publication day

So there you go. It’s publication day. I’m going to stay quietly at home with my own thoughts, taking the dust jacket off one of my remaining hardback copies then putting it back on again, then squaring the volume away neatly on a shelf. Later I might get a Sainsbury’s sandwich & a drink of water. Publication is a weird thing. The madness, terror & hysterical self-harming is over, sure, but by now you’re even more anxious for the confirmation you’ll never get. Publication is always intimately associated with the failure to know whether you made anything or not. The first & the last thing you ask of everybody: Is there a book here at all ? They’ll look at you oddly sometimes when you’ve asked that, because they’ve got it in their hand. Perhaps edge away from you a bit. Anyway, as I say, I thought I’d have a quiet day, so here’s Gus the Fox with some tales of urban nature.

About these ads


Filed under empty space, writing

65 responses to “publication day

  1. thezaksmiththatpaints

    Can’t wait for the call from Skylight telling me they got it in. Will probably call and annoy them about it.

  2. Vaughan

    Well done, I shall look forward to seeing it on the shelves and buying it. Just listening to Viriconium on audiobook btw. + appreciate your promotion of the wonderful Gus The Fox. Cheers.

  3. martm

    Congratulations, Mike – enjoy the sandwich!

  4. uzwi

    Hi Zak. Hope you like it. Maybe you will, & draw me a picture for the blog?

    Thanx, Vaughan. Gus is a bit of a hero of mine & a shining example to us all. Best of luck with Viriconium & Empty Space.

  5. uzwi

    Thanks, Martin. I will.

  6. Mike Mooney

    How on earth did I manage to buy a copy in Leeds Waterstones last Saturday? Halfway through now, and rest assured there is definitely a book there, a very good one indeed. I won’t post any spoilers here though!

  7. uzwi

    How indeed? Glad you’re enjoying it, Mike. No spoilers, but do come back & say what you thought.

  8. Mike Mooney

    I suspect the Kefahuchi Tract is fucking with Waterstones’ reality.

  9. uzwi

    An early reaction from Nina Allan, here–

  10. John Timberlake

    Yep – second (and third) all the points above. Can’t wait to clear the space to settle down and savour it. Congratulations Mike.

  11. uzwi

    Thanks, John.

  12. Mat J

    Hi uzwi. I found a paperback of ES yesterday. Drooling like Gus here (thanks for the introduction, by the way).

    Enjoy the quiet.

  13. uzwi

    Mat J: that fox. He was in my bin all last night, licking his own penis & screaming at a moth.

  14. Glyn Evans

    Congratulations, chief. Can’t wait for the new book. Just started reading the first two again in preparation for a weekend lost in Empty Space.

  15. John Timberlake

    “He was in my bin all last night, licking his own penis & screaming at a moth.”

    Well don’t be too hard on the poor blighter. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives..

  16. Relations between the bookstore, courier and wholesaler have broken down. So no Empty Space today – except as irony – but a free cup of coffee. Still, a pleasure delayed is, well, a right fuck up in this case but thanks for Gus, one more reason to feel nostalgic for the Smoke.

  17. Michael Klobuchar

    as i said before, on a scale of 1 to 5 “LIGHT” is a six……just finished it for the first time 2 daze ago, a “turn off your mind, relax and float down stream” novel, several pages into it, i figured i wouldn’t waste energy trying to “understand” it but i would go along for the ride, and a wonderful ride it was…..started “NOVA SWING” yesterday, only 47 pages in, so i can not comment on it yet…..and am so very happy that “EMPTY SPACE” is now out so i don’t have to wait…..this has been my first exposure to mr. harrison, where have you been all my life?…..nothing better than discovering an xcellent writer to explore……YUMMY!!!!!

  18. Chris

    I understand your worry as a writer myself, but as a reader I can say it is unwarranted.

  19. whiteonesugar

    I will be picking up a copy at the weekend, and then I will hide it away for a week, still in the carrier bag at the back of a wardrobe. It will be kept untouched and new-smelling until I go on holiday at the start of august.

    Day 1 evening. Kids asleep. Plate of biscuits. Cup of decaff. Everything quiet in the surrounding Borders hills. Open and read until 2am.

    Or I might just buy it, and skive from work when I should be earning a crust

  20. Kindle purchase today (though I will buy a hardback). Can’t wait to get stuck in.

  21. alex nootronic

    John, it is said Buddha (if there ever was one) once was asked to write down at least something of the Truths he discovered, for, like, future generations. He said there really was no need to. “Anything I can ever put down on paper will be misunderstood and misinterpreted.” he said. But they convinced him anyway, arguing that if at least one person gets it right, and does get something out of it, then there is a plausible reason to do so. Or something like that. So he wrote down a couple of breath exercises or something.

