Author picture
32+ Works 62 Members 3 Reviews

About the Author

Works by Niall Harrison

Associated Works

Vector 293 (2021) — Contributor — 1 copy, 1 review
BSFA Awards 2023 (2024) — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Legal name
Harrison, Niall Sydney



So far only read/listened to:

-- Terra Nullius by Hanuš Seiner, translated by Julie Nováková, narrated by Anaea Lay - DNF

I needed a little more hand holding for what our MC was doing and where.

"The liquid stops resisting my movements" (when were they resisting?)
"And then they come. The Stars." (but they are inside something)
"turn down the light, and as my eyes get used to the dark, I find thousands. They are everywhere. Above my head, far beneath me. I see the unmistakable cross of Cygnus, Deneb shining like a bright diamond. I see Lyra cradling Vega in her starry palm. Yes, it cannot possibly be they, but human imagination finds familiar shapes in any complex pattern. The illusion is so perfect that I have to look at my legs to assure myself they're still stuck in the diving fins. Their movements, as seen in the superfluid enzyme cocktail, are indistinguishable from movements in space. Even the bubbles from my breathing apparatus nanocavitate, disappear, and turn into a fine mist resembling the freezing vapors of gases expanding into vacuum.

The brain refuses to believe what the eyes are seeing.

This must be space. It must be the vast interstellar void.

Yet it's not. The stars are just phosphorescent polyps on the inner epithelial membrane."

and I'm out.
… (more)
Corinne2020 | Aug 21, 2021 |
So far only read:

The Animal Women a short story by Alix E. Harrow - 2*

Too much, with the metaphors, for my reading preference. ymmv.

Set in the 1960s with racial tensions part of the backdrop. A little girl with a debilitating stutter is attracted to hanging out with 5 women who live together. She came across their cabin and wanted to take pictures of them. The women are described "like" animals by the author:

"The woman to her left-heavy, slope-shouldered, black-was Ursa. Odil was the doe-skinned woman from the kitchen, seated beside the lithe and tawny Lyna. Vivian ran pale fingers through hair the color of a winter fox." There is a 5th one that is like a heron. But when they are referred to as animals by the little girl this is what is said: Little Girl -- "My daddy told me not to come. Because of those colored people, in the cities. That. They run mad, like animals." She smiled staunchly up at them. "But I came. Anyhow. Y-you're not like that." She stuttered at the end, as the faces around her went still.

Mild Odil had hot coals for eyes. "We've been called animals for a long time, little white girl, and been used as such. But I'd be more careful who you call an animal."

"I-didn't-Why?" Candis asked.

"Because very rarely, you might be right," answered Lyna, smiling to reveal teeth much too numerous and sharp.

Candis looked away, found Vivian's eyes. "If you think I'm on your side, sweetheart, you haven't been paying attention," said Vivian. She leaned against Vira's bent back and slipped a pale arm around her waist.

"We have never been the animals, Candis," said Vira. Her eyes were old and tired and, Candis thought, hurt. "Go home."


Vira says, "We have never been the animals"... As you can see they are described as "a type of" animal but we can infer that there are a couple definitions of animals being used. By the end of the story the little girl has a transformation and we also meet some "real" animals.

Author interview that mentions this story:
Q: Can you tell us about your current writing project?
A: ... I do have a story coming out at the end of this year in Strange Horizons, though! "The Animal Women," about race and the late sixties and eastern Kentucky and a little girl with a Polaroid camera.
… (more)
Corinne2020 | Dec 28, 2020 |

This fascinating volume includes the answers given by 84 writers, mostly British, all in some way sf and fantasy writers, to two questionnaires about sf, circulated in 1989 and 2009. The 1989 survey answers are compiled and edited by Paul Kincaid, and the 2009 responses (rather longer due to more writers participating) by Niall Harrison, but structured in both cases as a series of conversations, relevant snippets sewn together to make a warm and friendly but thought-provoking whole.

It's a book that deserves a much longer review than this, but just to pick three highlights: the fact that so many authors respond to the question of why they choose to write sf or fantasy by saying "it chose me" or words to that effect; the debate on the nature of Britishness in the genre; and the answers in the 2009 survey to the question of what the most significant developments of the previous 20 years had been. Strongly recommended.
… (more)
1 vote
nwhyte | Sep 18, 2011 |


You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Julie Nováková Translator
Hanuš Seiner Contributor
A. T. Greenblatt Contributor
Alix E. Harrow Contributor
Jenn Grunigen Contributor
Anaea Lay Narrator


Also by

Charts & Graphs