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Gwyneth Jones

Gwyneth Jones is an English writer and critic of science fiction and fantasy. She is the author of many novels, mostly horror and thrillers, for young adult/children under the name Ann Halam and several highly regarded science fiction novels for adults. Her essays and reviews are collected in Deconstructing The Starships (1999) and Imagination/Space (2009).

She was born in Manchester on the 14th of February in 1952, England. Her education was at a convent school followed by an undergraduate degree in European history of ideas at the University of Sussex. She has written for younger readers since 1980 under the pseudonym Ann Halam and, under that name, has published more than twenty novels. In 1984 Divine Endurance, a science fiction novel for adults, was published under her own name and in which she created the term gynoid. She continues to write using these two names for the respective audiences.

Gwyneth’s works are mostly science fiction and near future high fantasy with strong themes of gender and feminism. She is the winner of two 1996 World Fantasy Awards and she authored the short story The Grass Princess, a part of the winning collection Seven Tales and a Fable. She won the 1998 British Science Fiction Association short story award for La Cenerentola, the 1995 Children of the Night Award from the Dracula Society for The Fear Man as Ann Halam, the 2004 Philip K. Dick Award for her novel Life and is co-winner of the 1991 James Tiptree Jr. Award for White Queen, The Aleutian Trilogy Book 1, and the 2008 Pilgrim award for Science Fiction criticism.

Several of her novels have been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the latest being Spirit (2009); she won the 2002 award for Bold As Love. Siberia, a scientific fairytale written as Ann Halam, was shortlisted for the Teenage Book Trust Prize. She is generally well-reviewed critically and, as a feminist science fiction writer, is often compared to Ursula K. Le Guin, though the two authors are very much distinct in both content and style of work.

All Gwyneth’s books have some kind of fantasy, ghost story, science fiction, or horror element. “If I’m going to take the trouble to write a whole book,” she says, “It’s going to be something that couldn’t happen if I didn’t invent it.” Her other explanation is that she believes in strangeness.

She lives in Brighton, UK, with her husband and son, some goldfish and two cats called Ginger and Milo. She likes old movies, practices yoga, and has done some extreme tourism in her time. Hobbies include gardening, cooking, staring out of the window, and playing Zelda.

View and read her articles at The Guardian. Follow her on Twitter and her blog. Visit her homepage and her SFE: The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction profile for detailed information. See her Ann Halam webpage and Ann Halam profile at Penguin Random House. Read about her book Spirit. Read her essays.