New Wave pioneer M. John Harrison joins author and journalist Lara Pawson to discuss his latest short fiction collection ‘You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts’, memory, truth and fiction.
The Locomotrix is excited to present New Wave pioneer M. John Harrison in conversation with author and journalist Lara Pawson on the publication of his first collection of short fiction in over 15 years, You Should Come with Me Now: Stories of Ghosts.
Acclaimed by writers such as Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, Clive Barker, William Gibson and Iain Banks (who called him ‘a Zen master of prose’), M. John Harrison is the winner of numerous awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K Dick, and James Tiptree Junior Awards, as well as the Boardman Tasker Prize and Tahtivaeltara Award.
Considered one of the most important stylists of modern fantasy and science fiction working today, and a pioneer of the New Wave, M. John Harrison is a cartographer of the liminal. His work sits at the boundaries between genres – horror and science fiction, fantasy and travel writing – just as his characters occupy the no man’s land between the spatial and the spiritual.
Here, in his first collection of short fiction for over 15 years, we see the master of the New Wave present unsettling visions of contemporary urban Britain, as well as supernatural parodies of the wider, political landscape. From gelatinous aliens taking over the world’s financial capitals, to the middle-aged man escaping the pressures of fatherhood by going missing in his own house… these are weird stories for weird times.
‘M. John Harrison moves elegantly, passionately, from genre to genre, his prose lucent and wise, his stories published as SF or as fantasy, as horror or as mainstream fiction. In each playing field, he wins awards, and makes it look so easy. His prose is deceptively simple, each word considered and placed where it can sink deepest and do the most damage.’ - Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods
‘With an austere and deeply moving humanism, M. John Harrison proves what only those crippled by respectability still doubt – that science fiction can be literature, of the very greatest kind.’ - China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Station
‘M. John Harrison's sentences have the power to leave the world about you unsteadied; glowing and perforated in strange ways.’ - Robert Macfarlane, author of Landmarks
‘Slippery, subversive, these stories mix the eerie and familiar into beguiling, alarming marvels.’ - Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City
'Harrison maps a rediscovered fictional hinterland, one tucked behind the glossier edifices of modernity and genre with views down alleyways into pubs and flats where Patrick Hamilton glares balefully at J. G. Ballard.' - Will Eaves, author of This is Paradise
About the Speakers
M. John Harrison is regarded by many as a figurehead of modern fantasy and science fiction. He is the author of eleven novels (including InViriconium, TheCourseof the Heart and Light), as well as four previous short story collections, two graphic novels, and collaborations with Jane Johnson, writing as Gabriel King. He won the Boardman Tasker Award for Climbers (1989), the James Tiptree Jr Award for Light (2002) and the Arthur C Clark Award for Nova Swing (2007). He reviews fiction for the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement, and lives in Shropshire.
Lara Pawson is a freelance writer born in London, a city she left at sixteen for a hamlet in Somerset. She is the author of This Is The Place To Be, a fragmentary memoir which was published in September 2016 with CB editions. In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre (IB Tauris, 2014) was her first book. It was nominated for several awards and longlisted for The Orwell Prize 2015. Her commentary, essays and reviews have been published in many places, most recently in the Times Literary Supplement,Verso, New Humanist and Art Review.