The Ellison Audio Archipelago
Compiled by David Loftus
Although mediocre or forgettable Ellison stories exist in written form, there is no such thing as a bad Harlan Ellison recording. Granted, spoken word may be an acquired taste: It demands closer attention than most music, and even the biggest fans of the Bickersons, Ray Bradbury, or T.S. Eliot rarely pull out their recordings more often than once a year.
Still, Ellison has had some of the most vivid and imaginative tales of our time with which to work. And he has set a new standard for dramatic readings preserved on LP, cassette, and compact disc (and now, digital electronic format). Even harder to find than most of his out-of-print books, pre-1990s Ellison vinyl and cassettes are precious -- to either the listening fan or the investing collector -- though some of the contents themselves have been reissued on CD or more recent cassette collections.
Harlan! Harlan Ellison Reads Harlan Ellison (1976)
contains "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" and "Shatterday"
- Alternate World Recordings, AWR 6922 (LP)
cover design: Leo & Diane Dillon
producer: Roy Torgeson, director: Shelley Torgeson
- Reissued by The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection, HE101 (1981)
Blood! The Life and Future Times of Jack the Ripper (1977)
From the works of and read by Robert Bloch and Harlan Ellison
Contains "A Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World," and Bloch's "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper" and "A Toy for Juliette"
- Alternate World Recordings, AWR 6925 (LP)
cover design: Thomas G. Barber, Jr.
produced and directed by the Torgesons
An Hour With Harlan Ellison (1979)
"Loving Reminiscences of the Dying Gasp of the Pulp Era"
- Hourglass Productions "Volume 1"(cassette)
producer & editor: Mary & Bob Drayer
written by: Mike Hodel
Jeffty Is Five (1982)
w/incidental music by Brad Kay
- The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection, HE102 (LP)
cover design: Jane Mackenzie
director: Shelley Levinson
Prince Myshkin, and Hold the Relish (1982)
- The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection, HE102A (cassette)
issued as a limited edition bonus offering with Jeffty is Five
On the Road With Ellison, Vol. 1 (1983)
- The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection, HE103 (LP)
cover photo: Tracy Klotz
director: Shelley Levinson
- Deep Shag Records, 2001 reissue (CD)
I'm Looking for Kadak (1980)
- The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection, HE107 (cassette)
cover: Tim Kirk
Harlan Ellison Reads "On The Downhill Side" (1984)
w/incidental music by Elise Morris
- The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection, HE110 (LP)
cover design: Don Ivan Punchatz
director: Shelley Levinson
Harlan Ellison: "A Boy and His Dog" and "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" (1985)
- Warner Audio Publishing (double cassette)
ISBN 0-87188-118-7 (U.S.A.)
reuses a detail of the original Dillons cover design for the 1976 Alternate World recording
"Repent" is NOT a reissue of the 1976 Alternate World/1981 Harlan Ellison Recording Collection version
Harlan Ellison Reads "Paladin of the Lost Hour" (1995)
- The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection, HE111 (CD)
cover design: Terry Lee
director: Shelley Levinson
exec. director: Susan Ellison
The Voice From the Edge: I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream (1999)
Includes "Laugh Track," " 'Repent, Harlequin,' Said the Ticktockman," "Paladin of the Lost Hour," "A Boy and His Dog" (all previously released), and new recordings of "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream," "Grail," "The Very Last Day of a Good Woman," "The Time of the Eye," "The Lingering Scent of Woodsmoke," and an "Introduction."
- The Voice From the Edge: Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral (2001)
Includes the title story, "Jeffty is Five," "Prince Myshkin, and Hold the Relish," "Anywhere But Here, With Anyone But You," "The End of the Time of Leinard," "In Lonely Lands,""Rat Hater," and one new story.
On the Road with Ellison, Vol. 2 (2004)
Among the live tales included here are Ellisons losing battle to have his screenplay of I, Robot filmed, his campaign against corporate mailing labels on magazine covers, being on Reagans enemies list, and How Steve McQueen Saved My Life.
On the Road with Ellison, Vol. 3 (2007)
Highlights include Ellisons hilarious retelling of his brief stint working for Disney, a touching reminiscece of his father, and the usual outrageous banter with audience members.
