APPROACHING OBLIVION

Road Signs on the Treadmill Toward Tomorrow

1974

Pope Julius II had his Michelangelo and the attendant agonies and ecstasies of the Sistine Chapel frescoes; Walker & Co. has its Harlan Ellison and the lunacies of obtaining APPROACHING OBLIVION. When this title was announced four years ago, the stir it caused brought in a stack of pre-orders. But the unpredictable Ellison—winner of more awards in the field of imaginative literature than any other living writer—was dissatisfied with a book that was to have included previously-collected stories. For four years Walker kept demanding, “When will the book be done?” And for four years Ellison howled back, “When it’s done, dammit! stop bugging me!” Now, at last, it’s done…and we must admit it was well worth the wait. In eleven new, startling treks into the Ellison fantasy-world (called sui generis by the Los Angeles Times), the legions of Ellison fans will find 1) the ultimate futuristic sex story, postulating a love affair so bizarre even Leopold Sacher-Masoch would blanch, 2) an hilarious tale of eleven-armed, blue, Jewish aliens in search of a minyan on a planet called Zsouchmuhn, 3) the tragedy of a man who goes back in time to find himself when he was a child, 4) the problem of a peculiar paranoid who fears he’s being loved to death, 5) the adventures of the very last campus radical in a worldwide police state, and six more stylistically breathtaking, absolutely uncategorizable, pluperfectly Ellisonian visions that could only have come from the man whom the Minneapolis Tribune called “the most interesting writer around,” the New Yorker tagged as “a non-stop controversialist,” Publishers Weekly flatly designated “a true virtuoso in his genre” and the New York Times identified as “the bête noire of science fiction.” Or as Pope Julius put it, “Well, it took you long enough, for Chrissakes!”

Walker & Co., 1974.
Cover art by Leo & Diane Dillon.

Contents

  • Foreword: Approaching Ellison by Michael Crichton
  • Introduction: Reaping the Whirlwind
  • One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty
  • Knox
  • Cold Friend
  • Kiss of Fire
  • Paulie Charmed the Sleeping Woman
  • I’m Looking for Kadak
  • Silent in Gehenna
  • Erotophobia
  • Ecowareness
  • Catman
  • Hindsight: 480 Seconds

Hardcover, 238p.
ISBN: 0802755410.
Original cover price: $8.95.

PUB, YEAR. Signet / NAL, 1976.
Cover art by Leo & Diane Dillon.

Contents

  • Foreword: Approaching Ellison by Michael Crichton
  • Introduction: Reaping the Whirlwind
  • One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty
  • Knox
  • Cold Friend
  • Kiss of Fire
  • Paulie Charmed the Sleeping Woman
  • I’m Looking for Kadak
  • Silent in Gehenna
  • Erotophobia
  • Ecowareness
  • Catman
  • Hindsight: 480 Seconds

Mass Market Paperback, 164p.
ISBN: 0451096835.
Original cover price: $1.25.

Bluejay Books, 1985.
Cover art by Barclay Shaw.

Contents

  • Foreword: Approaching Ellison by Michael Crichton
  • 1984 Introduction to the Introduction
  • Introduction: Reaping the Whirlwind
  • One Life, Furnished in Early Poverty
  • Knox
  • Cold Friend
  • Kiss of Fire
  • Paulie Charmed the Sleeping Woman
  • I’m Looking for Kadak
  • Silent in Gehenna
  • Erotophobia
  • Ecowareness
  • Catman
  • Hindsight: 480 Seconds

Trade Paperback, 213p.
ISBN:0312940181.
Original cover price: $7.95.