The Stone Gods
The Whitbread Prize–winning author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit delivers a novel that “transports us to something like the future of our own planet” (The Washington Post Book World).
On the airwaves, all the talk is of the new blue planet—pristine and habitable, like our own was sixty-five million years ago, before we took it to the edge of destruction. Off the air, Billie Crusoe and the renegade Robo sapien Spike are falling in love. Along with Captain Handsome and Pink, they’re assigned to colonize the new blue planet. But when a technical maneuver intended to make it inhabitable backfires, Billie and Spike’s flight to the future becomes a surprising return to the distant past—“Everything is imprinted forever with what it once was.” What will happen when their story combines with the world’s story? Will they—and we—ever find a safe landing place?
Playful, passionate, polemical, and frequently very funny, The Stone Gods will change forever the stories we tell about the earth, about love, and about stories themselves.
“Scary, beautiful, witty and wistful by turns, dipping into the known past as it explores potential futures.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[A book] that you don’t so much read as drink in, refuse to put down, cast inside of like a hunting dog, seeking against all odds the insight that will illuminate everything, a true answer to the fix we’re in.” —Los Angeles Times
“A vivid, cautionary tale—or, more precisely, a keen lament for our irremediably incautious species.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, bestselling author of Changing Planes
Prize-winning Brit Winterson applies her fantastical touch to a sci-fi, postapocalyptic setting. Heroine Billie Crusoe appears in three different end-of-the-world scenarios, allowing Winterson to explore the repetitive and destructive nature of human history and an inability (or unwillingness) of people to learn from previous mistakes. In the first section, inhabitants of the pollution-choked planet Orbus have discovered Planet Blue (Earth), and soon set about launching an asteroid at it to kill the dinosaurs that would prevent them from colonizing the planet. The second and third sections are set on Earth in 1774 and then in the Post-3 War era. Though passionate condemnations of global warming and war appear frequently, the book also contains a triptych love story: Billie meets Spike, a female Robo sapien capable of emotion and evolution, and falls (reluctantly) in love with her. In each of the scenarios, Billie and Spike (or versions of them) fall in love anew while encroaching annihilation looms in the background. Winterson's lapses into polemic can be tedious, but her prose "as stunning, lyrical and evocative as ever "and intelligence easily carry the book.