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 *                                                            *
 *         R E A D I N G    F O R    P L E A S U R E          *
 *                                                            *
 *                         Issue #3                           *
 *                                                            *
 *                         July 1989                          *
 *                                                            *
 *                                                            *
 *                 Editor: Cindy Bartorillo                   *
 *                                                            *
 *                                                            *
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CONTACT US AT:  Reading For Pleasure, c/o Cindy Bartorillo, 1819
Millstream Drive, Frederick, MD 21701; or on CompuServe leave a
message to 74766,1206; or on GEnie leave mail to C.BARTORILLO; or
call our BBS, the BAUDLINE II at 301-694-7108, 1200/2400 8N1.

NOTICE:  Reading For Pleasure is not copyrighted, but excerpts
from copyrighted material are contained within. When copying or
otherwise reproducing any part herein, please give appropriate
credit, whether it be to Shakespeare or Reading For Pleasure.

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                       TABLE OF CONTENTS

Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  77
What's News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
Good Reading Periodically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313
------------------------
Books About Books:
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Two-Bit Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357
Christopher Morley  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
Fiction Into Film: 84 Charing Cross Road  . . . . . . . . . 506
Assorted References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 569
Bibliomysteries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 672
------------------------
Received: DEEP QUARRY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 810
July Birthdays  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 876
Featured Author: Harlan Ellison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 960
Number One Fan  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1329
Trivia Quiz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Trivia Answers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1387


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CONTRIBUTIONS:  We're just ecstatic when we get contributions. Of
course we can't pay, but if you'd like to send us a paragraph or
two (or even an article), we'd be delighted. Any book-related
ideas or opinions are suitable. See masthead for addresses.


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Send books for review to Reading For Pleasure, c/o Cindy
Bartorillo, 1819 Millstream Drive, Frederick, MD 21701

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It is a writer's obligation to his craft to go to bed angry, and
to rise up angrier the next day. To fight for the words because,
at final moments, that's all a writer has to prove his right to
exist as a spokesman for his times.
 --Harlan Ellison, "Somehow, I Don't Think We're In Kansas, Toto"
             (STALKING THE NIGHTMARE)

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                           EDITORIAL

     It's one thing to like to read, but when you're obsessive
enough to like to read Books About Books, you're beyond all help.
Like me. Fortunately, we're not alone, and this month we take a
look at a few of the nice people who are feeding our addiction.
May you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it
together. Oh, yes, one other point...

     The big news this month is the print version of Reading For
Pleasure. We've been playing around with some desktop publishing
software and have managed to produce a rather nice printed copy
of this issue, which is being given out at The Little Shop of
Books here in Frederick, MD.

     If you'd like to get a copy of the print edition, just write
(see masthead for addresses) and tell us your name and address.
Copies will be distributed, free of charge, to the limits of our
bank balance. We appreciate your appreciation.

     Hope you find a lot of good reading in this issue, and a lot
of titles to add to your reading list. See you next month.

                            *-Cindy


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A beautifully designed book catalog, chock-full of good reading,
can be had from Cahill & Company, 950 North Shore Drive, Lake
Bluff, IL 60044. Fascinating selections for Readers, and also
good for gift giving.

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                          TRIVIA QUIZ

1. Christopher Morley founded a group dedicated to studying a
some mysteries from England. What was (is) the name of the group?
2. Harlan Ellison filed suit (and won) to get credit (and money)
for the original concept of what hit movie?
3. What was the first American novel to sell 1,000,000 copies?
4. Who said: "To be, or not to be"?
5. When Harlan Ellison feels his screenplay has been corrupted,
what pseudonym does he use in the screen credits?
6. Who was the boy who didn't want to grow up?
7. King Arthur was notable for, among other things, having a
sword that actually had a name. What was the sword's name?
8. Who wrote MEIN KAMPF?
9. Harlan Ellison has publicly admitted to one, and only one,
phobia. What is he afraid of?
10. The real-life adventures of Alexander Selkirk became what
classic novel?


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If you don't know about QPBC (Quality Paperback Book Club), you
certainly should. This is one fantastic club for Readers. Their
selections strike a wonderful middle ground between the Judith
Krantz-types of the Doubleday Bargain Book Club and the
pretentious Book-of-the-Month Club. QPBC simply has great taste
in books, and the blurbs in their monthly mailing are mouth-
watering. They manage to find the unusual; the book that is worth
your attention but that you've probably never heard of before.
One of my first purchases was AFTER THE FACT: The Art of
Historical Detection by James West Davidson and Mark Hamilton
Lytle. I'd never heard of this book, but the description just
sounded good, and it turned out to be one of the best books I'd
read all year. Since then QPBC has introduced me to many books I
would otherwise have missed. There are no negatives with this
company: the books are good-quality editions, the service is the
absolute best, and the prices are great. You'll find their ads in
a lot of the better magazines, and if you're in the market for a
book club, you can't do better than QPBC.


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Let us know if you have a copy of THE QUEST FOR THE WHITE DUCK by
Lionel Fenn that you'd be willing to sell.

Have a particular book that you're looking to buy? Let us list it
here, along with your name and address.

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                          WHAT'S NEWS

* The latest word I've gotten is that the elusive unexpurgated
version of Stephen King's THE STAND is due "sometime next year"
from Doubleday. You see, this book was published back when SK
still had to listen to editors, and they "edited" a significant
portion of his book right out. Now he's got the clout to have the
thing published in the original author-intended form, so that's
what we're gonna get.

* I just heard about The 1989 Australian SF Achievement Awards.
Best International Fiction: SEVENTH SON by Orson Scott Card;
Australian Long Fiction: STRIPED HOLES by Damien Broderick;
Australian Short Fiction: "My Lady Tongue" by Lucy Sussex;
Fanzine: GET STUFFED edited by Jacob Blake; Fan Writer: Bruce
Gillespie; Fan Artist: Ian Gunn; William Atheling Award: Russell
Blackford (for articles in Australian SF Review).

* The latest SATANIC VERSES story: A French magazine, L'Idiot
International, wanted to distribute a copy of the book with their
next issue, so they printed up 50,000 copies. This was very
disturbing to Christian Bourgois, the publisher who holds the
French rights to the novel, who complained and got the 50,000
volumes confiscated.

* Bob Hope, along with coauthor Melville Shavelson (who wrote for
Hope on radio), has signed a seven-figure deal for the hard/soft
rights with Putnam/Berkley for BOB HOPE'S COMEDY HISTORY OF THE
UNITED STATES.

* Reviews have been just great for THE LODESTAR by Pamela Belle.
This is a novel about Richard III, set against the backdrop of
the Wars of the Roses (whose reputation for dullness is totally
undeserved). This book should appeal to Historical fans, Richard
III fanatics (Ms. Belle is pro-Richard), as well as bringing in
readers from outside the genre who simply like good fiction. Due
out this month ($19.95) from St. Martin's.

* In case you've forgotten, Martin Cruz Smith's sequel to GORKY
PARK comes out this month from Random House. It's $19.95 and it's
called POLAR STAR. Publisher's Weekly says it's "mesmerizing, the
work of a hugely gifted writer". It'll be out in paperback
eventually, of course, and $19.95 is a lot of money, but this one
is going to be tough to pass up this month.

