APPROACHING OBLIVION by Harlan Ellison

APPROACHING OBLIVION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Eleven tales, 1962-74 (the volume enjoyed a previous 1974 paperback appearance), with a gloomy, revealing autobiographical introduction--displaying a good deal of largely unfocused ire and passion. In the better entries, ideas and insight help out some rather eccentric plotting: the last man to actively resist a brutal dictatorship is captured and displayed by slave-taking aliens as their social conscience; an artist blows up dead planets, releasing the former inhabitants' emotional residues to provide vicarious thrills; a young man with parent problems gets hooked on bizarre, destructive sex with a computer; and there's a nakedly autobiographical piece about a man who time-travels back to visit himself as a neglected, despised child. Also, in a humorous vein, there's a yam about some eleven-armed, blue, Yiddish-speaking Jewish aliens. Plus some lesser items: a man that women find utterly irresistible; the Earth strikes back to swallow polluters; another hideous dictatorship (but mysterious aliens are to blame); spurned lovers; ghosts; and the end of the world. In sum: plenty of steam but not too much substance.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1985
ISBN: 0759204292
Publisher: Bluejay--dist. by St. Martin's