First UK edition cover
|Author||M. John Harrison|
|Cover artist||Dominic Harman|
|Media type||hardback, paperback|
|LC Class||PR6058.A6942 N68 2006|
|Followed by||Empty Space|
Nova Swing takes place long after the events of Light, which focussed on a disturbance in the space-time continuum known as the Kefahuchi Tract. The novel's thematic focus is the 'event zone' at the centre of the city Saudade, a space-time membrane created when a piece of the Tract fell to the ground, transforming the appearance and even physics of the event site. The zone draws tourists from Saudade, led by hardened guide Vic Serotonin, who specializes in dangerous "tours" of this chaotic zone. Many of the narrative's threads play out as a consequence of 'artefacts' being brought out of the event zone by tourists. The motif of the event zone recalls the Zone in Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. The novel incorporates some aspects of noir fiction into its scenario.
Publishers Weekly said " Harrison privileges atmosphere over plot, using grotesquely beautiful narration and elliptical dialogue to convey the beautifully delineated angst of Saudade's extraordinary inhabitants. Although not for everyone, Harrison's trippy style will appeal to sophisticated readers who treasure the work of China Miéville and Jeff VanderMeer." Regina Schroeder in her review for Booklist said "with its gritty, noirish atmosphere, elements of space opera, and some impressive moments of explosive action, this is a tasty, entertaining morsel, deeply flavored to satisfy the thoughtful." Kirkus Reviews described it as "a cross between J. G. Ballard's intense, static The Drowned World and Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's terrifying Roadside Picnic. The upshot: This science-fiction noir cum literary and social criticism is memorable, perplexing and challenging in equal measure."
Nova Swing won or was shortlisted for several science fiction awards, including:
- 2006 British Science Fiction Association Award nominee
- 2007 Arthur C. Clarke Award winner 
- 2007 Philip K. Dick Award winner
- 2007 British Fantasy Award nominee
- 2007 John W. Campbell Award nominee
Leigh Blackmore. "Undoing the Mechanisms: Genre Expectation, Subversion and Anti-Consolation in the Kefahuchi Tract Novels of M. John Harrison." Studies in the Fantastic. 2 (Winter 2008/Spring 2009). (University of Tampa Press). 
- "2007 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
- "Nova Swing". Publishers Weekly. 254 (34): 65. August 27, 2007. ISSN 0000-0019.
- Schroeder, Regina (September 1, 2007). Booklist. 104 (1): 66. ISSN 0006-7385. Missing or empty
- "Nova Swing". Kirkus Reviews. 75 (16): 832. August 15, 2007. ISSN 0042-6598.
- "2006 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-09-02.
- Nova Swing at Worlds Without End
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