* The World Fantasy Convention, held every year during the last
weekend of October, will be at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in
Seattle this year. Guests will be Ursula K. LeGuin, S.P. Somtow,
Robert R. McCammon, and Avram Davidson. Toastmaster will be
Ginjer Buchanan. The convention address is Box 31815, Seattle, WA
98103.

* Who got to the North Pole first: Robert Peary or Frederick
Cook? Did either of them EVER get to the North Pole? If you've
been following the controversy in the last few years you might
want to read Wally Herbert's THE NOOSE OF LAURELS: Robert E.
Peary and the Race to the North Pole (this month, $24.95 from
Atheneum).

* The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction has got a big 40th
anniversary issue coming us with over 200 pages, and new stories
by Disch, Ballard, Silverberg, Wolfe, Aldiss, Shepard, Malzberg,
Kim Stanley Robinson, Benford, Budrys, Pohl, and others.
Publication date is August 29.

* Novelist Robert B. Parker and his wife, Joan Parker, paid $1 to
Stephen King for nonexclusive dramatic rights to RAGE, his short
novel published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. They turned
it into a play which was to have its premiere in Gloucester, MA,
in early March.

* A book you might want to check out is JOURNEY INTO SPACE: The
First Three Decades of Space Exploration by Bruce Murray, the
former head of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I've heard that the
book tells a dramatic story of the exhilaration of the early
days, followed by the frustrating descent that ended with the
Challenger disaster. It seems that Murray blames NASA for a great
deal, and he has very definite ideas about where to go from here.
Sounds like good reading for space exploration enthusiasts. Out
this month for $19.95 from Norton.

* You may recall the news item in RFP about a horror anthology
being put together by Thomas F. Monteleone (called BORDERLANDS).
I wrote to him asking when he expected publication (including an
SASE, of course), and received a form letter reply that said:
"Please do me and yourself a favor and re-read my market listing/
announcement in Scavengers, Locus, SF Chronicle, or the upcoming
HWA Newsletter. I think it's quite clear that BORDERLANDS is an
anthology (that is, a book), and therefore not a magazine. Hence,
there are no 'sample issues,' okay." Mr. Monteleone must be
working too hard.

Therefore, in a fit of pique I won't mention that his new book
FANTASMA has been published by Tor for $3.95, and I certainly
won't mention that he's a wonderful writer that deserves a wider
audience.

* Remember those four new books Stephen King sold the U.S.
hardcover and paperback backs rights to (to Viking/NAL) for
around $36 million? Well, I bet you forgot about book club
rights, but luckily SK didn't -- they went to Book-of-the-Month
Club for around $5 million.

* The SF Poetry Association has given out the 1988 Rhysling
Awards, as follows: Long Poem: "White Trains" by Lucius Shepard;
Short Poem: "Rocky Road to Hoe" by Suzette Haden Elgin tied with
"The Nightmare Collector" by Bruce Boston. Membership in the SF
Poetry Association is $8 a year from 2012 Pyle Road, Schenectady,
NY 12303.

* Edward Abbey, author of THE MONKEY WRENCH GANG and THE BRAVE
COWBOY (the book from which the movie LONELY ARE THE BRAVE was
made), died March 14 at his home in Oracle, Arizona at the age of
62.

* In case you missed it, Donald Westlake had a story in the May
issue of Playboy Magazine called "Starship Hopeful: Here's
Looking at You". I haven't had time to read it yet, but thought
you might want to know. By the way, Westlake wrote the screenplay
to a terrific non-supernatural horror movie called THE
STEPFATHER. You really should see it; literate horror is rare.

* Little, Brown will soon be publishing a book called THE
PESSIMIST'S JOURNAL OF VERY, VERY BAD DAYS by Jess Brallier &
Richard McDonough. In keeping with the tone of the book, the
authors expect THE PESSIMIST'S JOURNAL to bomb. Further, they
expect "printing problems, binding problems, shipping problems,
returns higher than sales, lawsuits and a general loss of
standing in the community." Little, Brown is "planning Pessimist
Dozen pre-packs of 11 copies, a large first printing, promotion
to the trade and a 'Have a Bad Day' point-of-sale display."


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What I'm telling you is that the bookseller is a public servant.
He ought to be pensioned by the state.
          --Christopher Morley, THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP

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                See a mistake? Please let us know.

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                    GOOD READING PERIODICALLY

INSIDE BOOKS is rather like PEOPLE magazine for readers. The
pages are slick and so is the writing. There are lots of pictures
and the paragraphs are short. The up side is that there is a lot
of good information presented in a easily consumable style and
format. Let's face it, we don't want to read THE AMERICAN SCHOLAR
all the time. Sometimes superficial is just right.

Take, for instance, the author interviews. They're short,
shallow, and usually manage to bring out a few intriguing facts
about the author or the author's recent book. That's their job,
you know -- selling books (that's why the publishers and author
play ball with them). But if the material is interesting, why
should we care? And, in fact, the writing in INSIDE BOOKS
occasionally sparkles. The May issue called Douglas Adams
(HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, etc.) "hideously rich", which
I think is a lovely way to express the idea.

INSIDE BOOKS is $2.50 per monthly issue, or $19.95 for one year's
subscription, $35.95 for two years. Call 305-759-5500 or write
INSIDE BOOKS, P.O. Box 370773, Miami, FL 33137. Or just get an
issue at the newsstand and use one of the 36 subscription blow-in
cards that almost all magazines use nowadays.

If you send $9.95 to PAPERBACK PREVIEWS, P.O. Box 8368,
Albuquerque, NM 87198, they'll send you one year of their monthly
newspaper. Each issue contains a list of, I believe, ALL of the
paperback releases for that month. Each listing (except for the
numbered romances) has a good-sized blurb about the plot to help
you make informed decisions. You can order any book listed, but
they don't twist your arm. It's perfectly OK to simply pay your
$9.95 each year for PAPERBACK PREVIEWS and never order a thing,
as we do. This is a great source of information for paperback
people.

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Amateur Writers: We are soliciting short fiction and poetry for a
first Reading For Pleasure Anthology. No pay, but your words will
travel coast to coast.

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          TWO-BIT CULTURE: The Paperbacking of America
                      by Kenneth C. Davis
                   (Houghton Mifflin, 1984)

     This is a wonderful 400-page read, full of drama, pathos,
and not a little humor. As I mentioned somewhere in the last
issue, the paperback has significantly changed reading. Now we
can have literature, of any sort we like, right in our pocket,
carrying our happiness around with us. Now here's TWO-BIT CULTURE
to explain just how this revolution happened.

     Contained within are the stories of the major publishing
houses as well as those of the people behind them. What reader
could resist this trip down memory lane? Remember Dr. Spock?
Remember Grace Metalious? Mr. Davis also gives attention to "The
Great Contradiction" -- meaning his title. You see, the unwashed
masses don't want, wouldn't know what to do with, culture. What's
the point of putting good literature into an affordable format
when all the public wants is garbage? Isn't, therefore, anything
published in paperback by definition garbage? If you're over 30,
you know this song by heart. Since you're still a reader, you've
obviously matured enough to know that good literature DOES sell
(or should I say CAN sell) and that good is good no matter what
package it comes in. Cover art is also discussed, with numerous
full-page black and white reproductions of old paperback covers.

