Read Slippage: Previously Uncollected, Precariously Poised Stories by Harlan Ellison Online


Harlan Ellison is undoubtedly one of the most audacious, infuriating, brazen characters on the planet. Which may help explain why he is also one of the most brilliant, innovative, and eloquent writers on earth. Slippage simply presents recent, typical Ellison. In a word, masterful. The 21 stories in this 1997 collection, which is encased in black boxes, show Ellison at theHarlan Ellison is undoubtedly one of the most audacious, infuriating, brazen characters on the planet. Which may help explain why he is also one of the most brilliant, innovative, and eloquent writers on earth. Slippage simply presents recent, typical Ellison. In a word, masterful. The 21 stories in this 1997 collection, which is encased in black boxes, show Ellison at the height of his powers, with several of the stories (no surprise here) major award-winners. Highlights include a black mind reader who pays a visit to a white serial killer, a husband who falls prey to a vampiric personal computer, and a love affair between a young man and a woman who may be more undead than alive. Perhaps even more fascinating are the painfully candid snapshots of autobiography running throughout the volume. Even if Ellison's unsettling fictions are not enough to dazzle you, his often bizarre life experiences as an author will still keep you compulsively turning the page like a polite voyeur. --Stanley WiaterContents:The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore (1992)Anywhere but Here, with Anybody but You (1996)Crazy as a Soup Sandwich (1989)Darkness upon the Face of the Deep (1991)The Pale Silver Dollar of the Moon Pays Its Way and Makes Change: Version 1 (1997)The Pale Silver Dollar of the Moon Pays Its Way and Makes Change: Version 2 (1994)The Lingering Scent of Woodsmoke (1996)The Museum on Cyclops Avenue (1995)Go toward the Light (1996)Mefisto in Onyx (1993)Where I Shall Dwell in the Next World (1992)Chatting with Anubis (1995)The Few, the Proud (1989)The Deadly "Nackles" Affair (1987) essayNackles (1964)Nackles (1987)Sensible City (1994)The Dragon on the Bookshelf (1995) with Robert SilverbergKeyboard (1995)Jane Doe #112 (1990)The Dreams a Nightmare Dreams (1997)Pulling Hard Time (1995)Scartaris, June 28th (1990)She's a Young Thing and Cannot Leave Her Mother (1988)Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral (1995)...

Title : Slippage: Previously Uncollected, Precariously Poised Stories
Author :
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ISBN : 9780395924822
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Slippage: Previously Uncollected, Precariously Poised Stories Reviews

  • Brian Steele
    2019-02-09 16:45

    It is a disappointment that while authors like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark and Robert A. Heinlein have such immediate renown and recognition, the name Harlan Ellison does not often get the respect it deserves. Asimov and company were true visionaries, but Ellison was just a few too many years late onto the scene. Most famous for his short story collections, he has penned countless works over the last 50 years and is best known for editing the book “Dangerous Visions”; an anthology of tales by varied authors so wild and irreverent that they couldn’t be published anywhere else. His 1997 collection, titled “Slippage,” is a fantastic book of 25 tales so far beyond classification or genre, they almost must be considered in a category all their own. Breaking the barriers of fantasy, scifi, horror and whatever else crawled into his head that day, Ellison writes tales that will affect you. Stories that will make you think and linger in your head for days after, the ultimate sign of an excellent author.

  • Quill
    2019-02-04 12:54

    The BasicsSlippage is a short story collection, which shouldn’t surprise any Ellison fans. Many of his collections have a theme, and this one has to be the saddest of all. At the time, he’d been through the wringer, and this was his last collection of new material. The term “slippage” is one he uses to emphasize a life being pushed in a direction it never wanted to go. A bad one.My ThoughtsI’ll start out by saying that this has to be one of my favorites of his collections. There is so much strong work here. It’s extra depressing to know that because of health problems, he had to drop his heavy work schedule, and while he has done some writing since, he’s nowhere near as prolific as he once was. There’s not a weak spot among these stories. They are all worthy of attention, and some of them are definitely worth some large praise."Mefisto in Onyx." What do I even say about a story that blew me away like this one did? It should be a movie, though Ellison has some understandable reservations (that’s an understatement) about Hollywood that would make that kind of impossible. A better way to put it is it deserves to be a movie. A really good movie with all the bells and whistles. If I were to list a top five of his favorite stories, this would easily be in it. I don’t want to give anything about it away. Just know it needs to be read by everyone."The Museum on Cyclops Avenue" is another that needs to be gushed about. It’s one of those where the idea is just so good, so exciting and apt to make you grin, that it could ride on that alone and be great. But it does even more. Ellison has to be one of the only writers I’ve ever read who writes first person narratives and actually has a different voice for each one. He’d not writing as himself every time. That really shines here.Lastly, “The Few, The Proud.” I say “lastly” because we’d be here all day if I didn’t limit myself to three stories to vomit praise all over. Trust me, choosing three from a collection this strong is no small task. In the case of “The Few, The Proud” it brought back around the story of the war with the Kyben. This time from the perspective of a deserting soldier on our side. So not only was it a chance to revisit a universe I found really interesting, but it was also a really fantastic anti-war story.Those are just the tip of the iceberg. I think in making it my personal mission to read every collection I can get my hands on, I’ve inadvertently made it my personal mission to urge everyone who reads these reviews to check out Ellison’s work. So go on. Stop reading this and go read that.Final Rating5/5