On the Road with Ellison, Vol. 4 (2010)
Featuring an exclusive new essay, Volume Four finds the author lecturing on the merits of Graham Greene to fast-food fry cooks, packing heat for a wealthy neurotic, and perhaps blasting The Little Rascals into space -- leaving his wife wondering if going to family barbeques are a good idea.
On the Road with Ellison, Vol. 5 (2011)
A three-CD set documenting HE's last-ever convention appearance (MadCon 2010).
On the Road with Ellison, Vol. 6 (2012)
A two-disc set that captures HE's 2005 Grand Master Award acceptance speech, a eulogy to author and friend Octavia Butler, and much more. Also includes an exclusive new essay.
In recent years, Ellison has appeared among other readers and authors on spoken word anthologies, as well as recorded works by other writers, contemporary and classic.
H.P. Lovecrafts The Rats in the Walls (1990)
Ellison joins members of the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company in a reading of an adaptation by Brad Strickland. This performance was recorded live at the 1990 Dragoncon in Atlanta.
Hanukkah Lights: stories from the festival of lights (1995)
Ellison reads "Go Toward the Light," w/Joel Grey and Lainie Kazan reading stories by Chaim Potok and Rebecca Goldstein
Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1996)
performed by Harlan Ellison
- Audio Literature #82270 (four cassettes, abridged)
exec. producers: Michael Viner & Deborah Raffin
producer: Paul Pirner
- Audio Literature (Kids) (one cassette)
The Greatest Mysteries of All Time Volume II (1997)
Ellison reads "Soft Monkey," w/David Warner, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Lukas Haas and others reading stories by Thomas Hardy, Jack London, Ruth Rendell, Vincent Starrett, F.I. Anderson, O. Henry, and Charles McCarry
executive producers: Michael Viner & Deborah Raffin
production manager: Karen Silverman
production coordinator: Stefan Rudnicki
edited by: Otto Penzler
Hollywood Fantasies (1997)
Ellison reads "Laugh Track," w/Jamie Farr, Steve Kmetko, Harley Jane Kozak, Susan Anspach, John Rubinstein, David Madden, Lainie Kazan and David Birney reading stories by Robert Sheckley, David Schow, John Jakes, Robert Silverberg, Robert Bloch, Michael Reaves, Henry Slesar, Ed Gorman and David Morrell
Kaleidoscope, The Human Operators (1997)
Ray Bradbury, A.E. van Vogt, Harlan Ellison
Bradbury reads his "Kaleidoscope" and Ellison reads "The Human Operators," co-authored by van Vogt. (Note: "Kaleidoscope" became available in 1998 in a Durkin Hayes Pub cassette, paired with "There Was An Old Woman"; "The Human Operators" was filmed in Vancouver in late 1998 for an episode of "The Outer Limits.")
The Titanic Disaster Hearings: The Official Transcripts of the 1912 Senate Investigation (1998)
United States Senate Committee on Commerce, et al., edited and introduced by Tom Kuntz
Twenty readers, including David Birney, Patrick Macnee, Susan Anspach, Roscoe Lee Browne, William Windom, Michael York and Ellison, read from the abridged transcripts. Ellison reads the testimony of Guglielmo Marconi, radio pioneer and head of an international communications monopoly; C.E. Henry Stengel, leather manufacturer and first class passenger from Newark; and Berk Pickard, steerage passenger and immigrant living in New York. This recording received a 1999 "Audie," the award of the Audio Publishers Association, for Best Multi-Voiced Presentation.
Adaptor and producer: Stefan Rudnicki
City of Darkness (1998)
Ellison reads Ben Bova's unabridged novel. This received the 1999 "Audie" for Best Solo Narration, Male.
The Greatest Mystery Stories of the 20th Century (1998)
Ellison reads "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs" w/David Warner, Stephanie Beacham, Robert Forster, Richard Cox, Susan Anspach and others reading stories by Lawrence Block, Harry Kemelman, G.K. Chesterton, Ruth Rendell, Ed Gorman, John Lutz and others
The Greatest Science Fiction Stories of the 20th Century (1998)
Ellison reads Jeffty is Five w/Wil Wheaton, Arte Johnson, Terry Farrell, Denise Crosby, Alexander Sidding, Melissa Manchester, and others reading such classics as The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke, Teangents by Greg Bear, Fermi and Frost by Frederick Pohl, That Only Mother by Judith Merrill, and Why I Left Harrys All-Night Diner by Lawrence Watt Evans.
