Approaching Oblivion: Road Signs on the Treadmill Toward Tomorrow
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Having read lots of Harlan Ellison's collections, I can honestly say that this one is not one of his best. You won't find any Hugo-award winners in here, folks. Of course, I've read LOTS of Harlan stories that DIDN'T win awards and were absolutely WONDERFUL. There is one such story in this collection that comes to mind--Erotophobia. Remember the opening scene of Austin Powers? Where he's being chased by all these women. That's the basic idea for that story. Absolutely hilarious. As for the rest of the stories in this book, I didn't find any that were Harlan at his worst. Even the story Catman, the longest and least enjoyable of the bunch had a little something to it. I wouldn't recommend that first time Harlan-readers start here, though. But for those of us that have read our Harlan, this is definitely worth getting.
had become microscopically crusted; Annie now spoke with a slur and sometimes-drawl. "I look about thirty now. They even fixed the prostate. I'm taller, and they lengthened the fingers on my sensor hand. I'm much faster at the console now, wider reach. But the work isn't any better." "Why don't you speak to the Designer about it, darling?" "That sententious lemming. I may be undertalented, but at least I don't try to sustain a miserable existence by deluding myself I'm creating great works of
would expect a Kadak to be when he couldn't stand being himself no more. Thank you oh so very greatly, Reb Jeshaia, for this looking mission. So I found the head Rock and I stood there in that valley, all surrounded by Rocks going slurp! and squish! and sucking up bug food. This was not the best part of my life I'm telling you about. "How do you do?" I figured it was the most polite way to talk to a rock. "How did you know I was the chief Slave?" the Rock said. "You had the longest tongue."
chopper, and He didn't want to think about things falling out of the sky, burning, sparking. Running, a full day and a night of running. There had been pain. Terrible pain. He moved his body slightly, and felt the raw throb across his back. A piece of the burning chopper must have caught him as he fled; but he had kept going. And now he was here, somewhere else. Where? Filtered light, down through cool waiting trees. He looked around the clearing. Shapes under blankets. Half a dozen, no,
turn around so you can." He let the seat turn him toward her. She was still remarkable. He wanted to see dust marks on her loveliness, product of treachery and floating ethics, but he knew she had not really been treacherous, and if there had been an ethical failure, it had been his. "May I sit?" "I'm going to be joining a party in a few minutes, but please..." He waved her to the seat beside him. She settled into it, crossing her legs. The chiton opened and revealed smooth thigh vanishing up
narrowed down, his jaw muscles tensed, he made a fist, let it relax, made it again. Ernie was unreliable, moved too fast. The sheenie was nervous. "If you'll wait just a minute, I'll check my order book. When was it you said you bought this merchandise?" "Don't give me any shit, kike, get my stuff out here on the double before I kick your guts out!" Kapp started to say something about the language being used, but Ernie needed no further provocation. He had enough for the investigation by the