The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World: Stories

Open Road Media
6
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Dark tales of speculative fiction from a winner of dozens of awards—“one of the great living American short story writers” (The Washington Post).

It crouches near the center of creation. There is no night where it waits. Only the riddle of which terrible dream will set it loose. It beheaded mercy to take possession of that place. It feasts on darkness from the minds of men. No one has ever seen its eyeless face. When it sleeps we know a few moments of peace. But when it breathes again we go down in fire and mate with jackals. It knows our fear. It has our number. It waited for our coming and it will abide long after we have become congealed smoke. It has never heard music, and shows its fangs when we panic. It is the beast of our savage past, hungering today, and waiting patiently for the mortal meal of all our golden tomorrows. It lies waiting.” This fantastic short story collection features two of Ellison’s most famous, the Nebula Award winner “A Boy and His Dog” and the Hugo Award–winning short story that lends the collection its title. These and the entire book will knock you off your feet.
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More by Harlan Ellison

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Winner of the Nebula Award: A boy and his telepathic dog fight to survive in a war-torn, postapocalyptic world in this hard-hitting science fiction novella.
 
In an alternate world in which John F. Kennedy survived and scientific breakthroughs in animal research and telepathy allow for advanced communication with animal companions, fifteen-year-old Vic and his telepathic dog, Blood, scavenge the wastelands of a war-torn United States, survivors of a nuclear World War III between the Americans and the Soviets. While Blood guides Vic toward women—to be used for sex—Vic ensures that Blood has food, but the symbiotic relationship is put at risk when the pair meets Quilla June Holmes, who lures the boy to an underground civilization. A piece of shocking, dystopic science fiction, A Boy and His Dog questions the boundaries and nature of love while crafting a vision of a dark future guaranteed to leave chills.
 
Also included here is “Ahbhu: The Passing of One Man’s Inspiration and Best Friend,” a personal essay by author Harlan Ellison, which lovingly recounts the life of his canine companion, Ahbhu, the true-life basis for Blood. Ellison recalls rescuing Ahbhu from the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter and gives a brief chronicle of life with his furry friend, whom he stresses was both “a person” and “impossible to anthropomorphize.” The nostalgic in memoriam frames the author’s relationship with animals while casting a personal light on the inspiration for the novella with which it is paired.
 
Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novella and a Hugo Award finalist, A Boy and His Dog was adapted into a cult classic film and fully solidifies Ellison as a master of his craft. This volume combines a dark, dystopian future of animal telepathy, sex, and postapocalyptic underworlds with a real-life account of the author’s muse for the feisty but loyal Blood. Indispensible reading material for any fan of Ellison or dark science fiction, animal lovers will also delight over the relationship between Vic and Blood.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Apr 1, 2014
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9781497604896
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Horror
Fiction / Science Fiction / Collections & Anthologies
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards: A science fiction classic about an antiestablishment rebel set on overthrowing the totalitarian society of the future.
 
One of science fiction’s most antiestablishment authors rails against the accepted order while questioning blind obedience to the state in this unique pairing of short story and essay.
 
“‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” is set in a dystopian future society in which time is regulated by a heavy bureaucratic hand known as the Ticktockman. The rebellious Everett C. Marm flouts convention, masquerading as the anarchic Harlequin, disrupting the precise schedule with bullhorns and jellybeans in a world where being late is nothing short of a crime. But when his love, Pretty Alice, betrays Everett out of a desire to return to the punctuality to which she is programmed, he is forced to face the Ticktockman and his gauntlet of consequences.
 
The bonus essay included in this volume, “Stealing Tomorrow,” is a hard-to-find Harlan Ellison masterwork, an exploration of the rebellious nature of the writer’s soul. Waxing poetic on humankind’s intellectual capabilities versus its emotional shortcomings, the author depicts an inner self that guides his words against the established bureaucracies, assuring us that the intent of his soul is to “come lumbering into town on a pink-and-yellow elephant, fast as Pegasus, and throw down on the established order.”
 
