Find sources: "A Boy and His Dog" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June ) (Learn how and when to remove this template message). Cover of Vic and Blood #2. A Boy and His Dog is a cycle of narratives by author Harlan Ellison. The cycle tells the story of a. A Boy and His Dog book. Read 66 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Winner of the Nebula Award: A boy and his telepathic dog fight to. Editorial Reviews. Review. “The ending has to be one of science fiction's best.” — SF Signal Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month?.
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Vic and Blood: The Chronicles of a Boy and His Dog [Harlan Ellison, Richard I' ve been a fan of the movie since middle school, but i always download books from. A Boy and His Dog - Harlan Ellison. I've not read much Harlan Ellison over the years, though I've enough of a soft spot for "I have no mouth. Winner of the Nebula Award: A boy and his telepathic dog fight to survive in a war -torn, postapocalyptic world in this hard-hitting science fiction novella.
Three makes a crowd. The oldest friendship in a new way. I loved it. Broken boy and all. The award winning story, and some context I've been wading into the Harlan Ellison collection as I try to deepen my exposure to the original giants of sci-fi, and "A Boy and His Dog" didn't disappoint.
I think the short story format works perfectly for post-apocalyptic fiction, and Ellison handles it well. We know only what Vic, the story's protagonist, wants us to know, and we may know exactly what he knows as far as how the world got to be the way it was: Vic's voice is what makes the story so engaging.
He doesn't glorify the life he leads, but there is no yearning for the times before the war; he just is. His needs are the most basic human needs: Blood, his dog, helps him find sex, and in turn Vic makes sure that Blood is fed. Life works well for Vic and Blood until Blood finds Quilla June, who starts to raise the question of love. Love invites betrayal, which invites revenge, until love conquers all.
A Boy and His Dog
And in the surprise ending, love wins. Included in my volume is a short essay, "Ahbhu," which anyone who has ever had a long-term love with an animal will relate to - especially if they've had to end the relationship. I was nearly in tears when I finished, and immediately wanted to hug my own furry best friend.
It was a fitting end cap to a wonderful story. Jun 02, Gary rated it really liked it Shelves: His dialogue is always razor-sharp and you can't help but chuckle when you realize the conversations the main human character is having with his dog. As most probably know, the depictions of post-nuclear war America a bombed out wasteland, scavenger gangs, underground vault dwellers, mutants, etc in the story came to heavily influence the popular Fallout video game series.
Some may have issues with the motivations of the main character Vic in regards to women, but I think Ellison made it clear that the post-nuclear world isn't the best place and Vic's not exactly a hero. Surprisingly most notable was the little afterward in this edition about Ellison's dog that he used as inspiration for the dog featured in the story. It described him picking up the dog as a puppy and then the sad day he had to be put the sleep, a sad tale every pet owner can relate to.
The truth is I really like and dislike this short story at the same time. The difficulty lies within the fact that very elements I disliked about the story played into it so well. Ultimately I am going to rank it highly, and will not be able to dispute those who disagree. After all, the content is difficult and reading is so individualized.
The writing is on par for the post apocalyptic theme and must have been well ahead of its time. I cannot imagine what a stir this graphic story might have generated in That combined with the fast pace, well developed plot and twisted ending, delivers us a brief but rewarding experience that explores a boy's love for his dog. Recommending for fans of dystopian reads that can stomach sexual and violent content.
A boy loves his dog. So true. Short but good. I think a remake of the movie would be a good idea. I bet it happens. May 23, Peter Tillman rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is a short novella, and can be read within an hour or so. Still, there is a lot packed into that can inspire discussion and debate. For me, I loved the language of the novella.
Ellison creates new terms and slang which helped create the setting more. There is little description, which for me is good as I don't always enjoy superfluous description. Ellison crates two strong characters and their relationship develops. This is a dystopian novella and fits right in with the genre--the world is chaos where we are, the outside world is worse, that sort of thing.
What is unique about this dystopian novella is the use of the dog, Blood. Blood is telepathic, which is explained. And he has bonded with Vic, who Blood calls Albert, just to be mean. Their bond is really at the center of the book.
While at the same time, there is so much other themes to discuss. Right and wrong Love and relationship Sacrifice Survival. Excellent read although somewhat disturbing at times --Highly recommended.
View 2 comments. Nov 06, Matt Gonzalez Kirkland rated it really liked it Shelves: I was very saddened to hear the news of Harlan Ellison's passing. While I didn't agree with him on some things, I did agree with him on a great number of them. Cantankerous, but not snarky or mean-spirited, in his writings and conversations. I found him to one of the best writers on the planet. Now, he's joined the likes of Shakespeare, Emerson, Vonnegut, all at God's assembled roundtable of literary greats!
