File Size: 3132 KB
Print Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Open Road Media; 3rd edition (April 1, 2014)
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Jeffty is Five—Winner of the 1978 Hugo and Nebula awards. This is certainly my favorite Harlan Ellison tale. Jeffty is a child who never ages and can link with the past in a special way. This subtle superior tale manages to be an elegy to put culture of the 1940’s, rumination on the loss of chasteness caused by We were young, and an examination of whether technical progress costs us all our humanity. Ironically, the “Now” of the tale is the late 1960’s juxtaposed to the “Then” of the story which was the 1940’s. Right now that the 1960’s on their own have faded into the history books, this tale might have new layers of resonance for readers.
How’s evening Life on Cissalda? – A comedic take on alien sex that veers into social satire. A lot of the pop culture references are dated (I had to google Anita Bryant, which I never heard of. ) Kij Johnson recently covered much the same territory in her much better story “Spar”.
Flop Sweat – A very effective horror story about the Hillside Strangler, a radio call-in talk show host, and the associated with the Apocalypse. It was probably these sorts of stories that influenced a young Stephen King, who has written at size about his admiration for HE.
Would You Do This for a Penny? (with Haskell Barkin) -- The 2nd favorite story in the book. Sure, it may be a tad sexist and misogynistic, but it is funny, and let's face it, truthful. We have all known guys like Great White Hunter Aldo who would endure any humiliation, spare no expenditure, and leave no lie untold in the pursuit of getting laid.
The person Who Was Heavily Into Revenge -- A paper-thin but still entertaining concept tale that imagines all of humanity's pain and frustration acts like a giant electric current that can surface up and strike, uncontrolled, anywhere in the world, at any time. Typically the consequences are certainly not always to our liking.
Shoppe Owner – Ellison has written several magic shop stories. This one is packed with ideas, but it problems under the weight of way too many subplots. The shop owner is revealed to be a man from the future with God-like powers of creation; this individual travels through time to create substantial changes in history so as to siphon the entropic energy created by those events. Along the way, he states with his superiors about what constitutes creation of artwork, and, indeed, there is a convoluted plan to free his girlfriend from cryogenic sleep. It’s better than “Djinn, No Chaser” but Ellison’s real miracle shop masterpiece is “Incognita, Inc. ”
All the Lies That Are The Life-- Nominated for the 1981 Hugo Award-Best Novella. Ellison is clearly writing about himself in the character of Jimmy Crowstairs, and this narrative focuses on the aftermath of his death and the reading of his last will and testament. Ellison appears to be having some fun at his own expense, talking about the important people who will attend his funeral service and recounting various matters with beautiful women. This individual is also wanting to make some important statements about the ability of artwork to outlast its originator and the potentially harmful associated with trying to manipulate close personal friendships after one’s death. The core of the storyplot is this question: What is the single great lie at the center of Jimmy’s life that defines his entire existence? Our company is never given a straight-up answer, but several possibilities are openly hinted at.
Django -- Another overwrought darker fable about art. (There's at least one in every Ellison book! ) This one generally seems to suggest Great Art is far more important than people's lives, and that any behavior no matter how selfish is justified in pursuit of it.
Count the Time clock That Tells time -- Another concept tale: Imagine the laws of entropy act to conserve squandered time for you to balance out diffused matter. People who waste their whole lives can get stuck in a kind of gray Limbo world wandering through the afterimages of great historical events.
In the Fourth Year of the War – The nasty little psychological uncertainty story that asks if anyone ever really moves past the angers of their childhood.
Alive and Well and on a Friendless Voyage—Experimental writing that informed me of what Ellison had been writing in the mid-1960’s. At first We did not understand it, but on a second pass I realized it could be read as an allegory of Jesus. The main character Moth goes from person to person on a space change assuming their pain and bad deeds on themselves. When the other passengers land, he takes their sins into oblivion with him or her.
All of the Birds Come Residence to Roost – The man finds that all the women he’s ever slept with start to move back into his life, 1 by 1 in reverse order, so he is for some reason working his way back towards the first bad romantic relationship that has haunted him his whole life. It ended it too quickly, right before the expected clash. Ellison provides an introduction about the roots of the storyplot that is better than the tale itself.
