Ellison Wonderland (1984 Bluejay Books Trade Paperback)


“So I’m sitting up here on this magic mushroom, minding my own beeswax, when along comes the most righteously ugly caterpillar I’ve ever laid eyes on; and he’s wearing an all-weather plastic rain poncho, eight pairs of scuffed saddle-shoes, dark glasses, and a suspicious-looking hand-rolled cigarette never sold by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. ‘Get off my turf,’ the creep says to me. ‘Like hell,’ I reply. ‘I was here first,’ he says, in a fit of pique. ‘That’s what the Indians said,’ I answer, ‘and look what happened to them!’ So he settles down to give me rotten looks, and I figure the only way I’m going to get this hairy bug to mellow out is to tell him some stories, which is what I’m known for, so I tell him the following: about the guy whose next-door neighbor raises flowers with eyeballs; about the actor who was so much into the Method that he became the characters in the play; about the aliens that came to Earth to burn up in our atmosphere; and about what happens to the guy who used to say ‘rain, rain, go away, come again another day.’ But it didn’t
do a bit of good, he took me to the Housing Commission and tried to get me evicted. So I stepped on the little green sonofabitch.”


“Impossible brilliance which puts us all to shame.”
Alfred Bester


There were butchers and thugs abroad in the land in those days, when this collection of stories was first published. Their minions were paid a penny for every correction they made on some unsuspecting author’s manuscript, and so they got their drinking money by amassing a lot of pennies. Like many young writers in those days, I didn’t know how much auctorial power I had, nor how easily one could snap an arm attached to a hand holding a red pencil. So I let it go. Over the years, these stories were published again and again—always in a screwed-up version. For this Preferred Text, I have restored the original copy, corrected all the adolescent mistakes that made me wince, and even rewritten where embarrassment was the alternative. These are the fables conceived by a younger me, but now they appear for the first time as me intended.

“…the foremost short story artist of our time.”

Bluejay Books, 3rd American Edition

Introduction: The Man on the Mushroom
Commuter’s Problem
Do-It-Yourself (with Joe L. Hensley)
The Silver Corridor
All the Sounds of Fear
The Sky Is Burning
The Very Last Day of a Good Woman
Deal From the Bottom
The Wind Beyond the Mountain
Back to the Drawing Boards
Nothing for My Noon Meal
Rain, Rain, Go Away
In Lonely Lands

Original cover price: $6.95.

Additional information

Weight .563 lbs
Dimensions 8.25 × 5.5 × .5 in

Fine, Good