Delusion for a Dragon Slayer • 1966 • fantasy short story by Harlan Ellison


Meta: isfdb. This magical realism short story appeared 1966 in his famous collection I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream and was re-published in Deathbird Stories.

Synopsis:  Main protagonist Warren Glazer Griffin is an accounant who passes by a demolition site. An accident causes a wrecking ball crashing down on him. He awakens in a fantasy world, on the deck of an old sailing ship, with a talking sword giving him a mission: “You have one chance to buy your Heaven with all the intents and ethics of your life“, sail the ship through the rocky straits, reach the island, and save the girl from the devil.
Review:  A classic low fantasy combined with psychedelic images. Ellison doesn’t bind the disparate elements of the mundane, overlong prologue to the fantasy part. The protagonist’s failures and the vivid climax compensate this. You have to walk the walk after talking the talk.


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