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科幻大师埃利森去世,这五部作品最出色

Glen Fleishman 2018年07月23日

埃利森在创作中往往不拘于人物刻画,也时而不顾情节连贯,却又斥责出版社和媒体公司看不到他本人及其他人作品的价值。

《星际迷航:原初系列》(Star Trek: The Original Series)中伦纳德·尼莫伊饰演史波克,威廉·夏特纳饰演詹姆斯·T·寇克舰长,德福雷斯特·凯利饰演麦考伊医生。CBS Photo Archive—Getty Images

科幻小说黄金时代的接班人哈伦·埃利森辞世,享年84岁。

埃利森在创作中往往不拘于人物刻画,也时而不顾情节连贯,却又斥责出版社和媒体公司看不到他本人及其他人作品的价值。

他一生著作等身,包括长篇小说、短篇故事、影视剧,还有出版但未上映的剧本,也留下了不少官司。他最著名的作品是为《星际迷航:原初系列》所写的《永恒边缘的城市》(“The City on the Edge of Forever”)原稿。编剧吉恩·罗登贝瑞和其他人大量改写了该作品,埃利森大怒,后来终于将原稿出版,并附上罗登贝瑞的书面评述。

2009年,埃利森起诉哥伦比亚派拉蒙网络电视(CBS Paramount Television),就一切与该集作品相关的产品(包括一种会说话的圣诞饰物)索求25%的利润。此案据说于同年私下了结。中篇小说《孩子与狗》(A Boy and His Dog,1969)是他另一部广为人知的作品,讲述一个野性的男孩、性暴力,和一只有心灵感应能力的狗。

埃利森有学识,又健谈,出席访谈节目和科幻作品大会,为视频做解说,甚至——作为现场活动——在从事新作品创作的各家书店埋头敲打字机。他的脾气是出了名的,广受赞誉又臭名昭著,即使在朋友中。最著名的莫过于他在自传电影《遨游科幻》(Dreams with Sharp Teeth)中的声讨——他阐述了媒体公司在制片过程中如何厚待每一位工作人员,唯独希望原作者无私奉献。

以下列举埃利森最著名的作品。

《危险影像》(1967)

这部文集收录并编辑了当时获奖或即将获奖的作者的33篇故事,成就了科幻小说全新的面貌。作品引入了更严苛的主题,以及性,并撼动了此前一度盛行的太空探险剧(space operas)。

《永恒边缘的城市》(1967)

该作品被广泛誉为其所属《星际迷航》系列中最好的一集。该集中,成员们登陆一颗星球,遇上一条由灭亡已久的种族所建的时间通道。麦考伊医生错为自己注射一剂药物,导致暂时癫狂,穿越到1930年的地球,更改了历史进程并抹除了“进取号”星舰。舰长寇克和大副史波克借时间通道穿越以修正时间轴,导致由琼·科林斯饰演的一名关键(虚构)历史人物的死亡。

《杰弗迪五岁》(1977)

该短篇小说讲述了一名年龄无法超过五岁的男孩杰弗迪。作品内容怪诞,不解释男孩的年龄为何止于五岁,或他的收音机为何只接收他第一次成长至五岁时的节目。杰弗迪的角色部分基于约书亚·安得鲁·凯尼格——《星际迷航》演员沃尔特·凯尼格之子,生于1968年,2010年逝世,死相看似自杀。

《我没有嘴但我要呐喊》(1967)

该短篇作品集中的同名小说讲述未来一台计算机消灭了几乎全部人类,使幸存者得以永生,并将他们无尽地折磨。故事内容之怪异令人联想到永不停歇的新闻周期。

《死鸟故事集》(1975)

该短篇作品集讲述古老众神的死亡。其中的同名小说中,世界由一位愤怒而狂暴的神主宰。现在,人类要夺回世界,并将其自身毁灭。(财富中文网)

译者:沈昕宇

Harlan Ellison, a scion of the Golden Age of science fiction, has died at age 84.

Ellison’s work often challenged characterization—and sometimes coherency—even as the author also railed against publishers and media companies that devalued his and others’ contributions.

He leaves behind an astonishingly large oeuvre of books, short stories, TV episodes, published but unproduced screenplays, and lawsuits. His best known work is the original script for “The City on the Edge of Forever” for the original Star Trek series. The show’s creator, Gene Roddenberry, and others substantially rewrote it, angering Ellison, who later published a version of his original with Roddenberry’s written comments.

In 2009, Ellison sued CBS Paramount Television for 25% of profits from everything related to the episode since 1967, which included a talking Christmas-tree ornament. It was reportedly settled out of court later that year. One of his best-known works, the novella A Boy in His Dog (1969), later made into a movie, features a feral teenager, sexual violence, and a telepathic dog.

An erudite and voluble man, Ellison appeared on talk shows, sci-fi convention panels, in DVD commentary, and even pounding away on a typewriter as part of live events at bookstores, where he wrote new stories on the spot. He was known for a temper, and perhaps as widely disliked as liked, even among his friends. One of his best-known rants appears as part of his biographical film Dreams with Sharp Teeth, in which he explains how media companies pay every professional in the chain of production, but expect free services from writers.

Here are a few of his best-known works.

Dangerous Visions (1967)

This edited anthology, which included 33 stories by past and future award winners, changed the face of science fiction. It introduced grittier themes and sex, and pushed back on the space operas that defined the previous age.

“The City on the Edge of Forever” (1967)

This Star Trek episode is widely credited with being the best in any of its series. In this episode, the crew lands on a planet with a portal through time created by a long-gone race. Dr. McCoy has accidentally injected himself with a drug that causes temporary madness, leaps through to Earth in 1930, and changes the course of history, eliminating the starship Enterprise. Captain Kirk and second-in-command Spock journey through the gateway to reset the previous timeline, which leads to the death of a critical (but fictional) historical figure played by Joan Collins.

“Jeffty Is Five” (1977)

This short story is about a boy, Jeffty, who never ages beyond five. The story evinces a kind of horror out of the lack of reason or inquiry into why he remains stuck, and why his radio only picks up programs from when he first turned five. Jeffty was based in part on Joshua Andrew Koenig, the son of Star Trek actor Walter Koenig, born in 1968 and who died in 2010 of apparent suicide.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (1967)

The title of this short-story collection story tells of a future in which a computer has managed to kill off all but a few humans, keep them immortal, and torture them eternally. The story has an eerie familiarity to the endless news cycle.

Deathbird Stories (1975)

The title tale from this collection of short stories about the death of old deities reveals that Earth was given over to an angry, insane god. And now, the time has come for humanity to reclaim it and bring itself to an end.

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