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Signs Of Life

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  102 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Clive Barker says of M. John Harrison, "His books are fictions of elegant delirium, dark and transcendent by turns." Ramsey Campbell calls him "the master of enigma, whether human or supernatural." Like Jonathan Carroll, Harrison is a British writer who transgresses conventional genre boundaries. Signs of Life is about Mick "China" Rose, an unassuming fellow who runs a sha ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 14th 1998 by Flamingo (first published 1997)
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Arax Miltiadous
Η Ίζομπελ είναι ερωτευμένη με τον κόσμο και τα πάντα γύρω της ενώ ο Τσάινα είναι ερωτευμένος με την Ίζομπελ. Είναι μια από εκείνες τις περιπτώσεις που ο ένας είναι πιο ερωτευμένος από τον άλλον.
Φυσικά, υπάρχει και ο Τσόι... Μια υπέρ ιδιάζουσα περίπτωση. Και μια περίεργη εταιρία μεταφορών στην καρδιά της Αγγλίας. Ο Τσάινα και ο Τσάι ίδρυσαν την εταιρία κατά την διάρκεια μιας οξύτατης κρίσης βαρεμάρας. Μετά αντικατέστησαν τον εθισμό τους με έναν άλλον εθισμό με αποτέλεσμα να ελίσσονται συνεχώς σε
...more
Guy Salvidge
Jul 28, 2014 Guy Salvidge rated it really liked it
This is an odd book, as I suppose all of Harrison's are, but in general I liked it better this time than The Course of the Heart, which I finished reading yesterday. Signs of Life is about a man named Mick 'China' Rose, his friend Choe Ashton, and his lover Isabel Avens. It's a literary novel for the most part with low-level, understated SF stuff in it, but to me it has the texture of literary fiction first and foremost.

This is a good book but I can't help but feel it's somewhat less than the su
...more
Owain Lewis
Jul 21, 2016 Owain Lewis rated it liked it
I'll read anything by Harrison (I think I've pretty much read it all now) but this wasn't his best. I just never really felt like he was leading me anywhere, even though where he usually leads you is not where you thought you were going, which is what I enjoy most about his work. I guess this was Harrison's version of a romance, albeit one played out against a back drop of some of the least romantic scenery - both interior and exterior - you could imagine; a kind of anti romance if you like. As ...more
Kafka
Feb 03, 2015 Kafka rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, read-this-year
I read 'Signs of Life' almost right after 'The Course of the Heart', and in some ways, it does with science fiction what the latter does with fantasy, or the fantastic impulse: use both genres/modes to dissect the nature of desire, and understand how desire ultimately fails when it is essentially escapist. M. John Harrison is the ultimate genre contrarian writing in English in this regard, in that he takes an unflinching view of the literature and politics of escapism, and deconstructs it system ...more
Bob
Jun 25, 2007 Bob rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-readings
A startling look at where our current obsession with having it all might lead us.

I re-read this shortly before going into hospital. Probably not a good idea in some respects, but the central theme of transformation had resonance...
George
Mar 14, 2015 George rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Ο Μ. Τζον Χάρισον έχει γράψει διάφορα ενδιαφέροντα βιβλία όπως το Light (το οποίο έχω στην βιβλιοθήκη μου), το Viriconium που αποτελείται από τέσσερα μικρά μυθιστορήματα, το The Centauri Device και κάμποσα άλλα, το Signs Of Life όμως είναι το μοναδικό που μεταφράστηκε στα ελληνικά και αναρωτιέμαι γιατί επιλέχτηκε αυτό. Εντάξει, είναι αρκετά περίεργο σαν βιβλίο και το στιλ αφήγησης έχει τρόπον τινά κάτι το ξεχωριστό, όμως γενικά η ιστορία μπορώ να πω ότι με άφησε αδιάφορο και σε αρκετά σημεία με ...more
Rev. Nyarkoleptek
Feb 26, 2010 Rev. Nyarkoleptek rated it did not like it
Shelves: _-_abandoned_it
I enjoyed Light, even if it did show up at the cyberpunk party ten years too late. But Signs of Life just did not work out for me. Thirty pages into the book and all I'm being presented with is a desiccated, passionless tale of apparently star-crossed love? I was expecting some wild sci-fi woo-woo craziness, but instead found a lame Brit romantic comedy minus the comedy.

Harrison, in an attempt to provide grim foreshadowing, was way-the-hell over-judicious with his placement of clues as to what w
...more
Simon Mcleish
Dec 06, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it liked it
Originally published on my blog here in July 2001.

The still quite new industry of bioengineering has always been an ethically controversial one. This is the subject of Harrison's novel, which describes the human relationships in a small firm of couriers specialising in the field. Their business hovers around the border of the illegal - biological waste, cultures and sometimes even live hosts are what they carry. The main characters, Mick "China" Rose and Choe Ashton, run the company; Rose narrat
...more
Eija
Elonmerkit kuuluu samaan kategoriaan Eilisen mystisen sydämen kanssa (josta muistaakseni pidin enemmän kuin tästä kirjasta). Elonmerkeissä on yhtä vähän scifiä kuin Eilisen mystisessä sydämessä on fantasiaa. Kirjan tunnelma toi mieleeni Simon Ingsin Rautakalan kaupungin tai Donna Trattin Jumalat juhlivat öisin. Juonissa ei niinkään ole samankaltaisuuksia, mutta kaikissa näissä kirjoissa on sellainen vahva elämisen maku. Elonmerkit kertoo neljän ihmisen elämästä ja kerronta on välillä hyvin pikku ...more
Jukka Häkkinen
Dec 27, 2012 Jukka Häkkinen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harrisonin kirja kertoo ongelmajätteitä dumppaavien pikkurikollisten ihmissuhteista, joihin liittyy scifi-henkisiä bioteknologiahaaveita. Tarinan henkilöt laukovat lakonisia kommentteja tarinan oudoissa käänteissä, ja välillä juonen kulkua on vaikea hahmottaa. Harrison kirjoittaa kyllä fiksusti ja viihdyttävästi, joten tämän lukee mielikseen jo monien oivallusten vuoksi. Hauskaa on myös tapa, jolla scifi-ainekset näkyvät kirjassa lähes pelkästään epäsuorien viitteiden kautta.
Adam
May 27, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it
Good Harrison here, though he is never less than great. An icy fable of destructive dreams involving bioengineering, toxic waste dumps, and Russian gangsters. A ghostly landscape wrapped in dreams and odd events containing alien yet recognizable characters.
Pekka Ahonen
Mar 12, 2013 Pekka Ahonen rated it really liked it
I quite liked the way the book is written. The "sci-fi element" is handled in a very subtle manner, which is enjoyable - the focus is on the characters, who are interesting enough to make this a worthy read. Also, the pacing was great.
Glenn
Feb 17, 2009 Glenn rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This one started out okay, and I know it's science fiction, but it got too odd for my taste the further I got.
Taija O
Oct 09, 2010 Taija O rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books, 2010
Dark, not that scifi. Good translation.
Darcie
Feb 26, 2008 Darcie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone.
My favorite book ever. Beautiful.
Valissa
Nov 24, 2010 Valissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"How can you be so jealous of a dream?"
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aka Gabriel King (with Jane Johnson)

Michael John Harrison was born in Rugby, Warwickshire in 1945 and now lives in London.
Harrison is stylistically an Imagist and his early work relies heavily on the use of strange juxtapositions characteristic of absurdism.

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“Happiness and beauty are the worst things you can have in a life, because you never forget them. They go on and on ambushing you, presumably until you die.” 10 likes
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