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DanSchwent

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I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream - Harlan Ellison

In the interest of finally reading something written by Harlan Ellison and also to teach myself to better write short stories, I decided to take this short story collection on.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream: The title story of the collection is the tale of a mad AI computer that has been torturing the last five humans alive for untold centuries for its own amusement. This was a pretty chilling tale of a hellish future. I loved the surprising ending.

Big Sam was My Friend: This is the story of a teleporting interplanetary circus performer looking for his lost love. After the first tale, I was surprised to find it a somewhat sweet tale.

Eyes of Dust: In a world where physical beauty is the norm, the two flawed people have a kid together who is doomed from the start. Horrifying and not that far-fetched.

World of the Myth: A ship crashes on a far-off world and the three crew members encounter a hivemind of ant-like creatures. Horror ensues. This one was another chilling tale in which the worst horror comes from within.

Lonely Ache: A lady's man think's there's a monster living in his apartment. This was a dark tale and yet another horror story where the worst horror comes from inside.

Delusion for a Dragon Slayer: A guy gets hit with a wrecking ball and a lot of weird shit I had trouble sorting out happens. Not a fan of this story.

Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes: A down and out gambler finds a slot machine that keeps hitting the jackpot for him. This one reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode, complete with twist ending.

My first Harlan Ellison experience was a good one. Some of the stories seem like products of the time they were written, though, in regard to the way women and minorities were portrayed. Ellison sure knew how to weave a short story. Four out of five stars.