Goodbye, Columbus and Five Short Stories (1999)
Harlan Ellison reads "Defender of the Faith," w/Elliott Gould, Theodore Bikel, John Rubinstein and Jerry Zaks reading other selections from the 1959 Philip Roth classic.
The Business and Other Stories (1999)
Ellison, Joe Barrett, Vincent Spano and Richard Cox read seven short stories from the Jay McInerney book; Ellison reads the story "How It Ended."
- Audio Literature (two cassettes)
Producers: Gabrielle de Cuir & Stefan Rudnicki
Ellison reads from the 1992 Ben Bova novel about the adventures of Native American geologist Jamie Waterman on Mars in the year 2020.
Return to Mars (1999)
Ellison reads from the 1999 sequel to Ben Bova's "Mars," about Jamie Waterman's second expedition to Mars and efforts to stop plans for a tourist industry that would destroy the planet's ecosystem. (Note: An unabridged multitrack edition audio cassette version is read by Dick Hill.)
The Phantom of Manhattan (1999)
The new novel by Frederick Forsyth, author of "Day of the Jackal" and "Icon," about the Phantom of the Paris Opera coming to New York in 1906, is dramatized with Roger Rees as the Phantom, and a cast that includes Ellison, William Windom, Arte Johnson, Susan Anspach, Maxwell Caulfield, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Alyssa Bresnahan, Robert Davi, Gabrielle de Cuir, Amanda Karr, and Peter Renaday.
Ellison reads Ben Bova's new novel about the sickly second son of a multibillionaire who attempts to recover the body of his older brother from a failed landing on Venus.
The Seeing Ear Trilogy (2000)
Dramatizations of original audio stories, classic radio shows, and adaptations of stories by Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Stephen Baxter, Gregory Benford, Terry Bisson, Neil Gaiman, James Patrick Kelly, John Kessell and Allen Steele
- Audio Literature (six audio cassettes)
Robert A. Heinleins The Man Who Traveled in Elephants (2001)
As part of the Atlanta Radio Theatre Companys The Deans List project to record the stories of Heinlein, Ellison plays The Ringmaster in an adaptation by Brad Linaweaver. This is a 35 minute, 11 second studio production with an introduction by Ray Bradbury (which apparently preceded a live Dragoncon performance) of 3 minutes and 44 seconds. The CD also includes the companys performance of a Linaweaver short story, A Real Babe, which does not include Ellison.
A Wizard of Earthsea (2001)
The first volume of Ursula K. LeGuins Earthsea tetralogy about a reckless, awkward boy named Sparrowhawk who becomes an apprentice to the Master Wizard is read by Ellison alone. Note that this is the unabridged recording; make sure you do not confuse it with the 1997 BBC Radio Collection version, which is abridged and features Judi Dench, Michael Maloney, and Emma Fielding.
AudioFile magazine wrote of this recording: "Harlan Ellison sounds like the guy next door, and his approach adds a touch of reality to this youthful fantasy story. Ellison's excellent pacing, volume, and use of dramatic pauses help weave a spell of enchantment and magic."
Earthlight and Other Stories: The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, 1950-1951 (2001)
Scott Brick, Christopher Cazenove, Maxwell Caulfield, Samantha Eggar, and Ellison are among the readers of Clarkes short stories.
Ellison does an introduction to Ben Bovas novel, which is read by David Warner and Christian Noble.
Other Wind (2001)
The fifth novel (and sixth book) of Ursula K. LeGuins Earthsea cycle is read by Ellison, Scott Brick, and Gabrielle De Cuir.
Shadow of the Hegemon (2002)
Ellison does only the introduction for this recording of the sixth book in Orson Scott Cards Ender series (this is the sequel to "Enders Shadow"). The readers are David Birney, Scott Brick, and Gabr Cuir. The war against the buggers is over, and Ender has gone to a faraway planet, so this narrative focuses on his comrade, Bean, and the other brilliant kids who have gone home after the war but are in danger of being killed or kidnapped.
