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Medea: Harlan's World (1985)

av Harlan Ellison

Andra författare: Poul Anderson (Bidragsgivare), Hal Clement (Bidragsgivare), Thomas M. Disch (Bidragsgivare), Diane Duane (Cartographer), Kelly Freas (Illustratör)7 till, Frank Herbert (Bidragsgivare), Larry Niven (Bidragsgivare), Frederick Pohl (Bidragsgivare), Robert Silverberg (Bidragsgivare), Theodore Sturgeon (Bidragsgivare), Kate Wilhelm (Bidragsgivare), Jack Williamson (Bidragsgivare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
282588,791 (3.71)7

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Visar 5 av 5
Medea was an epic project. Harlan Ellison decided it would be a good idea to bring together some of the best science fiction writers available and allow them to build a world in front of an audience. He accomplished it in 1975 where a stageful of science fiction authors, in front of a group of college students numbered in the thousands, dreamed and fleshed out the world “Medea” (or, as it became affectionately known, “Harlan’s World”)

There are a lot of additional details. And that is one of the good things about this book; it contains those details. A transcript of the discussion. Audience participation. Additional notes. Details on the world itself. Maps. Over one-third of the book is taken up with this detail.

And that is a blessing and a curse. If you are interested in how this sausage was made, then this information is invaluable. However, if all you want are the stories, then this is the most wasteful “introduction” ever written for any book ever. I fall in the former camp. And when things became tedious, I just moved on.

It is a completists book and has to be taken for what it is.

But let’s get to the stories. Because, no matter your interest in how it all came together, that is the main course. Unfortunately, they do not stand up to the promise of the ability of authors to work in a new world they helped create.

It is not that the stories are bad. In fact, there is not a bad one in the group. It is just that none really stand out. In other words, this is a collection of good to very good stories.

And one other problem, time has not been good to a significant number of them. Not that the plotting and storytelling is hoary. Rather, far too many of the stories have the casual sexism that permeated the 70’s. Even worse, a few of them feel like the 13-year-old boys within the writers got ahold of this new world – a new toy – and decided to play. Even one of the better stories – Ted Sturgeon’s “Why Dolphins Don’t Bite”, a story that digs into some very real questions about who we are as a species and how we individually act as human beings – starts with that 13-year-old boy. Even though there are reasons given later, did we really need this? Maybe so, considering the questions that were asked later. It could be that other stories just made me sensitive to the issue, but a really good story started on what was, to me, a very wrong note. (Note: the Kate Wilhelm story didn’t fall into the `13-year-old boy trap. But did you really think she would?)

As noted, there are good stories in here. A lot of good questions asked about who we are as people, and some good storytelling. And if you can get past the occasional issue previously mentioned, they are worth your time. But be aware of the broader story the book is trying to tell – not the story of Medea, but the story of how it was made. ( )
  figre | Dec 8, 2020 |
I admired the concept of this book, but the generally excellent authors involved were not particularly inspired to write strong stories, and the collection as a whole doesn't particularly hang together in a way that adds to its component parts. Unfortunately, I found that the non-fiction supplemental materials didn't really do much for me either. A novel length work by a single author might have done a better job of making this world, it's aliens, and it's human settlers interesting and worth caring about.

I found Poul Anderson's Hugo winning novelette "Hunter's Moon" to be an emotionally effective, but generally superficial story. Ellison, Disch, Clement and Silverberg provided additional relatively decent entries. ( )
  clong | Jul 5, 2019 |
This may be unique. It certainly was when it was done, and I don't think I've seen anything like it since. It all began in 1975, and proceeded on to fruition ten years later. It's a lot more complicated than that, and even Wikipedia just skims over it.

"Medea: Harlan's World is a collection of science fiction short stories by different authors, all taking place on the same fictional moon. It was an experiment in collaborative science-fictional world-building, featuring contributions by Hal Clement, Frank Herbert, and others.

It was based on a 1975 UCLA seminar called "10 Tuesdays Down a Rabbit Hole", held by Harlan Ellison and other science fiction authors."

The stories in this book had already been published in the various science fiction magazines of the day, by the time the collection saw the light of day. Having all the preparatory information, and the conversations transcribed from the original seminars, just binds it all into a complete picture. ( )
1 rösta Lyndatrue | Dec 3, 2013 |
Amazing book on how to develop an SF planet from the cosmos up. Includes a panel discussion with Frank Herbert and Ray Bradbury and collected stories from among Ellison's writing students at the time. ( )
  stpnwlf | Jul 16, 2007 |
A collaboration of science fiction greats, this book is the result of a university class on creative writing given by everyones favorite a*hole Harlan Ellison. It's great not only for the Sci Fi Enthusiast but also as a look into how the greats do their thing. ( )
1 rösta vanke | Nov 15, 2005 |
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» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Harlan Ellisonprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Anderson, PoulBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Clement, HalBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Disch, Thomas M.Bidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Duane, DianeCartographermedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Freas, KellyIllustratörmedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Herbert, FrankBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Niven, LarryBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Pohl, FrederickBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Silverberg, RobertBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Sturgeon, TheodoreBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Wilhelm, KateBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Williamson, JackBidragsgivaremedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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Dedicated in loving memory of
Creators of endless worlds.

Had we known the pain of missing
them, we would have told them
how much we loved them more often.

From all of us.
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