Ask Uncle Harlan (Edgeworks Abbey, 2020)


N.B. The columns in this volume were previously collected in the 2016 first edition of THE LAST PERSON TO MARRY A DUCK LIVED 300 YEARS AGO. If you have that book (and HARLAN 101, for the Writing columns), there’s NO reason to purchase this volume unless you are a completionist. You have been warned.

First came The Glass Teat, next the Harlan Ellison Hornbook, then An Edge in My Voice, and, finally, Harlan Ellison’s Watching—but now, Harlan Ellison presents not one, not two, not three, not four, but five complete columns in one book: Writing, The Streets, Ask Uncle Harlan, The Pitch, and I Had a Thought Today…, in which vital questions are considered:

So the unasked question is: How many times has Batman pissed himself, how many times has Batman crapped his drawers, how many times has Batman soiled himself ?

How many dumps has he taken unwillingly? How many “Oh, Kriiiiste, it’s the Killer Croc in that crane and here comes the fuckin’ wrecking ball!!!!??” How many biscuits? How many yello-mellos? How often the ooo, whooops!?

I don’t care how good you are, how much money you have, how many times your suave alter-ego has gotten laid by starlets, how much Pilates you do, how buff you are, how many chunks of metal you’ve got replacing your arms, legs, liver, or spleen…I don’t give a damn how athletic you are, how lucky you are, how adept and sinewy and flexible you are…Jack, don’t tell me that looking up from the bloody deck and seeing a twelve-foot-high, drooling, snakeskin, mass murderer with the moves of a Sonny Chiba and an intestine- festooned pickaxe lunging over you…

You do not piss yourself !

This guy leads a life that would make a sandworm whiz.


What the hell does Batman do with his smelly tighty-whiteys?

Note: We should probably mention that none of the columns in question lasted longer than four installments, but one outlasted its venue.

Out of stock


N.B. This is a pre-order. We hope to have the book in stock by mid-July 2020. It’s entirely possible we’ll  have it earlier, but given the uncertainties abounding at the moment, it could be later. 

Edited by Jason Davis.

Cover photograph by Steven Barber.


  • Writing aka Three Explicit Essays in Language So Direct Even You Can Understand, on the Subject of Producing Some Kick-Ass Fiction
    • Installment 1: First, There Was the Title
    • Installment 2: Tell-Tale Tics and Tremors
    • Installment 3: How Do We Get into This Mess?
  • Ask Uncle Harlan
    • 1991 Introduction to Installment 1
    • Installment 1: 5 August 1989
    • 1991 Introduction to Installment 2
    • Installment 2: 27 September 1989
    • 1991 Introduction to Installment 3
    • Installment 3: 19 December 1989
    • Installment 4: 28 June 1990
  • The Streets
    • The Road You Walk Is Thorny, My Son (unused original debut column)
    • Installment 1: 19 July 1990
    • Installment 2: 25 September 1990
    • Installment 3: 23 July 1991
  • The Pitch
    • Installment 1: It Goes in Neat, but It Comes Out…
    • Installment 2: …but It Comes Out Spinning, Like a Flying Saucer
    • Installment 2 Re-Write: How to Tame the Necromantic Beasts (Speak Softly, and Carry a Big Script)
  • I Had a Thought Today…
    • Installment 1: 14 November 2013
    • Installment 2: 18 March 2009
    • Installment 3: 2 May 2009/12 March 2012
    • Substitute Installment: 29 March 2009

1st Trade Paperback Edition. 162p. 6″ x 9″.

Additional information

Weight .6 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 9 × .5 in