Title: The Stone Gods
Author: Jeanette Winterson
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton
Published: 27 September 2007
The Stone Gods is described as an ‘intergalactic love story’ set as man is due to colonise a new blue planet just like ours before we started using more than we put back.
Winterson starts well enough with the tale of Billie who hasn’t been ‘Fixed’, who is getting parking parking tickets even though she has a permit and has been asked to interview the robo sapien, Spike.
And as it progresses this storyline isn’t so bad and is an interesting take on how we might progress. Everything artificial, nothing to do but look young and have sex and be consumers. The problem comes when Winterson leaves this tale and all the fables she weaves into it and moves into parallels.
The other stories lack the initial engagement of the character of Billie and her relationship with Spike even though they are mentioned. And at this point I have a confession to make. I skipped and skim read looking for any threads to cling back on to.
This is the danger when you change the nature of the story. You loose your reader and what tentative links they’ve made. And Winterson lost me.
I’d recommend reading it for the opening novella but without the expectation of understanding or enjoying what follows. If Winterson had played it straight it would have been tighter and stronger and left room to explore sexuality as well as human evolution but I guess each writer tells the tales they want to tell.