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Comment: Inside covers are damaged, but the pages are pristine. Not suitable to give as a gift, but very readable.
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Phoenix Without Ashes Hardcover – April 5, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 25 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

  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing; 1St Edition edition (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600108008
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600108006
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.5 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Read this book, and see why Harlan Ellison, the best short story writer ever, also got an award for best screenplay. The book is the screenplay in novel format, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! The basic storyline is this (I got to tell you something because only one other person has commented on this book, which is really sad.): In outer space there is a spaceship consisting of tons of biospheres. Each biosphere contains a culture, but these cultures have no contact amongst themselves. In fact, they've been in space so long that they don't even know they're in space! They think that the biosphere is the world! Anyway, in this one biosphere, an exiled man is driven away for his heretical preachings. A large man-hunt takes place . . . and that's when things REALLY get interesting and you finish this book in one sitting. The writing is excellently done. The chapters end with bangs, the characters act and do things that actually bring out all sorts of emotions in you. When you finish this book, all you can say is WOW! I've read it once, but I KNOW I'm going to read it again . . . and again, etc. This book deserves more than four stars, even more than five. All Harlan fans must read this.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In 1973, Harlan Ellison wrote a pilot script “Phoenix Without Ashes” which he hoped would launch a groundbreaking 8-episode science fiction miniseries on television. Instead, due to repeated mismanagement and interference from the producers, it became one of the worst series ever—the now infamous THE STARLOST, which lasted only one season on NBC/CTV.

Ellison quit the project before the first episode was filmed. The actual show that aired was much different than what he wrote. (His successor Ben Bova eventually quit as well, and later wrote the comedic novel THE STARCROSSED loosely based on their experiences.)

THE NOVEL:

PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES (the book) begins with Ellison’s essay “Somehow, I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas, Toto” which details how the script came to be and how NBC/CTV manage to foul it all up. (There is actually a longer, funnier, and slightly less vitriolic version of this essay also in Ellison’s collection STALKING THE NIGHTMARE… make sure to look that one up.)

The prose story that follows is a novelization of the script, authorized by Ellison and written by his friend Edward Bryant. If this story had been filmed correctly with high production values, good acting, and writers who understood science fiction, this could have been an excellent show, much better than its contemporaries like Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers. It certainly would have been more grounded and thought-provoking.

Unfortunately, as a novel in its own right, the story here feels very thin, and it ends with all the major story lines unresolved. This makes sense—a tv pilot is supposed to establish characters, introduce a central conflict, and then leave the viewer wanting to tune it next week.
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Format: Hardcover
The story behind Phoenix Without Ashes is almost as important as the story itself.

In 1973, famed science fiction author Harlan Ellison was hired to write a television series to be called The Starlost. The producers did not stick very closely to Ellison's vision and Ellison ended up taking his name off of the pilot episode. Only 16 episodes of the series were shot, and it disappeared into obscurity.

But Ellison didn't completely let his story die. In 1975, writer Edward Bryant adapted Ellison's original pilot script into a novel called Phoenix Without Ashes. Although it was positioned at the time as book one in a series, no other volumes were ever published.

Flash forward to 2011, and now we have Phoenix Without Ashes, the graphic novel, which adapts Ellison's screenplay and Bryant's novel into comics form. Ellison himself is credited as creator and writer of the graphic novel, although there is nothing to indicate he actually scripted the comic book version. The art chores are handled by Alan Robinson, who provides some lovely layouts and linework, and colorist Kote Carvajal, whose tones make the book shine.

So what's the story of Phoenix Without Ashes? It starts with a young Amish man named Devon, who lives in a tiny community just a few hundred miles wide that no one ever leaves. Devon is in love with a young woman named Rachel and wants to marry her, but the Elders who rule his community have promised her to another. That conflict leads Devon to rebel against his leaders, which puts him on the run as he uncovers a terrible truth: that the machine that supposedly dictates the will of God to the Elders and the community is nothing less than a lie.

As Devon runs, he discovers something else.
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Format: Paperback
Phoenix Without Ashes is the novelization of Harlan Ellison's ill fated TV venture from the early 1970's. If you missed the short lived science fiction series from Canada you might want to pick up this book. The novel is not written from the television show script, but rather from Mr. Ellison's award winning teleplay. Be warned this book ends with you wanting more, and as a first book in a series this would be superb, but there are no others. Much better than catching an old rerun of the Starlost!
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