Okay, that's enough of my tribute-of-sorts to Harlan Ellison. Now, for my review of A I was very saddened to hear the news of Harlan Ellison's passing. This was a a quick, fun read. Quite literally, it is the adventure of boy Vic and his telepathic dog Blood. The two rely on each other, sharing bond that comes through in all of their exchanges. A four-legged friend who became so much more than just a "canine companion".
The tale was written in and was later adapted for film by L. Despite the time written, the book still reads as if written yesterday.
And that was something unique about Ellison: Yes, the language can be deemed coarse at points, but still far less offensive than anything written today. The use of profanity is given to the way Vic speaks, a product of the post-apocalyptic world he was born. It never feels forced or anything approaching offensive. It just feels, for want of a better word, natural.
Again, this is a fun short story about a boy and his dog.
It may not appeal to everyone, but I surely liked it and I hope that maybe you will, too. I challenge you to NOT tear up by the conclusion!
By all means, good people, please check this one out! I saw the movie based on this book back in the late seventies, and the book has been in my To Be Read list since. I've now seen the movie several times and every time I renewed my desire to read the book. I finally got around to it. If you've read any other reviews of this work, then you already know that it is controversial in its treatment of women, or to be more accurate in its depiction of how women are objectified in a post-apocalyptic future.
In this cautionary tale, Mr. Ellison paints a b I saw the movie based on this book back in the late seventies, and the book has been in my To Be Read list since. Ellison paints a bleak picture with a few brief, brutal strokes of his pen. A savage dystopian landscape where men hate and fear each other and women are rare to the point of being worthless.
To be used and then discarded. He doesn't bandy his words either; he is writing to make us angry. He is trying to force us to take notice of just how terrible this future world is. He is not advocating for this future he is condemning it and us along with it.
Vic and Blood: The Chronicles of a Boy and His Dog
He is declaring that a world where women are treated thus has no future, that humanity itself is doomed to extinction. I do find it interesting that the culture of the Downunder could easily be the foundation for a society similar to that portrayed in "The Handmaid's Tale.
This is probably why it has taken me nearly 40 years to get around to reading this story. But whatever I may think of him, he is a master of his craft. Nov 28, Ephemera Pie rated it it was amazing. Vic is most concerned with food and sex; having lost both of his parents, he has no formal education and does not understand ethics or morality.
He is accompanied by a well-read, misanthropic, telepathic dog named Blood, who helps him locate women, in return for food. Blood cannot forage for himself, due to the same genetic engineering that granted him telepathy. The two steal for a living, evading bands of solos and mutants.
Blood and Vic have an occasionally antagonistic relationship, though they realize that they need each other. At a movie house, Blood claims to smell a woman, and the pair track her to an abandoned YMCA building. Before Vic can rape her, Blood informs the pair that a "roverpak" a gang has tracked them to the building and they have to fight them off.
After killing a number of them, the trio hides in a boiler and set the structure on fire. Vic finally has sex with Quilla June, and though she protests at first, she begins to come on to him. Blood takes an instant disliking to her, but Vic ignores him. Vic and Quilla June have sex repeatedly, but eventually, Quilla June attacks him and takes off to return to her underground community. Vic, furious at her deception, follows her, despite Blood's warnings.
Blood remains at the portal on the surface. Downunder has an artificial biosphere, complete with forests and underground cities, one of which, named Topeka, after the ruins of the city it lies beneath, is fashioned in a surreal mockery of s rural innocence. Vic is captured by the ruling council the Better Business Bureau. They confess that Quilla June was sent to the surface to lure a man to Downunder.
The population of Topeka is becoming sterile, and the babies that are born are usually female. They feel that Vic, despite his crudeness and savage behavior, will be able to reinvigorate that male population. Vic is first elated to learn that he is to impregnate the female population, but he quickly grows bored of his surroundings and plots his escape. Quilla June is reunited with Vic and they plan to escape together. Vic uses the fact that Quilla June's father secretly desires sex with her as a distraction, incapacitating him, so that they can escape.
On the surface, Vic and Quilla June discover that Blood is starving and near death, having been attacked by radioactive insects and other "things". Quilla June tries to get Vic to leave Blood and take off with her. Knowing he will never survive without Blood's guidance and, more importantly, knowing Blood will not survive without care and food, Vic faces a difficult situation.
It is implied that he kills his new love and cooks her flesh to save Blood's life. The novella ends with Vic remembering her question as Blood eats: A boy loves his dog. The science fiction film directed by L. Jones was controversial for alleged misogyny ; the script included lines that were not in Ellison's original stories and that authors such as Joanna Russ found to be objectionable.
