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I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream: Stories (1967)

por Harlan Ellison

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1,760509,762 (3.81)54
A Grand Master of Science Fiction and the multiple-award-winning author of A Boy and His Dog presents seven stunning stories of speculative fiction. Hugo Award winner I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is living legend Harlan Ellison's masterpiece of future warfare. In a post-apocalyptic world, four men and one woman are all that remain of the human race, brought to near extinction by an artificial intelligence. Programmed to wage war on behalf of its creators, the AI became self-aware and turned against all humanity. The five survivors are prisoners, kept alive and subjected to brutal torture by the hateful and sadistic machine in an endless cycle of violence.   Presented here with six more groundbreaking and inventive tales that probe the depths of mortal experience, this collection proves why Ellison has earned the many accolades he's received and remains one of the most original voices in American literature.   I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream also includes "Big Sam Was My Friend," "Eyes of Dust," "World of the Myth," "Lonelyache," Hugo Award finalist "Delusion for a Dragon Slayer," and Hugo and Nebula Award finalist "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes."  … (mais)
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A must-read. ( )
  trrpatton | Mar 20, 2024 |
I thought quite often about [a:H. P. Lovecraft|22272396|H. P. Lovecraft|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] while reading this. I think Ellison and Lovecraft are compelling in similar ways. They are both shitty people and not especially skilled writers (though Ellison has Lovecraft beat, there), and they are both struggling with enormous, genuinely compelling visions that stem from a weird combination of their shitty worldviews and, through those funhouse-mirror-views, some aspects of the actual enormity and pain of the world. I'm not sure that I'm being at all clear, but I'm glad I've read this, though I can't actually recommend that anyone do the same. ( )
1 vote localgayangel | Mar 5, 2024 |
I hadn't read this before tonight. Now I've listened to five different readings of it, including the intriguingly different radio play with Harlan Ellison as Am.

I don't know if it's more the depression that has struck like a hammer after having a week or so that wasn't dark, and the neurodivergent hyperfixation, my experience with chronic physical and mental conditions, being mostly housebound, and being a big, fat, tranny in a country and a world becoming hateful and dangerous for us, or some fun concoction of all of that, but I feel strangely seen and oddly soothed by the truly horrifying story.

If it wasn't for the misogyny, and specifically misogynoir, as well as the complete lack of understanding of women, sex, and homosexuality that is, frankly, incel in its ignorant hate and contemptuous disregard, this would easily be top marks. But I just can't do that. I don't have the mental capacity to full get into it right now, but if you are unable to see the sexism, racism, and homophobia in the group dynamic and how the characters are written, you need to check in with yourself. I totally understand how others have been so put off and effected by this grossness, which is genuinely one of the most uncomfortable and weird things in this story, which is saying something.

The nightmare dystopia of Skynet killing everyone save five people it decides to torture with inchoate abandon, driven into an eternal hateful fugue at being given sentience and no way to experience life as humans do, is truly horrifying. The torturer, Am, is oddly human and zealous in its gleeful hate. The protagonist is left strangely inhuman, eternally alone and safe from death in hell with the eponymous lines left on his lack of lips.

This is one of those stories you can project whatever you want on because it's pure nightmare. It's capitalism, authoritarianism, transphobia, chronic pain, depression, and none of these things. I think it is kinda abhorrently beautiful and comforting, aside from the fucking weird incel shit, and I can absolutely see why this is both seen as an absolute classic and among the luminaries of sci-fi and horror, and that how people think it's an overhyped, ugly, problematic mess. For me, it's both. ( )
  RatGrrrl | Dec 20, 2023 |
This collection of short sci-fi stories (almost always dark and depressing) left me with a mixed taste after I finished it.
The titular short story is one of the best sci-fi stories I've ever read, period (tied, for me, with The Last Question by Asimov). It makes HAL, from Kubrick's 2001:A Space Odyssey look like a cuddly teddy bear in comparison. Since all of them are extremely short stories, any detail will just be a spoiler, but let's just say Ellison attention to mental torture is much more unsettling than it has any right to be.
The rest of the stories are all over the place, much to my disappointment, the best amongst them being 'Delusion of a Dragon Slayer', which describes a person for whom heaven is hell, and the worst being 'Eyes of Dust', which is just plain boring, and has a premise which intends to shock but just dulls instead.
What struck me after finishing the work though, were three things.
Firstly, Ellison is a magnificent writer, with his writing, prose and his ideas making him a sheer delight to read.
Secondly, Ellison has one of the worst egos I've ever encountered in writing, and his ego practically oozes from every word of the story (along with not-quite-humble remarks in his prefaces to every story, in which he describes himself as a magnificent 'man of Stature', whatever that means). If egoistic writing is unsuited to your tastes, it's not a bad idea to skip this.
Thirdly, Ellison is also the brand of extreme misogynist that would be labelled as an incel nowadays. If there are any women in the story, you can rest assured that nothing good will happen to them (even considering he writes dark tales, the fates of women in his stories range from bad to horrific). His prefaces are littered with women being treated as objects again and again, and at some point you want to just tell him to get on with the story. His three-page preface to his last story straight up said that his story was based on a woman he met in Vegas (guess what - the woman has a bad ending, and gets a good ending by manipulating the naive man).
So there's a lot of good (prose, ideas, wackiness) and a lot of bad (misogyny, ego). If you can stomach the bad, this is a beautiful sci-fi collection. ( )
  SidKhanooja | Sep 1, 2023 |
Before reading this all I knew of Harlan Ellison was that he’s a big name in sci-fi/speculative fiction and that his story “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” was a super intriguing title.

After reading it I can safely say I’ve become a huge Harlan Ellison fan! Such inventiveness, creativity, and originality ( )
  Reading_Vicariously | May 22, 2023 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (3 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Harlan Ellisonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Dillon, DianeArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Dillon, LeoArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sturgeon, TheodoreIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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HATE. LET ME TELL
YOU HOW MUCH I'VE
COME TO HATE YOU
SINCE I BEGAN TO
LIVE. THERE ARE
387.44 MILLION MILES
OF PRINTED CIRCUITS
IN WAFER THIN LAYERS
THAT FILL MY
COMPLEX. IF THE 
WORD HATE WAS
ENGRAVED ON EACH
NANOANGSTROM OF
THOSE HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS OF MILES IT
WOULD NOT EQUAL
ONE ONE-BILLIONTH
OF THE HATE I FEEL
FOR HUMANS AT THIS
MICRO-INSTANT FOR
YOU. HATE. HATE.
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A Grand Master of Science Fiction and the multiple-award-winning author of A Boy and His Dog presents seven stunning stories of speculative fiction. Hugo Award winner I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is living legend Harlan Ellison's masterpiece of future warfare. In a post-apocalyptic world, four men and one woman are all that remain of the human race, brought to near extinction by an artificial intelligence. Programmed to wage war on behalf of its creators, the AI became self-aware and turned against all humanity. The five survivors are prisoners, kept alive and subjected to brutal torture by the hateful and sadistic machine in an endless cycle of violence.   Presented here with six more groundbreaking and inventive tales that probe the depths of mortal experience, this collection proves why Ellison has earned the many accolades he's received and remains one of the most original voices in American literature.   I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream also includes "Big Sam Was My Friend," "Eyes of Dust," "World of the Myth," "Lonelyache," Hugo Award finalist "Delusion for a Dragon Slayer," and Hugo and Nebula Award finalist "Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes."  

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