By Harlan Ellison

Over the Edge, a set of twelve brief tales and essays from Harlan Ellison, is a must‑read for any fan of the wild abandon and laser concentration of 1 of the century’s such a lot superb authors. complicated, desirable, audacious, sublime—it isn't hyperbole while utilized to the Hugo and Nebula Award–winning writer whom the Washington Post calls “one of the nice dwelling American brief tale writers.”

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They nodded back, and Anse Pfeiffer from the final shop extra, “We by no means knew what occurred there, Frank. by no means notion it used to be our look-to checking out. No name to carry it up now, is there? ” Leinard nodded his head somberly. “Yes, Anse. there's. simply as there’s cause to elevate now that I’ve by no means been invited on your condominium for supper. Nor yours, Pete, nor Morn’s residence, nor Karl’s neither. Why’s that? ” They stammered back, avoiding their eyes. “When I requested Louise Springer to marry me,” Frank Leinard stated, with a tinge of coolness in his voice, “you be aware of what she stated? ” they didn't solution. each one stared somewhere else. It used to be no longer a simple factor they have been asking of this mammoth guy who had served them for thus lengthy a time. “I’ll let you know. She stated: ‘No, I can’t do it, Frank. ’ So I requested her why, and after an extended whereas she instructed me. I needed to lookup a note with document Crenkell, ’cause I didn’t understand what it was once. you recognize what she known as me, you males? She known as me a pariah. “You comprehend what that is…answer me! you recognize? ” They shook their heads. His voice was once hungry, and tortured, and straining. no longer delicate and hot, yet misplaced and unhappy. “It capacity an outcast; anyone nobody else desires to pass close to. So I requested her what she intended, and he or she checked out me like i used to be shot within the stomach. you realize? Like she used to be sorry for me. Me! Frank Leinard, the Sheriff! Sorry for me. Then she went forward and stated, ‘Frank, you’re an excellent guy, below all of it, and perhaps a greater guy sooner than you got here right here; yet they’ve employed you to kill and that’s what you are…a employed gun. even if you were given the legislations with you or now not, you’re a employed killer. they usually comprehend that. regardless of how a lot a person likes you as a guy, Frank, they see that gun and what you're, and not anyone goes to go along with you. simply because you’re a pariah. They made you that, and that’s the explanation I’m not likely to marry you, Frank. ’” Leinard sat backpedal conscientiously, and he grew to become his head away in order that they couldn't see his eyes. “So that’s why I’ve by no means been invited to devour with any of you, and that’s why I by no means bought married, and that’s why I made quite a bit approximately this city bein’ my city, and that i sought after it to be the cleanest, most sensible city. “Now you return and inform me, ‘Thanks, Frank, you risked your lifestyles each day, and also you neatened our city for us, and now it’s performed, you could pass. ’ Is that it? Is that what you’re sayin’ to me? ” He folded his fingers; and now he grew to become again in order that they may see his face; and so they observed, possibly for the 1st time they honestly observed that enormous Frank Leinard the Sheriff used to be no longer a tender guy any more. They checked out each other, and Morn Ashley nudged Pete Redallo along with his elbow. Pete acknowledged: “But, Frank, you don’t get what we suggest. I—I understand, I suggest, i do know it’s your city and all, yet instances has replaced and we don’t desire a employed gun—I suggest, we don’t want your type of Sheriff not more. ” He stammered to silence, and regarded ashamed. Then they observed Frank Leinard’s physique stiffen, and he seemed up with that power in him, and he stated levelly, “This is my city, gents. I helped fresh it, helped make it secure for you little males to run your companies and get wealthy with.

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