     One more thing. In the back of the book is a list that Mr.
Davis calls "Fifty Paperbacks that Changed America". Actually
there are 50 in the main list with 35 Honorable Mentions.
Together, these books would make an excellent education in Modern
Western Civilization, a superb reading list for anyone who wants
to know how we got where we are today. I can heartily recommend
TWO-BIT CULTURE, a good tale well-told. 


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Send conventional mail to: Reading For Pleasure, c/o Cindy
Bartorillo, 1819 Millstream Drive, Frederick, MD 21701

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JAMES THURBER: Even when old and blind he stuck to his habits.

  He had an affair with a NEW YORKER secretary, but his blindness
  made for tactical problems. He had to rely on one of the
  magazine's office boys to lead him about; as his run of bad
  luck would have it, the office boy assigned to him was
  eighteen-year-old Truman Capote. "I worked as a boy in the Art
  Department then," Capote recalled, "and one of my jobs was to
  take Thurber to his girlfriend's apartment. She was as ugly as
  sin, so it served him right. I would have to wait for him at
  the apartment till he was finished, and then I'd dress him. He
  could undress by himself but he couldn't dress by himself,
  couldn't even cross the street by himself. Now since Helen
  Thurber would dress him in the morning, she knew how he looked.
  Well, one time I put his socks on the wrong side out, and when
  he got home, I gather Helen asked him a lot of questions. The
  next day, Thurber was furious at me--he said I did it on
  purpose..."
               --Burton Bernstein, THURBER, 1975

(This is an excerpt from THE OXFORD BOOK OF AMERICAN LITERARY
ANECDOTES edited by Donald Hall, Oxford University Press, 1981)

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           PARNASSUS ON WHEELS and THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP

                      by Christopher Morley


     Real bibliophiles are rare, which makes Christopher Morley a
name you should know. In his PARNASSUS ON WHEELS and THE HAUNTED
BOOKSHOP you can spend some time with Roger Mifflin, probably a
not-very-well-disguised version of Christopher Morley himself, a
man who knows all about the love of literature. In the first
book, published in 1917, Roger Mifflin meets Helen McGill when he
sells her his used-book-store-on-wheels that he calls Parnassus.
You needn't head for the dictionary: a Parnassus is a center of
poetic or artistic activity. At the end of the story they marry.

     In THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP Roger and Helen have retired
Parnassus and are the proprietors of a more conventional
bookstore in Brooklyn, haunted, as the title says, by the ghosts
of great literature. The story takes place in 1918, shortly after
the end of World War I, which figures prominently in the plot.
The best parts of this volume are, once again, the pages where
Roger Miflin holds forth on his relationship with books and
bookselling.

     Both books are gentle stories, reminders of a day long gone.
The Mifflin's traveling Parnassus is, after all, drawn by a
horse, not horsepower; and at one point in THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP,
Roger places a long distance call from Philadelphia to Brooklyn
and must wait 25 minutes to get a connection. Yes, 1918 was a
very long time ago, when life was lived at a slower pace and
there was time for the enjoyment of literature. Nowadays reading
time can be difficult to come by.

     Christopher Morley was an obvious candidate for discoursing
on, as he calls it, "the delights of bookishness". He was born in
Pennsylvania and studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He was
one of the founders of The Saturday Review of Literature and an
expert on Sherlock Holmes. And, even though he wrote over fifty
books, he is best remembered today for only two: THUNDER ON THE
LEFT (1925) and KITTY FOYLE (1939); and if you don't remember
even those two you're in good company. The two Mifflin novels,
from his early period, are unjustly forgotten.

     Morley sprinkles literary allusions throughout his stories,
as well as direct quotations from all kinds of literature, so
he's a real education in what was considered significant in the
early years of this century. I've been wondering if Roger Mifflin
was any relation to Houghton Mifflin. You'll also learn a few new
words if you keep an open mind, like librocubicularist (one who
reads in bed).

     Both of these books are out of print, so you'll have to
haunt the used-book stores for them, but then that's the way
Roger Mifflin would have wanted it.


"Common sense?" he repeated. "Good Lord, ma'am, sense is the most
uncommon thing in the world."
          --PARNASSUS ON WHEELS

Talkers never write. They go on talking.
          --PARNASSUS ON WHEELS

I have always suffered from the feeling that it's better to read
a good book than to write a poor one...
          --PARNASSUS ON WHEELS

It's a good thing to turn your mind upside down now and then,
like an hour-glass, to let the particles run the other way.
          --from THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP


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I genuinely love writing. I consider myself one of the most
blessed persons I know: I'm doing just what I want to do, just
what all my good and bad karma got stored up for me to do.
          --Harlan Ellison, STRANGE WINE

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FICTION INTO FILM:

                     84, CHARING CROSS ROAD
                        by Helene Hanff
                     (that's hel-LAIN HANF)

     This is just a small collection of letters. That's all.
Letters between Helene Hanff and the staff of Marks & Co.,
Antiquarian Booksellers (in London), from 1949 when Miss Hanff
saw their ad in the Saturday Review of Literature (see also the
article on Christopher Morley, elsewhere in this issue) to 1969.

     Miss Hanff was a TV screenwriter with a taste for old books
and the reasonably rare ability to project her personality into a
letter. The story that emerges from her correspondence with Frank
Doel (DOH-el) and his family and the staff of the bookstore,
it's, well, I'm afraid I'm going to have to say -- heartwarming.

     Nowadays, of course, if you wrote to a bookstore, it would
probably be a chain store and you'd get a computer-generated
response that began "Dear Sir or Madam". That's if they responded
at all. No, times have changed, and Miss Hanff's book is our last
chance to share in a transcontinental friendship built upon the
love of good literature. Don't miss it.

     The movie is another matter. It's kind of like going to a
Broadway theater to have someone sit on the stage and read to
you. Very nice, but you wonder why you didn't stay home and read
the book yourself. Not that it can't be well done, it just seems
unnecesary. 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD, The Movie, IS a nice movie,
competently bringing out the sentimental story at the core of the
letters.

     Anne Bancroft plays Helene Hanff, and does a terrific job.
She's almost exactly the woman I knew in the letters. Maybe her
voice was a bit more New York than I'd imagined and maybe she was
about 40% better looking than I'd pictured, but both of those are
pleasant changes (Changes from what I'd imagined, you understand;
I don't know what Miss Hanff was really like.).

     If there's any real excuse for the movie, it's Anthony
Hopkins' portrayal of Frank Doel, because his personality isn't
fully revealed in the letters. And the addition of a
3-dimensional Frank Doel changes the story somewhat. The look on
his face when he reads that Miss Hanff must pay for dental work
with her trip-to-England money -- I hadn't imagined that at all.
Also, the movie may be the first time you hear the name Pepys
(the guy with the diary) pronounced properly (it's PEEPS). 

     GONE WITH THE WIND it's not, but if you loved the letters as
much as I did, 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD, The Movie, will be a very
pleasant two hours.