  • Bev
    2019-01-25 15:09

    I love Harlan Ellison. Every-in-your-face, cocky, let's turn what you think upside-down and inside-out word of him. The man can write. He can write so darn well that he can tell you about his bypass surgery and make you think it's freakin' awesome. He can spin a tale about living through an earthquake on a mountain top and make you wish you had been there. And that's just in the introduction, folks. Haven't even made it to the "real" short stories yet.I've said it before (back when I read his collection of stories in Shatterday)--Harlan Ellison is not for everybody. He can run the entire gamut of fiction from dark comedy to ghost story to time travel to gangster occult to straight science fiction to the nightmare tales that you thought nobody knew but you. He's a manic, multi-personality storyteller who switches gears faster than you can turn the page. Not everyone's cup of tea. But he's fantastic in every genre he tries.In Slippage, he seems to switch up his genres even more than usual--following the theme of tectonic shift that springs from the shifts in his life--from learning he's not immortal (thanks to the bypass surgery) to having his home dismantled by mother nature's own destruction team (a la earthquake). We find ourselves facing long-forgotten gods and killers we thought buried in the legends of time. We are given three stories where criminals are given their just desserts--but we have to question the justice of the third. We learn the power of thought and the power of love. We are reminded how dependent we've become on technology and just how much of our life's energy those electronic beasts may be draining away. And he introduces us to the opposite of Santa Claus and teaches us to be careful what we imagine....because it just might come true.These are cautionary matter how fantastic the story, Ellison is doing what he does best--writing about human nature in all of its terrible baseness and horrible possibility. But he also gives us humanity with all its hope and incredible glory. Just shy of the quality of Shatterday--I give it 4 1/2 stars.My favorites:"Darkness Upon the Face of the Deep""The Lingering Scent of Woodsmoke" "Go Toward the Light""Sensible City"This was first posted on my blog My Reader's Block. Please request permission before reposting. Thanks.

  • Kars
    2019-01-26 18:01

    Even when treading familiar ground, Ellison puts a twist on things so that you keep guessing. He pulls no punches and is always true to the genre: speculative fiction should ask "what if" questions and run with them as far as it can. That's what you'll get here, plus some enjoyable bits of autobiography which provide you with an inside view into one of the genre's most contentious authors.

  • Chris Duval
    2019-01-21 18:02

    This is an uneven collection that includes some very good stories, and an equally good description of the author's living through the Northridge [California, USA] earthquake. The more interesting stories are horror, and--while they might not meet E. Burke's criterion of 'sublime'--they are well told.

  • carla
    2019-02-12 15:57

    This took me about six months to read. Not because this was hard but because the language and imagery is so dense and after finishing each story, I felt a need to sit back and ponder what I had just read. Each word choice Ellison made is deliberate and careful, thus the lot of the reader to discern the intent and meaning is layered. There are several standout stories - too many to list.

  • Craig
    2019-01-22 13:11

    It's been over twenty years since this book appeared, which is the last collection of Ellison's uncollected new and recent stories. Tempus sure do keep fugiting, don't it? The centerpiece is Mefisto in Onyx, a novella originally published alone as a small-press offering, and many of the other pieces are short, lyrical mood works, some of which first appeared in Ellison's Dream Corridor comic. It's a strong collection, full of the emotion, angst, and feeling which made him so famous in the '60s, but with perhaps a bit more thought and polish. It's Ellison at the top of his form.

  • Trisha
    2019-02-16 17:59

    Twenty-one short stories from Harlan Ellison. There are a few 5-Star stories: Darkness Upon The Face Of The Deep, The Dreams A Nightmare Has, and especially the last one Midnight In The Sunken Cathedral. I didn't care for "She's A Young Thing And Cannot Leave Her Mother" at all. Be forewarned. The rest of the short stories I enjoyed the descriptive and creative storytelling in them.

  • Floyd Gantt
    2019-02-01 14:48

    23 or so shorts. Some show their age while others still hold up pretty well.

