Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards: A science fiction classic about an antiestablishment rebel set on overthrowing the totalitarian society of the future.
One of science fiction’s most antiestablishment authors rails against the accepted order while questioning blind obedience to the state in this unique pairing of short story and essay.
“‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” is set in a dystopian future society in which time is regulated by a heavy bureaucratic hand known as the Ticktockman. The rebellious Everett C. Marm flouts convention, masquerading as the anarchic Harlequin, disrupting the precise schedule with bullhorns and jellybeans in a world where being late is nothing short of a crime. But when his love, Pretty Alice, betrays Everett out of a desire to return to the punctuality to which she is programmed, he is forced to face the Ticktockman and his gauntlet of consequences.
The bonus essay included in this volume, “Stealing Tomorrow,” is a hard-to-find Harlan Ellison masterwork, an exploration of the rebellious nature of the writer’s soul. Waxing poetic on humankind’s intellectual capabilities versus its emotional shortcomings, the author depicts an inner self that guides his words against the established bureaucracies, assuring us that the intent of his soul is to “come lumbering into town on a pink-and-yellow elephant, fast as Pegasus, and throw down on the established order.”
Winner of the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” has become one of the most reprinted short stories in the English language. Fans of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World will delight in this antiestablishment vision of a Big Brother society and the rebel determined to take it down. The perfect complement, “Stealing Tomorrow” is a hidden gem that reinforces Ellison’s belief in humankind’s inner nobility and the necessity to buck totalitarian forces that hamper our steady evolution.