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When you sell a man a book you don't sell him just twelve ounces
of paper and ink and glue -- you sell him a whole new life.
          --Christopher Morley, PARNASSUS ON WHEELS

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                       ASSORTED REFERENCES

Here are fifteen books to consider for your reference shelf.
They'll fill in those gaps in your education and give you a
lifetime's worth of reading ideas. They're also great for
browsing.

FANTASY: THE 100 BEST BOOKS by James Cawthorn & Michael Moorcock
(1988) -- One hundred short essays on significant fantastical
works of fiction, ranging from 1726 to 1987. First-rate.

CRIME & MYSTERY: THE 100 BEST BOOKS by H.R.F. Keating (1987) --
Short essays on each of the 100 selections, all written by
Keating. This makes for a coherent volume, but is limited by
being one man's point of view. Many would argue with his
selections, but he justifies them admirably.

HORROR: 100 BEST BOOKS edited by Stephen Jones & Kim Newman
(1988) -- Each contributing writer (I believe there are fully
100) contributed a short essay on one significant work of horror,
making for a varied and interesting collection.

SCIENCE FICTION: THE 100 BEST NOVELS by David Pringle (1985) --
Another single-viewpoint selection limited to SF from 1949 to
1984, but excellent even with its limitations.

GOOD READING: A Guide for Serious Readers, edited by J. Sherwood
Weber (1978) -- The best handbook for the self-educated. Small,
easy-to-digest bits on all the great classical and academically-
approved modern literature, all sensibly arranged.

MURDER INK / MURDERESS INK both perpetrated by Dilys Winn --
These are for mystery lovers; large collections of articles
ranging from serious coverage of a tangential topic to humor to
trivia. Both are rather short on hard information, particularly
considering their size, but they're fun reading for the mystery
buff.

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYSTERY & DETECTION by Christ Steinbrunner & Otto
Penzler (1976) -- It's now out of date, but for pre-1976 stuff,
this is THE mystery reference volume. Covers the authors, the
books, the sleuths, movies, TV, everything.

GOOD BOOKS: A Book Lover's Companion by Steven Gilbar (1982) --
What a splendid idea! Oodles of books, all arranged by subject.
Decide what you're in the mood for (say, a book about Missouri),
then look up a few titles, each with a two- or three-sentence
description. Absolute best browsing book ever.

HOW TO READ A BOOK by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
(1972) -- First published in 1940, this is an absorbing book for
the serious reader. The approach to literature is an old-
fashioned academic one, but the ideas are sound; and both authors
are fascinating to listen to (or read) when they get on the
subject of reading. Apt to be of most help to you with
nonfiction.

BENET'S READER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA (1987) -- This is the one big all-
around reference to have. Covers terms and famous characters as
well as authors and titles. You don't have to know everything as
long as you've got your Benet's nearby.

VICTORIAN LIFE AND VICTORIAN FICTION by Jo McMurtry (1979) --
Everything you've ever needed to know to read Victorian fiction.
How much is a shilling? What does it mean to be high church? When
do you call someone Lord and when do you call them Sir? Every-
thing that the contemporary reader was expected to know, and
therefore isn't explained in the text. All in readable prose (no,
really!). This book fills a genuine need.

THE PENGUIN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HORROR AND THE SUPERNATURAL edited by
Jack Sullivan (1986) -- This is a beautiful volume covering all
aspects of the horror field (I particularly liked the pieces on
horror music). The coverage is opinionated, but full of good
information and reading ideas.

STEPHEN KING: THE ART OF DARKNESS by Douglas E. Winter (updated
regularly) -- Yes, I know that the field of Stephen King
scholarship is overcrowded, but if you stick to books and essays
written by Mr. Winter, you can't go wrong. He is the foremost
expert on Stephen King, and is one of the most literate and
insightful writers on any aspect of horror fiction.

STEPHEN KING'S DANSE MACABRE (1981) -- Stephen King tells us all
about horror; the books, the movies, the radio, the TV, the
comics, etc. This is, typically, more like conversation than
lecturing. Mr. King is simply one of the most charming writers of
our time, and this is an enormously enjoyable volume.


                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

You see, it's like this. I'm a writer. That's not just what I DO,
it's what I AM.
       --Harlan Ellison, THE GLASS TEAT (16 May 69)

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

Like Reading For Pleasure? Let us know. We shamelessly solicit
all compliments.

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

MYSTERY DEPARTMENT:

                        BIBLIOMYSTERIES

     In keeping with our theme, here is a list of mysteries with
a particularly bookish setting. Just a small list to get you
started -- Bibliomysteries is a popular sub-genre and there are
many, many more.

Asimov, Isaac            MURDER AT THE ABA
Barnard, Robert          THE CASE OF THE MISSING BRONTE
                         DEATH OF A LITERARY WIDOW
                         DEATH OF A MYSTERY WRITER
Beck, Charlton           DEATH BY CLUE
Bell, Josephine          TREACHERY IN TYPE
Berckman, Evelyn         THE HOVERING DARKNESS
Blackburn, John          BOUND TO KILL
Blake, Nicholas          END OF A CHAPTER
Block, Lawrence          THE BURGLAR WHO LIKED TO QUOTE KIPLING
Boucher, Anthony         THE CASE OF THE BAKER STREET IRREGULARS
Boyd, Marion             MURDER IN THE STACKS
Breen, Jon L.            THE GATHERING PLACE
Bristow & Manning        THE GUTTENBERG MURDERS
Campbell, R.T.           BODIES IN A BOOKSHOP
Candy, Edward            WORDS FOR MURDER, PERHAPS
Carr, John Dickson       THE DEAD MAN'S KNOCK
Clarke, Anna             LAST JUDGMENT
                         PLOT COUNTER PLOT
                         THIS DOWNHILL PATH
Collins, Max Alan        KILL YOUR DARLINGS
Cross, Amanda            many titles
Daly, Elizabeth          MURDERS IN VOLUME 2
                         NOTHING CAN RESCUE ME
                         NIGHT WALK
DeCaire, Edwin           DEATH AMONG THE WRITERS
Delving, Michael         SMILING, THE BOY FELL DEAD
Dewey, Thomas B.         DRAW THE CURTAIN CLOSE
Dickinson, Peter         HINDSIGHT
Dutton, Charles J.       MURDER IN A LIBRARY
Dwight, Olivia           CLOSE HIS EYES
Eustis, Helen            THE HORIZONTAL MAN
Ferrars, E.X.            BREATH OF SUSPENSE
Fisher, David E.         KATIE'S TERROR
Forrest, Norman          DEATH TOOK A PUBLISHER
Fraser, Antonia          A SPLASH OF RED
Goodrum, Charles A.      DEWEY DECIMATED
Goulart, Ron             A GRAVEYARD OF MY OWN
Grierson, Edward         A CRIME OF ONE'S OWN
Hansen, Joseph           DEATH CLAIMS
Harriss, Will            THE BAY PSALM BOOK MURDER
Hoch, Edward D.          THE SHATTERED RAVEN
Innes, Michael           THE LONG FAREWELL
                         THE PAPER THUNDERBOLT
James, P.D.              Unnatural Causes
Keeler, Harry S.         THE GREEN JADE HAND
Kenney, Susan            several titles
Kyd, Thomas              COVER HIS FACE
Langton, Jane            THE TRANSCENDENTAL MURDER
Lemarchand, Elizabeth    STEP IN THE DARK
Lewis, Roy Harley        many titles
Lockridge, F & R         MURDER WITHIN MURDER
Lupoff, Richard          THE COMIC BOOK KILLER
Magoon, Carey            I SMELL THE DEVIL
Masur, Harold Q.         SEND ANOTHER HEARSE
McCloy, Helen            TWO-THIRDS OF A GHOST
McIver, N.J.             COME BACK, ALICE SMYTHEREENE!
Monteilhet, Hubert       MURDER AT THE FRANKFURT BOOK FAIR
Morley, Christopher      THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP
Muller & Pronzini        CHAPTER AND HEARSE
Nash, Simon              UNHALLOWED MURDER
Nelson, Hugh Lawrence    THE TITLE IS MURDER
Page, Marco              FAST COMPANY
Papazoglou, Orania       SWEET, SAVAGE DEATH  <--- about romance
                         WICKED, LOVING MURDER <-- writers
Parker, Robert B.        THE GODWULF MANUSCRIPT
                         LOOKING FOR RACHEL WALLACE
Patterson, Richard N.    ESCAPE THE NIGHT
Peters, Elizabeth        DIE FOR LOVE
                         THE MURDERS OF RICHARD III
Potts, Jean              DEATH OF A STRAY CAT
Purtill, Richard         MURDERCON
Quentin, Patrick         MY SON THE MURDERER
Rhode, John              DEATH OF AN AUTHOR
Robinson, Robert         LANDSCAPE WITH DEAD DONS
Ross, Barnaby            DRURY LANE'S LAST CASE
Sharp, David             I, THE CRIMINAL
Sims, George             SLEEP NO MORE
Stone, Hampton           THE FUNNIEST KILLER IN TOWN
Stout, Rex               PLOT IT YOURSELF
                         MURDER BY THE BOOK
                         AND BE A VILLAIN
Strong, L.A.G.           ALL FALL DOWN
Sutton, Henry            THE SACRIFICE
Symons, Julian           THE COLOR OF MURDER
Taylor, Andrew           CAROLINE MINISCULE
Tilton, Alice            BEGINNING WITH A BASH
Valin, Jonathan          FINAL NOTICE
Wells, Carolyn           MURDER IN THE BOOKSHOP
Wiltz, Chris             THE KILLING CIRCLE


