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Hardcover (Trade)

Published May 2022
Hardcover (Trade) price: $35.00
Weight: 2.7

ISBN-13: 978-1-61037-344-9
ISBN-10: 1-61037-344-8
Page count: 520
Book Size: 6" x 9"

Ebook (epub)

Published January 2021
Ebook (epub) price: $9.95

ISBN-13: 978-1-61037-325-8
ISBN-10: 1-61037-325-1
Page count: 470
Book Size: 16Mb

Ebook (mobi)

Published January 2021
Ebook (mobi) price: $9.95

ISBN-13: 978-1-61037-008-0
ISBN-10: 1-61037-008-2
Page count: 470
Book Size: 16Mb

Hardcover (Trade)

Published July 2017
Hardcover (Trade) price: $28.00
Weight: 2.7

ISBN-13: 978-1-61037-323-4
ISBN-10: 1-61037-323-5
Page count: 448
Book Size: 6" x 9"

Boxed Hardcover

Published April 2017
Boxed Hardcover price: $60.00
Weight: 2.9
free shipping to US addresses;
$25/book to Canada addresses;
$35/book elsewhere

ISBN-13: 978-1-61037-322-7
ISBN-10: 1-61037-322-7
Page count: 450
Book Size: 6" x 9"

A Lit Fuse

The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison

This text relates to the 2nd edition • Hardcover (Trade)

by Nat Segaloff

The first edition trade hardcover is now discounted 20% from its normal $35 price to $28. and the special limited edition is also discounted from the normal $75 to $60.
You can find the discounted first editions by looking farther down on the left for the first trade edition jacket (mostly white) and first edition limited cover (red) images.

This vastly expanded second edition of the Hugo-nominated A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison is available as an ebook as of January 2021, and as a hardcover as of September 2022, covering events after Harlan Ellison’s death in June, 2018. The additional material also includes interviews with many of Harlan’s friends and a coda covering the death of Harlan’s wife, Susan Ellison. Containing tributes from SF icons, appraisals of Harlan’s legacy, and previously unpublished material, this second edition provides closure and perspective to an unquiet life and a lasting legacy.

An unguarded, uncensored, unquiet tour of the life of Harlan Ellison.

In late 2011 Harlan Ellison—the multi-award-winning writer of speculative fiction and famously litigious personality—did two uncharacteristic things. First, he asked biographer Nat Segaloff if he’d be interested in writing his life story. Second, he gave Segaloff full control. The result is the long-anticipated A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison. The expansive biography, which is the first such project in which Ellison has permitted large portions of his varied works to appear.

Segaloff conducted exhaustive interviews with Ellison over the course of five years and also spoke with many of his friends and enemies in an effort to get inside the man and pin down the best-known “Harlan stories.” Their wide-ranging discussions cover his bullied boyhood, his storied marriages, his fabled lawsuits, and his compulsive writing process with more depth and detail than has ever before appeared in print. But it also delves into the man’s deeply held principles, his fears, and the demons that drove him for all of his 84 years. Friends, colleagues, and admirers such as Neil Gaiman, Patton Oswalt, Peter David, Robert Sawyer, Michael Scott, Edward Asner, Leonard Nimoy, Ed Bryant, Alan Brennert, Robert Silverberg, and many other notables add their voices.

Along the way the reader is treated to an analysis of the Connie Willis controversy, the infamous dead gopher story, allegedly pushing a fan down an elevator shaft, and the final word on The Last Dangerous Visions. What emerges is a rich portrait of a man who has spent his life doing battle with his times and himself, always challenging his readers to reach for a higher plane and goading himself to get them there. It’s funny, wise, shocking, and—well, it’s Harlan.

In January 2021, an expanded second edition was released only in ebook form, covering events after Harlan Ellison's death in June, 2018. The second edition was reprinted in hardcover form in September 2022. The additional material also includes interviews with many of Harlan's friends and coda covering the death of Harlan's wife, Susan Ellison. See this YouTube promotional video for the second edition.


Nat Segaloff
[Photo by Liane Brandon]

Nat Segaloff is a writer, producer, and film historian. He has written the biographies of Arthur Penn, William Friedkin, and Stirling Silliphant, and produced documentaries on Stan Lee, John Belushi, Larry King, and Shari Lewis & Lamb Chop. He is co-author of the play “The Waldorf Conference,” about the origins of the Hollywood Blacklist (in which Harlan Ellison acted) and, in addition to A Lit Fuse, has also completed a memoir, Screen Saver.

Publishing information

  • 2nd edition Trade hardcover: ISBN: 978-1-61037-344-9
  • 2nd edition Ebook (epub): ISBN: 978-1-61037-325-8
  • 2nd edition Ebook (mobi): ISBN: 978-1-61037-008-0
  • 1st edition Trade hardcover: ISBN: 978-1-61037-323-4
  • 1st edition Limited boxed edition: ISBN: 978-1-61037-322-7


Table of Contents for the 2nd edition

  • Foreword
  • Preface and Acknowledgments
  • Prologue
  • Chapter 1: Morning in the Sunken Cathedral
  • Chapter 2: First Contact
  • Chapter 3: Harlan in Wonderland
  • Chapter 4: Marriage Ain’t Nothin’ But Love Misspelled
  • Chapter 5: Science Friction
  • Chapter 6: Teats for Two
  • Chapter 7: All the Lies That Are His Life
  • 40 pages of photos
  • Chapter 8: The Cordwainer Chronicles
  • Chapter 9: Aye, Robot
  • Chapter 10: The Snit on the Edge of Forever
  • Chapter 11: The Voice in the Wilderness
  • Chapter 12: The Collector
  • Chapter 13: Repent, Harlan!
  • Chapter 14: The Rabbit Whole
  • Chapter 15: The Lost Dangerous Visions
  • Chapter 16: The Flight of the Deathbird
  • Epilogue
  • Afterword
  • Foreword to the Second Edition
  • The Fuse Extinguished (A Personal Addendum)
  • The Last Word
  • Acknowledgments
  • Appendix A: Harlan Ellison on Writing: A Conversation
  • Appendix B: Unrealized Projects (Unproduced Teleplays, Screenplays, and Treatments)
  • Appendix C: Awards
  • Appendix D: Interviews
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index
Edited by David G. Grubbs
Photo by Beth Gwinn