Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Tell the Publisher!
I'd like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Light [Paperback]

John M. Harrison
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  
Mass Market Paperback --  

Book Description

June 4 2013 GollanczF.
On the barren surface of an asteroid, located deep in the galaxy beneath the unbearable light of the Kefahuchi Tract, lie three objects: an abandoned spacecraft, a pair of bone dice covered with strange symbols, and a human skeleton. What they are and what they mean are the mysteries explored and unwrapped in LIGHT, M. John Harrison's triumphant novel.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


Product Description

From Amazon

Light marks that fine writer M John Harrison's first return to the heartland of SF--including spaceships and hair-raising interstellar chases--since his apocalyptic anti-space opera The Centauri Device (1975).

The heavy SF action begins in 2400. Space-going humanity is the latest of many civilizations to be baffled by the impenetrable Kefahuchi Tract; that vast stellar region where an unshielded singularity makes physics itself unreliable. Along its accessible fringe, the "Beach", solar systems are littered with crazy, abandoned devices used to probe the Tract since before life began on Earth. A whole dead-end culture is based on beachcombing this rubble of industrial archaeology...

25th-century characters include a woman who's sacrificed almost everything to merge with the AI "mathematics" of a crack military spacecraft; a former daredevil who once surfed black holes but has retreated into a virtual reality tank; the lady proprietor of the Circus of Pathet Lao, with an alien freakshow and a hidden agenda; and a variety of raunchy, smelly, gene-sculpted lowlife, some comic, some menacing. Many are not what they seem.

Meanwhile in 1999 London, physicists Kearney and Tate--remembered in 2400 as the fathers of interstellar flight--are getting nowhere. Kearney's personal problems occupy familiar Harrison territory: urban paranoia, a seedily unreliable guru, bad sex, guilty rituals to propitiate a metaphysical-seeming threat called the Shrander--a pursuing image out of nightmare. In the lab, both Kearney and Tate fear the increasing quantum strangeness of their results.

