Vic and Blood

Vic and Blood

by Harlan Ellison

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Three stories set in the post-apocalyptic world of a boy and his telepathically linked dog—inspiration for the Fallout video games and Mad Max movies.

 The cycle begins with “Eggsucker,” which chronicles the early years of the association between fourteen‑year‑old loner Vic and his brilliant, telepathic dog. The saga continues and expands in “A Boy and His Dog,” in which Blood shows just how much smarter he is than Vic, and Vic shows how loyal he can be. The story continues in “Run, Spot, Run,” the first part of Ellison’s promised novel of the cycle, Blood’s a Rover. Here Vic and Blood find surprising new ways to get into trouble—but getting out of it may be beyond even their combined talents. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497604179
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 195,220
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Harlan Ellison (1934–2018), in a career spanning more than fifty years, wrote or edited one hundred fourteen books; more than seventeen hundred stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns; two dozen teleplays; and a dozen motion pictures. He won the Hugo Award eight and a half times (shared once); the Nebula Award three times; the Bram Stoker Award, presented by the Horror Writers Association, five times (including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996); the Edgar Allan Poe Award of the Mystery Writers of America twice; the Georges Melies Fantasy Film Award twice; and two Audie Awards (for the best in audio recordings); and he was awarded the Silver Pen for Journalism by PEN, the international writers’ union. He was presented with the first Living Legend Award by the International Horror Critics at the 1995 World Horror Convention. Ellison is the only author in Hollywood ever to win the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Teleplay (solo work) four times, most recently for “Paladin of the Lost Hour,” his Twilight Zone episode that was Danny Kaye’s final role, in 1987. In 2006, Ellison was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Dreams with Sharp Teeth, the documentary chronicling his life and works, was released on DVD in May 2009. He passed away in 2018 at the age of eighty-four.

Date of Birth:

May 27, 1934

Date of Death:

June 28, 2018

Place of Birth:

Cleveland, OH

Place of Death:

Los Angeles, CA

Read an Excerpt



"It's probably not productive to codify civilization in terms of how many fire hydrants it has."

"Into each life a little Vic must fall."

I am nuts about "buddy" movies. And that's what Vic & Blood is.

This is the first-time publication for the prose versions of this material as linked with the graphic interpretations. The stories (the tiniest sections of the full novel, BLOOD'S A ROVER) have all seen print since Michael Moorcock asked me for a contribution to his magazine New Worlds, in England, April 1969. I was writing the novel at the time, and what I thought was the first section, "A Boy and His Dog," had just come off my typewriter. It read well as a stand-alone, so I sent the slightly abbreviated version (15,600 words) to Mike, without the vaguest idea that its appearance would mean more than the modest fee New Worlds was than paying.

The novella appeared in general circulation in America in July of 1969, in my story collection THE BEAST THAT SHOUTED LOVE AT THE HEART OF THE WORLD. It was published at its full length, as it appears here, 18,000 words.

I could not have been more wrong, what the response would be to that partial section of an intended 150,000-word novel. If, in fifty years as a professional writer, I have had anything approaching a "universal hit," among the four or five contenders would have to be "A Boy and His Dog," It won me a Nebula for Best Novella from the Science Fiction Writers of America; it has been reprinted endlessly; it has been translated into nineteen languages; it was bought for a TVseries, though never produced; it has been pirated repeatedly in Russia; and in 1975 that madcap director L.Q. Jones made a movie of it, starring a young Don Johnson, Jason Robards, Jr., and a nifty little dog named Tiger. Blood's telepathic voice was the late Tim McIntire, whom you would know best as the actor who portrayed deejay Alan Freed in American Hot Wax.

The problem for me has been this.

The film version of "A Boy and His Dog" had a more than slightly misogynistic tone. Not the story, the movie. I have no trouble placing the blame on that sexist loon Jones (see: "Huck and Tom, The Bizarre Liaison of Ellison and Jones" in Outré magazine, issue #309, Fall 2002). He was brung up in Texas, and as a good ole boy he is pretty much beyond retraining.

But I catch the flak. I've had to go to universities where they've screened the movie (it being one of the most popular campus films perennially, and constantly available in one of another unauthorized knock-off video version) and I've had to try to explain to Politically Correct nitwits that I didn't write the damned film-which I happen to like a lot, except for that idiotic last line, which I despise-I wrote the original story; so I won't accept the blame for what they perceive as a "woman-hating tone" in the film.

And I say to them READ THE DAMNED STORY! In the story (not to give too much away for those few of you who don't know this material), as in the film...


There is a very nice college professor (whose name escapes me for the moment) who uses A Boy and His Dog, the film, to teach some cinema class or other, and he shows them the movie and then tells them to go to my website ( and ask for clarification of any questions their viewing of the film might have raised.

And, oh gawd, do they ever! They ask the dumbest questions you can imagine, and they make assumptions about me you wouldn't believe. They do not perceive that I am not a misogynist, that I am a misanthrope ... I treat male and female with equal monstrousness in this work. They also seem blissfully unaware of history (well, duh) and what happens after a decimating war in which food, weapons, shelter and women become valuable chattel. Clearly, I am showing in these stories that it's a brutal, amoral way of living; not a Good Thing. But the nitwits are products of the American Educational System, and looking beyond the surface of a work of fiction seems anathema to them since it requires ratiocination and cannot be abetted by binge-drinking.

I show my real attitude toward these matters by making Vic little more than a beast, while Blood represents culture, wit, intellect, savvy, and civilization at its best. By reversing the roles, I hope to uplift the intellectual level of the entire population of the United States. And Guam. Or at least those who can properly pronounce the word nuclear.

So here we are, Vic, Blood, you, me, 34 years after I wrote that first section (which turned out to be the second section, actually). Twenty-eight years after the film of "A Boy and His Dog" won me a Hugo at the 34th World Science Fiction Convention. And I've written the rest of the book, BLOOD'S A ROVER. The final, longest section is in screenplay form-and they're bidding here in Hollywood, once again, for the feature film aand tv rights-and one of these days before I go through that final door, I'll translate it into elegant prose, and the full novel will appear.

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