Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Opium" by Harlan Ellison

This (very short) short story left me kind of flat. Apparently originally written to be read on television, Ellison notes that the four-and-some-change page story was intended as a bit of "guerilla warfare" in his continuing opposition to television (although why, if he is so opposed to TV, did he show up on TV in the first place). It takes it's cue from the idea that, more and more often, people spend all of their free time trying to escape reality. Therefore, why wouldn't reality try to change to become more interesting?

I'll admit that it's an intriguing premise, and I think, given more breathing room, it could have been a really great story. However, as it is, it seems cramped and underealized. Perhaps more than a little ironically, I had a hard time suspending my disbelief in this story. In essence, I really wasn't able to "escape" into it like I was able to with many of Ellison's other storys. Maybe this is intentional, or maybe it's the result of the information about the story that I received from the preface, or some. . third. . thing. Whatever the reason, I just didn't find that the story clicked for me.

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