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The Essential Ellison: A 50 Year Retrospective (Revised and Expanded) Paperback – March 10, 2005


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Product Details

  • Series: Ellison, Harlan
  • Paperback: 1250 pages
  • Publisher: Morpheus International; 4th edition (March 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883398606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883398606
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Master fantasist, Harlan Ellison has written and edited nearly eighty books and has garnered countless awards. He has won everything from Hugos, Nebulas, Silver Pens, and is the only writer to have won the Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Teleplay four times. He is considered by many to be the finest contemporary short story and essay writer.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
The stories which, when you read them before bed, continue to haunt you into the next afternoon.
Eric Muss-Barnes
Ellison weaves horror, fantasy, science fiction, and remnants of his own life into a beautiful anthology that represents great works for good reading.
J. Dean
This is one of the best collections of Harlan Ellison's writings I've ever read, or started to read.
Gale Holly Freeman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By punkviper on October 10, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This truly is a godsend for those folks who always heard about Ellison's work, but were thwarted upon realizing that 90% of his written output is out-of-print. This tome was long-delayed [...] but thankfully delivered into the eager hands of any who wish to experience the vivid freedom of HE's pen. Ellison remains the classic "angry young man" of speculative fiction, even after all these years, and this compendium harbors so many of the highlights that make him, quite possibly, America's greatest living short-story writer.
There really is no way to put an exacting finger on what Ellison writes. It is certainly not your run-of-the-mill sci-fi, not cheap-shock horror, and not suspense dreck. It's thoughtful, highly engaging, sometimes allegorical, and always thought-provoking stuff that you just don't find in modern writers anymore. Almost like a prickly cross between George Orwell and Lewis Carroll. He is most certainly still ahead of his time, and will most likely require decades after his passing for the world to truly catch up to him and realize what a treasure he is.
So start here if you're curious about Ellisonia, then after your appetite is whetted and your curiosity piqued, track down the stuff in its original form so you can experience all of the good stuff, not merely highlights from a superb & lengthy career.
This is vital American literature.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sunshine Greeny on July 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Taken from the introduction, "Sublime Rebel," by Terry Dowling:

"In Egyptian mythology, Iai is a fascinating character. He is the rebel, the tester, the stubborn resisting force of intellect and insight which donkey-like stands its ground, refusing to budge, and challanges what is accepted and valued and thought to be sensible and true. The same sort of honest irrepressible rebel, in fact, which surfaced in the child who pointed out that the Emperor wore no clothes and in the Fool who told King Lear that he was wrong. Those dear precious rebels(for there are, and have been, many)not only dare to question but for their pains alienate themselves from those who haven't questioned, who didn't think to question, who are now made to look stupid because they didn't."

Throughout the latter half of the twentieth century, author and social critic, Harlan Ellison, was a seminal influence within speculative fiction, fantasy and science fiction. As though from some bygone era, his writing in the field of science fiction is thematically grounded in human dilemma. The emotionally qualitative properties of his stories are vivid and palpable.

Think stubbornly, cantankerously steadfast in personal conviction, artistic craft and vision. A true sort of sui generis, refusing to dillydally or sugarcoat the bitter truth. Appropriately overwrought, humorous, devilish. Dead on and justified, Harlan Ellison was watching.

Time after time, Harlan's words serve as a breaker bar to wrest truth's free from convenient, apathetic confinement. I can think of no other author whose work, be it fiction or otherwise, so diligently rummages the depths of the human condition; all of those secretive, quiescent corners of the collective unconscious, hidden in the shadow of the soul.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Savannah Brooks on October 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i ordered this book because i just recently discovered the awesomeness of mr. ellison's work, and i wanted more of it. more is what i got! nobody told me how huge a tome this thing is... it weighs at least 5 pounds and it's as thick as one of those dictionaries you get at the public library! portable it's not, but if you want absolutely as much of ellison you can get for the money, look no further.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ray C. Aune on February 10, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book initially so I'd have a copy of the essay 'Xenogenesis', which scared seven shades of pea soup out of me when I first read it in IASFM. Further perusal gave me a thorough glimpse of the work of an author I'd been skipping, as I considered him a product of the 'second wave' of science fiction/science fiction-influenced authors (first wave involving Heinlein, E. E. 'Doc' Smith, and so on). Good to have been proven so wrong, and now it's a book I'll recommend to those of my friends who see 'Harlan Ellison' and only think 'that guy from Babylon 5'.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Picardfan007 on August 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
If it were up to me Harlan would win the prize for the best author of the century. He does not waste words or time with any reader. He goes right to the heart of his subject matter with razor sharp intellegence. His short stories are a rude wake up call to humanity. Without spoiling it for any future readers...once you start reading Harlan's stories; all other writers are pale in camparison. You will never want to put this book down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Dean on February 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Harlan Ellison doesn't exactly have the best reputation for being personable. Tales abound of his abrasive demeanor and quick-rising temper, and more than once he's been thought of as a shocking person to encounter: a characterization that he himself doesn't seem to deny.

But nobody familiar with his work will contend with the truth that the man is as talented as he is vitriolic.

The Essential Ellison is a must-read for those who like their stories with edge. Ellison weaves horror, fantasy, science fiction, and remnants of his own life into a beautiful anthology that represents great works for good reading. From the hideous nightmare endured by survivors of an apocalypse in "I have no mouth and I must scream" to the classic science fiction themes of works like "Gloworm," Ellison is sure to please the reader with a diverse selection guaranteed to satisfy. Recommended with hearty approval!
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