Friday, June 29, 2018

I have no mouth. And I must scream.

Sci-fi writer, Harlan Ellison, died this week. This saddens me because he was such a great writer. He had a way with words that drew you in, and a mind just sick enough to come up with fantastic science fiction. 

He wrote one of the best Star Trek episodes of all time, wrote some episodes for "The Twilight Zone," and a number of books and short stories. My favorite story of his is called, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Read it if you have time--I read it maybe ten years ago and haven't forgotten any of it. Actually, "I have no mouth and I must scream" is something my Dad and I say to each other when we're mutually uncomfortable and have to pretend everything is fine (like, any time we are in social situations). 

The other story I recommend by Ellison is "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman, from which this fantastic exchange comes:

"You're a non-conformist." 
"That didn't used to be a felony." 
"It is now. Live in the world around you." 
"I hate it. It's a terrible world." 
"Not everyone thinks so. Most people enjoy order." 
"I don't, and most of the people I know don't." 
"That's not true. How do you think we caught you?" 
"I'm not interested."
"A girl named pretty Alice told us who you were." 
"That's a lie." 
"It's true. You unnerve her. She wants to belong, she wants to conform, I'm going to turn you off."
"Then do it already, and stop arguing with me." 
"I'm not going to turn you off." 
"You're an idiot!" 
"Repent, Harlequin!" said the Ticktockman. 
"Get stuffed." 

RIP, Harlan Ellison. You'll be missed. 

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