Settling the World - M. John Harrison

Settling the World

By M. John Harrison

  • Release Date: 2020-08-20
  • Genre: Short Stories


A traveller discovers an ancient causeway running beneath the sea of a remote planet, along with a people hell-bent on plunging into the water to follow it...

A government agent is sent to investigate movements along a mysterious highway that's suddenly appeared, stretching from Southend to God's new residence in the Midlands...

While waiting for a train, a man is handed a tattered, coverless book by a pale stranger, and quickly becomes as obsessed with its contents - a description of an unknown, unnamed country - as its previous owners had been....

Throughout his career, M. John Harrison's writing has defied categorisation, building worlds both unreal and all-too real, overlapping and interlocking with each other. His stories are replete with fissures and portals into parallel dimensions, unidentified countries and lost lands. But more important than the places they point to are the obsessions that drive the people who so believe in them, characters who spend their lives hunting for, and haunted by, clues and maps that speak to the possibility of somewhere else. 

This selection of stories, drawn from over 50 years of writing, bears witness to that desire for difference: whether following backstreet occultists, amateur philosophers, down-and-outs or refugees, we see our relationship with 'the other' in microscopic detail, and share in Harrison's rejection of the idea that the world, or our understanding of it, could ever be settled.