Settling the World

This volume of short stories, 1969-2019, selected, ordered, and edited by Ra Page, is introduced by Jennifer Hodgson & available from all good bookshops or direct from the Comma Press site.

It contains material from my first collection, The Machine in Shaft Ten; and reprints for the first time three recent stories, “Land Locked”, “Colonising the Future” and “Doe Lea” (originally published as a limited & numbered chapbook by Nick Royle at the Nightjar Press, & now quite sought-after).

“Overall, there’s the abiding sense of a country, a culture, a way of living, that has run itself into the ground, the loss not only of a world but the whole apparatus of understanding it. But, again, that doesn’t quite account for it. Harrison is always gesturing at something moving underneath the water.” —Jennifer Hodgson

“Collecting half a century of absolutely extraordinary work.” –William Gibson

“The humdrum and the fantastic are in close conversation … Harrison writes memorably about people who are bewildered, sidetracked, trapped or on the lookout for opportunities to change.” –Henry Hitchings, The Spectator.

“Settling the World is a collection for enthusiasts of the contemporary weird. But it will appeal to anyone who loves elegant writing and new ways of looking at culture, philosophy and the contradictions of existence.” –Morning Star.

Read a free story from the collection, here at Granta.

Short stories are neither lightweight nor time-passers. They are pieces of engineering, built to deliver. There’s always been something dull about the industry’s insistence that writing is a form of powerlifting & the novel is its bench press. So here are some recommendations, & a connection to the resource that is Jonathan Gibbs’ Personal Anthology project. & this recent piece by Chris Power, too.

Author photo, 1987ish: artist unknown