tolkien,
Philip K. Dick,
Italo Calvino,
Ray Bradbury,
Haruki Murakami,
J.K. Rowling, and
Doctor Seuss.
They’re among the choices of Ted Gioia at


It is perhaps worth mentioning that Ursula Le Guin has a review of ‘Stone Gods’ on The Guardian website in the book reviews section, where she ever so politely rips Winterson a new one.

From the review: “It’s odd to find characters in a science-fiction novel repeatedly announcing that they hate science fiction. I can only suppose that Jeanette Winterson is trying to keep her credits as a “literary” writer even as she openly commits genre. Surely she’s noticed that everybody is writing science fiction now? Formerly deep-dyed realists are producing novels so full of the tropes and fixtures and plotlines of science fiction that only the snarling tricephalic dogs who guard the Canon of Literature can tell the difference.”

I would never of course prejudge a book without reading it, nevertheless Winterson’s assertion that her book is based on ‘real science’ is worrying given reports so far.