Share for friends:

Slippage: Previously Uncollected, Precariously Poised Stories (1998)

Slippage: Previously Uncollected, Precariously Poised Stories (1998)

Book Info

4.09 of 5 Votes: 4
Your rating
0395924820 (ISBN13: 9780395924822)
mariner books

About book Slippage: Previously Uncollected, Precariously Poised Stories (1998)

The BasicsSlippage is a short story collection, which shouldn’t surprise any Ellison fans. Many of his collections have a theme, and this one has to be the saddest of all. At the time, he’d been through the wringer, and this was his last collection of new material. The term “slippage” is one he uses to emphasize a life being pushed in a direction it never wanted to go. A bad one.My ThoughtsI’ll start out by saying that this has to be one of my favorites of his collections. There is so much strong work here. It’s extra depressing to know that because of health problems, he had to drop his heavy work schedule, and while he has done some writing since, he’s nowhere near as prolific as he once was. There’s not a weak spot among these stories. They are all worthy of attention, and some of them are definitely worth some large praise."Mefisto in Onyx." What do I even say about a story that blew me away like this one did? It should be a movie, though Ellison has some understandable reservations (that’s an understatement) about Hollywood that would make that kind of impossible. A better way to put it is it deserves to be a movie. A really good movie with all the bells and whistles. If I were to list a top five of his favorite stories, this would easily be in it. I don’t want to give anything about it away. Just know it needs to be read by everyone."The Museum on Cyclops Avenue" is another that needs to be gushed about. It’s one of those where the idea is just so good, so exciting and apt to make you grin, that it could ride on that alone and be great. But it does even more. Ellison has to be one of the only writers I’ve ever read who writes first person narratives and actually has a different voice for each one. He’d not writing as himself every time. That really shines here.Lastly, “The Few, The Proud.” I say “lastly” because we’d be here all day if I didn’t limit myself to three stories to vomit praise all over. Trust me, choosing three from a collection this strong is no small task. In the case of “The Few, The Proud” it brought back around the story of the war with the Kyben. This time from the perspective of a deserting soldier on our side. So not only was it a chance to revisit a universe I found really interesting, but it was also a really fantastic anti-war story.Those are just the tip of the iceberg. I think in making it my personal mission to read every collection I can get my hands on, I’ve inadvertently made it my personal mission to urge everyone who reads these reviews to check out Ellison’s work. So go on. Stop reading this and go read that.Final Rating5/5

It is a disappointment that while authors like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark and Robert A. Heinlein have such immediate renown and recognition, the name Harlan Ellison does not often get the respect it deserves. Asimov and company were true visionaries, but Ellison was just a few too many years late onto the scene. Most famous for his short story collections, he has penned countless works over the last 50 years and is best known for editing the book “Dangerous Visions”; an anthology of tales by varied authors so wild and irreverent that they couldn’t be published anywhere else. His 1997 collection, titled “Slippage,” is a fantastic book of 25 tales so far beyond classification or genre, they almost must be considered in a category all their own. Breaking the barriers of fantasy, scifi, horror and whatever else crawled into his head that day, Ellison writes tales that will affect you. Stories that will make you think and linger in your head for days after, the ultimate sign of an excellent author.

Do You like book Slippage: Previously Uncollected, Precariously Poised Stories (1998)?

This is the first Harlan Ellison collection i read, and it started me on a mad rampage of speculative fiction addiction which i am still wallowing in to this day. I think the short story is an excellent format for weird fiction, because you don't have to develop ideas and characters for hundreds of pages. I call them 'vignettes' and it makes possible all manner of whimsy and inspiration and odd quirky moments. I don't particularly remember which stories are included in this collection, although Mephisto in Onyx does stand out to me as well, as mentioned in a previous review. I would recommend this to almost anybody that likes to read. It renewed my passion for literature and writing. It is strange, unsettling, and moving, and also a great deal of fun to read. Three thumbs up!!!
—J Simpson

I don't have much to say about Slippage. I had never (consciously) read any Harlan Ellison before and because of how celebrated the man's name is, I decided it was worth giving his werk a shot.Maybe Slippage just isn't one of his better collections. I'm certainly open to the possibility that I got the bad egg from the dozen, if you catch my meaning.This is not to say that there was nothing redeeming or at all enjoyable about this collection. "This Story Is Titled the Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore" had a fun little irreverent streak to it. And "Darkness Upon the Deep" was good (it was certainly readable) but it also felt like a warmed-over and slightly updated Lovecraft(†). Several stories came off this way to me -- as low-impact knock-offs from other writers. Or else as simply low-impact Twilight Zone-esque prose(‡). As I progressed through the pages, the short fiction got better but was best when it was shortest. Ultimately I decided to abandon the collection. Perhaps I'll come back to it later?But maybe I just walked into the whole mess a bit resentful when I mistook Ellison's introduction for the inceptive short fiction.---† = On that note, I found myself thinking about Ellison's reputation as mean-spirited and litigious and secretly wished the zombie Lovecraft would dig his way out of his Providence grave and go after punitive damages. Possibly as a literal pound of flesh.‡ = Yes, I am aware that Ellison has written rather extensively for The Twilight Zone.---TANGENTIAL ASIDE: Anyone have a clue as to what is up with the typeface and/or typesetter? All the periods seem clumsy and too large -- like "BOLD" was turned on for just the periods. But just the periods. The terminating punct for exclamation points and question marks wasn't that big. Did anyone else find this distracting?

I had read about Ellison's writing style and wanted to check out his works, so I figured a collection of his short works would be perfect. That's why I bought Slippage. Since the book itself was a bunch of different stories (about 22, but "The Pale Silver Dollar of the Moon Pays Its Way and Makes Change" had two versions), it was hard to give an overall rating for the work. Obviously, I liked some stories more than others. I'm glad that I took the time to read his work though, since his characters are typically witty, sarcastic, and cynical (which I'm sure derives from Ellison himself, just read how his book intro was written.) Normally I love narrators and characters like this, but there was just something about Ellison's writing style I did not enjoy. Sometimes I felt he was unnecessarily wordy to the point where I wondered when he would stop talking about this disgusting cat the neighbors owned ("Anywhere but Here with Anyone but You"). The aspect I disliked most about his writing style though, was his use of adjectives. To describe something as metallic is fine, to continue on and go so far as to call it "diseased" gives the reader a clearly negative idea in their heads- perfect! But sometimes I felt that he overdescribed aspects and became repetitive, especially when he would use synonyms for his already wordily-used adjectives. Yet, like I said before, I'm glad I have the book. The stories were quick and a few were genuinely disturbing while still humorous.
—Erica Hasselbach

download or read online

Read Online

Write Review

(Review will shown on site after approval)

Other books by author Harlan Ellison

Other books in category Picture Books