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Warwick to award Honorary Degree to 'genre contrarian' M John Harrison

M John HarrisonThe University of Warwick has announced today, Wednesday 16th of December 2015, that it will award an honorary degree of Honorary Doctor of Letters to Warwickshire born science fiction, fantasy, & climbing writer M John Harrison at one of its winter degree ceremonies on Wednesday 20 January 2016. More information on the times for photography and interview opportunities will be issued nearer the time.

Rugby born M John Harrison’s writing covers such a wide range of themes that he has been described in the Guardian as a 'genre contrarian'. He began his career as the agenda-setting literary editor of Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds and his fiction ranges from science fiction such as The Committed Men and the award winning Kefahuchi Tract trilogy, horror The Course of the Heart, fantasy/SF crossovers such as the award nominated Viriconium books and stories and even cats (he co-wrote four linked fantasies about cats with Jane Johnson, under the pseudonym "Gabriel King").

Nova SwingHis work has been classified by some as forming part of the movement dubbed the “New Weird”.

“New Weird” authour China Miéville cites Harrison as one of his literary heroes. Others have tried to badge Harrison himself as a precursor to the “New Weird” but Harrison himself resists any literary labels.

His interest in rock climbing led to his semi-autobiographical novel Climbers (1989), the first novel to receive the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature. Harrison also ghost-wrote the autobiography of one of Britain's best rock climbers, Ron Fawcett - Fawcett on Rock, (1987). He has also reviewed fiction and nonfiction for The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, the Times Literary Supplement and The New York Times.

His work was celebrated at a special academic conference at Warwick in 2014 and you can listen to a podcast of an interview with him by one of the conference organisers by clicking the play button on this page:

Notes for editors:

You can see an articles on his work in The Guardian:

and in New Statesman:

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy, University of Warwick
Tel UK: 024 76523708 office 07767 655860 mobile
Tel Overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708 office +44 (0)7767 655860 mobile/cell

PR601MJH 16th December 2015