Strange Wine

Strange Wine

by Harlan Ellison

From Harlan Ellison, whom The Washington Post regards as a "lyric poet, satirist, explorer of odd psychological corners, and purveyor of pure horror and black comedy," comes Strange Wine.Discover among these tales the spirits of executed Nazi war criminals who walk Manhattan streets; the damned soul of a murderess escaped from Hell; gremlins writing the fantasies of a gone-dry writer; and the exquisite Dr. D'arque Angel, who deals her patients doses of death...Contents: Introduction: Revealed at Last!

And You Dont Look So Terrific Yourself in Croatoan ss F&SF May 75 Working with the Little People ss F&SF Jul 77 Killing Bernstein ss Mystery Monthly Jun 76 Mom nv Silver Foxes Aug 76 In Fear of K ss Vertex Jun 75 Hitler Painted Roses ss Penthouse Apr 77 The Wine Has Been Left Open Too Long and the Memory Has Gone Flat ss Universe 6, ed.

Peter Weston, London: Futura, 1976 The Boulevard of Broken Dreams vi Los Angeles Review #1 75 Strange Wine ss Amazing Jun 76 The Diagnosis of Dr. DarqueAngel Doctor DarqueAngel ss Viva Jan 77

  • Language: English
  • Category: Science Fiction
  • Rating: 4.14
  • Pages: 272
  • Publish Date: October 1st 2004 by iBooks
  • Isbn10: 0743479890
  • Isbn13: 9780743479899

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If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

STRANGE WINE is a collection of fifteen short stories from the nightside of the world published in 1978. The title story, Strange Wine leaves the reader, or should leave the reader with a great lesson about life.

Ellison is a must read among American 20th century writers and a true master of the short story format.

I read Deathbird Stories some years back, upon Stephen King's recommendation, who sung Ellison's praises in Danse Macabre, and considers both of these short story collections some of the finest horror fiction released in their time. Ellison was a divisive figure in writer circles, a self-professed hostile asshole, known for his outspoken and abrasive personality (his Wikipedia page has a 9-part "controversies and disputes" section), which shines through in this particular collection, where he wrote an introduction to each story, usually telling the reader where the idea came from, or why and how and where he wrote them. Anyway, the fact that he was an unlikeable, bitter old bully of a writer isn't news, so I'll try and separate the man from his work: I admire how he didn't pull any punches in the controversial topics he chose to write about, and he was capable of distilling the most wonderful thoughts on the craft and impact of writing in the simplest words, such as this excerpt from the same introduction: "This is a collection of fantasies, strange wine. What they will do for you depends on how you feel at the moment you read them, whether or not you feel estranged or loved, what kind of a day you have had, where your emptiness lies on that particular day." The three stars rating is almost a given, as most short stories collections are a mixed bag that ultimately averages out. There was only one story I really did not like, The New York Review of Bird, although the introduction to it was really interesting in its own right, if a bit self-indulgent. My favorites were Hitler Painted Roses and the titular Strange Wine, with Croatoan, The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, In Fear of K, and Emissary from Hamelin as other personal stand-outs. Working With the Little People 1/2 The token story about writer's block that every writer seems to have to write at some point in their career. Hitler Painted Roses My favorite if I had to choose one, this story about injustice has little to do with its eye-catching title; it's about how reputation and belief affect and change reality, while following the damned soul of a woman wrongly executed for murder who has made her escape from Hell. What makes this story all the more remarkable is that he wrote it during a live radio broadcast during which listeners called in suggesting phrases he had to work in. The Wine Has Been Left Open Too Long and the Memory Has Gone Flat It's hard to write a story about sounds, but he somehow pulled it off. The New York Review of Bird (or none at all) A farcical, much too long story that's nothing but the vehicle for a personal rant; Ellisons own pseudonym (which he slapped on his work to alert readers when he felt that it had been butchered beyond repair by others) comes to life and is on a mission to destroy the forces of evil who reign in the book publishing industry. The Boulevard of Broken Dreams Probably the most effective and chilling story in the collection, all the more remarkable because of its brevity.

For some of these, I just say 'Pass,' meaning that this stories is good and worth reading, but it isn't any better than what you can find in the ordinary literary magazine. And it was brave of Harlan to put this story first. Probably the best story in the book. Working with the Little People Funny commentary on creativity, legends, and what passes for fantasy these days. About forty-one ideas get explored in this fifteen-page story, and it all gets tied together with the most ridiculous 50's sci-fi twist ending (Harlan's favorite way to end a story - Stephen King's a big fan of Ellison, which explains a lot). A writer friend of mine once said that you have to watch for when your stories get "too many themes." Beef broth. It's hard to write a story about a symphony but Harlan did it. Harlan's re-imaging of so many fantasy/sci-fi ideas puts this as the 2nd best story in the book. There's no other easy way for a short story writer to get noticed.

Published over thirty years ago, this short story collection showcases how easily he brewed ideas. Ellisons imagination obviously doesnt belong to one Genre-genre, but rather under a wide umbrella of the strange. Meanwhile The New York Review of Bird never really has a focus, being the vehicle for a rant; Working With the Little People is more of a cute idea than a story; and Croatoan veers from being mainstream malaise fiction to something surreal. The titular story is actually the weakest in the collection. "Strange Wine" follows a man who believes he's actually an alien sent to earth to live in a human body for his crimes. It's a neat concept that Ellison does nothing with: the man is unhappy with his situation, sees a psychiatrist who makes him repeat his situation, then dies and is told earth isn't a punishment, but actually the nicest place in the universe and he should have enjoyed it. He sells himself as a curmudgeon who really would like things to be better, and as in the foreword to Strange Wine, admits that his own jaded nature is always challenged by some great act of individual kindness or goodness.

Strange Wine is a short story anthology and it's good.

I've been a fan of Ellison for a quarter of a century and this, by far, is my favourite book of his. With any other writer, this would be an intrusion; but with Ellison, it works, because the man is funny, wise, and entertaining. They are basically a miscellany of anything that Ellison wants to talk about: How he came to write this or that story; where he wrote it; the ideas behind it- and sometimes the connection to the story is tenuous." The New York Review of Bird" for instance.

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/writer to the science fiction TV series The New Twilight Zone and Babylon 5.