Empty Space

M John Harrison

Empty Space

EMPTY SPACE is a space adventure. We begin with the following dream: An alien research tool the size of a brown dwarf star hangs in the middle of nowhere, as a result of an attempt to place it equidistant from everything else in every possible universe. Somewhere in the fractal labyrinth beneath its surface, a woman lies on an allotropic carbon deck, a white paste of nanomachines oozing from the corner of her mouth. She is neither conscious nor unconscious, dead nor alive. There is something wrong with her cheekbones. At first you think she is changing from one thing into another -- perhaps it's a cat, perhaps it's something that only looks like one -- then you see that she is actually trying to be both things at once. She is waiting for you, she has been waiting for you for perhaps 10,000 years. She comes from the past, she comes from the future. She is about to speak-- EMPTY SPACE is a sequel to LIGHT and NOVA SWING, three strands presented in alternating chapters which will work their way separately back to this image of frozen transformation. 4.2 out of 5 based on 4 reviews
Empty Space

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre General Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Format Paperback
Pages 320
RRP
Date of Publication July 2012
ISBN 978-0575096318
Publisher Gollancz
 

EMPTY SPACE is a space adventure. We begin with the following dream: An alien research tool the size of a brown dwarf star hangs in the middle of nowhere, as a result of an attempt to place it equidistant from everything else in every possible universe. Somewhere in the fractal labyrinth beneath its surface, a woman lies on an allotropic carbon deck, a white paste of nanomachines oozing from the corner of her mouth. She is neither conscious nor unconscious, dead nor alive. There is something wrong with her cheekbones. At first you think she is changing from one thing into another -- perhaps it's a cat, perhaps it's something that only looks like one -- then you see that she is actually trying to be both things at once. She is waiting for you, she has been waiting for you for perhaps 10,000 years. She comes from the past, she comes from the future. She is about to speak-- EMPTY SPACE is a sequel to LIGHT and NOVA SWING, three strands presented in alternating chapters which will work their way separately back to this image of frozen transformation.

Reviews

The Guardian

Stuart Kelly

A word of warning: readers new to the work of M John Harrison should probably not make this their first foray into his poetic, angry and intellectually thrilling oeuvre; and it would be both a waste and a folly if their first was also their only expedition with him … the real reason to read him is the prose. Empty Space has a dirty beauty, a gnarly elegance, a capacity to grind words together in glorious ways.

02/08/2012

Read Full Review


The Independent

Roz Kaveney

He gives us, page by page, glorious gaudy neon gadgetry, Borgesian twistiness, philosophic twiddles – and people whose company we enjoy even as we watch them walk to their dooms. Part of the bliss of Harrison's work is the sardonic glee that goes along with the dour gloom-mongering. He braces us to be ready for the worst and tickles our fancy at the same time.

04/09/2012

Read Full Review


The Daily Mail

Harry Ritchie

Empty Space isn’t conventionally dependent on its predecessors, Light and Nova Swing, but unlike Iron Winter, which could conceivably stand on its own, this is not one for the uninitiated. Once again, Harrison’s fizzing imagination is rivalled only by his stylistic pizzazz. SF at its most astounding.

23/08/2012

Read Full Review


The Daily Telegraph

David Langford

No genre crossovers are weirder than M John Harrison’s disquieting mix of planet-busting space opera with bleak psychological horror.

27/08/2012

Read Full Review


©2013 The Omnivore