  • Rob
    2019-02-08 11:04

    I don't have much to say about Slippage. I had never (consciously) read any Harlan Ellison before and because of how celebrated the man's name is, I decided it was worth giving his werk a shot.Maybe Slippage just isn't one of his better collections. I'm certainly open to the possibility that I got the bad egg from the dozen, if you catch my meaning.This is not to say that there was nothing redeeming or at all enjoyable about this collection. "This Story Is Titled the Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore" had a fun little irreverent streak to it. And "Darkness Upon the Deep" was good (it was certainly readable) but it also felt like a warmed-over and slightly updated Lovecraft(†). Several stories came off this way to me -- as low-impact knock-offs from other writers. Or else as simply low-impact Twilight Zone-esque prose(‡). As I progressed through the pages, the short fiction got better but was best when it was shortest. Ultimately I decided to abandon the collection. Perhaps I'll come back to it later?But maybe I just walked into the whole mess a bit resentful when I mistook Ellison's introduction for the inceptive short fiction.---† = On that note, I found myself thinking about Ellison's reputation as mean-spirited and litigious and secretly wished the zombie Lovecraft would dig his way out of his Providence grave and go after punitive damages. Possibly as a literal pound of flesh.‡ = Yes, I am aware that Ellison has written rather extensively for The Twilight Zone.---TANGENTIAL ASIDE: Anyone have a clue as to what is up with the typeface and/or typesetter? All the periods seem clumsy and too large -- like "BOLD" was turned on for just the periods. But just the periods. The terminating punct for exclamation points and question marks wasn't that big. Did anyone else find this distracting?

  • Erica Hasselbach
    2019-02-11 11:05

    I had read about Ellison's writing style and wanted to check out his works, so I figured a collection of his short works would be perfect. That's why I bought Slippage. Since the book itself was a bunch of different stories (about 22, but "The Pale Silver Dollar of the Moon Pays Its Way and Makes Change" had two versions), it was hard to give an overall rating for the work. Obviously, I liked some stories more than others. I'm glad that I took the time to read his work though, since his characters are typically witty, sarcastic, and cynical (which I'm sure derives from Ellison himself, just read how his book intro was written.) Normally I love narrators and characters like this, but there was just something about Ellison's writing style I did not enjoy. Sometimes I felt he was unnecessarily wordy to the point where I wondered when he would stop talking about this disgusting cat the neighbors owned ("Anywhere but Here with Anyone but You"). The aspect I disliked most about his writing style though, was his use of adjectives. To describe something as metallic is fine, to continue on and go so far as to call it "diseased" gives the reader a clearly negative idea in their heads- perfect! But sometimes I felt that he overdescribed aspects and became repetitive, especially when he would use synonyms for his already wordily-used adjectives. Yet, like I said before, I'm glad I have the book. The stories were quick and a few were genuinely disturbing while still humorous.

  • J.C.
    2019-01-28 19:05

    I love magical realism, speculative fiction whatever you want to call it (anything grounded in reality but where anything can happen as well) so I really, really, really wanted to like Harlan Ellison. Overall his stories were good, but I can't say I fell in love with the guy.I'd give this book five stars for creativity, four stars for social commentary but only two stars for delivery. I can't stand an author is too smart for his own story/creativity and Harlan Ellison is right up there with the best of the worst. His paragraphs go on to long. He uses thesaurus inspired words for no reason than just to use them and show of his grammatical range. He peppers his stories with references to obscure historical, mythological and biblical citations like he has a library full of reference books and can't find any other use for them. I do have another collection by him at home which I will attempt to read someday because its possible that this book wasn't his best stuff. Or maybe its all the same and I just won't be able to jump on the band wagon.I will say that he is not a man I would like to sit down and have a beer with, that's for sure.

  • Bill
    2019-02-16 12:41

    Now that I've finally picked up Ellison's work, he's rapidly becoming a new favorite author. There are many startling ideas and blindsiding surprises in this collection. Again, each story has its own strength and appeal, but my list of favorites would include Darkness Upon the Face of the Deep, Crazy as a Soup Sandwich, The Lingering Scent of Woodsmoke (a short one, but a particular favorite), the totally brilliant (in my opinion) Go Toward the Light (it doesn't mean what you would think!), Mephisto in Onyx, an award-winning novella, Pulling Hard Time, She's a Young Thing and Cannot Leave Her Mother (which is extra creepy), and the achingly beautiful finale Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral. The volume alone of Ellison's work is most impressive, but the quality of his prose and the jaw-dropping imagination packed into all his stories are the real reason he's such a beloved and frequently awarded writer. I definitely look forward to continuing my perusal of his works.

