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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When physics and metaphysics collide..., 28 July 2012
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This review is from: Empty Space: A Haunting (Kefahuchi Tract Trilogy 3) (Hardcover)
A beautifully written continuation of 'Light' and 'Nova Swing'. An experience such as this is difficult to express as a review. Nominally a work of science fiction, it is actually a work that explores metaphysics as well as physics, inner space as well as outer space (and, indeed, recognises that these are false distinctions), and the dynamics of personal relationships. The whole thing is a glorious feast of symbolism that will provide generations of students material for their theses, none of which will ever come close to exhausting the deep veins of meaning - although like the aliens who gave up trying to understand the Tract, the universe will be littered with these long abandoned and forgotten experiments in understanding whilst the thing itself will still provide pleasure and a rich metaphorical background.

Harrison (even in his earliest works) has always been a writer able to find ways of discussing ideas through action and events. And not content with that skill, he writes with a confidence, wit, and intelligence that leaves a lot of other writers gibbering incoherently on the starting blocks. Literate, entertaining, and clearly working at his craft in order to enhance his art. One could wish that we were able to say as much of many of our so-called literary authors.

Despite having written `straight' novels, there is a perception that Harrison is a science fiction writer (or worse, a writer of fantasy). But like all good writers, he transcends that. For one thing, he always manages to turn any genre tropes he uses inside out and upside down. And at the heart of his work are human beings trying to come to terms with being human. People who dismiss his work because of the way he chooses to explore these fundamental ideas are missing not just a treat, but work that leaves shadowy forms flickering just out of range of your internal sensors, teasing you to leave the gaudy neon life of the surface to explore the darker alleyways of your psyche where the real you is probably lost.
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