- Audio Literature (eight audio cassettes or CD-ROM, unabridged)
Science Fiction: The Best of 2001 (2002)
Ellison reads an anthology edited by Robert Silverberg and Karen Haber. Stories include "Undone" by James Patrick Kelly, "On K2 with Kanakaredes" by Dan Simmons, "Know How, Can Do" by Michael Blumlein, "From Here You Can See the Sunquists" by Richard Wadholm, "Keepers of the Earth" by Robin Bailey, "Anomalies" by Gregory Benford, "One of Her Paths" by Ian Watson, "The Dog Said Bow-Wow" by Michael Swanwick, "And No Such Things Grow Here" by Nancy Kress, "Suncloud" by Stephen Baxter, and "Into Greenwood" by Jim Grimsley.
- Audio Literature "Fantastic Audio Series" (unabridged)
ibooks, Inc. (digital electronic audio, 2003)
The Birthday of the World and Other Stories (2002)
A collection of Ursula K. LeGuin's stories about love and sex among aliens is read by Scott Brick, Gabrielle De Cuir, and Ellison.
John Shirley's horror novel about a young San Francisco artist who cooperates with others to battles nightmarish demons is read by the author and Ellison.
The Tombs of Atuan (2002)
Ellison reads the second volume of Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea tetralogy.
Night Watch (2003)
Ellison joins Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle De Cuir in reading (roughly) the 29th novel in Terry Pratchetts series. (Note: The same team is not on the audio CD version of this book, which is read by Stephen Briggs.)
2000X: Tales of the Next Millennia (2003)
Ellison joins Robin Williams in a dramatic reading of Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman. Other stories include Ray Bradburys Pillar of Fire, Robert Heinleins By His Bootstraps, Kurt Vonneguts Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, and Karel Capeks R.U.R., as well as tales by A.E. Van Vogt, Octavia Butler, C.L. Moore, and Connie Willis. Readers include Richard Dreyfuss, Charles Durning, Tom Poston, Lynne Thigpen, Rene Auberjonois, David Birney, Avery Schreiber, Norman Lloyd, Barbara Rush, Christina Pickles, and David Rasche.
Enders Game (2004)
Ellison and Stefan Rudnicki narrate the 20th anniversary edition recording of Orson Scott Cards celebrated novel.
- Audio Renaissance (unabridged audio CD)
- Sound Library (audio cassette)
- Audible.com (digital audio)
Fantastic Imaginings: an Anthology of Visionary Literature (2004)
Stories by Ellison, Silverberg, Bova, Silverberg, John Crowley, Stephen Crane, Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Anne McCaffrey, and many others. Audio companion to the 2002 book Fantastic Imaginings: An Anthology of Discovery.
DIGITAL ELECTRONIC AUDIO
Ellison reads the book Greil Marcus once called the best rock n roll novel of the last twenty-five years, about a folk-singing kid from Kentucky with a voice like a spiders kiss. Though the hero resembles Elvis, Ellison said he had Jerry Lee Lewis more in mind. A 428K, sixty-day download that requires Microsoft Reader, and is not compatible with Macintosh or handhelds.
Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman (2000)
Ellison narrates his classic Hugo winner with guest stars Robin Williams, Arte Johnson, and Stefan Rudnicki.
2000X: Vaster Than Empires and More Slow (2000)
Ellison hosts a dramatization read by Lorna Raver, William Sanderson, Ira Burton, Robertson Dean, Joe Greco, and Amy Van Horne of Ursula K. LeGuins novella about an expedition of misfits who explore a sentient planet that fears them. Originally produced by the Hollywood Theater of the Ear.
Ellison reads his 2001 collection, which includes such classics as "Repent, Harlequin" and "Jeffty is Five," and some new material such as "Never Send to Know for Whom the Lettuce Wilts."
The Best of Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine 2002
Ellison reads Never Send to Know for Whom the Lettuce Wilts. Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle De Cuir, and others read stories by Bruce Sterling, Damon Knight, Albert F. Cowdrey, Robert Sheckley, Maureen McHugh, Ron Wolfe, Esther M. Friesner, and M. Rickert.
The Best of Robin Williams @ audible.com: Novel-ty Writers (2002)
Williams talks with his favorite writers, including John Irving, Robert Silverberg, and Ellison, with whom he raps about Martian gargoyles, computer vampires, little people versus midgets, and the genius of Lenny Bruce.
- Audible.com (2 hours, 46 minutes; explicit language warning)
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