Modern London and an uncanny presence living in the rivers and canals come together in the first new novel in seven years from one of SF's best-reviewed and most-loved authors.
*WINNER OF THE GOLDSMITHS PRIZE 2020*
*A New Statesman Book of the Year*
'A mesmerising, mysterious book . . . Haunting. Worrying. Beautiful' Russell T. Davis
'Brilliantly unsettling' Olivia Laing
'A magificent book' Neil Gaiman
'An extraordinary experience' William Gibson
Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize 2020, this is fiction that pushes the boundaries of the novel form.
Shaw had a breakdown, but he's getting himself back together. He has a single room, a job on a decaying London barge, and an on-off affair with a doctor's daughter called Victoria, who claims to have seen her first corpse at age thirteen.
It's not ideal, but it's a life. Or it would be if Shaw hadn't got himself involved in a conspiracy theory that, on dark nights by the river, seems less and less theoretical...
Meanwhile, Victoria is up in the Midlands, renovating her dead mother's house, trying to make new friends. But what, exactly, happened to her mother? Why has the local waitress disappeared into a shallow pool in a field behind the house? And why is the town so obsessed with that old Victorian morality tale, The Water Babies?
As Shaw and Victoria struggle to maintain their relationship, the sunken lands are rising up again, unnoticed in the shadows around them.
Harrison's unsettling and melancholy novel, gritted with farce and dreadful laughter, shouts award-winner on every page - The Times
Harrison is without peer - Guardian
One of the strangest and most unsettling novels of the year - The Herald
A stunning masterpiece - Paul Cornell
Treads the line between realism and fantasy with immense assurance and draws a portrait of watery, post-Brexit Britain that brings shivers of both unease and recognition - Jonathan Coe
One of the best writers of fiction currently at work in English - Robert MacFarlane
M. John Harrison's masterpiece - Frances Wilson, New Statesman
Like reading Thomas Pynchon underwater - The Daily Mail
M. John Harrison (1945 - ) Michael John Harrison is the author of, amongst others, the Viriconium stories, The Centauri Device, Climbers, The Course of the Heart, Signs of Life, Light and Nova Swing. He has won the Boardman Tasker Award (Climbers), the James Tiptree Jr Award (Light) and the Arthur C. Clarke Award (Nova Swing). He lives in Shropshire.