The stories in The Universe of Things span Jones's career, from ''The Eastern Succession,'' first published in 1988, to the just-published ''Collision.'' Each opens a window into a richly depicted culture in which intelligent, resourceful characters struggle to make sense of the mysteries of their world.
In the introduction by Steven Shaviro, author of Doom Patrols and Connected, or What It Means to Live in the Network Society, Shaviro notes, ''As a feminist writer, Jones refuses to accept compromises that leave gender inequities in place – and recognizes how they may well have staved off something worse. And as a science fiction writer, Jones shows deep awareness of how provisional, and fragile, all our acceptances and reconciliations can be, for there are always new potentials, new cultural or technological disruptions in the offing. Jones envisions a future that is different enough from the present that we are forced to recognize the contingency – and changeability – of the things we take most for granted.''