Michael John Harrison (born July 26, 1945), who writes as M. John Harrison, is a British author of science fiction, fantasy and literary fiction.
Harrison was born in Warwickshire. His first story was published in 1966, and from 1968 to 1975 he was literary editor of the magazine New Worlds. His books include the Viriconium sequence of fantasies, the science fiction novel Light, and a short story collection, Things That Never Happen. He is a regular fiction reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. His latest novel, Nova Swing, released in November 2006, was awarded the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2007, and the Philip K. Dick Award in 2008.
M. John Harrison is a keen rock climber. His novel Climbers (1989) won the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature.
Collections and omnibus
- Viriconium Nights (1984, US edition. Contains a shorter version of the novel "In Viriconium")
- Viriconium Nights (1985, UK Edition. Drops several stories, including the short version of "In Viriconium", adds two more recent stories and features revised texts)
- Viriconium (1988, omnibus of short stories plus long version of In Viriconium with introduction by Iain Banks)
- Viriconium (2000, omnibus compilation of all of the Viriconium novels and the UK edition of Viriconium Nights)
- Viriconium (2005, US edition reprinting of the omnibus compilation with a new introduction by Neil Gaiman)
Graphic novel adaptations
- The Luck in the Head (1991, adaptatation of the short story of the same name, illustrated by Ian Miller)
- Viriconium (German language adaptation and translation of "In Viriconium", illustrated by Dieter Jüdt)
Short fiction in Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius sequence
- The Ash Circus (1969)
- The Nash Circuit (1969)
- The Flesh Circle (1971)
These do not appear in any of Harrison's own collections. However, they do appear in The Nature of the Catastrophe and New Nature of the Catastrophe anthologies. Harrison also collaborated with Michael Moorcock on a Jerry Cornelius comic strip illustrated by Mal Dean. The comic strips also appear in the aforementioned anthology.
The following were written in collaboration with Jane Johnson under the name Gabriel King:
Tag the Cat
- The Wild Road (1997)
- The Golden Cat (1998)
- The Knot Garden (2000)
- Fawcett on Rock (1987, ghostwritten autobiography of legendary British rock climber, as by "Mike Harrison")
- Parietal Games (2005, edited by Mark Bould and Michelle Reid, compiling Harrison's reviews and essays from 1968 to 2004, it also contains eight essays on Harrison's fiction by other authors, as well as an interview with the author)
- "That M. John Harrison is not a Nobel Laureate proves the bankruptcy of the literary establishment."—China Miéville
- "No-one can use words like M. John Harrison. They trust him. The Viriconium books show astonishing poetry and depth."—Michael Marshall Smith
- "[M. John Harrison] is one of the best modern writers."—Katharine Kerr
- "In the best tradition of the finest writing, Viriconium is universal and particular together."—Iain Banks
- "M. John Harrison is a blazing original ... a great imaginer, and an extraordinary writer."—Clive Barker
- "The Persian poet Rumi wrote, 'Open your hands if you wish to be held.' Almost the same could be said about M. John Harrison... Open your mind if you wish to be enthralled."—Jonathan Carroll
- "M. John Harrison is a writer whose work detonates in the mind after putting the book down. His prose runs like silk but his ideas work like some principle of atomic fission. I'm in awe of his writing powers."—Graham Joyce
- "Word for word, probably the greatest prose stylist working in the English language in any genre."—Richard Morgan