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Shatterday

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,967 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Over the course of his legendary career, Harlan Ellison has defiedand sometimes definedmodern fantasy literature, all while refusing to allow any genre to claim him. A Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Horror Writers Association as well as winner of countless awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, Edgar All ...more
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by E-Reads, Ltd. (first published January 1st 1980)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stuart
The Voice From the Edge Vol. 5: Shatterday & Other Stories: Dark, powerful, and ironic stories that stay with you
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
This is the final installment in Harlan Ellison’s 5-volume THE VOICE FROM THE EDGE series. It’s been quite a ride, and it’s hard to dispute that Ellison is a superb storyteller who can take an idea and run with it in the most original and twisted way, frequently delving into the dark and cruel side of human nature, but also celebrating moment
...more
Travis
Jun 27, 2011 Travis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I go back and forth about Harlan Ellison, as he has reached near mythical status as a writer, public figure and all around crazy bastard.
When he writes just sci-fi/fantasy stuff, it can be quite clever and entertaining, full of mad ideas, allegory and cool imagery. The kind of stuff that would make for a really good episode of the 'Outer Limits'.

When he writes about 'The real world' it comes across, nine times out of ten, as wildly self-indulgent drivel. Full of anger, literary and emotional pat
...more
Marvin
Jun 02, 2012 Marvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autographed
What is Harlan Ellison's best short fiction collection? My automatic answer is Deathbird Stories but Shatterday packs a wallop too. Two of his best short fiction works are here, "Jeffty is Five" and the title story yet there is not a filler piece to be found. All are quite impressive. I especially like his sad and reflective "All the Lies That Are my Life". Shatterday may surpass Deathbird Stories in that it encompasses a wider variety of emotions. Best Ellison collection? Call it a tie.
Ron
Mar 21, 2007 Ron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
The field for when I read this is deceptive. I reread it every couple of years. And each time, I find myself reflected more and more in Ellison's writing.

Ellison can be self absorbed. He's much more interested in being somebody than in being a writer. But when he's good, he's among the best, especially as a short story writer. And this is, in my opinion, his best collection. The title story is pretty straightforward science/alternative fiction that investigates our many parts. Jeffty is Five is
...more
Andrés
May 02, 2016 Andrés rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dos de los cuentos que forman esta antología son sublimes ("Jeffty is Five" y "Shatterday"), si solamente hubiera leído esos dos, se hubiera llevado cinco estrellas sin problemas, pero ps el resto está medio eeeeeeh. Igual está recomendable, cómo ño.
Kalwinder Dhindsa
Out of this world

Neil Gaiman speaks very highly of Harlan Ellison. Having read this book you can clearly see why. Some very good short stories in this collection. Every one of them leaving some lasting mark long after you have read them.

Harlan Ellison is something else.
Cleverusername2
Sep 15, 2008 Cleverusername2 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is hands down one of my favorite books. I try to read it every year or so. Harlan is at his best when he's dishing out the pathos, and here he puts his characters in some very strange and disturbing settings and situations. I love the title story in this short story collection, I read it whenever I am at a crossroads and there is something I desperately want to change about my life, or when I'm feeling depressed. It reminds me that everyone has the power of self-determination, that there is ...more
Charles Wilson
Aug 05, 2015 Charles Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to love Harlan Ellison's writing when I was in high school, but somewhere along the line I lost track of him. It was good to renew that old acquaintanceship with this volume and another one called Paingod and Other Delusions. Now I just have to check out the Deathbird Stories book, which I'm guessing includes what is perhaps my favorite Ellison story, of course, Deathbird.
Now, about this book: It includes at least a dozen of Ellison's efforts. If you don't want to be disturbed, don't read
...more
Cnadeau
Jan 06, 2009 Cnadeau rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harlan Ellison refuses to let things work themselves out. In his stories, (especially my favorite in this book "Count the Clock that Tells the Time") slighted people who wait around for justice and karma to right the universe get just as screwed as the characters acting in the wrong. Bottom line: do things for yourself and fight back when people take advantage of you. There is no room for pity in a well crafted Ellison story. I think he was especially pissed when he wrote the stories for Shatter ...more
Clint
May 18, 2016 Clint rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Despite Harlan Ellison continually claiming he doesn't write himself into his books, no one believes that. How many people just decide to create stories about distraught sarcastic people with love problems and lots of exes? When Harlan Ellison is on ("Shatterday," "Flop Sweat," "The Man Who Was Heavily Into Revenge") he's just a blast, but he often gets bogged down in his own petty bitches about life. I like when writers tell you about the origins of short stories, but I like it best when it's a ...more
Blake
Apr 22, 2016 Blake rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Long ago, for his birthday, I gave my father a copy of Harlan Ellison's Strange Wine, the collection of short stories he wrote in a bookstore window, with the not-so-hidden motive of being able to read it afterwards. He expressed disappointment at its sameness, which was not something I could relate to.

