the m john harrison blog

Month: December, 2019


Politics after the disaster. Plenty of old hobby horses at the show, no new ones yet. Same old dreams, rationales & limiting assumptions; same old wish-fulfilment metaphors & rhetorical patches that became foundational assumptions & policy statements overnight & have never been dislodged. I love their little chipped & dented faces. If they were mine I wouldn’t want to let go of them either. Now this has all gone wrong, it’s time to start writing down exactly what you see & hear. If you must make fiction, make it out of that. Nothing else will do. The pursuit of fantasy in every single cultural, political, corporate & media arena since the mid 1970s is what led us all here; and fantasy is not, whatever absurd rationale you’re tempted to use to wriggle out from under, an antidote to itself.

hidden behind the events

Another attempt to describe The Sunken Land Begins To Rise Again, from this new interview (scroll down for the English version): Genetic material from another species has long ago introduced itself into the genome of human beings. From what species I won’t say here; and the assumption itself is hidden behind the events of the story. On the surface, two emotionally incompetent people struggle to make a relationship while a world-changing conspiracy gathers unnoticed in the shadows around them. It has the frame of a horror novel, the ambience of the Weird, and the (broken) structure of a romance; it quietly mimics and parodies the structures and tropes of “folk horror” and the psychogeographical novel. So I can’t really call it science fiction. Or to put it another way, I doubt if any dedicated science fiction reader would call it science fiction. It’s also an oblique satire of Brexit, especially of the middle class’s blindness to the emergence of populism; and of the almost unnoticed end of “liquid modernity”.

(The photo, from around 2002, first appeared in Locus. I loved that César Manrique T shirt & wore it until it fell to bits some years later. I still have the jacket.)

Just to remind you that the decent world has been an eighty year blip. You’ll all be glad to know that things are getting back on an even keel. The right people are in charge again and the wrong people are beginning to be taught their proper place. It was good you did your duty and voted for the Lovable Rogue/Imitation Strict Lady on Votey McVoteface Day, thanks. Now fuck off to the beetfields or wherever & make us some more money there’s a love. By the way, your prescription’s going to be costing you a bit more, just so you know.