‘Cicisbeo’ by M. John Harrison

I moved to London almost a year ago, not far from where this story is set as it happens, and for a few months I was flattened every day by this city’s sheer preposterousness, so I in a way I was primed for this very sad and very strange fabulation.

M. John Harrison is a proper treasure and the collection this is taken from is a proper gift. As with so much of what I admire the most, I have little of any use I want to say about it. This reviewof the collection by Patrick Langley does right by it, I think.

From You Should Come With Me Now: Stories of Ghosts, Comma Press, 2017

‘The Crisis’ by M John Harrison

“You sit over a one-bar fire in a rented room.” Humblebrag time! I’ve met that M. John Harrison. I heard him quietly read this story during a wondrous evening of art, organized by somebody artistic in East London. It struck me as uncanny at the time, with its straightforward, serious-minded depiction of the homeless being deployed in a countermeasure against the incursion of alien invaders in the City of London. But like those invaders, Harrison’s story itself exists on more than one plane; and once you’ve glimpsed that, life is never the same again. I feel that this is a story that really has altered me. I was so proud, ludicrously proud, to have even a shred of involvement in seeing it published in the TLS last November.

from You Should Come with Me Now, Comma Press, 2017. Available to read here