Why is he telling us this?

Because I get now that sometimes writers take a tour up their own asses.

Those two lines are a riff on the increasingly insufferable Ellison practice of introducing his st
...more
Aleksandra
I like Harlan Ellison's style and fucked-up cockiness and it would probably be four stars if it weren't for a fact that I'm not a short story person and there's something in the switching from one story to another that just doesn't work for me.

Matthew Cook
I was ready to bite the bullet and plow through- Ellison is a lot like Stephen King, who I'm so-so on- not to mention that I never got into short stories. Too flippant, too wandering, not enough to sink your teeth into. Well I did a total 180 and now I can't wait to finish Stalking the Nightmare and even trying out king's Everything is Eventual. The stories tended to center on heartbreak, loneliness, gentle supernatural stuff with some physics thrown in, the end of the world/time/entropy. I'm n ...more
Craig Childs
Harlan Ellison collections are often hit or miss with me, and this one was no different. It contains a few of his best works, and then some that just did not work. On the whole, though, this reflects a mature author operating at the peak of his popularity and talent spanning several genres.

Jeffty is Five—Winner of the 1978 Hugo and Nebula awards. This is my favorite Harlan Ellison story. Jeffty is a boy who never ages and can connect with the past in a special way. This subtle sophisticated tal
...more
Jean
Dec 31, 2008 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories.... Don't read more than one or two at at time though or you'll have to lock yourself in your room until the darkness passes ::::smile::::
Anthony
First off, the Kindle version of this book is riddled with typos. It is disappointing to see that proper care was not taken for bringing this book into the digital realm.

The content itself is uneven, and in many cases the writing feels dated. Several of the stories bandy about the names of people who were in the media around the time of the they were written, and even though I myself recognize most of them, it will probably only confuse younger readers.

The stories vary quite a bit in quality. S
...more
Krzysztof
Having an introduction before each story is like a magician telling his audience exactly how he's about to perform each trick because he can't stand the thought of people not fully appreciating his genius.

If you're going to get all cranky about what people say about you and say things like, "[whatever], I'm still the one who can write these stories," you better deliver the goods.

In this collection, Ellison doesn't. At best the stories are fair episodes of The Outer Limits. At worst, they're tab
...more
Tim Giauque
Feb 28, 2010 Tim Giauque rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the first Harlan Ellison book I've read. The only other story of his I was familiar with was "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream," which remains one of the most chilling and effective things I've ever read. But I knew Ellison by reputation: he's known as the cranky old man of sci-fi, as a Luddite who has sued a long list of collaborators and producers over the years. He wrote the original scripts for some of the best-known episodes of "Star Trek," as well as a couple of "Outer Limits" ep ...more
j_ay
Jan 11, 2013 j_ay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Introduction: Mortal Dreads
Jeffty Is Five *****
How's The Night Life on Cissalda? ****o
Flop Sweat ***oo
Would You Do it For a Penny? (written in collaboration with Haskell Barkin) ****o
The Man Who Was Heavily Into Revenge ***oo
Shoppe Keeper **ooo
All the Lies That Are My Life **ooo
Django **ooo
Count the Clock That Tells the Time ***oo
In the Fourth Year of the War ***oo
Alive and Well on a Friendless Voyage ***oo
All the Birds Come Home to Roost ***oo
Opium ***oo
The Other Eye of Polyphemus ***oo
The Exec
...more
Daryl
Aug 04, 2012 Daryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, short-stories
When I pulled this book down off my bookshelf, it had a price sticker on the front cover and 2 bookmarks inside from A Change of Hobbit, a "speculative fiction bookstore" in Santa Monica, California. I must have bought this book sometime in the '80s on a trip to the L.A. area, and my friend Stix took me to this bookstore (no one else would've gone there with me). All this is preface to say that while I enjoyed much of this book of short stories (some not so much), it definitely feels very dated. ...more
Raquel
Aug 14, 2013 Raquel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Again, Harlan Ellison's writing has amazed me, enthralled me, horrified me, and shocked me.
Almost all the stories in this short story collection are grim-- you can count on unhappy endings for all of them. This isn't really a spoiler if you have any sort of inductive reasoning. After a few stories it's obvious Ellison is not kind to his mind's offspring.
A recurring theme in Ellison's short stories is the exploration of mortal dreads we all experience as humans. Each short story deals with fears
...more
Bev

It's been a long time since I've read any Ellison. I discovered him back in the day when I was on my science fiction kick. Let me just tell you straight....Harlan Ellison is not for everyone. He's not for the squeamish. Or the prudish. You want your fiction all neat and tidy and full of rainbows and sunshine and happily-ever-afters. Ellison is not your man. That's not to say he can't write a happy ending. He can. He does in this collection. But it's not your everyday, Disney happy ending....and
...more
Deborah Gallatin
A Unique Talent!

