Light: A Novel

By M. John Harrison

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book; while it seems to get mixed reviews on megalithic book sites that shall remain unnamed, it’s revered by a number of people I respect, including other authors.

In this respect Harrison seems like a writer’s writer; he’s got laudatory blurbs from such giants as Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, and Iain M. Banks. He also has a really great “weird Twitter” presence!

The book is literary sci-fi, challenging and rewarding, a “post-everything” space opera, with a “dual-stranded narrative”. It’s meditative and playful, “a literary singularity” and a “folded-down future history bound together by quantum exotica and human endurance”.

Its many short chapters (33, over 310 pages) alternate between present and future, between “here” and “somewhere else”, bound together by…well, by something! It appears to be a blend of hard sci-fi and surrealism, wrought by an actual great writer, as in, prose stylist — often an afterthought in science fiction.

If you think this all sounds rather abstract, I’m with you; I don’t really know what the book is about, just that it’s a weird story of “three quantum outlaws”, which description raises more questions than it answers.

Additional information:

  • ISBN: 978-0553382952
  • Publisher: Spectra

Learn more or purchase:

* Independent online book marketplaces. While these sites are often lighter on data / reviews, and thus not the first place to go to learn about a book, they're a great place to actually purchase!