harlan-ellison

Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you – as if you haven’t been told a million times already – that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching.
—  Harlan Ellison
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Patreon Request: AM - I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

"I’d really like to hear a part from a short story by Harlan Ellison, called "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.”

The quote the requester picked is pictured above.  Since the character is supposed to be a computer, they wanted the voice to sound calm and creepy, so I gave it my best shot.

For more details about Patreon and monthly personal requests, you can go here.

Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you – as if you haven’t been told a million times already – that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching.
—  Harlan Ellison

"He made certain I would suffer eternally and could not do myself in. He left my mind intact. I can dream, I can wonder, I can lament. Outwardly: dumbly, I shamble about, a thing that could never have been known as human, a thing whose shape is so alien a travesty that humanity becomes more obscene for the vague resemblance. Inwardly: alone. 
I have no mouth. And I must scream.”

People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.
—  Harlan Ellison
This is a test. Take notes. This will count as 3/4 of your final grade. Hints: remember, in chess, kings cancel each other out and cannot occupy adjacent squares, are therefore all-powerful and totally powerless, cannot affect each other, produce stalemate. Hinduism is a polytheistic religion; the sect of Atman worships the divine spark of life within Man; in effect saying, “Thou art God.” Provisos of equal time are not served by one viewpoint having media access to two hundred million people in prime time while opposing viewpoints are provided with a soapbox on the corner. Not everyone tells the truth.
—  Harlan Ellison

When I was in my teens and early twenties, with dreams of being a writer, Harlan Ellison’s essays on writing taught me more than anything else did. Truth.

Many of those essays, along with the core short stories that made Harlan famous (or infamous) are in HARLAN 101: Discovering Ellison.

I wrote the introduction. The 406 page book’s a bit pricy but it’s a really good place to go if you intend to write.

HARLAN 101: ENCOUNTERING ELLISON 

Designed as both an introduction to Harlan Ellison’s vast body of work and as a manual for would-be writers, Harlan 101 collects the best of the author’s short fiction, seven essays on the craft of writing, and a collection of rarely seen oddities from Ellison’s extensive archives.

I know that pain is the most important thing in the universes. Greater than survival, greater than love, greater even than the beauty it brings about. For without pain, there can be no pleasure. Without sadness, there can be no happiness. Without misery there can be no beauty. And without these, life is endless, hopeless, doomed and damned.
Adult. You have become adult.
—  Harlan Ellison, Paingod and other delusions