M. John Harrison

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Michael John Harrison (born 26 July 1945), known primarily by his pen name M. John Harrison, is an English author and critic. He is widely considered one of the leading stylists in modern fantasy and science fiction.


Light (2002)[edit]

All page numbers from the mass market paperback edition published by Bantam Spectra

  • Generally, it was impossible to understand the motives of aliens.
    • Chapter 2 “Gold Diggers of 2400 AD” (p. 16)
  • People think it’s a failure to live alone. But it isn’t. The failure is to live with someone because you can’t face anything else.
    • Chapter 4 “Operations of the Heart” (p. 29)
  • Anna accumulated things as a way of insulating herself against her own thoughts.
    • Chapter 16 “The Venture Capital” (p. 150)
  • They were arrant newcomers, driven by the nouveau enthusiasms of a cowboy economy. They had no idea what they had come for, or how to get it: they only knew they would. They had no idea how to comport themselves. They sensed there was money to be made. They dived right in. They started wars. They stunned into passivity five of the alien races they found in possession of the galaxy and fought the sixth—which they called “the Nastic” out of a mistranslation of the Nastic’s word for “space”—to a wary truce. After that they fought one another.
    • Chapter 17 “The Lost Entradas” (p. 181)
  • She had impressed him as capable of behaviour even more meaningless than most human beings. He had watched her kill her own people with a ferocity that betrayed real grief. But she was someone, he had decided early, who struggled harder with life than she needed to: this he respected, even admired.
    • Chapter 29 “Surgery” (p. 361)
  • Then he heard a voice say: “It was amazing to them to discover they had always been in the garden without understanding it,” and knew for certain that the inside and the outside of everything are always a single, continuous medium. In that moment he believed he could go anywhere. With a shout of elation he attempted to fall forward in all possible directions at once; only to find to his dismay that in the very exercise of this privilege he had selected one of them.
    • Chapter 31 “I’ve Been Here” (pp. 383-384)
  • “Everywhere you look it unpacks to infinity. What you look for, you find. And you people can have it. All of it.”
    The comfortable generosity of this offer puzzled Kearney, so he decided to ignore it. It seemed meaningless anyway.
    • Chapter 31 “I’ve Been Here” (p. 390)

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