Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Books read in 2014: No. 47 -- I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

by Harlan Ellison

Started: Sept. 23
Finished: Sept. 23

Notes: I'm pretty familiar with Ellison's screen work, but I've never read any of his prose fiction, so a good while back I picked up this piece over at Fictionwise before the site went belly up. This post-apocalyptic tale was originally published in 1967.

Mini review: In a post-apocalyptic world, a group of humans are kept prisoner by an AI computer gone mad. There are certain stories that have to be read either during their time, or during the right time for the reader. This was one such story for me, which is a shame. If I had read this tale during my teen years, I probably would have loved it, but as things stand, I wasn't all that impressed having read probably dozens of stories or novels or seen plenty of TV shows or movies with related material. That is not to say this was a bad story, because it is not, but that I would have been better served reading it far earlier in my life. Which is too bad. Over the years I've run across a number of stories and novels that have struck me this way, and I never blame it on the author but upon myself, since I should've been reading better material back in the day. But what ya gonna do?

5 comments:

Virginia Llorca said...

Yeah. The timing thing gets in the way. I was focused on SF many years ago and, pretty much all I recall is Surface Tension which might have been Asimov. I was crazy for his work. And it was just a story in a collection. I think the post-apocalypse thing can only have so much variance.

I wish I could follow your blog more because I like it, but that time thing. . .

Ty Johnston said...

Virginia, you're more than welcome to pop in and out whenever you please. :-)

Keith West said...

I've read quite a bit of Ellison, but I've only read this one once. Just didn't do a lot for me. I think I was in my late teens when I read it. I might go back and reread it to see if I have the same reaction.

Some of his other work I've really enjoyed, such as "Jeffty is Five", "One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty", and "All the Lies that are my Life". Come to think of it, those are all autobiographical stories.

And Virginia, James Blish wrote "Surface Tension".

Charles Gramlich said...

I love the title of this, which is one of my favorite titles ever. Can't say I remember much of the story. A lot of Ellison's work has been very relevant to the time in which it was written, but time moves on relentlessly.

Virginia Llorca said...

Thanks! Completely do not recall the name James Blish.