It’s easy to forget, amid his various self-inflicted scandals, that Harlan Ellison is one of the most celebrated living writers right now, and still a hell of an SF writer. And the cheap paperback he wrote that started it all is finally back in print tomorrow.
One of my hobbies is chasing down hard-to-find books by SF writers, both in and outside the genre, in actual bookstores. And some of them are very, very hard to find: I spent a decade looking for Michael Moorcock’s Behold The Man, for example, before Mojo put it out a few years ago.
But I missed the reprinting of Harlan Ellison’s first novel, a crime story called Web of The City. This book is the first novel Ellison put into print and has a badass story behind it: Ellison, to properly write about Brooklyn street gangs, actually joined a Brooklyn street gang for several months.
It shows in his work. The reprint by Hard Case Crime hits stores and Kindles tomorrow, but you can check out an excerpt right now.