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Shatterday Paperback – September 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


“...only a few short-story collections that have changed the course of literature in a profound way.... Shatterday is the heart of the heart of energy and insight that is Harlan Ellison.”
—Dan Simmons, author of Hyperion and Ilium

“The spellbinding quality of a great nonstop talker with a cultural warehouse for a mind.”
New York Times Book Review

“One of the greatest speculative fiction writers this country has ever produced....”
—Ron Moore, executive producer of Battlestar Galactica

“Harlan Ellison’s short stories have already won high praise in his native America, and the sixteen recent specimens collected in Shatterday are impressively various and accomplished.... An authentic writer.”
The Guardian

“Fiction with a sharp, fantastic edge.”

“ of the great living American short-story writers.”
—George R. R. Martin

“You have to read Shatterday, feel it, experience it.... It is an event.”
Science Fiction Review

Shatterday should be banned from all science-fiction shelves. Harlan Ellison no longer belongs there. Do Jonathan Swift, Edgar Allan Poe, Rimbaud, or Kafka? Occasionally, there’s a writer with the mind, passion, and audacity to create a one-man revolution in his field. Harlan Ellison is such a writer.”
—Roger Corman

“Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, stand aside: Harlan Ellison is a better short-story writer than you will ever be again in the rest of your lives.”
—Ray Bradbury

“Whatever the genre or blend of genres, Ellison delivers.”
Publishers Weekly

“One of the great living American short-story writers.”
Washington Post Book World

“The categories are too small to describe Harlan Ellison. Lyric poet, satirist, explorer of old psychological corners, moralist, purveyor of pure horror and black comedy; he is all these and more.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Speculative fiction without Harlan Ellison would be like the Fourth of July without fireworks.”
—Ursula K. Le Guin

“It’s long past time for Harlan Ellison to be awarded the title: 20th-century Lewis Carroll.”
—Los Angeles Times

“He is a brave and lively little beast, who makes a great show of himself to the hounds but remains far too wary to lead them to his real lair.”
—Michael Moorcock, author of The Best of Michael Moorcock

“Harlan Ellison’s prose has a remarkable vitality. Adrenaline seems to drive him to the typewriter where, for our entertainment, he produces cracking and powerful tales.”
—Steve Allen

“Harlan Ellison has a supersonic mind, and Shatterday is its flagship, a streak of literary light across a mythological sky.”
—William Kotzwinkle

“Because Harlan Ellison pretends that he is just a nice guy who has dropped in to read you his latest tale, you drop your defenses and wham—you discover that he is a horror writer in disguise. Things do not go bump in Ellison’s tales. That would be too easy. Instead, his heroes crash into the night en route to final, fatal meetings.”
Saturday Review

“One of the few masters of the short story.”

“...confrontational and’ll remember again why Harlan Ellison is considered one of America’s best short-story writers.”
—Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction

“...timeless stuff, speaking to (mostly) the dark within each of us, but also at times uplifting, light, and funny.”
SF Scope

About the Author

Harlan Ellison has written or edited more than 75 books and more than 1,700 stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns as well as two dozen teleplays and a dozen movies. His work includes such classics as Deathbird Stories, Dangerous Visions, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Strangewine, Shatterday, Angry Candy, and Slippage. He has won multiple Hugo, Nebula, Edgar, Stoker, Locus, and Audie awards as well as the Silver Pen, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Bradbury, and American Mystery awards. Ellison was nominated for a Grammy award in 2009 for his reading of Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications; 3rd edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892391481
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892391483
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,338,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Randy Gibson on October 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
For those who know the works of Harlan Ellison, it is a familiar feeling. For those who have not experienced his writing in the concentrated, high-octane form of a short story anthology, this is one of the best. Ellison is probably the most decorated fiction writer in history and while he has done teleplay, screenplay, and novels, his true mastery is in the realm of short stories. This collection provides devastating proof of that. Like all Ellison anthologies, sitting down to read through it one sitting can be extremely unnerving. Harlan's stories are unsettling, disturbing, and leave a bad taste in your brain. But one thing is unmistakably true - his stories will affect you. His use of language is powerful and his concepts are often shocking.

Shatterday opens with another fine Ellison introduction. His introductory essays are every bit as wonderful as the stories that follow. The stories open with "Jeffty is Five", a story that draws on Ellison's nostalgia for radio serials of earlier days but takes them into a dark place. "How's The Night Life On Cissalda" might just be the most hilarious sex-themed science fiction story of all time. "Would You Do It For A Penny" isn't really even speculative fiction but it is all wry humor and naughtiness. Every story here hits hard and creates powerful effects. With Ellison, horror isn't dripping fangs and flung entrails. It's that creepy unsettling feeling in your soul that something somewhere is utterly and unalterably wrong. That is brought home beautifully in the title story that closes out the book.

I'm fond of all Ellison's anthologies. I loved "Strange Wine", "Deathbird Stories", and "Stalking the Nightare." I even have a signed Easton Press edition of "Angry Candy" that I truly treasure. But for overall entertainment, I still consider "Shatterday" my all-time favorite.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nevada Smith on October 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is later period Ellison. The classic is Deathbird Stories. The greats are I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, and The Beast Who Shouted Love At the Heart of The World. Love Ain'y Nothing B ut Sex Misspelled and Strange Wine are essential. But Shatterday is worth every second you give to it...after you read the other ones listed above. Did I mention that there really isn't an Ellison book you shouldn't read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MSHARK on December 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
It's about time Harlan was universally recognized as one of the great writers in the English language. It seems like Ellison has explored every plot, concept, idea, or scenario that exists -- and every screenwriter, SS writer, and novelist in science/speculative/avant garde fiction who came after Harlan owes him -- whether they know it or not. If it's a great idea that's profound, funny, sardonic, exciting, and/or innovative, Harlan has already thought of it -- and thank gawd -- written it. You're in for a treat, but you'd better bring along your brain: you're gonna need it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shatterday as of writing this review is my one and only trip into world of Harlan Ellison.
This collection is worth the money for Shatterday and Jefty is Five alone. Everything else in this collection is great too, with Ellison offering up surreal,damn near ethereal scenarios and wording that leaves you feeling stranger than before you first stepped in.
Some of the stories are bitter sweet and comical,while others ( Shatterday) have such a great,dark pacing that keeps you turning the pages as fast as you can.

The most memorable moment for me personally was the ending to Jefty is Five. It wasn't just the fact that it leaves you breathless but it still sticks with me even now as I write this. Wondering myself, can someone please tell me? Those final words echoing through my head at different moments of the day. I want to give this 5 stars and after a dive into some more of Ellison's writing I may bump the rating up.

Bottom line, Harlan Ellison isn't just a great science fiction writer,he's a great writer period and a good bit of the selection within Shatterday showcases his talent.
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By Waterdog on September 2, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent stories although a little dated. I read this book thirty three years ago, and because of personal issues wanted to re-read it. These are good,well written 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 in that aspect we are very alone. Harlan Ellison is a great writer, I highly recommend him.
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