Harlan Ellison

The Edge of Forever

Ellen Weil and Gary K. Wolfe

“Weil and Wolfe have taken on with great success an almost impossible subject matter” —John Clute, co-editor, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and The Encyclopedia of Fantasy.

“The scholarship behind this book is formidable; its expression in the text is graceful and understated. This is an exemplary work of criticism, especially in its balance of artistic consideration, commercial influences, and cultural contexts.” —Brian Attebery, author of Strategies of Fantasy and The Fantasy Tradition in American Literature.

Harlan Ellison: The Edge of Forever is the first book-length critical study of the short stories, novels, and TV and movie scripts of Harlan Ellison, a widely honored contemporary fantasist who has attained near legendary status in the science fiction and fantasy communities. Although Ellison has published over 1,100 short stories and several volumes of criticism and commentary since his career began in the 1950s, and is among the most widely anthologized of living writers (including Best American Short Stories), until now, critical attention to his work has been surprisingly sparse.

This study explores all aspects of Ellison’s career, examining his various stories and screenplays in the context of their times and of the genres in which he worked, from his early crime stories and gang fiction, to his much honored work in science fiction and television (including Star Trek, The Outer Limits, and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour), to his later mature fantasies and narrative experiments. The authors also examine Ellison’s relationship to the science fiction genre, which both gave him his widest fame and entrapped him in many ways as both a writer and a public figure.

Gary K. Wolfe is professor of Humanities and English and director of the Bachelor of General Studies at Roosevelt University, Chicago. Prior to becoming a successful consultant specializing in the development of corporate retiree volunteer programs, Ellen Weil taught humanities and Holocaust Studies courses at Roosevelt University and the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Jan 2002
Science Fiction/Popular Culture/Short Stories
256 pp. 6 x 9

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