Jeffty Is Five

"Jeffty Is Five" is a fantasy short story by American writer Harlan Ellison. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1977, then was included in DAW's The 1978 Annual World's Best SF in 1978 and Ellison's short story collection Shatterday two years later. According to Ellison, it was partially inspired by a fragment of conversation that he mis-heard at a party at the home of actor Walter Koenig: "How is Jeff?" "Jeff is fine. He's always fine," which he perceived as "Jeff is five, he's always five." Additionally, Ellison based the character of Jeffty on Joshua Andrew Koenig, Walter's son.

... I had been awed and delighted by Josh Koenig, and I instantly thought of just such a child who was arrested in time at the age of five. Jeffty, in no small measure, is Josh: the sweetness of Josh, the intelligence of Josh, the questioning nature of Josh.[1]
"Jeffty Is Five"
AuthorHarlan Ellison
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Genre(s)Fantasy short story
Published inThe Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
Publication typePeriodical
Media typePrint (Magazine, Hardback & Paperback)
Publication date1977

Summary

Jeffty is a boy who never grows past the age of five — physically, mentally, or chronologically. The narrator, Jeffty's friend from the age of five well into adulthood, discovers that Jeffty's radio plays new episodes of long-canceled serial programs, broadcast on radio stations that no longer exist. He can buy all-new issues of long-discontinued comic books such as The Shadow and Doc Savage, and of long-discontinued pulp magazines with new stories by long-dead authors like Stanley G. Weinbaum, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Robert E. Howard. Jeffty can even watch films that are adaptations of old pulp fiction novels like Alfred Bester's The Demolished Man. The narrator is privy to this world because of Jeffty's trust, while the rest of the world (the world that grew as Jeffty did not) is not. When Jeffty's world and the "real" world intersect, Jeffty loses his grip on his own world, eventually meeting a tragic end.

Reception

"Jeffty is Five" won the 1977 Nebula Award for Best Short Story[2] and the 1978 Hugo Award for Best Short Story,[3] and was nominated for the 1978 World Fantasy Award—Short Fiction.[4] It was also voted in a 1999 online poll of Locus readers[5] as the best short story of all time.

Publishers Weekly called it "touching but scary",[6] and Tor.com called it "heartbreaking",[7] while at the SF Site, Paul Kincaid described it as "a wonder of sustained nostalgia coupled with despair at the modern world", but noted that it "only really succeeds because of the tragedy of [its] ending."[8]

References

  1. ^ Ellison, Harlan (1980). Shatterday. Houghton Mifflin. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-395-28587-9.
  2. ^ Nebula Award Winners 1965-2011, at Science Fiction Writers of America; retrieved February 26, 2017
  3. ^ 1978 Hugo Awards Archived 2011-05-07 at WebCite, at TheHugoAwards.org; retrieved February 26, 2017
  4. ^ Nominees, at the World Fantasy Convention; retrieved February 26, 2017
  5. ^ 1999 Locus Poll, at Locus Online (via archive.org)
  6. ^ The Essential Ellison: A 35-Year Retrospective, at Publishers Weekly; reviewed January 1, 1987; retrieved February 26, 2017
  7. ^ 3 Quick Ways to Introduce Yourself to the Work of Harlan Ellison, by Ryan Britt, at Tor.com; published May 27, 2012; retrieved February 26, 2017
  8. ^ Shatterday, by Harlan Ellison, reviewed by Paul Kincaid, at the SF Site; published 2007; retrieved February 26, 2017
36th World Science Fiction Convention

The 36th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as IguanaCon II, was held August 30–September 4, 1978, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Adams House, Phoenix Convention Center, and Phoenix Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Despite the name, this was the first "IguanaCon".

The original committee chairman was Greg Brown, who served for the first eighteen months of the convention committee's existence; he was replaced for the final six months prior to the convention and during the convention itself by Tim Kyger. Gary Farber was the de facto vice-chairman as well as director of operations during the convention.

The guests of honor were Harlan Ellison (pro) and Bill Bowers (fan). Josef Nesvadba had been announced as the European guest of honor for IguanaCon, but he could not get travel papers and did not attend. The toastmaster was F. M. Busby. Total attendance was approximately 4,700.

Cassandra (short story)

"Cassandra" is a science fiction short story by American science fiction and fantasy author C. J. Cherryh. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in October 1978, and won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1979. It was only her second published short story, after "The Dark King" (1977).

"Cassandra" has been translated into German, French, Polish, Italian and Romanian.

Catch That Zeppelin!

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Dragon Lady (Terry and the Pirates)

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Harlan Ellison

Harlan Jay Ellison (May 27, 1934 – June 28, 2018) was an American writer, known for his prolific and influential work in New Wave speculative fiction, and for his outspoken, combative personality. Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho, described Ellison as "the only living organism I know whose natural habitat is hot water".His published works include more than 1,700 short stories, novellas, screenplays, comic book scripts, teleplays, essays, and a wide range of criticism covering literature, film, television, and print media. Some of his best-known work includes the Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever", his A Boy and His Dog cycle, and his short stories "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" and " 'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman". He was also editor and anthologist for Dangerous Visions (1967) and Again, Dangerous Visions (1972). Ellison won numerous awards, including multiple Hugos, Nebulas, and Edgars.

Jupiter Award (science fiction award)

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Locus Award for Best Short Story

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The first award in this category was presented in 1971.

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Shatterday (short story collection)

Shatterday is a collection of short stories by American author Harlan Ellison. In the introduction, Ellison states that the stories reflect an underlying theme of fear of human frailty and ugliness. His goal, he writes, is to shock his readers into seeing that this fear unifies all people. Each story has an introduction, ranging from a single sentence to several pages long.

Among the stories in the collection, "Jeffty Is Five" won both a Nebula Award and a Hugo Award. It was also voted in a 1999 online poll of Locus readers to be the best short story of all time. "All the Lies that Are My Life" had been previously published the same year as a novella. The title story was made into the first episode of the 1985 revival of The Twilight Zone. Other stories have been reprinted in omnibus collections such as The Essential Ellison: a 35-Year Retrospective and Dreams With Sharp Teeth.

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The book collects thirteen tales by various authors on the subject of time (though not necessarily, as is usual in the genre, time travel), together with a foreword by the editor and an essay by genre critic John Clute.

The 1978 Annual World's Best SF

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The book collects ten novellas, novelettes and short stories by various science fiction authors, with an introduction by Wollheim. The stories were previously published in 1977 in the magazines The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, and Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine.

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The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas

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The Way of Cross and Dragon

"The Way of Cross and Dragon" is a science fiction short story by George R. R. Martin. It involves a far-future priest of the One True Interstellar Catholic Church of Earth and the Thousand Worlds (with similarities to the Roman Catholic hierarchy) investigating a sect that reveres Judas Iscariot. The story deals with the nature and limitations of religious faith.

The story originally appeared in the June 1979 issue of Omni. In 1980, it won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story as well as the Locus Award for best short story. It is set in the same fictional "Thousand Worlds" universe as several of Martin's other works, including Dying of the Light, Sandkings, Nightflyers, A Song for Lya and the stories collected in Tuf Voyaging.

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