Adam's Reviews > Empty Space: A Haunting

Empty Space by M. John Harrison
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The finale to Harrison’s trilogy is as confounding, obtuse, and beautiful as the rest of the series. His prose is crafted so impeccably and relentlessly it is hard to resist chewing over each line and word choice (it is also very discouraging for the amateur writer) and occasionally losing the plot. But with Harrison you know you are going to read it again, soon I might restart the trilogy and see how they work together. His imagery, imagination, and prose are on such a level that they put much science fiction (is there anyone else who writes in the genre recently that is comparable as a stylist, Wolfe, Mieville, Shepard, or Gibson?) and other fiction in its shadow. Jodorowsky and Lynch should have skipped Dune and waited for these books to adapt. Quantum physics, Gnosticism, and dream imagery mixed with cyberpunk, noir, depressing near future science fiction, and space opera for a dense, cinematic, and surreal nightmare.
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Reading Progress

June 3, 2013 – Started Reading
June 3, 2013 – Shelved
Finished Reading
June 19, 2013 – Shelved as: black-comedy
June 19, 2013 – Shelved as: horror-disguised-as-literature
June 19, 2013 – Shelved as: heart-of-darkness
June 19, 2013 – Shelved as: literature-disguised-as-science-fic
June 19, 2013 – Shelved as: noir

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Szplug Was it difficult reading this without having Light and Nova Swing fresh under the belt? Or does having the basic setting and outline of the previous two suffice to make Empty Space work?

Basically, I going to settle down with this shortly, but I'm conflicted about whether it would be better advised to reread the opening pair before doing so...


Adam No I think all of these books would work in any order, they are self contained universes, but they would probably work even better if you did read them in order, back to back. This is something I would love to do when I have the time. So depending on your time go either way.
Chris wrote: "Was it difficult reading this without having Light and Nova Swing fresh under the belt? Or does having the basic setting and outline of the previous two suffice to make Empty Space work?

Basically..."



Szplug Too late! I was actually surprised by how much came flooding back from the recesses of my memory with the very first mention of the Shrandered Michael Kearney on the opening page.

I've now a rough plan to read the entire trilogy through, back-to-back, at some date not that far in the future. Hopefully, it will allow me to make better sense of the dreamy panels of stabbing dislocation that comprised the ending of the third. What a writer!...


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