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Imagination/Space: Talks and Esays on Fiction, Feminism, Technology, and Politics

by Gwyneth Jones

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Imagination/Space: Essays and Talks on Fiction, Feminism, Technology, and Politics collects twenty-one pieces of nonfiction by Gwyneth Jones, the 2008 recipient of the Science Fiction Research Association's Pilgrim Award, which is conferred annually on science fiction's premiere critics for lifetime achievement. The contents of Imagination/Space range from Jones's acceptance speech for the Pilgrim Award to her detailed notes on shadowing a scientist in a lab in preparation for writing her Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel, Life, to her critical reconsideration of the feminist sf canon. Her sharp analyses and observations make this a must-read for anyone who cares about feminism, science fiction, or both.


"Not only is Gwyneth Jones a brilliant author, she's a fabulous essayist...This is a must read if you care about both, either, genre literature in any form, the exploration of self through literature, or a host of other topics. In fact, it's just plain worth a look. I've always enjoyed Gwyneth Jones's writing, but Imagination Space introduces me to the author as a literary critic and essayist, and I'm pleased to make the acquaintance. The essays in this collection are clear and lucid, insightful as all get out, and totally accessible. Probably more so than this paragraph...¦.As a non-academic, I often bounce off critical works scratching my head. Gwyneth Jones's mastery of her subjects and engaging writing pulls me in time and again, leaving me struck by how much more comprehensible the tangled web of speculative fiction is when seen through her eyes." (read the whole review)
   — Ernest Lilley, SFRevu, December 2009

"The new collection...is characterized by...careful readings, sharp but unexpected insights, and passionate but wholly individualistic feminism...It's the sort of book that's rewarding to have around for browsing and idea-mongering....The longest piece, 'The Games,' is absolutely brilliant discussion of video games, the nature of game-making in general, and the ways in which such games have infiltrated both fiction and film. It's the sort of thing that makes you want to invite Jones to a bar and sit down and *talk* with her about this stuff, while knowing that what you really want to do is listen.
    — Gary K. Wolfe, Locus, January 2010

Gwyneth Jones won the Pilgrim Award http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrim_Award for science fiction criticism in 2008, and this collection makes it abundantly clear why. It's an eclectic assemblage of essays, speeches, and reviews through which runs one distinct thread: a frustration with the consolatory "feminism" she sees in modern science fiction, and a demand for an angrier, more truthful feminism....My first impression of Jones's writing in this book was that it was passionately angry. Later I wanted to ask of her (as she once asked similarly of Brian Stableford), is this play fighting? But this is the wrong question: what I want to ask now is how she combines so skillfully play and fight, so that the play is so intense, and the fighting so exhilarating. (read the whole review)
  — Farah Mendlesohn, Strange Horizons, May 5, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-933500-32-4 (13 digit)
Publication Date: Nov 2009
paperback 264 pages