You Should Come With Me Now

You Should Come With Me Now: Stories of Ghosts


M. John Harrison is a cartographer of the liminal. His work sits at the boundaries between genres – horror and science fiction, fantasy and travel writing – just as his characters occupy the no man’s land between the spatial and the spiritual. Here, in his first collection of short fiction for over 15 years, we see the master of the New Wave present unsettling visions of contemporary urban Britain, as well as supernatural parodies of the wider, political landscape. From gelatinous aliens taking over the world’s financial capitals, to the middle-aged man escaping the pressures of fatherhood by going missing in his own house… these are weird stories for weird times.


Featuring 'Animals' puicked by Will Maclean as one of the five best ghost stories of all time - Five Books
One of CNET's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2017
'[A]n outstanding mix of strange, surreal and haunting tales. You Should Come With Me Now offers a delicious blend of unsettling yet beautifully crafted prose.'

Locus Magazine's 2017 Year in Review Essay Series: 'this collection of stories, fragments, and such manages to come together into one of the year’s very best books.'

'The essential collection of the year' - Locus Magazine

'The wit and effortless elegance of the writing are impeccable.' - Ursula K Le Guin, The Guardian

'[A] quiet giant of British writing... extraordinarily flexible prose. It's restrained and luminous' - The Daily Telegraph

'In the far-distant future, when hyper-intelligent scorpions are looking back on the culture of the upright apes that once cluttered this planet, I think they will be frankly bemused that Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature, that Ian McEwan won the Man Booker Prize, that Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer and yet all the time M John Harrison was staring them in the face.' - Stuart Kelly, The Scotsman

'Harrison draws out his ghostly characters from behind the bones of the plot, allowing their stories to be emotional, poignant and disquietingly possible...' - Lamorna Ash, The Times Literary Supplement (£)

'His novels have been likened to J.G. Ballard’s, but these stories are more like satirical set pieces than brooding psycho-fictions: genial and generous, finding wry mirth in absurdity.' - Houman Barekat, The Spectator

'A new book by M. John Harrison in an event. The recurring idea in many of the stories is the need for escape, and the impossibility of it... In other hands, this might come across as cynical or hectoring, but Harrison is far too subtle a writer for that. There is genuine sorrow here... and genuine anger too...' - The New Scientist

'[T]hese absolutely feel like stories of and for our times.' - The Double Negative

These stories, coupling moments of horror and terror with everyday banality, showcase the strength of Harrison’s writing and his ability to conjure tales which defy expectation, as well as encouraging the reader to question the human cost of relentless scientific endeavour and the possible consequences of toying with forces we cannot understand...If you like your fiction strange and unbridled, and are ready to explore the bleak underbelly of life then this is the collection for you. Harrison’s fiction is delectably rich and macabre and defies convention, perfect for those of you who like your reading dark and challenging.' - Disclaimer Magazine 

'Each time I returned it felt like reading a new book each time, once again highlighting Harrison’s range of writing and the intricate craft of the short story form.' - STORGY

These stories are unsettling and dense, deeply engaging, highly emotionally wrought and consistently impressive.' - Minor Literatures

if you are willing to follow the sometimes apparently random breadcrumb trails that Harrison uses for plots, you can find yourself in a space somewhere outside of genre altogether, even outside of conventional nar­rative, but one that can leave you feeling as though you’ve just awoken from a strange and vivid dream, and that, at its best – which it often is here – can be ineluctably brilliant.' - Gary K. Wolfe, Locus Magazine

With You Should Come With Me Now, Harrison once again gifts readers a text that is as much a set of linguistic, philosophical, and psychological tools for interpreting themselves and the world as it is a story collection.' - Strange Horizons

'[H]e is a writer in a league of his own' - SFcrowsnest

'Harrison’s most interesting work picks and chooses multiple genres, mixing them into fictional brews of dreamlike intensity that can haunt your mind for days after reading them... You Should Come With Me Now cements his reputation as a master of what Mark Fisher has termed the ‘weird and the eerie’.' - The White Review

'...his exhilarating originality is evident in this collection... With resolutely dry wit, the stories in this subversive collection are by turn strange, weird, and outlandish, while at the same time extremely humane.' - Book Riot

'A varied, intriguing read.' - Jackie Law

'No one is ever particularly happy in an M. John Harrison story and there’s rarely anything like a happy ending on offer. This isn’t a criticism, more a warning: don’t expect any answers... a book of magic and perverse humour' - Guy Salvidge, Wrapped Up in Books

'Harrison is a satirist who gives his stories space in which to breathe. His narratives give their readers some purchase to climb but, once they think they have reached the summit, tantalizingly close to a revelation, they re-orient the reader to reveal only more questions and mysteries.' - Chris Pak, Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction

‘There are perhaps three or four writers at work today whose new books I seek out with an avidity bordering on fanaticism. M. John Harrison is one of them. His sentences have the power to leave the world about you unsteadied; glowing and perforated in strange ways. He combines sharp clarity of vision with deep compassion of heart; a merciful eagle. Once read, these stories ghost you for days and weeks afterwards.’ – Robert Macfarlane, author of Landmarks

‘M. John Harrison’s slippery, subversive stories mix the eerie and familiar into beguiling, alarming marvels. No one writes quite like him; no one I can think of writes such flawless sentences, or uses them to such disorientating effect.’ – Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City
‘These stories map a rediscovered fictional hinterland, one tucked behind the glossier edifices of modernity and genre with views down alleyways into pubs and flats where Patrick Hamilton glares balefully at J. G. Ballard.’ – Will Eaves, author of This is Paradise
‘M. John Harrison moves elegantly, passionately, from genre to genre, his prose lucent and wise, his stories published as SF or as fantasy, as horror or as mainstream fiction. In each playing field, he wins awards, and makes it look so easy. His prose is deceptively simple, each word considered and placed where it can sink deepest and do the most damage.’ – Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods
‘With an austere and deeply moving humanism, M. John Harrison proves what only those crippled by respectability still doubt – that science fiction can be literature, of the very greatest kind.’ – China Miéville, author of Perdido Street Station
"Harrison creates an eerie sense of dystopian worlds without focusing on anything particularly futuristic; each of the stories is set in a relatable “Britain”. However, his choice of detail and creation of atmosphere leaves us unsure of the reality we’re being presented with." Neon Books
'Harrison’s collection is at the same time refreshingly new and achingly nostalgic; making scathing societal commentaries while pointing and laughing like some manic, ancient god. Read for surreal apathy from a master of science-fiction, horror, fantasy, and every incarnation in between, not for completely set out plot points and satisfying endings.' Shoreline of Infinity
Listen to M. John speak to Richard Lea on the Guardian Books Podcast.
Listen to M. John himself read  a selection of stories from the new collection on our Soundcloud.
Watch M. John in conversation with Dr. Helen Marshall about weird fiction, and his new collection at the Virtual Futures Salon.

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Book Details

23 Nov 2017

About the Author

M. John Harrison

M. John Harrison is the author of eleven novels (including In Viriconium, The Course of the Heart and Light), …
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