                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

A Parody by Mary Ann Madden

Judith Krantz's
MY FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL

April Rane shuddered into the clinging Pucci and turned to
appraise herself in the full length mirror. "Perfect," she
thought, "the body of a twenty-year old." She held the large gold
hoops to her ears. "Too much," she decided. No sense diverting
attention from the sleek chestnut hair caressing her shoulders.
Once more she twirled before the mirror--a flick of mascara--and
smiled at her reflection. April tiptoed across the bedroom (Brick
was still asleep), picked up her pencil box, and with a soft
click the door closed upon summer. "P.S. 501 look out," she
breathed, "here comes April Rane."

(This is an excerpt from LITERATURE IN BRIEFS: Great Writers
Indecently Exposed edited by William Zaranka, illustrated by Dave
Werner, Apple-wood Books, 1983)


                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

Wish List: Tell us what book, or type of book, you'd most like to
get for Christmas.

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The world has been printing books for 450 years, and yet
gunpowder still has a wider circulation. Never mind! Printer's
ink is the greater explosive: it will win.
          --Christopher Morley, THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

RECEIVED:

                         DEEP QUARRY
                       by John E. Stith

     I knew the day was improving when the mailman gave me a book
(I love that). Better still, it was an SF Mystery, and you know
how rare those are. They're rare, of course, because they're
difficult. Isaac Asimov explained it somewhere far better than I
could, but it's got to do with possibilities. As Sherlock Holmes
said, once you've eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no
matter how improbable, must be true. Trouble is, in SF the author
monkeys around with what's possible, making most SF Mysteries
what mystery fans call "unfair".

     The only thing to do is what John E. Stith has done: avoid
the 1930s puzzle mystery and go for a mystery of characterization
and plot. It's like this: Ben "Bug Eye" Takent is a private
investigator on the planet Tankur, where one side of the planet
faces the sun all the time, making for a hot, dusty city. While
waiting for the heat exchanger repair people to show up, he takes
the case of Kate Dunlet, an archaeologist who's been losing
artifacts from a high-security dig. Ben knows two things about
Ms. Dunlet immediately: she's beautiful and she's lying.

     One aspect of this novel that particularly impressed me was
the unobtrusive use of exposition. An author of realistic fiction
doesn't have to explain things like what houses look like or how
normal people dress. It's assumed that you know that stuff. But
the author of any type of fantasy must explain a great deal. This
adds an enormous load of exposition, and exposition has the
unfortunate characteristic of being frequently boring. It can
also sound darned awkward when you have to stop and explain that
the three noses on that guy is the way his race is supposed to
look because he's from the planet Whatever....etc.

     Anyway, what I started to say 15 minutes ago was that the
expository portions of DEEP QUARRY are sprinkled in small bits
throughout the story, never leaving you in any great confusion,
but never boring your either. Very nicely done.

     The problem here is, you're going to have to move quick on
this book. It was a February 1989 paperback release from Ace, and
paperbacks have a habit of not being available for too long. So
see your bookseller Real Soon Now, and you too can read all about
Bug Eye Takent, Private Defective (no, that's not a typo).

     By the way, DEEP QUARRY is also educational. Have you always
wanted to know what a non sequitur is? Turn to page 46 and read
along with me: "I think the rain in Tripoli is tighter than a
dozen hamsters." THAT's a non sequitur.


                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

I like my writing to be a little like a good roller coaster ride.
You get on it for the thrill, expecting to be deposited safely
back where you came from. Writing a negative book, where petty
crime or fate overcome the protagonist is a little like coming
back into the station only to find they've removed the rails for
the last fifty feet.
         --John E. Stith (author of DEEP QUARRY)


                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                         JULY BIRTHDAYS
                    AND OTHER IMPORTANT DATES

