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I first became aware of Harlan Ellison because of Star Trek(give me a break, i was only fifteen at the time; I learned). His one episode was a favorite for years until I learned that it was rewritten against his will and he was unhappy with the results. The first time I read his script was in Six Science Fiction Plays edited by Roger Elwood. Recommended is Harlan’s book, CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER, for the script and a long introduction by him on circumstances around the rewrite and his history with Gene Roddenberry.

While all this was going on, I had begun to seek out earlier, original works by Harlan and was rewarded every time out. One thing one can say about Harlan Ellison, he puts his all into his works. Each collection of his stories has an introduction, usually a long one, that I look forward to almost as much as the stories themselves. He never fails to give you value for your money.

I owe George Kelley thanks for pointing this one out. I likely would have missed it otherwise.

As pointed out, it’s not his best work. A young writer learning his craft, recently married, they were for the money. But they have that Ellison energy and make them worthwhile. My favorite was BOTH ENDS OF THE CANDLE, a humorous story of a young college football player named Asimov(certainly no coincidence) that was seeing a pair of women, a mother and daughter named Candle, on the sly from each other and the effects it was having on him.

There’s a second book from that era coming. I’m keeping a lookout for it.

For more forgotten books on Fridays, as always, check out Patti Abbott at her blog, Pattinase.

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