Thursday, September 28, 2000

An Edge in My Voice

by Harlan Ellison

When I was a young lad, in my second decade, I discovered the speculative fiction (science fiction is too confining a label) of Harlan Ellison. I was quite taken with the man and thought him the greatest author around. Now I'm older and not quite as awed by him. I still think he's a great writer, certainly, but I no longer see him as a literary demigod -- just a man with his own gifts and passions. A man who, like the rest of us, can be wrong. An Edge in My Voice is a collection of columns written in the early 80s for Future Life, The L.A. Weekly, and The Comics Journal. (Read the book if you want a timeline of when and where each installment appeared.) The topics all fall under the category of "life in these times", which runs the gamut from politics to cookies. Rereading this collection was enjoyable in two ways (besides the obvious pleasure of reading the words of a master craftsman): first as a nostalgic remembrance of the early Reagan era, second as a glimpse of life in Los Angeles. That's a bit surprising because I have no special fondness for either L.A. or Mr. Reagan. Maybe I just like seeing life through the eyes of another. Or maybe, as I've implied, Mr. Ellison is an excellent writer. You should definitely check this out. That being said, however, I have to confess that I'm not hanging on to this volume. I no longer agree enough with Harlan to take a steady diet of his opinions and while he speaks the truth as he believes it (an admirable trait), he does not often do it with love.

LibraryThing link

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