Possibly Impossible (2021 Edgeworks Abbey Archive Trade Paperback)

Five years in the making, the Edgeworks Abbey Archive represents Harlan Ellison’s last word on his written legacy. Researched and edited by Ellison’s long-time associate, Jason Davis, under the supervision of Harlan and Susan Ellison, this collection assembles the preferred texts of each story and essay along with previously uncollected and unpublished material to create the definitive edition.

Often written overnight for a penny a word and tailored to a title and cover art created months in advance, the fantasies herein were written in the first year and a half of Harlan Ellison’s career, when he churned out fiction at a remarkable rate, to learn his craft and pay the rent. From a detective stumbling upon an impossible murder to an environmental apocalypse that bathes the world in fire, these are tales brimming with invention, prefiguring later obsessions, and dashing along at a breakneck pace. This is not the nihilistic Ellison of “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” or the nostalgic Ellison of “Jeffty Is Five”; this is the embryonic author, trying to type at the speed of an imaginative engine just coming to life.

Previously collected in the out-of-print limited editions, COFFIN NAILS and PEBBLES FROM THE MOUNTAIN, these rare stories were the last published-but-uncollected tales in the Ellison œuvre, finally available in the first of three trade editions.

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Edited by Jason Davis, director of the Harlan Ellison Books Preservation Project.

Cover photo by Rod Searcey.

Where possible, each of the following stories is sourced from Harlan Ellison’s original typescript:

  • Children of Chaos (Amazing, Nov. 1957) – Previously collected in PEBBLES FROM THE MOUNTAIN
  • Satan is My Ally (Fantastic, May1957) – Previously collected in COFFIN NAILS
  • The Cave of Miracles (Fantastic, Sept. 1957) – Previously collected in PEBBLES FROM THE MOUNTAIN
  • The Big Trance (Dream World, Aug. 1957) – Previously collected in PEBBLES FROM THE MOUNTAIN
  • Phoenix Treatment (Fantastic, Aug. 1957) – Previously collected in COFFIN NAILS
  • Conversation Piece (Caper, Mar. 1957) – Previously collected in COFFIN NAILS
  • Vector: Two Attempts At Story (Tomorrow and…, Jan. 1969)
    The Saddest Lot of All – Previously collected in COFFIN NAILS
    Visitation on a Thursday – Previously collected in COFFIN NAILS
  • Waste (Fantastic, Oct. 1958) – Previously collected in COFFIN NAILS

“The Big Trance” and “Satan Is My Ally” have been set from Harlan Ellison’s original typescript, and feature text and profanity omitted or censored from the stories’ original publications and previous reprints.

Edgeworks Abbey Archive Content:

Pebbles and Nails by Jason Davis
An original essay detailing the history of Ellison’s final published short story collection(s).

6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 193p. ISBN: 978-1-946542-97-7.

Additional information

Weight .8 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 9 × .6 in

New, Fine, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, Binding Copy, Reading Copy