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Nova Swing (#2 Kefahuchi Tract)

M. John Harrison

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Gollancz
01 January 2008
Science fiction; Space Exploration; Space Ships; Arthur C Clarke Award; Philip K Dick Award
It is some time after Ed Chianese's trip into the Kefahuchi Tract. A major industry of the Halo is now tourism. The Tract has begun to expand and change, but, more problematically, parts of it have also begun to fall to earth, piecemeal, on the Beach planets.

We are in a city, perhaps on New Venusport or Motel Splendido: next to the city is the event site, the zone, from out of which pour new, inexplicable artefacts, organisms and escapes of living algorithm - the wrong physics loose in the universe. They can cause plague and change. An entire department of the local police, Site Crime, exists to stop them being imported into the city by adventurers, entradistas, and the men known as 'travel agents', profiteers who can manage - or think they can manage - the bad physics, skewed geographies and psychic onslaughts of the event site.

But now a new class of semi-biological artefact is finding its way out of the site, and this may be more than anyone can handle.
By:   M. John Harrison
Imprint:   Gollancz
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 196mm,  Width: 128mm,  Spine: 28mm
Weight:   244g
ISBN:   9780575079694
ISBN 10:   057507969X
Series:   Gollancz S.F.
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   01 January 2008
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Author Website:   www.mjohnharrison.com

M. John Harrison was born in the Peak District and now lives in London.

Reviews for Nova Swing (#2 Kefahuchi Tract)

Not a sequel to, rather a consequence of, Harrison's eerie space opera, Light (2004). When a piece of the mysterious alien Kefahuchi Tract crashed into the city Saudade, it created a weird event site to which people are drawn in the hope of gaining a glimpse of realities beyond human comprehension. Those that enter the site are changed, contaminated or absorbed by the strangeness inside. Some never come out at all. Others merely want to have sex within sight of it. Meanwhile, things emerge too: cats, who later return as mysteriously as they came; people, who sing and dance and attempt to have sex only to fade and vanish; or metamorphosing objects such as that retrieved by entradista Vic Serotonin. Ineffectually patrolling the borderlands are the Site Crime police, led by Albert Einstein look-alike detective Lens Aschemann, whose need to understand his dead wife transforms into an obsession with the site itself. Vic sells his artifact to gangster Paulie DeRaad, unaware that it's contaminated by malignant code. Some of the emerging people persist and take on human qualities; Elizabeth Kielar, Vic's current client, may be one of these, as Aschemann's late wife also may have been. Other folk, like burned-out ex-starship pilot Fat Antoyne and bar owner Liv Hula, avoid the trap the site represents and content themselves with contemplating the rain, the cats and the behavior of those around them. There are consequences for all the characters, and eventually the novel - so dense, demanding and intelligent that it reads as if it were four times the length - insinuates them.A cross between J. G. Ballard's intense, static The Drowned World and Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's terrifying Roadside Picnic. The upshot: This science-fiction noir cum literary and social criticism is memorable, perplexing and challenging in equal measure. (Kirkus Reviews)


  • Short-listed for British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel 2007
  • Short-listed for British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel 2007 (UK)
  • Short-listed for John W Campbell Award 2007
  • Short-listed for John W Campbell Award 2007 (UK)
  • Shortlisted for British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel 2007.
  • Shortlisted for John W Campbell Award 2007.
  • Winner of Arthur C Clarke Award 2007
  • Winner of Arthur C Clarke Award 2007.
  • Winner of Arthur C. Clarke Award 2007.
  • Winner of Philip K. Dick Award 2008.

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