cover image The Deadly Streets: Stories Wrung Shrieking from the Shadows

The Deadly Streets: Stories Wrung Shrieking from the Shadows

Harlan Ellison. Subterranean (, $45 (232p) ISBN 978-1-59606-538-3

This third reissue of Ellison’s classic 1958 collection about juvenile delinquents, city gang members, and those infected or affected by violence are still potent, even though switchblades and zip guns have been replaced by much deadlier weaponry in the hands of their present-day counterparts. In the 1975 reissue, Ellison added five additional stories of “street terror” to the original 11. In the introduction to the first edition (included in this volume), Ellison notes that 10 of the 11 stories are “based in verifiable fact. Truth incarnate.” That feeling of verisimilitude and immediacy runs through such tales as “With a Knife in Her Hand,” in which a tough girl tries to meet a challenge to her leadership of a male gang, and “I’ll Bet You a Death,” in which a gang member’s pride traps him in a deadly wager. While elements of these stories firmly date them in the past, Ellison’s prose remains satisfyingly sharp and his insights into the fears and longings that drive his characters are even sharper and more satisfying. (May)