    This book that got delivered via Amazon Kindle this morning is one rare thing in this world, when you expect something (and your expectations are damn high, having been trained on the level of prose in the past) and then the thing itself actually tops them. I dunno how you do that, John, but it goddam strikes where it lands.

    I’m having a double feast now: one of reading, the other translating some of the most poisonous passages into Russian (something I’m required to do on a daily basis because I’m a simultaneous, but not everyday you get your brains fed on something this rich).

    Thank you, John.

  22. uzwi

    Everyone: thanks for the responses so far & hope the book lives up to your expectations.

  23. Nigel

    It’s early morning in a sterile hotel room 35 floors above Tokyo street level, looking over the neon signs and hostess bars of Akasaka. Jet lag wakes me up and I remember today is publication day. The giant cogs of the Amazon machine are slowly grinding away and will despatch my copy shortly. I get back next Sunday bleary-eyed and will nonchalantly check the mail. The family will be out for a few hours, so I’ll pick up the copy, drive myself to a special spot in the country and treat myself to the first chapter…

  24. Rob

    Not available in Brisbane till Aug/Sep! Aargh! & I hate buying books online. But I’m coming home for a few weeks in Oct/Nov, so will wait & spend real British Pounds on it in a real British bookshop. They do still have those, don’t they?

  25. uzwi

    Hi Rob. You still see them around.

    There’s an interesting new genre developing here, “How I’m going to read Empty Space” porn.

  26. Mike Mooney

    Today’s reading methods: (1) On the bus (2) Over a coffee at lunchtime (3) On the bus (4) In an armchair (5) In bed. Should have it finished this weekend. First reactions: (1) It’s unbelievably enjoyable (2) It is very cinematic, but actually unfilmable (3) It’s giving me disturbing dreams. Don’t worry, I won’t sue.

  27. martm

    My contribution to “Fifty Shades of Empty Space”:

    On the bed, sky upside down in the crystal ball in the window.

    Anna: what a gal. But that ’50s couple: “How I love our times together”! I’m still laughing.

  28. uzwi

    Hi Mike: That’s a relief. Cinematic but unfilmable: a condition to be aimed for.

    martm: Oh, you liked that, did you? After I wrote that line–which wasn’t really in the plan–I couldn’t write anything else all day due to bouts of sniggering.

  29. martm

    “Mrs. Dale’s Diary” with failed sex at the Creda – it’s got me grinning on grey Friday, anyway!

  30. Vaughan

    I’m going to buy a copy today (if I can) and save it to read at 30.000 feet on a plane. Some classic Gus last night, I’m practically in love.

  31. alec battles

    i hope it was taste the difference!

    would you recommend i read the first two books of the trilogy first, or can i dive right in?

    i read viriconium part 1 assiduously.

  32. It’s on my birthday list. Thanks for writing it, and congratulations. I loved the other two – in fact I tell everyone who asks for book recommendations to buy them.

  33. Chris

    I got mine in the mail today. That’s a pretty quick ship from the UK to the US. Now I’m deciding if I want to read Nova Swing again first. I recently reread Light. I’m really looking forward to the novel, sir.

  34. uzwi

    Hi Chris. I’m too close to be able to recommend on that. Enjoy, either way.

  35. Chris

    I couldn’t wait, started Empty Space last night. Pleased thus far.

  36. Good interview in The Guardian today. I’m guessing they left a lot out though.

  37. uzwi

    Hi Mike. Richard Lea did a fantastic job of cutting down two hours of face-to-face interview plus a subsequent email correspondence. Where he could, he’s let quotes do the job (& he’s picked some beauties); where that wasn’t possible he’s accurately given the feel of what we’ll laughingly call my discourse. I feel well represented by Richard & the Guardian. Also by the Arc video interviews up on YouTube.

    Thanks, everyone for all these good wishes. If you feel like adding something to the correspondence below the line at the Guardian, or adding to the #mjohnharrison hashtag, please do…

  38. Incidentally. I was reading ES last night while my wife was watching the TV coverage of the Tatton Park RHS Flower Show. I looked up from reading your description of the good ship Nova Swing, and saw THIS:

  39. Phew. Finished it – and submitted my review to

  40. Finally got my copy, settled down to read. The opening para to Empty Space is superb. One sentence: “Anna’s was a long garden . . . “. Grammar used to evoke a mood. Beautiful, building rhythm. China Mieville got it right: science fiction can be literature of the very greatest kind. In fact Empty Space transcends sci fi or speculative or weird or whatever the genre-meisters call it these days. This book is simply beautiful and very, very skilled. Has a plot that involves and grips, too. It tells a story. Thanks, Mike.

