the m john harrison blog

Month: June, 2008

rawi hage gets impac

For De Niro’s Game. Very readable it is too.

the broken world

Someone who might or might not be Mike Harrison is listening to: Four Tet, the Ringer EP; Nick Cave, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!; & Martin Simpson, Prodigal Son. Reading: The Dog Fighter by Mark Bojanowski (very, very good) and Collapse IV: Concept Horror. Working on: a new book. Hoping: it won’t rain on the South Downs next week.
author's thumbs
I have a review of Gollancz’s big-size HP Lovecraft collection Necronomicon waiting in the pipeline at the Guardian, & “Keep Smiling with Great Minutes”, with its teratological longeurs & unspoken slogan You aren’t worth it!, is still available in the Ian Whates-edited collection Celebration. Last heard from, Lara Pawson was back in her beloved Angola: check Unstrung for some of the best writing around; this is, as many people are beginning to say, what blogging ought to be about. Tim Etchells’s novel, The Broken World, launches on Thursday the 3rd of July. Doubtless, Tim will be blogging it; but you can find out more about it here &, if you haven’t lost your temper with Amazon, pre-order it from them.

Photo: Cath Phillips

handy travel bags

The people in the next village make these bags from locally sourced materials.

Each bag is different. But they are all traditional in style.

taking delivery

April this year I had a dream about going to look at a vintage car I couldn’t afford to buy.

Inside it wasn’t like a car at all but a country hotel dining room. There was a table with a checkered cloth, a menu for breakfast. There were waiters & waitresses, all very polite. I began to lose my sense of not being able to afford the car. I was filled with enthusiasm.

Next I was running down a sloping field towards the house of the owner. I took big, bounding strides full of elation. I ran down through a stream, which became deeper near the house. I wasn’t worried. The owner knew I couldn’t really afford his car, yet he was friendly and polite. My only mistake was to ask him if I could keep the car’s papers while I made up my mind. But even that didn’t make him angry, or spoil my delight.

What was on offer here ? I didn’t even dare drive the car. It was as big as a bus. The moment I got in & let the handbrake off, I knew I didn’t dare manoeuvre it, let alone take it for a test drive. I was vastly admiring of it but I knew the controls would be too brutal for me. They would be too old fashioned. It was only after I had relinquished the driving seat & gone back into the car’s interior that I discovered the restaurant & its kind staff. They assumed I could afford the car, & anyway it didn’t worry them if I couldn’t. They weren’t patronising me & neither was the owner.

I woke up puzzled. Had I taken delivery of my new book (not in the sense of receiving it, but in the sense of having signed for it) ? In the end I decided no.