Winner of the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” has become one of the most reprinted short stories in the English language. Fans of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World will delight in this antiestablishment vision of a Big Brother society and the rebel determined to take it down. The perfect complement, “Stealing Tomorrow” is a hidden gem that reinforces Ellison’s belief in humankind’s inner nobility and the necessity to buck totalitarian forces that hamper our steady evolution.
 
Hailed for his grandeur of imagination and superb worldbuilding, winner of and nominee for more than fifty awards for his outstanding work, Mike Resnick has rightfully won a place as one of science fiction's master storytellers. Now, in Kirinyaga, Resnick presents the haunting and utterly compelling tale of one man's utopia.

By the twentieth second century in the African nation of Kenya, polluted cities sprawl up the flanks of sacred Mount Kirinyaga. Great animal herds are but distant memories. European crops now grow on the sweeping savannas. But Koriba, a distinguished, educated man of Kikuyu ancestry, knows that life was different for his people centuries ago--and he is determined to build a utopian colony, not on earth, but on the terraformed planetoid he proudly names Kirinyaga.

As the mundumugu--witch doctor--Koriba leads the colonists. Reinstating the ancient customs and stringent laws of the Kikuyu people, he alone decides their fate. He must face many challenges to the struggling colony's survival: from a brilliant young girl whose radiant intellect could threaten their traditional ways to the interference of "Maintenance" which holds the power to revoke the colony's charter. All the while, only Koriba--unbeknownst to his people--maintains the computer link to the rest of humanity.

Ironically, the Kirinyaga experiment threatens to collapse--not from violence or greed--but from humankind's insatiable desire for knowledge. The Kikuyu people can no more stand still in time than their planet can stop revolving around its sun.

Deeply moving, swiftly paced, and profound in its implications, Kirinyaga is Mike Resnick's most triumphant work to date. His Fable of Utopia is the book every science fiction reader will want to own and savor for years to come.


From the Hardcover edition.
Masterpieces of myth and terror about modern gods from technology to drugs to materialism—“fantasy at its most bizarre and unsettling” (The New York Times).

As Earth approaches Armageddon, a man embarks on a quest to confront God in the Hugo Award–winning novelette, “The Deathbird.”
 
In New York City, a brutal act of violence summons a malevolent spirit and a growing congregation of desensitized worshippers in “The Whimper of Whipped Dogs,” an Edgar Award winner influenced by the real-life murder of Queens resident Kitty Genovese in 1964.
 
In “Paingod,” the deity tasked with inflicting pain and suffering on every living being in the universe questions the purpose of its cruel existence.
 
Deathbird Stories collects these and sixteen more provocative tales exploring the futility of faith in a faithless world. A legendary author of speculative fiction whose best-known works include A Boy and His Dog and I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream—and whose major awards and nominations number in the dozens, Harlan Ellison strips away convention and hypocrisy and lays bare the human condition in modern society as ancient gods fade and new deities rise to appease the masses—gods of technology, drugs, gambling, materialism—that are as insubstantial as the beliefs of those who venerate them.
 
In addition to his Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, Edgar, and other awards, Ellison was called “one of the great living American short story writers” by the Washington Post—and this collection makes it clear why he has earned such an extraordinary assortment of accolades.
 
Stories include:
“Introduction: Oblations at Alien Altars”
“The Whimper of Whipped Dogs”
“Along the Scenic Route”
“On the Downhill Side”
“O Ye of Little Faith”
“Neon”
“Basilisk”
“Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes”
“Corpse”
“Shattered Like a Glass Goblin”
“Delusion for a Dragon Slayer”
“The Face of Helene Bournouw”
“Bleeding Stones”
“At the Mouse Circus”
“The Place with No Name”
“Paingod”
“Ernest and the Machine God”
“Rock God”
“Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38° 54' N, Longitude 77° 00' 13" W”
“The Deathbird”
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