Jones used. At some point, you meet the great and the near-great and everybody who matters. They look on me as an equal and I take that as the best pleasure of all. Having Michael Ragogna say that I'm worthy is terrific, it's really terrific, it goes into the file, but being on a level with a guy like Chadwick or Neal Adams or people like that shows that you've been doing the job well.
MR: Harlan, there are so many that feel that you've been doing the job extremely well, I hope you really do know that. So what advice do you have for new writers? HE: It's a tough road for writers these days. The word is not respected as much as it was. Things like the internet and iPods and tweeting have made vocabulary almost arcane. It's as if you were starting from scractch and scratching out your words on Phoenician stone tablets. I urge anybody who really has the stuff and really is a writer to keep persevering.
If it's good, it will get published.
See a Problem?
When newspapers fail and magazines fail and there's nothing left but a blank screen to look at, then we will all vanish the way the great Chinese artisans vanished. We can't reproduce the specific blue that the Egyptians did or the oranges of the Chinese painters because when that art is lost, then we will be lost. But until that time, the storyteller is still the one who keeps the light going around the campfire.
MR: What advice might you have for those writers especially pursuing "sci-fi," even though you've written for many genres? HE: Well I don't know the answers any more than Archimedes did. I don't know the answer to that question. MR: Okay. Are you enjoying what's going on in sci-fi these days?
HE: First of all, I never use that phrase sci-fi , it sounds like a couple of locusts having sex. I call it either "speculative fiction" or "genre. So I read guys now like Andy Duncan, who just had his second book in seven years published and he writes brilliant short stories. I like the good stuff and I ignore the rest of it, but then it goes back to Sturgeon's Law, ninety percent of everything is crap, banality or mediocrity or imitation.
That goes for doctors and candy bars and science fiction. So I like the good, that which tells a story and enlightens me and tells me something I didn't know before. The rest of it is just farts in a windstorm. MR: What are doing now?
What are you working on right now? HE: Well, one never stops working. One retires, but one keeps working because that's all I can do.
I cannot ice skate, I cannot tap dance, but I write. So every day, as Bertolt Brecht said, using the word "hopefully" correctly, as it so seldom is, "Every day, I go to the marketplace where ideas are sold and, hopefully, I pick my place among the sellers of lies. They had a changing of the palace guard and it never got made, so it appears for the first time anywhere. But there are a hundred books out there. You say, "What are you doing now? The fact that I made it onto the New York Times best seller list this week is something I wouldn't have expected.
Last week, if you asked me, "What are you working on now? I guess it was Irwin Shaw who said, "You don't produce one story at a time or one play or even one sonnet. When it comes to naming a favorite among my stories, it's like asking, "Which of your many hare-lipped children is the one that you dandle on your knee? My last story was published in the Ray Bradbury memorial book, which is called Weariness.
That's the last story I wrote, and just this last week, it won the HWA award as the best anthology and my story was singled out as being particularly good. My second to last most recent story won a Nebula for me, my third Nebula apart from my grandmaster award.
A Boy and His Dog
So I don't have a favorite. Jones have refurbished my icon.
MR: Beautiful, you brought this interview full circle. HE: My boy, he said patronizingly, there are so many things you don't know about me. Did you know that I'm one of the few people that ever slept on the headstone at Stonehenge? MR: Did you really?
Did you know that I once shot the son of a mafia boss with a Remington XP pistol rifle wearing nothing but a bath towel? MR: Well, I knew you were a badass. What I've got and whatever status I may have achieved I never completed college, I got thrown out after a year and a half for punching a professor and shoplifting and doing many other things that Dickens would never have done, or Goethe, I'm an honor to that.
What I've done I've done because I'm self-taught and I've worked very hard at my craft and that is the pride that a blue collar plowshare puller takes in his work. If they remember me for that, I'll be satisfied.
MR: Harlan, I believe you'll be remembered for quite a lot. I really appreciate your time, I've loved every minute of this. You're an amazing person and personality.
HE: Thank you, Michael. This album is a total labour of love.Glen Quasny rated it it was amazing Feb 19, I'm a storyteller, that's what I do, and people say to me, "God, you've written so many books, you've written so many essays, so many columns, aren't you tired? I appreciate the story's significance within the Speculative Fiction genre, and I also appreciate Ellison's ability to create such a vivid world within such a small space, but it's a very different and much darker story than I remember it being.
Well constructed universe, written in an enjoyable and well paced style, and excellent finish. Then the dog says, "She may not have very good judgment, but she sure had good taste.