01 1804 George Sand, French writer
01 1892 James M. Cain, American novelist
02 1877 Hermann Hesse, German/Swiss novelist and poet
02 1961 Ernest Hemingway committed suicide with a shotgun
03 1883 Franz Kafka, Austrian novelist
03 1906 Francis Steegmuller, American writer
03 1937 Tom Stoppard, British dramatist
04 1804 Nathaniel Hawthorne, American writer
04 1845 Thoreau moves into his shack on Walden Pond
04 1905 Lionel Trilling, American literary critic
04 1918 Ann Landers, American columnist
04 1927 Neil Simon, American dramatist
05 1889 Jean Cocteau, French writer, artist, film maker
06 1866 Beatrix Potter, English writer and illustrator
07 1907 Robert Heinlein, American SF writer
09 1764 Ann Radcliffe, English writer
10 1867 Finley Peter Dunne, American journalist and humorist who
        created Mr. Dooley
10 1871 Marcel Proust, French novelist
10 1915 Saul Bellow, American novelist
11 1754 Thomas Bowdler, self-appointed literary censor
11 1899 E.B. White, American humorist and essayist
12 1817 Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, naturalist, poet
12 1895 Buckminster Fuller, U.S. engineer, architect,
        philosopher, author, invented the geodesic dome
12 1904 Pablo Neruda, Chilean poet
13 1793 Jean-Paul Marat assassinated by Charlotte Corday
13 1865 Horace Greeley advises his readers to "Go west".
13 1894 Isaak Babel, Russian short-story writer and dramatist
13 1934 Wole Soyinka, Nigerian dramatist
14 1869 Owen Wister, American writer
14 1895 F.R. Leavis, British literary critic
14 1903 Irving Stone, American writer
14 1904 Isaac Bashevis Singer, Polish/American novelist
14 1918 Arthur Laurents, playwright; New York City
15 1779 Clement Moore, who wrote "A Visit From St. Nicholas"
15 1796 Thomas Bulfinch, American writer and teacher
15 1919 Iris Murdoch, British novelist and philosopher
17 1889 Erle Stanley Gardner, American detective-story writer
17 1902 Christina Stead, Australian novelist
18 1811 William Makepeace Thackeray, English novelist
18 1906 Clifford Odets, American dramatist
18 1933 Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Soviet poet
19 1893 Vladimir Mayakovsky, Russian poet
19 1896 A.J. Cronin, Scottish novelist and physician
20 1304 Petrarch, Italian poet and scholar
20 1924 Thomas Berger, American novelist
21 1898 Ernest Hemingway, American novelist
21 1899 Hart Crane, American poet
21 1933 John Gardner, American novelist and medievalist
22 1844 Rev. William Archibald Spooner, invented 'spoonerisms'
22 1849 Emma Lazarus, American poet
22 1898 Stephen Vincent Benét, American writer
23 1888 Raymond Chandler, American detective-story writer
24 1802 Alexandre Dumas, pŐre, French novelist and dramatist
24 1842 Ambrose Bierce, American writer
24 1878 Lord Dunsany, Irish dramatist and poet
24 1895 Robert Graves, British poet
25 1905 Elias Canetti, Bulgarian/British novelist and essayist
26 1856 George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist and critic
26 1892 Pearl S. Buck, American novelist
26 1894 Aldous Huxley, British writer
27 1824 Alexandre Dumas, fils, French dramatist
27 1870 Hilaire Belloc, French/British writer
28 1844 Gerard Manley Hopkins, British poet
28 1909 Malcolm Lowry, British novelist, poet, essayist
29 1805 Count Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian
29 1869 Booth Tarkington, American novelist and dramatist
30 1818 Emily Brontë, English novelist
30 1857 Thorstein Veblen, American economist, wrote THE THEORY OF
        THE LEISURE CLASS (1899)


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People need books, but they don't know they need them. Generally
they are not aware that the books they need are in existence.
          --Christopher Morley, THE HAUNTED BOOKSHOP

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

FEATURED AUTHOR:

                         HARLAN ELLISON
                 (hereinafter referred to as HE)

     HE was born in 1934 and is an essayist, a screenwriter,
and a prolific short-story writer; and has won more awards than
any other science fiction writer. So much for the Who's Who.
     
     Read enough HE (and can anyone ever REALLY read enough HE?)
and you'll find out more about writing, from the inside, than you
ever expected to know. About screenwriting. About TV. About the
SFWA. About being on a talk show. HE sees all, feels all, and
tells all. That makes a mighty hard life for him, but it makes
terrific reading for us.

     The problem with analyzing HE through his writing is that
he's such a magician with words. So manipulative. When you see
the shadow of the author in the story, as you ALWAYS do in HE's
work, you wonder if that is the actual shadow of HE, or only the
dummy shadow he's allowed us to see? We'll probably never know.

     He's one of the most controversial people on this planet;
his writing is never boring. That's a guarantee. Beyond this I'm
going to give you the supreme joy of finding out about Ellison
yourself. To start you out, here's what some other people have
had to say about Ellison:

Robert Bloch: "I am not about to do a biographical sketch of the
man: surely he wouldn't need me for that. Ellison has told the
story of his life so many times, you'd think he'd know it by
now."

Michael Crichton: "He seems to be a kind of energy focus and no
one who brushes against him comes away with an indifferent
response. His advocates are every bit as vehement as his critics.
Other writers have readers; Ellison has fans who will get into
fistfights with anyone who says a word against him."

Brian Aldiss: "Harlan Ellison is more a master of the hammer than
the keyboard."

Robert Bloch: "No matter what the apparent grammatical form may
be, one is conscious that Ellison is really always writing in
first person."

Michael Crichton: "He moves restlessly, talks non-stop, jumping
from books to television to politics to sex to movies, taking up
each new subject with considerable humor and aggressive
enthusiasm."

Tom Snyder: "He fights battles most of us haven't even thought
of, much less cared about. ... He fights the wars that aren't
even worth fighting, and delights in our frustrations when we
finally figure it out."

Stephen King: "Harlan is the sort of guy who makes an ordinary
writer feel like a dilettante, and an ordinary liver (i.e., one
who lives, not a bodily organ which will develop cirrhosis is you
pour too much booze over it) feel like a spinster librarian who
once got kissed on the Fourth of July."

Michael Crichton: "He is not an easy man. His opinions are
strongly held and his feelings strongly felt; he is not tolerant
of compromise where it affects his life and his work. In someone
else, this obstinacy might appear petty or fanatical, but in
Harlan it is natural and attractive. It is simply the way he is."

Robert Bloch: "...he is the only living organism I know whose
natural habitat is hot water."

Stephen King: "He has quite deliberately provoked a storm of
controversy over his own work--one writer in the field whom I
know considers him to be a modern incarnation of Jonathan Swift,
and another regularly refers to him as 'that no-talent son of a
bitch.' It is a storm that Ellison lives in quite contentedly."

Michael Crichton: "He doesn't write like anybody else. The same
paradoxes and odd juxtapositions which appear in his house and in
his casual speech, are present in all of his writing. What
emerges is a surprising, eclectic, almost protean series of
visions, often disturbing, always strongly felt."


ELLISON: THE SCREENPLAYS

HE has written more screenplays than I've been able to count,
many of which never made it into viewable form. But if you want
to hold up your end of an Ellison conversation, you must know
about two of them. "Demon With the Glass Hand" was, according to
most fans of THE OUTER LIMITS, the finest episode of that series.
And "The City on the Edge of Forever" is well-known to any
Trekkie as at least ONE of the finest STAR TREK episodes ever.

ELLISON: THE STORIES

     If you can possibly afford it, the very best collection is
the recent THE ESSENTIAL ELLISON. Not only is it a great, big,
fat book, but the controversial Ellison, whose prose is often
"edited", is here presented in its author-approved form. Why
waste your time with watered-down stories?

     If you really need something cheaper, STALKING THE NIGHTMARE
is a good choice, or maybe SHATTERDAY, or ANGRY CANDY, or STRANGE
WINE. But for first-timers, STALKING is the best Ellison sampler.

     Personal favorites: "Jeffty Is Five", "The Hour That
Stretches", "Paladin of the Lost Hour", "All The Lies That Are My
Life", and "Shatterday".

