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Light (2002)

by M. John Harrison

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Kefahuchi Tract (1)

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1,834577,129 (3.45)58
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.… (more)
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» See also 58 mentions

English (54)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Some good writing, characters kinda interesting, plot is really three plots in two different centuries/planets and the connections are subtle. Takes work to read this and the payoff is disappointing. ( )
  brianstagner | Apr 6, 2021 |
I very much enjoyed this novel. It is undoubtedly one of those novels that screams out to be re-read, which I intend to do at the earliest opportunity. I found it to be complex at times and yet it all comes together quite well at the end. I'm moving straight onto Nova Swing now in the hopes it'll be at least as good. The characters were engaging if not entirely likable and inhabit a world so strange as to be almost dreamlike in some instances. The violence wasn't to my taste and I remember distinctly at one point wondering if I would be able to continue much further, but luckily that particular part seemed to be the worst of it.

Anyway, very enjoyable. Will undoubtedly require a re-read to get the best out of it, which I look forward to. ( )
  SFGale | Mar 23, 2021 |
Liked the writing but have *no* idea of how it ended. ( )
  frfeni | Jan 31, 2021 |
The writing was good. And he makes the reader work hard - which is also good - but the author is aiming high and for my taste not quite making it. I'm happy with not knowing what is happening and I'm also happy leaving a book unresolved. He kind of resolved it with an explanation in the last few pages which seemed a bit abrupt. Some of the book was 4 star but I don't feel I can recommend it. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | Jan 23, 2021 |
"The New Men were great masturbators."

What can I say about this epic failure of a book that is not encompassed by the quote above? It comes larded with glowing reviews from people you would think might know better, and twice I have been taken in, twice bought this book... and twice given up in disgust. I write this in part just to make sure I do not make the same mistake a third time.

To be fair, the premise is enticing: interesting ideas, wide scope - and random sampling has a high chance of hitting some good writing. The reading experience, though is excruciating, a Gigeresque indigestible fusion of Robert Rankin with JG Ballard.

The only reason I give this book half a star is that the LibraryThing rating system cannot distinguish between NULL and zero. ( )
  jerevo | Jun 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Contextualizing Harrison's approach to SF generally more than a review of any given book, and to the Viriconium series more than to books not part of that series. Nevertheless, he reminds readers of Harrison's quote on world-building as "the great clomping foot of nerdism" and derides it as destructive more than constructive.

Harrison's own books, the Viriconium sequence, are in his own words, "a theory about the power-structures culture is designed to hide; an allegory of language, how it can only fail; the statement of a philosophical (not to say ethological) despair." But he doesn't want them to be read for the "furniture" of the world so he makes sure that the reader can never grasp it. Viriconium has an evershifting description – there is setting but no continuity. He makes sure that "you can't read it for that stuff and so you have to read it for everything else."
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
M. John Harrisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tervaharju, HannuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To Cath, with love
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1999:

Towards the end of things, someone asked Michael Kearney, "How do you see yourself spending the first minute of the new millennium?"
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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.

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Average: (3.45)
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