Harlan Ellison

Shatterday is a revolutionary and incendiary classic from Harlan Ellison. These sixteen visionary stories remain as scathing and influential today as when they were initially published. These category-defying stories combine ironic humor, sardonic social criticism, and intense self-revelation, reestablishing its author at the cutting-edge of the short-story form.



by Harlan Ellison

ISBN: 9781892391483

Published: 2007 (First edition: 1980)

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback

Shatterday is a revolutionary classic from Harlan Ellison, science fiction’s most controversial author. This collection of sixteen visionary stories remains as scathing and influential today as when it was initially published. Read as fanatically by intellectuals as by college students, these category-defying stories combine ironic humor, sardonic social criticism, and intense self-revelation; from “Jeffty Is Five,” the tragedy of an innocent child wrenched out of an idyllic past, to humanity’s encounter with dangerously seductive aliens in “How’s the Night Life on Cissalda?”, culminating in “Shatterday,” the dark allegory of an identity-stealing doppelganger replacing his inferior twin. Back in print for the first time since its stunning debut in the early 1980s, this incendiary collection reestablishes its legendary author at the cutting-edge of the short-story form.

“…only a few short-story collections that have changed the course of literature in a profound way…. Shatterday is the heart of the heart of energy and insight that is Harlan Ellison.”
—Dan Simmons, author of Hyperion and Ilium

“The spellbinding quality of a great nonstop talker with a cultural warehouse for a mind.”
New York Times Book Review

“One of the greatest speculative fiction writers this country has ever produced….”
—Ron Moore, executive producer of Battlestar Galactica

“Harlan Ellison’s short stories have already won high praise in his native America, and the sixteen recent specimens collected in Shatterday are impressively various and accomplished…. An authentic writer.”
The Guardian

“Fiction with a sharp, fantastic edge.”

“…one of the great living American short-story writers.”
—George R. R. Martin

“You have to read Shatterday, feel it, experience it…. It is an event.”
Science Fiction Review

Shatterday should be banned from all science-fiction shelves. Harlan Ellison no longer belongs there. Do Jonathan Swift, Edgar Allan Poe, Rimbaud, or Kafka? Occasionally, there’s a writer with the mind, passion, and audacity to create a one-man revolution in his field. Harlan Ellison is such a writer.”
—Roger Corman

“Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Norman Mailer, stand aside: Harlan Ellison is a better short-story writer than you will ever be again in the rest of your lives.”
—Ray Bradbury

“Whatever the genre or blend of genres, Ellison delivers.”
Publishers Weekly

“One of the great living American short-story writers.”
Washington Post Book World

“The categories are too small to describe Harlan Ellison. Lyric poet, satirist, explorer of old psychological corners, moralist, purveyor of pure horror and black comedy; he is all these and more.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Speculative fiction without Harlan Ellison would be like the Fourth of July without fireworks.”
—Ursula K. Le Guin

“It’s long past time for Harlan Ellison to be awarded the title: 20th-century Lewis Carroll.”
Los Angeles Times

“He is a brave and lively little beast, who makes a great show of himself to the hounds but remains far too wary to lead them to his real lair.”
—Michael Moorcock, author of The Best of Michael Moorcock

“Harlan Ellison’s prose has a remarkable vitality. Adrenaline seems to drive him to the typewriter where, for our entertainment, he produces cracking and powerful tales.”
—Steve Allen

“Harlan Ellison has a supersonic mind, and Shatterday is its flagship, a streak of literary light across a mythological sky.”
—William Kotzwinkle

“Because Harlan Ellison pretends that he is just a nice guy who has dropped in to read you his latest tale, you drop your defenses and wham—you discover that he is a horror writer in disguise. Things do not go bump in Ellison’s tales. That would be too easy. Instead, his heroes crash into the night en route to final, fatal meetings.”
Saturday Review

“One of the few masters of the short story.”

“…confrontational and shocking…you’ll remember again why Harlan Ellison is considered one of America’s best short-story writers.”
—Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction

“…timeless stuff, speaking to (mostly) the dark within each of us, but also at times uplifting, light, and funny.”
SF Scope

Harlan Ellison has written or edited more than 75 books and more than 1,700 stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns as well as two dozen teleplays and a dozen movies. His work includes such classics as Deathbird Stories, Dangerous Visions, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Strangewine, Shatterday, Angry Candy, and Slippage. He has won multiple Hugo, Nebula, Edgar, Stoker, Locus, and Audie awards as well as the Silver Pen, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Bradbury, and American Mystery awards. Ellison was nominated for a Grammy award in 2009 for his reading of Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.

Visit the Harlan Ellison website.

Introduction, Mortal Dreads

Jeffty Is Five
How’s the Night Life on Cissalda?
Flop Sweat
Would You Do It for a Penny? (with Haskell Barkin)
The Man Who Was Heavily Into Revenge
Shoppe Keeper
All the Lies That Are My Life
Count the Clock That Tells the Time
In the Fourth Year of the War
Alive and Well and on a Friendless Voyage
All the Birds Come Home to Roost
The Other Eye of Polyphemus
The Executioner of the Malformed Children