Deathbird StoriesBy Harlan Ellison
Masterpieces of myth and terror about modern gods from technology to drugs to materialism-"fantasy at its most bizarre and unsettling" (The New York Times). As Earth approaches Armageddon, a man embarks on a quest to confront God in the Hugo Award-winning novelette, "The Deathbird." In New York City, a brutal act of violence summons a malevolent spirit and a growing congregation of desensitized worshippers in "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs," an Edgar Award winner influenced by the real-life murder of Queens resident Kitty Genovese in 1964. In "Paingod," the deity tasked with inflicting pain and suffering on every living being in the universe questions the purpose of its cruel existence. Deathbird Stories collects these and sixteen more provocative tales exploring the futility of faith in a faithless world. A legendary author of speculative fiction whose best-known works include A Boy and His Dog and I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream-and whose major awards and nominations number in the dozens, Harlan Ellison strips away convention and hypocrisy and lays bare the human condition in modern society as ancient gods fade and new deities rise to appease the masses-gods of technology, drugs, gambling, materialism-that are as insubstantial as the beliefs of those who venerate them. In addition to his Nebula, Hugo, World Fantasy, Bram Stoker, Edgar, and other awards, Ellison was called "one of the great living American short story writers" by the Washington Post-and this collection makes it clear why he has earned such an extraordinary assortment of accolades. Stories include: "Introduction: Oblations at Alien Altars" "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" "Along the Scenic Route" "On the Downhill Side" "O Ye of Little Faith" "Neon" "Basilisk" "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes" "Corpse" "Shattered Like a Glass Goblin" "Delusion for a Dragon Slayer" "The Face of Helene Bournouw" "Bleeding Stones" "At the Mouse Circus" "The Place with No Name" "Paingod" "Ernest and the Machine God" "Rock God" "Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38 Degrees 54' N, Longitude 77 Degrees 00' 13" W" "The Deathbird"