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View Full Version : The Top of the Volcano - Best of Harlan Ellison



bugen
06-13-2014, 02:56 PM
Guys, head on over to SubPress for your Best of Ellison!! It's called The Top of the Volcano, and from what I've seen they haven't announced yet but their page is live. I've noticed SubPress has a habit of selling out of the best stuff before they open to the public, and don't know how people get early notifications (not their newsletter). Just search 'Volcano'. Camelot has them as well, but has already sold out on the lettered.

Go-go-go!

Sock Monkey
06-13-2014, 03:25 PM
I ordered a copy of the limited through Camelot yesterday. I almost went back this morning for the lettered but they had sold a little after they sent out their newsletter. Oh well, I probably didn't need to spend that much anyways. I think I'll be pretty happy with the limited. I will have to admit that I'm a little late to the Ellison train. Though I've read some of his stories in different anthologies, this will be my first book of his. Definitely looking forward to it!

Also, thanks for posting this, bugen. I had already stumbled across this on Camelot's site, but a I'm sure there are others on this forum who haven't heard about this book.

Dave1442397
06-13-2014, 10:47 PM
I got the email from Sub Press because I've ordered other Ellison titles from them. I skipped this one, though, as I have all these stories in other Ellison books.

bugen
06-14-2014, 02:00 AM
Good to know that SubPress does a mailing like that, thank you. They must have a very good tracking system.

I may have been a little over-exuberant this morning as it appears lettered copies are still available, not to mention limited and trades – I was afraid they would go immediately before anyone here had a chance at them. There’s just been too many times where I’ve heard of something I loved being released, and rushed at light-speed to check it out only to find it’s already gone. It’s a crestfallen, discouraging feeling, especially if your research shows there’s little you could have done to be faster. Been there, and it sucks.

To those who may not be familiar, Ellison is the man. I haven’t read all of his work, but I’ve read Gentleman Junkie, The Deadly Streets, and the immortal, incomparable Deathbird Stories among a smattering of other stories collected in anthologies. Junkie and Streets are good, but Deathbird is truly something special. This was the first collection of short stories I read that had me floored, shut my mouth for me, and temporarily affected my functionality. The man has insight, and the skill to get it across.

Some of you may be familiar with Ellison, but not with Deathbird Stories, so I’d like to share with you his warning before starting that particular book:

Caveat Lector
It is suggested that the reader not attempt to read this book at one sitting. The emotional content of these stories, taken without break, may be extremely upsetting. This note is intended most sincerely, and not as hyperbole.
H.E.

There’s nothing I can say to top that.

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Theli
06-14-2014, 04:02 AM
Have never read any of his work, but you're doing a pretty good job selling it! He does crime as well as horror fiction, right? Or how would you generally describe his works?

bugen
06-14-2014, 03:05 PM
Hahaha. There is a strong criminal element to what I've read, but he really could be best described as speculative fiction. A lot of his stuff takes place here in this world, but he adds something unique to each story, whether it be a sci-fi element, some kind of horror, or just a new way of looking at something we're already familiar with. No matter which element he uses the stories at least attempt to add something to the reader's perspective, and he's extremely successful at it.

4 stories from Deathbird are repeated here in this Best Of, none from the other two books I've read, and one or two from other anthologies.

In an attempt to respond properly I just sat down to read the 1st story in this new collection, previously unread, ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman, from my copy of his 50 Year retrospective. I got two pages in before asking myself, 'WTF am I reading?' I got two more pages in and said, 'Ah, yes, there it is'.

Dave1442397
06-14-2014, 05:43 PM
Ellison is a fantastic writer. I love his stories, but his non-fiction is also incredible, and well worth reading. Some of it may seem a bit dated at first glance, but you'd be surprised how relevant it is after all these years.

There's also a great documentary about Ellison called Harlan Ellison: Dreams With Sharp Teeth. It's available on iTunes and other places, and is a nice look at Ellison's life.

This is my Ellison collection as of Jan 2010 - I've added a few since then.

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bugen
06-14-2014, 05:51 PM
Wow, incredible collection! I've been meaning to get to Dangerous Visions, but hadn't really heard of Ellison so much in non-fiction. Will have to check it out. If you've got a favorite that you think best represents the non-fiction I'd love to hear. What a cool picture. Thanks!

Dave1442397
06-14-2014, 09:40 PM
Wow, incredible collection! I've been meaning to get to Dangerous Visions, but hadn't really heard of Ellison so much in non-fiction. Will have to check it out. If you've got a favorite that you think best represents the non-fiction I'd love to hear. What a cool picture. Thanks!

Thanks :) Well, I would probably start with An Edge In My Voice, which compiles his columns for the LA Times in the '80s. Harlan Ellison's Watching is mostly articles on movies and the industry, also very good.

The Glass Teat and The Other Glass Teat are his books on various TV shows in the late '60s and early '70s. I didn't even come to the US until 1990, but I read those books in 1983 and found them fascinating. The fact that I'd never even seen or heard of many of the shows didn't even matter - his writing is not what you'd normally expect from a reviewer or critic.

Theli
06-16-2014, 07:17 PM
Thanks for the info guys!

bookworm 1
06-16-2014, 10:04 PM
I did like Death Bird Stories. Have not read anything else. Might get the trade edition.

bugen
07-06-2014, 11:04 PM
Thanks to you, Dave. Saw this in the local used bookstore, read about 1/2 an article on a DePalma film, and bought it with no further examination. It may take me a while, but this will be a sweet read. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Dave1442397
07-07-2014, 10:07 AM
Thanks to you, Dave. Saw this in the local used bookstore, read about 1/2 an article on a DePalma film, and bought it with no further examination. It may take me a while, but this will be a sweet read. Thanks for the recommendation!

You're welcome!

Theli
07-09-2014, 05:27 PM
So they have Web of the City, Harlan Ellison's first novel, at my local bookstore, premise sounds cool, and I have been digging crime/noir fiction recently, is it a good place to start?

Dave1442397
07-10-2014, 11:26 AM
So they have Web of the City, Harlan Ellison's first novel, at my local bookstore, premise sounds cool, and I have been digging crime/noir fiction recently, is it a good place to start?

It's an interesting book in that it was Harlan's first novel, but you'll probably find it dated at this point. It's worth reading, but something like Deathbird Stories will give you a better idea of what he can do.

Theli
07-12-2014, 06:51 PM
Fair enough, might pick it up anyway, but I will keep that in mind.

bugen
08-18-2014, 04:30 PM
For those who may be interested there are a bunch of Harlan Ellison e-book collections (including Deathbird) on sale today through Amazon, as well as a other award winning work:

http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_424047862_10?ie=UTF8&node=9926094011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0RMGME63DH3PM6ZSNBC1&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_p=1888188742&pf_rd_i=1000677541

bugen
10-28-2014, 03:03 PM
Cover reveal posted this morning at SubPress. Striking!

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bsaenz24
10-28-2014, 04:25 PM
Michael Whelan is one of the best.