  • J Simpson
    2019-01-27 10:59

    This is the first Harlan Ellison collection i read, and it started me on a mad rampage of speculative fiction addiction which i am still wallowing in to this day. I think the short story is an excellent format for weird fiction, because you don't have to develop ideas and characters for hundreds of pages. I call them 'vignettes' and it makes possible all manner of whimsy and inspiration and odd quirky moments. I don't particularly remember which stories are included in this collection, although Mephisto in Onyx does stand out to me as well, as mentioned in a previous review. I would recommend this to almost anybody that likes to read. It renewed my passion for literature and writing. It is strange, unsettling, and moving, and also a great deal of fun to read. Three thumbs up!!!

  • Matt Champagne
    2019-01-27 13:09

    Though overrated, I admire Ellison's rage. There's a huge chunk of this book that's about the battle with television censorship over one of his stories. At first, you take his side. Then you learn what it was he wanted to get approved and you're like: "Well, of COURSE no network is going to approve that!" I enjoyed the non-fiction stuff more. There's not a lot of that in here, but I liked reading that more. Appropriately, this book feels like "The Twilight Zone." The best thing about Harlan Ellison is this piece of creative advice for anyone who makes art: "Pay attention." He's probably not the first person to ever say it, but he's the most memorable.

  • Christopher
    2019-02-18 13:45

    Ellison is a master. Some of these stories are riveting, some are medium hot, but they're all Elison, which elevates them to a higher standard. The most peculiar selection is a screenplay for the Twilight Zone TV series from the 80s, "Crazy as a Soup Sandwich". Screenplays are sad things to read because they're just blueprints for the films they become. I can only assume that Ellison considers his screenplays to be rather eloquent, or at least masterfully imagined. I find his constant scene direction ponderous and difficult to chew through. But at the least the stories are worth the trip.

  • Matt Lewis
    2019-02-09 14:51

    These are the short stories of a veteran of his craft. Ellison starts the book with his cantankerous, autobiographical rumblings about his state of health and state of mind at (what he considers) the end of his career. The stories he's complied for this collection reflect a mature storyteller who can utilize a variety of perspectives, themes, & structures of varying gravity or levity. This book would be great for travel reading or lazy Sundays at home.

  • Tracey
    2019-01-29 13:00

    A good mix of Ellison stuff - not quite as brutal as some previous works, and while I enjoyed the intro, the biographical comments inbetween didn't do much for me. THe typographical tricks also got old rather quickly. It probably didn't help that I was finishing up Deathbird and Other Stories at about the same time.

  • Randolph Carter
    2019-02-12 15:01

    This is probably the best Ellison anthology I've ever read. There are many other that I have not so I may not be a good judge of the "best." The contents run the gamut from sci-fi to rant to pure horror with plenty of genre bending, as you would expect. The entire "Nackles" controversy is laid out from the original Donald Westlake story to Harlan's teleplay. I had forgotten how good Ellison could write straight horror.

  • Sherry
    2019-02-06 12:47

    Ellison is a master. There are so many great stories in this collection its breathtaking. "Mephisto in Onyx" is absolute perfection and its worth it to pick up the book just for this one story alone. A master at the very peak of his writing. Although I'm sure that has been said before, and I'm sure that Ellison will top it, he's just that good.

  • Jer
    2019-02-12 16:55

    I remember I liked it a bunch. I enjoyed the short essay at the beginning and especially the short "Mephisto in Onyx". I remember bits and pieces of the other stories... and, in general, was happy with the book. This was my introduction to Ellison.

  • Matt Champagne
    2019-02-07 13:49

    Love his attitude, but the story of the censorship he endured when attempting to get a certain racially-themed episode to air on "The Twilight Zone" is more engaging the episode itself. I like him best when he's writing about himself.

  • Piotr
    2019-02-16 17:48

    Not bad, not bad at all. What it lacks in coherence, it more than makes up for in imagination: Harlan has Gaiman's dream-sparkle wit and acumen of myth, making this collection of short stories very enjoyable. Be sure to check out the one on Anubis: very nicely done.

  • David Allen
    2019-02-18 12:10

    A late-period roar from Ellison, with "The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore" and "Mefisto in Onyx" ranking among his best.

  • Melissa
    2019-02-12 12:46


  • Chris Brimmer
    2019-02-09 16:47

    Ellison what else needs to be said.

  • Nathan
    2019-02-17 10:53

    My wife really liked this book, but I don't think it's his best work. Some of the stories are really good, but a lot just wander.

  • James Allder
    2019-01-28 18:11

    Loved ! That simple.

  • niko bates
    2019-02-01 16:41

    Much as he's an obtuse, arrogant, insufferable cock monkey, Harlan Ellison plays the short story like a fiddle. My all time favorite short of all time ever is in here, "Scartaris, June 28th".

  • Daniel Appleton
    2019-02-08 17:42

    Typical Ellison - Cautionary tales, & his razor - sharp wit make SLIPPAGE quite a read.I'll have to read my ( autographed ) copy again, & look for my other anthologies by HE.