Friday, January 28, 2011

Harlan Ellison's "Paladin of the Lost Hour" (novelette, fantasy, free): Two friends from different backgrounds but with a common destiny

This is one of the rare Ellison stories I liked - first 80% of it anyway, before the really fantastic elements ruined it for me.

This is one of the "lost time" stories - because a few days were dropped from Julian calender in 16th century when it became Gregorian calender. In his non-fiction article, author tells us the story idea came from the hour "lost"/"recovered" when clocks are reset in countries that have daylight saving time concept.

Interesting parts relate to accidental friendship of two lonely men, one much older than the other. Only there is something mysterious about the old man, & he's carrying a weird gadget; we'll learn the secrets in the end. Story has black man/white man undertone that will likely mean something to US readers; also has loss of someone as a major sentimental element.

Fact sheet.

First published: Terry Carr (ed)'s "Universe 15" (anthology, 1985).
Download full text from Ellison Webderland. [via ClassicScienceFiction Yahoo group].
Rating: A.
Winner of Hugo Award 1986 in novelette category.
Nominated for Nebula Award 1985 in novelette category.
Related: Stories of Harlan Ellison.


WCG said...

For some reason, this story just didn't do much for me. And I normally like Harlan Ellison, too (well, his most famous stories, anyway - I don't think I've read very much by him).