This is one of the finest pieces of literature I've read in quite a long time. As Mr. Ellison himself states in his writings, one is made to understand that what you feel, what you experience, what you traverse, is never done solo. This great big rock we all inhabit may be extraordinary in many ways, however, there is a remarkable resemblance between our common lives. This I believe, more than anything, is what defines the greatness of this piece.
Matthew
Nov 28, 2009 Matthew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While these stories might have, at one time, been the sort of thing to shock or titillate, their age shows in dated idioms and colloquialisms. Perhaps it is my personal cynicism, but the amount of nostalgia for days long since past sours even the best intended lessons. The same note of the past is in many of the works and harries this reader to the point of being a distraction. The additional comments at the beginning of the stories serves to reinforce this view that Mr. Ellision seems to prefer ...more
Jan
Aug 08, 2015 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of short stories by Harlan Ellison. I think I've only read "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" before, apart from that I didn't know this author. I am impressed, more so by the comments he gives to most of the stories than the actual stories (they're good too). Mr. Ellison seems to be quite and interesting character!

These stories are about mortal dreads. We don't all share the same dreads, so depending on the story I could connect or I couldn't. I liked the breadth o
...more
Todd
Apr 02, 2015 Todd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Ellison - it's nearly impossible for me to pin down my favorite Ellison work, because there are so many to choose from (and the nature of his short story writing means that almost every collection is going to contain both hits and misses), but this one definitely makes the short list. "Jeffty is Five", "All the Lies That Are My Life", "Flop Sweat", "Count the Clock That Tells the Time," "Shatterday" itself... lots of great stuff here.
Yasmeen
May 20, 2014 Yasmeen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The fact that I read two Harlan Ellison collections back to back is probably somewhat telling. Again, I really enjoyed this one- it's possible that I liked the first collection a little more, but that might just be because I probably should have read them a little more spread out (but like, how could I? This stuff is addictive). Some of these are pretty amazing though.
John Staats
Nov 14, 2012 John Staats rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've read enough books to develop a snobbish opinion about worthwhile reading and Shatterday knocks my socks off. This is speculative fiction, it requires thought and in some cases explanation... but like the best Cohen Brothers movies re-reading them reveals a larger, more profound message.

Harlan is my favorite author. Period. Only Shakespeare can flex muscles like him, and unlike Shakespeare, Harlan doesn't repeat. He is my number one hero and reigns in my personal pantheon of creative influe
...more
David Allen
"Jeffty is Five," about a little boy who doesn't grow up, is one of Ellison's half-dozen best stories, and it kicks off this 1980 collection. Nothing matches it, unsurprisingly, but most of these stories succeed: the revenge fantasy on a contractor, the man whose love life shifts into reverse as every woman he's ever known re-enters his life in sequence, the man who meets a better version of himself. "The Executioner of the Malformed Children," though, is as awful as its title.
Glenn Schmelzle
Collection of stories from a few genres: speculative fiction, dystopia, mild SF and straight fiction. His writing has the word range of a Piers Anthony and the wry humour of a Kurt Vonnegut. Fit the bill for my guilty pleasure summer reading.
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  • Long After Midnight
  • Driftglass
  • Eye
  • Phoenix Without Ashes
  • Tangents
  • Tales from the Nightside
  • Patterns
  • The Persistence of Vision
  • Visible Light
  • The Preserving Machine
  • The Best of Lucius Shepard
  • Novelties and Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction
  • Pilgrimage to Earth
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Harlan Jay Ellison is a prolific American writer of short stories, novellas, teleplays, essays, and criticism.

His literary and television work has received many awards. He wrote for the original series of both The Outer Limits and Star Trek as well as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour; edited the multiple-award-winning short story anthology series Dangerous Visions; and served as creative consultant/write
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“When you're all alone out there, on the end of the typewriter, with each new story a new appraisal by the world of whether you can still get it up or not, arrogance and self-esteem and deep breathing are all you have. It often looks like egomania. I assure you it's the bold coverup of the absolutely terrified.” 16 likes
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