ELLISON: THE ESSAYS

     Sorry to say it, but the absolute best collection of Ellison
essays is SLEEPLESS NIGHTS IN THE PROCRUSTEAN BED. I'm sorry
because this could be a tough volume to come up with. If your
bookseller can't get it, try writing to the publisher, The Borgo
Press, P.O. Box 2845, San Bernardino, CA 92406. If they give you
a choice, get a paperbound edition rather than hardcover. Borgo
publishes some great prose, but their hardcover bindings are the
pits. In any case, the trouble you might have getting this volume
will be certainly be worth it -- these are Ellison's finest
essays. And that's SAYING something.

     If you want more essays, STALKING THE NIGHTMARE has a few
great ones. His other essay-only collections are: THE GLASS TEAT,
THE OTHER GLASS TEAT, AN EDGE IN MY VOICE, and HARLAN ELLISON'S
WATCHING (assuming it is released finally). Pick any of these.

     Personal favorites: Other than everything in SLEEPLESS
NIGHTS, there's "The 3 Most Important Things In Life", the
funniest piece of prose I think I've ever read. In particular,
the tale of his 4-hour career at Disney Studio is hilarious, with
a great punch line that is, unfortunately, not printable here.


ELLISON: THE CHRONOLOGY

(This is an attempt, probably not successful, to be complete.)

WEB OF THE CITY (1958)
THE DEADLY STREETS (1958)
THE SOUND OF A SCYTHE (1960)
A TOUCH OF INFINITY (1960)
CHILDREN OF THE STREETS (1961)
GENTLEMAN JUNKIE AND OTHER STORIES OF THE HUNG-UP GENERATION
  (1961)
MEMOS FROM PURGATORY (1961)
SPIDER KISS (1961)
ELLISON WONDERLAND (1962)
PAINGOD, AND OTHER DELUSIONS (1965)
I HAVE NO MOUTH & I MUST SCREAM (1967)
DOOMSMAN (1967)
DANGEROUS VISIONS (editor) (1967)
FROM THE LAND OF FEAR (1967)
NIGHTSHADE & DAMNATIONS: THE FINEST STORIES OF GERALD KERSH
  (editor) (1968)
LOVE AIN'T NOTHING BUT SEX MISSPELLED (1968)
THE BEAST THAT SHOUTED LOVE AT THE HEART OF THE WORLD (1969)
THE GLASS TEAT: ESSAYS OF OPINION ON TELEVISION (1970)
OVER THE EDGE (1970)
PARTNERS IN WONDER: SF COLLABORATIONS WITH 14 OTHER WILD TALENTS
  (1971)
ALONE AGAINST TOMORROW: STORIES OF ALIENATION IN SPECULATIVE
  FICTION (1971)
AGAIN, DANGEROUS VISIONS (editor) (1972)
APPROACHING OBLIVION (1974)
THE STARLOST #1: PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES (w/Edward Bryant) (1975)
DEATHBIRD STORIES (1975)
THE OTHER GLASS TEAT: FURTHER ESSAYS OF OPINION ON TELEVISION
  (1975)
NO DOORS, NO WINDOWS (1975)
STRANGE WINE (1978)
THE BOOK OF ELLISON (edited by Andrew Porter) (1978)
THE ILLUSTRATED HARLAN ELLISON (edited by Byron Preiss) (1978)
THE FANTASIES OF HARLAN ELLISON (1979)
ALL THE LIES THAT ARE MY LIFE (1980)
SHATTERDAY (1980)
STALKING THE NIGHTMARE (1982) - short stories and essays
SLEEPLESS NIGHTS IN THE PROCRUSTEAN BED (1984)
AN EDGE IN MY VOICE (1985)
MEDEA: HARLAN'S WORLD (editor) (1985)
THE ESSENTIAL ELLISON (1987)
ANGRY CANDY (1988)
HARLAN ELLISON'S WATCHING (any minute, we hope)
THE LAST DANGEROUS VISIONS (who knows?)

ELLISON: THE SAMPLES

The delusion that genius and madness are but opposing faces of
the same rare coin is one to which most writers subscribe, as a
cop-out. It allows them to be erratic, beat their wives, demand
fresh coffee at six ayem, come in late with manuscripts, default
on their obligations, laze around reading paperback novels on the
pretext that they are "researching," pick up stakes and move when
things get too regimented, snarl and snap at fans, be tendentious
or supercilious. It is safe for all of us to goof off as long as
we can bilk the Average Man into believing it is necessary for
the creative process.
          --DANGEROUS VISIONS

Nonetheless, having become something of an ingroup cult figure
among those with a high death-wish profile and a taste for cheap
thrills, I am often asked, "What's the big secret, Ellison?"...I
try to explain that Life is Real, Life is Earnest. In my own
toe-scuffling fashion I attempt to encapsulate in three or four
apocryphal phrases the Ethical Structure of the Universe.
          --"The 3 Most Important Things in Life"

The truth is simply that the entire concept of modern television
is corrupt....They want to sell you, and they don't give a damn
what it takes on either side of that commercial to do it.
          --"Down the Rabbit-Hole to TV-Land" (SLEEPLESS NIGHTS)

Toulouse-Lautrec once said, "One should never meet a man whose
work one admires. The man is always so much less than the work."
Painfully, almost always this is true. The great novelist turns
out to be a whiner. The penetrator of the foibles of man picks
his nose in public. The authority on South Africa has never been
beyond Levittown. The writer of swashbuckling adventures is a
pathetic little homosexual who still lives with his invalid
mother. Oh, Henri the Mad, you were so right.
          --DANGEROUS VISIONS

A fifteen- year-old student summarily rejected the reading of
books because it "wasn't real". Because it was your imagination,
and your imagination isn't real. So Shelley asked her what was
"real" and the student responded instantly, "Television".
          --"Revealed At Last! What Killed the Dinosaurs!
             And You Don't Look So Terrific Yourself"
             (SLEEPLESS NIGHTS)

...the interesting aspect of their watching the show emerged when
a student responded to Shelley's comparison of watching something
that "wasn't real" with a living event that "was real". The
student contended that it WAS real, he had seen it. No, Shelley
insisted, it wasn't real, it was just a show. Hell no, the kid
kept saying, it WAS real: he had SEEN it....Though he was
seventeen years old, the student was incapable of perceiving,
UNAIDED, the difference between a dramatization and real life.
          --"Revealed At Last! What Killed the Dinosaurs!
             And You Don't Look So Terrific Yourself"
             (SLEEPLESS NIGHTS)

But don't ever fool yourselves. Not even those of you who make
your living from literary analyses. Don't for a second fool
yourselves into thinking you've got our number.
          --"You Don't Know Me, I Don't Know You"
             (SLEEPLESS NIGHTS)

There in the place where all lost things returned, the young man
sat on the cold ground, rocking the body of his friend. And he
was in no hurry to leave. There was time.
          --"Paladin of the Lost Hour" (ANGRY CANDY)

