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

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Harlan Ellison has been called one of the great living American short story writers by the "Washington Post". In a career spanning more than fifty years, he has won more awards than any other living fantasist. Ellison has written or edited one hundred fourteen books; more than seventeen hundred stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns; two dozen teleplays; and a dozen motion pictures. He has won the Hugo Award eight and a half times (shared once); the Nebula Award three times; the Bram Stoker Award, presented by the Horror Writers Association, five times (including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996); the Edgar Allan Poe Award of the Mystery Writers of America twice; the Georges Melies Fantasy Film Award twice; and two Audie Awards (for the best in audio recordings); and he was awarded the Silver Pen for Journalism by PEN, the international writers union. He was presented with the first Living Legend Award by the International Horror Critics at the 1995 World Horror Convention. Ellison is the only author in Hollywood ever to win the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Teleplay (solo work) four times, most recently for Paladin of the Lost Hour, his "Twilight Zone" episode that was Danny Kaye s final role, in 1987. In 2006, Ellison was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. "Dreams With Sharp Teeth", the documentary chronicling his life and works, was released on DVD in May 2009.
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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: 2.2 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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Harlan Ellison is one of the all-time greats of science fiction. He has that genius for finding the right word that makes the hair on the back of the reader's neck stand up. His writing has mostly been in short formats, which makes it hard to assemble a good selection without looking for dozens of odd paperbacks. Hence, this massive tome, which makes it possible to grab most of the best stuff at a single stroke. I was amazed to find that one of the first stories in the book was one I remembered reading as a kid when it was first published. Thanks, Harlan, you've never let me down. And thanks particularly for busting up that joint in College Station!
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