“Jo Ely’s superb debut novel combines the vision of Russell Hoban and Ursula Le Guin with her own unique talents as a powerful and poetic storyteller.”Roman Krznaric
Nothing is quite as it appears in New Bavarnica. Everything is run by The General, alongside his collaborator, the village shopkeeper. The General rules by menace and unimaginable cruelties – everyone in Bavarnica knows their place and is kept in it. Everyone that is except Antek, the Egg Boy, a government-made machine with a chink in his system. Everyone except Zorry the slave, who spends her nights hunting lethal plants in the killing forest. Everyone except Jengi, the shopkeeper’s ‘tame’ assistant, and last surviving member of the notorious Digger tribe. Together, can they find the courage to fight back?
STONE SEEDS is a beautifully crafted dystopian action thriller. Its all too real characters must use every last ounce of their courage, ingenuity and flawed humanity to keep hope alive in a world gripped by fear.
“A very distinct voice … at times no less than stunning … wonderful, poetic prose … The subject matter is a stroke of genius. Fascinating.” – bestselling author Sophie King
“Ely’s fictional voice resonates with raw emotion, and her writing is as tactile as the damp walls and the crack in the ceiling of Antek’s cell. The simplest description can be imbued with a complexity of feeling and meaning. Her characters seem rendered with great tenderness, a tenderness that can only inspire in the reader empathy and affection.” – Sandra Tyler, Author of New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Blue Glass
Jo spent her early years in Botswana, where the family garden was a fenced off piece of the African Bush. Having successfully dodged the snakes in the tomato plants, Jo came back to England and slowly read her way to Oxford Uni to study English. Her first job was editing multicultural education and anti-racism books for schools. Since then Jo’s published short stories, non-fiction and children’s books and written reviews for the world’s first online Empathy Library.
Described as “an intelligent, creative, imaginative, original writer” by Guardian Book of the Year author Trevor Byrne, Jo has been Shortlisted for the Fish International Short Story Prize and has had a short story selected for an anthology edited by New York Times Notable Book of the Year author Sandra Tyler (US edition 2016).
‘Stone Seeds’ is Jo’s first novel.
“A very accomplished prose stylist… Very talented.”
Acclaimed writer CM Taylor, author of Light, Grief, Cloven and Premiership Psycho
“This is powerful, poetic prose. You display a deftness of touch and a beautiful way with words which make your talent plain. And the subject matter – the setting and emotional content of your story – is superb… Your imagination, your facility for sumptuous prose, and your deft handling of the story’s psychological and emotional content are hugely impressive, and Stone Seeds is a very good book.”
MJ Hyland, the Booker Prize nominated author of Carry me Down, and Trevor Byrne, the critically acclaimed author of Ghosts and Lightning.
“Strong sensory opening… Adeptly establishes character and mood with lyrical strokes… nuanced and satisfying… Small revelations in a singular moment.”
Fish Publishing on A Godless Prayer for the Feet (taken from Jo Ely’snovel Stone Seeds). Her short story was shortlisted for the prestigious Fish Short Story Award 2012/13, an established event on the literary calendar.
“A very distinct voice … at times no less than stunning … wonderful, poetic prose … The subject matter is a stroke of genius. Fascinating.”
Bestseller Sophie King, aka journalist Jane Bidder
“ An intelligent, creative, imaginative, original writer.”