The cosmological wonders and hazards of the Beach form a backdrop to space pursuits and violent skirmishes whose duration is measured in nanoseconds, reported in tensely lyrical prose. Eventually everything comes together as it should--even that oppressive 1999 story strand--with revelations, transformation, transcendence, and ultimate hope. Harrison demands your full attention and rewards it richly. --David Langford --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Harrison's talent for brilliant, reality-bending SF is on display yet again with this three-tiered tale, published (and highly praised) in the U.K. in 2002. It's 1999, and British scientist Michael Kearney and his American partner, Brian Tate, are studying laboratory quantum physics; unbeknownst to them, they'll become the fathers of interplanetary travel. Kearney nervously holds a pair of predictive dice he's stolen from a frightening specter called the Shrander, whom he keeps at bay by committing random murders. Four hundred years in the future, K-ship captain Seria Mau Genlicher has gravely erred in splicing herself with a hijacked spacecraft called the White Cat—and now she wants out. There's also Ed Chianese, a burned-out interstellar surfer now spending his life within a reality simulation machine. His problem? Monetary debt to the nasty Cray sisters. As Kearney continues to narrowly evade the Shrander, he discovers that company CEO Gordon Meadows has sold the lab to Sony. All three story lines converge and find heavenly closure at the cosmological wonder known as the Kefahuchi Tract, a wormhole with alien origins bordered by a vast, astral "beach" where time and space are braided and interchangeable. This is space opera for the intelligentsia, as Harrison (Things That Never Happen) tweaks aspects of astrophysics, fantasy and humanism to hum right along with the blinking holograms in a welcome and long overdue return.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Towards the end of things, someone asked Michael Kearney, 'How do you see yourself spending the first minute of the new millennium?' Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, Strange, Remarkable Book Nov. 18 2003
Format:Paperback
M. John Harrison's Light is indescribable. A mind-warping romp that exists somewhere in the continuum between hard SF and cyberpunk. A cruel, violent story, with a core of pure forgiveness and grace. The story of three throughly unlikable people, who nevertheless earn the reader's affection. At times tragic, at others bitingly sarcastic, and even funny in certain patches. It requires the reader's complete confidence - one must trust that Harrison knows what he's doing. Amazingly, that trust is repaid.
I could try to say a few words about the plot, but to do so seems almost beside the point. A reader cracking open this deceptively slim novel had better not expect anything even approaching a linear plot. Almost to the very end, Harrison keeps his readers befuddled - the best you can hope for is to hang on as he drags you into the deepest, oddest reaches of the galaxy. Then, only a few pages before the end, like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, Harrison manages to tie it all together.
If you're looking for Sci Fi that breaks the mold, that challenges you, that is as much about inner space as outer space, look no further.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Oct. 5 2003
By Andy
Format:Paperback
If you like Banks, MacLeod, Mieville, Vinge, McAuley, Stephenson and Gibson, you should read this. As good or better as any of their best. It's hard sf, it's literary - it features rounded sympathetic characters, the vast scale of space opera, suspense, intense sex, lost loves, ghost programs, psycho killers, contract assassins, intergalactic carnivals, aliens, virtual worlds, a singularity, human-machine blendings, science funding battles, subtle pop references, condensed visual imagery, 3 different narrative streams...and a universe of "more...and more after that." Wow.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
LIGHT by M John Harrison marks a return for this author to science fiction of a genre type - it's a big, thrill-packed space opera that delivers on all the promise of his long-ago CENTAURI DEVICE. Yet simultaneously it retains all the characteristics of his writing since that time - the peculiar take on things that appears in his short stories is present here, with bizarrely-named characters and unexpected ideas aplenty. This novel is a Moebius strip woven of three plots - the quantum physicist and serial killer Kearney and how his fate intersects with that of Seria Mau Genlicher, K-ship pilot; and with that of 'Chianese' Ed, hooked on a strangely addictive form of virtual reality. Behind all this is the shadowy presence of the Shrander, an entity whose agenda is perhaps? made clear by the astounding climax to this novel. It's difficult to rate this book too highly, since it succeeds on so many levels. I was blown away by the visual impact of a scene where a coin is set spinning on its edge as two characters race through a mazelike habitation; and that was but one tiny thread in this complex book. I loved the off-kilter Kray sisters, menacing oddball characters to rival such great Harrison creations from earlier books as Benedict Paucemanly. The light in the Kefahuchi Tract illuminates a book which is a sheer pleasure to read and hits the buttons of both action and literary quality. A must-read!
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
It seems like every location 2/3 of the protagonists went SOMEBODY had a cheap holo of the Kefahuchi Tract on the wall, so why not?
The serial killer plot was a little redundant and unnecessary, though did present one of the few sympathetic characters in the book (the ex-wife), but as for the other two their amorality wasn't a big problem for me - antiheroes are usually much more interesting characters than heroes. The story itself wasn't all that compelling, though it did wrap up reasonably well if a little too sappy considering the nihilistic tone of the rest of the book.
Harrison is a good visual writer, and some parts of the book were quite funny (I especially liked the idea of the New Men who worshipped 20th century junk culture), but one flaw of the book was a feeling of being too rooted in the present, i.e. throwing a lot of quirkiness window-dressing that just felt a little contrived, such as a roving gang dressed as Japanese high school girls, hardly the kind of thing to be expected on a world centuries in the future and thousands of light-years away.
Now, if this book was intended as a kind of darker version of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, it'd be a more enjoyable read.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I am a big fan of M. John Harrison, from the Centauri Device through to the Viriconium books which I think are some of the finest fantasy works ever written. I really wanted to like this book and the reviews of other authors I also admire led me to expect great things. What Harrison does best is to write clever, inventive prose with a poetic edge to it and this book is no exception. In returning to science fiction Harrison has a field day with all the latest tropes of 11 dimensional super string theory, disposable clones and the fashionable side of chaos theory. I detected influences of Philip K. Dick, Delany and Brin (Kil'n People) but artfully mixed and written with a deft touch that is Harrison's own. This is all to the good, but somehow the novel as a whole left me disappointed. The main characters were deeply unsympathetic and below the surface of the style I just didn't care what happened to them. The resolution was vague and unsatisfying and in the end I felt that the whole was less than the sum of the parts. Harrison is always worth reading but he's done much better than this...
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
ARRAY(0xf5c7de0)

Look for similar items by category


Feedback