Bold As Love
is technically a science fiction novel, set as it is in a near future of political collapse and technological development, and yet it sprawls over the border between SF and fantasy. Ax is a rock musician conscripted by the government of post-Union England to consider the future and co-opt the counter-culture. He stays on to run things when the disgusting character, Pigsty, massacres his way to power, and Ax gradually becomes the much-loved centre of power and policy. Part of what keeps him ahead of events is a brain implant with all the information a benevolent despot might need; part is his fey lover Fiorinda and his best friend Sage, who is in love with Fiorinda and not sure of his exact feelings for Ax. These three are almost a latter-day Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot... a fact that does not bode well for the second volume.
Jones' picture of a world falling apart at the seams--with its worryingly coherent portrayal of a competent dictator--is one of the more impressive things she has done; and Fiorinda with her conscience and angst-ridden past is a passionately lovable heroine. --Roz Kaveney
--This text refers to an alternate
From Publishers Weekly
Rock and roll rules in British author Jones's Arthur C. Clarke Award–winning novel, the first of a four-book series. In the near future, the U.K. is dissolving and the government, to placate the masses, sets up a "Countercultural Think Tank," including some of the biggest names in pop music and headed by the Ozzie Osborne–like Pigsty Liver. After much publicity and a series of government-sponsored music festivals, however, the egomaniacal Pigsty murders the home secretary and takes over the government. Soon various members of his rock-star cabinet find themselves struggling to make order out of chaos and prevent an ethnic bloodbath. Though the story starts out like dark cyberpunk, it gradually modulates into something much stranger as characters find their hidden powers and take on the attributes of Arthurian fantasy. References to Jimi Hendrix and other '60s and '70s rockers abound. Jones's vision is unremittingly dark and her basic premise may strike some as a bit silly, but this novel packs considerable power.
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