Opium – The fanciful piece of absurdist hype. Modern man is so used to tuning out there reality with television, fast food, cheap sex, etc ., so the Real Planet fights back by modifying itself into a dream land to make it itself more appealing.
Typically the Other Eye of Polyphemus – A badly written piece of melodrama in regards to a man who believes this individual always gives to others and never takes care of his own needs. Ellison tackled this exact same theme years before in “Like A Dull Knife”
The Executioner of the Malformed Children- Again, Ellison tackles a theme from his early stories—people with special telepathic gifts are shunned and mistreated by those in power. Typically the title is the best thing about this try.
Shatterday—A quirky science hype tale that was later designed for Twilight Zone. One of the better stories in this collection., " Jeffty is Five" - made me feel silly because I didn't understand why everyone thinks it's awesome. I was a lttle bit bored by it.
" How's the Night Life on Cissalda? " is shallowly brilliant. And not nearly as implausible as it should be. However, I would rather die happy than in a nuclear winter...
" Flop Sweat" Brilliant. Creepy, awful, and just bloody brilliant. I enjoy it even more picturing Howard Stern as the host.
" Would You Carry out It For A Penny" - I'm starting to think that I don't get Harlan Ellison (this is the first of his writings I've read) because I hated this tale. I didn't find it even a little funny; the characters were reprehensible and the entire tone was desperate and sad.
" Typically the Man Who Was Heavily Into Revenge" - reminiscent of Thurber and/or O'Henry, without the charm.
" Shoppe Keeper" I liked the idea that inspired the story, and the storyplot wasn't bad til the end. I keep wishing these will get better, but I'm starting to lose hope...
" All of the Lies That Are The Life" - What a depressing rumination on the nature of friendship and career rivalry.
" Django" - fantasy tribute that may have been clearer...
" Count the Clock That will Tells the Time" - It had been rough going at first, but I ended up liking it without knowing quite why We liked it...
" In the Fourth Year of the War" - short, simple, brilliant tale about our past coming back to haunt us (and some scary insight about how the mild-mannered guy next entrance becomes a Nancy Sophistication episode)
" Alive and Well and On a Friendless Voyage" - catharsis at the ending of life - heavy handed and never that interesting (and plots from it are either recycled from other stories in the gathering or into other stories in the collection).
" All the Birds Come Residence to Roost" - a vanity tale for the author. Might have already been better without Ellison's intro? Naturally , the same can be said of fairly much the whole publication.
" Opium" - meh. Shallow, pointless, and entirely nonsensical at the conclusion
" The Other Attention of Polyphemus" - The morality tale on the perils of being too selfless.
" The Punish of the Malformed Children" - easy to understand if you've read even one X-Men story arc
" Shatterday" - By simply far the best tale in the book, darker and hopeful all at the same time., Shatterday as of writing this review is my one and only trip into associated with Harlan Ellison.
This collection is worth the amount of money for Shatterday and Jefty is 5 alone. Everything else in this collection is great too, with Ellison offering up unique, damn near ethereal scenarios and wording that results in you feeling stranger than before you first moved in.
A few of the stories are bitter nice and comical, while others ( Shatterday) have such a great, dark pacing that will bring you turning the pages as fast as you can.
Probably the most memorable moment for me personally was your ending to Jefty is Five. It was not just the fact that it leaves you breathless but it still sticks with me even now as I write this. Wondering personally, can someone please show me? Those final words responsive through my head at different occasions of the day. I want to give this 5 celebrities and after a dive into some more of Ellison's writing I may bump the rating up.
Bottom line, Harlan Ellison isn't only a great science fiction writer, he is a great writer period and a good little of the selection within Shatterday showcases his skill., Excellent stories although slightly dated. I read this book thirty three years ago, and because of personal issues wanted to re-read it. These are good, well crafted stories about the human psyche. How we are not the only ones suffering the frailties of life. Which is true, however we are the only ones experiencing our problems so for the reason that aspect we are extremely alone. Harlan Ellison is a great writer, I highly recommend him.
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