  41. Eagerly awaiting the arrival of my copy of ES in EnZed. In the meantime, is there a soundtrack album this time?

  42. uzwi

    Hi notmeguv: Glad you liked that opening. But it’s just writing, really–what writing is. I see that someone recently discovered four unpublished Katherine Mansfield stories. Now there was someone who could manage syntax!

    Hi Mike Mooney. Many thanks for that review. I doubt I’ll do better at Amazon.

  43. Mike Mooney

    Don’t see why you shouldn’t do better at Amazon, if the good people on here are a representative sample of your readership (and I suspect they are. Get reviewing folks!) It was an honest response, if a little incoherent. Just hope I did it justice. As for “what writing is”, I would substitute “what writing used to be”, if the current standard in ‘bestsellers’ is anything to go by. Which is why you’ll probably get a few one-star reviews as well, by people complaining about the use of big words. Hey ho.

  44. I’ll be there. It will be like putting on a favourite overcoat, then finding something in one of the pockets that I had forgotten, wondering why I ever had.

  45. uzwi

    Hi Mike M. I’m glad.

    To everyone: Waterstones are operating a “one-out-one-in” restocking policy. So it may not be much use going into your local branch on the off-chance they have a copy to buy. I’m advising people to ORDER ONLINE for the moment. (Pity I can’t tell all those lovely potential readers the Guardian found for me…) Please pass this on (& tweet if you tweet).

  46. Mat J

    Hi uzwi. Devoured it yesterday (on the bed, boringly prosaic) and loved it. I can’t beat “cinematic but unfilmable”. Well-known cunt Toni Reno=Facebook page.

  47. uzwi

    Hi Mat J. Glad you liked it. That Toni Reno, eh? What a fucking hipster.

  48. uzwi

    Update: Amazon UK are now cancelling pre-orders of Empty Space due to “lack of availability”. But Blackwells “have plenty” & you can order from them here: Waterstones aren’t worth the bother.

  49. Chris Lites

    I’m glad I got mine already. Perhaps I’m one of a small few in America who has one. I should see if I can pitch a review somewhere.

  50. uzwi

    Hi Chris, many thanks, that would be great. The rights situation (Night Shade are doing it in the US) means it shouldn’t really have been available at Amazon US in the first place. And it’s only Amazon US who are cancelling pre-orders. For potential UK buyers: It turns out Amazon UK are in fact fully stocked. Blackwells online have it too. Or if you’re in London, Blackwells Charing X Road branch will have signed copies from August 2nd.

  51. Chris Lites

    Just to clarify: I got mine from Amazon UK.

  52. Got my UK-published copy in Australia yesterday and started reading it last night. Loving it! You can always pull surprises in both prose and theme. Tempted to take the day off work to read it all in one sitting, but I think I’d rather savour it fully by reading a chapter per night after my working days. After that, an empty space awaits it on the shelf, alongside LIGHT and NOVA SWING. (An empty space that I prepared earlier).

  53. Mike Mooney

    Curious about Amazon US. Especially as they promptly published my five-star review – good publicity for a product they cannot supply. Madness.

  54. uzwi

    Hi Leigh. We’re here to surprise. Your other post seems to have ended up in the spam trap, although I don’t understand why.

    Mike: it’s all a bit annoying. But I’m glad to have the review.

  55. Really have to know if *all* the variant spellings are deliberate.

  56. uzwi

    Hi Graeme. There doesn’t seem to be a contact address on yr blog. Are you on twitter (in which case I can follow & DM you)? I’d rather not risk spoilers here.

  57. Hi. Yes. My alter ego Charlotte Cornelius can be found on Twitter – @thinreflections

  58. Rick York

    Is there any prospect of a US publication?

  59. uzwi

    Hi Rick York: yes. Night Shade will be doing it.

  60. Hard to comment without spoilers, but readers might want to use the following interjections: 1) Aha! 2) Ah-fucking-ha! 3) Erk! 4) Oh, bugger! 5) WTF? 6) Ew! 7) So she’s…no, hang on… 8) Niiice! 9) Wow. Just wow. 10) Better read them all again, really. It’s bloody good.

  61. JamesT

    So disappointed that Amazon has managed to screw up and still hasn’t delivered my copy :(

    Been looking forward to getting this all bloody year…..

  62. JamesT

    Edit: Screw them, I’ve bought the Kindle edition, can’t wait for the hardback (though will treasure it when it arrives).

  63. uzwi

    Hi JamesT: I do apologise. I had no control over this screw up. Due to a rights situation, Amazon US weren’t allowed to offer the UK edition for sale. Night Shade Books will be publishing a US edition later. I hope you enjoy the Kindle edition!

  64. JamesT

    Don’t worry, no one’s fault…appreciate your kind comments though Mike. Can’t wait to get home and read it now. Haven’t anticipated a book as much as this since ‘Embassytown’.