They've taken the most incredibly potent medium of imparting
information the world has ever known, and they've turned it
against you. To burn out your brains. To lull you with pretty
pictures. To convince you nothing's going on out there, nothing
really important. To convince you throwing garbage in the river
after your picnic is okay, as long as the factories can do it,
too. To convince you all those bearded, longhair freaks are
murderers and dumb Communist dupes. To convince you that Viet Nam
is more a "struggle for Democracy" than a necessity for selling
American goods. To convince you that certain things should not be
said because it will warp the minds of the young. To convince you
that this country is still locked into a 1901-Midwestern stasis,
and anyone who tries to propel us beyond that chauvinism and
bigotry is a criminal.
          --THE GLASS TEAT (4 October 68)

I was riding down Beverly Glen with Arthur Byron Cover. I said to
Arthur, "You know, one of the things that always bothered me
about those fantasies in which some dude comes across a magic
shop that sells real magic, or three wishes, or genuine love
potions, or whatever, is they never told you what kind of life
was lived by the proprietor. I mean, where did he get his stock?
In what sort of coin could you pay someone for things that
valuable? When the dude leaves the shop it always vanishes; where
does it go? What happened to the poor schmuck who ran the joint?
Huh, answer me that!"
     Arthur looked at me seriously and said, "You know, you're a
very weird person."
          --SHATTERDAY

...there have been essays and monographs and even treatises
published in learned journals about the rampant symbolism in my
stories, my preoccupation with the Machine As God, the deeply
religious anti-religiousness in DEATHBIRD STORIES, obvious uses
of the Jungian archetypes, the crucifixion and resurrection
symbology peppered through my stories, and the frequency of the
use of the word "ka-ka".
          --SHATTERDAY

This story ["Alive and Well and on a Friendless Voyage"] was
written in direct response to the killing pain of my last wife
taking off with another guy. The pain lasted at least twelve
minutes, which is the actually recorded duration of genuine pain.
Everything OVER twelve minutes is self-indulgence and pointless
attempts to make the first twelve minutes seem more important.
          --SHATTERDAY

I'll be DAMNED if I can make any sense out of life. It gets more
complex the longer I keep breathing. And everything I thought I
knew for sure keeps coming up for grabs, keeps changing and
shifting like one of those oil-seep toys you can buy that change
color and shape from moment to moment depending on how you hold
it. Most of the time it seems to be an insane universe, filled
with pain. Then, every once in a bit, some moment of joy or love
or true friendship presents itself, and you get the strength to
maintain, to go on a little longer.
          --STRANGE WINE

The sixty-one personal essays that make up this book are my proud
statement of enmity toward the people. Not just to people like
Patukas and "Rosetta" and the pinheads at HEAVY METAL whose
dreary little lives move them to such ignoble attacks of foaming
idiocy against their betters, but enmity toward the censors and
the pro-gun lobbyists and the filmmakers who brutalize women in
the name of "art" and the smoothyguts politicians who secure
their futures with arms manufacturers by stealing money from the
schools and the lousy writers who monopolize the spinner racks
and their venal publishers who have destroyed the mid-list in
search of bestsellers and the bible-thumpers who want prayer in
the schools as long as we pray to THEIR God and to the gray
little bookkeepers who know their dancing decimal points cheat
honest men and women out of their annuities and the garage
mechanics who lie and tell you they can't repair that thingamajig
unless you buy a new whatzit for seventy-five bucks and the
headless snakes that are the multi national corporations that
remove products you like from the supermarkets because cheaper
items move more units per capita and the terrorists and the
zealots and the true believers and the insensitive and the
dull-witted and the self-righteous. All of whom are parts of "the
people".
          --AN EDGE IN MY VOICE

My car has a bumper sticker that says A CLEAN CAR IS A SIGN OF A
SICK MIND. It's not a crusade with me; it's just my belief that
if God, or Whoever's-In-Charge, had wanted my car to be clean,
God, or Whoever's-In-Charge, wouldn't have filled the world with
dirt.
          --AN EDGE IN MY VOICE

For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered.
          --THE ESSENTIAL ELLISON

                          -*  Amen  *-


                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

Harlan Ellison once received a letter from a man who said, "You
are always using midgets in your stories as heavies. They are
always evil and terrible people. Well, I am three feet tall, and
I want you to know we don't like being called MIDGETS! We want to
be called LITTLE PEOPLE!" Harlan responded: "Dear Sir: I am five
foot five. I am a little person. YOU, sir, are a midget."

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

Harlan Ellison parodied his own car commercials in a skit at the
Writers Guild of America's televised awards banquet, "selling his
collected works and stressing his enormous output and matching
ego," according to a favorable review in the Los Angeles Times.


                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:


                         NUMBER ONE FAN
                         by Annie Wilkes

     Have you ever considered how pleasurable an activity reading
is, and how little nuts-and-bolts consideration it's given? Like,
for instance, what motivates most of your reading? 

1. To get through a boring period (waiting for something, etc.)
2. To help you get to sleep.
3. To learn something specific.
4. To read.

I've talked to some people who seem to have a difficulty with
admitting that they're going to sit down right now and, no
apologies to anyone, READ. They seem to feel they should be
"accomplishing" something, not "just" reading. How sad.

     Where do you do most of your reading? Are you a reading-in-
bed type? Or maybe your have one of those Alistair Cooke,
Masterpiece Theater kind of chairs that's good for sitting in the
Library of your mansion and reading Dante. Or are you a hedonist
with a chaise lounge? Or the impish sort who read on the ground,
propped up on elbows? Or the hi-tech sort with a paperback hidden
under your computer keyboard? Or even the Romantic kind, outside
with your back against a broad oak?

     Do you normally read in brief ten-minute bursts? Or are you
prone to all-weekend binges? When someone accosts you with an
asinine question while you're reading, can you be pleasant to
them despite the fact that they were obviously raised by wolves?

     Do you ever get a funny look when you say you spent
yesterday evening reading instead of watching TV? Do you worry
about having to explain to the landlord that you didn't drink the
rent money, you spent it at the bookstore? Are you now, or have
you ever been a partner in a Mixed Marriage (Reader and
Non-Reader)? Do you ever wonder about the mental capacity of the
Buyer at your local library? Have you ever considered that the
joys of reading, like the joys of smoking, don't show from the
outside and are therefore mostly invisible to others?

     You see, you and I aren't like the Others. For one thing
ours is a solitary preoccupation. We occasionally glare at each
other suspiciously at the bookstore (Is that the kind of moronic
trash you always read?), or push in front of each other at the
library (If you think you're getting the only copy of that
Rushdie you're out of your mind, fella). So, next time we meet
(I'll be the one with the worn Nicholas Nickleby), just pretend
you don't see me.


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      We'd like to know where you get Reading For Pleasure
             to help us distribute efficiently.

                    :=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:=:

                         TRIVIA ANSWERS

          1. The Baker Street Irregulars
          2. The Terminator
          3. UNCLE TOM'S CABIN by Harriet Beecher Stowe
          4. Hamlet
          5. Cordwainer Bird
          6. Peter Pan
          7. Excalibur
          8. Adolf Hitler
          9. Contact lenses
         10. ROBINSON CRUSOE


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COMING NEXT MONTH:
Next month Reading For Pleasure goes Hollywood -- read about
Tinseltown along with us. And the Featured Author will be Fredric
Brown. Keep those cards and letters coming!