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Helen S. Wright

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

A Matter of Oaths

Bloomsbury Caravel have republished my science fiction novel, A Matter of Oaths, with an introduction by Becky Chambers and cover art by Phil Beresford.

You can order the ebook or a print edition at  Amazon (UK)Amazon (US)Barnes & Noble, or Bloomsbury.  If you’ve already got a copy, please pass the word to your friends.

”A compelling, mind-bending future that’s finally come home to the present’ – Becky Chambers, author of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

 ‘This is fun, quick-moving adventury space opera… I really enjoyed reading it.’  – Ann Leckie, author of  The Imperial Radch Series.

‘Fast paced and inventive… it held my attention to the end.’ – C.J. Cherryh

‘It’s simply a rattling good story, the sort that would capture the imagination of any space opera aficionado…I don’t think I’ve seen such a convincing description of an invented technology since Terry Pratchett’ – Blue Book Balloon

‘This is a vivid, vital and energetic space opera, full of incident and emotion. Its vision of a space-faring society doesn’t seem out of place to a contemporary reader, the way many other future visions of the eighties and nineties do, because Wright’s space opera includes in positive, sympathetic ways people that those other visions leave out…  It’s really compelling and a hell of a lot of fun. I recommend it highly. GO AND READ IT.’ –

‘A Matter of Oaths seems like the sort of book that should have had avid fans sharing dog-eared copies for decades… If you’re looking for a diverse, LGBT-friendly space opera, you will want to consider this’ –  James Nicoll


‘I would have missed C. J. Cherryh completely if one of the booksellers hadn’t pointed her out. And so, I found more SF about people and societies; and fantasy that wasn’t about fairies and witches, but different societies with different history and different ways of looking at things.’ – An interview with me at Pornokitsch, mostly about writing science fiction as a woman in the 80s.

‘Helmuth von Moltke the Elder once said: “No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.” Add the fact that old women come with a whole load of experience and firm opinions, and it was inevitable that the book I wrote was not the book I anticipated.’ – An article by me at ThePortalist about what happens when an old woman steals your story.

A Question of Covers

I make no claim to be a visual artist; I prefer to make my pictures with words. However, books need covers to give a potential reader some clues about what lies inside.

The original UK edition of my book had a lovely cover illustration by John Higgins (left). As a piece of artwork, and an accurate indication of the kind of story inside, I was more than happy with it — or would have been if the man on the front had not been white.  By the time I saw it, it was too late to correct it; and from all I’ve read and heard since, I was lucky even to see the cover before the book hit the shelves.

The original US edition (tight) had a cover illustration by Martin Andrews. I saw it for the first time when I received my author’s copies and was distinctly underwhelmed.  Not only was the man on the cover white (with a grotesque case of five-o’clock shadow) but the woman was either some passing stranger introduced for decorative purposes or a very misleading representation of the primary female character.

The cover artwork on the new edition is so much closer to the story inside.

Copyright Helen S. Wright 2024+