Monday, September 23, 2013

Harlan Ellison: Some comments about A Boy and His Dog

The following quotations come from HE's introduction to Vic and Blood, a recently published collection of the three Vic and Blood short stories.  The introduction is titled "Latest Breaking News: The Kid and the Pooch." HE wants to set the record straight regarding responsibility for the film.

"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  Outre 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 universiies 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 versions)  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 the idiotic last line, which I despise--I wrotne the original story; so I won't accept the blame for what they perceive as a 'woman-hating' in the film.

And I say to them READ THE D_____D 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.  .  .  VIC NEVER TOUCHES THE MEAT!"

"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."

Well, it's been ten years since he wrote this on "25 March 2003," and I haven't seen anything of the novel or heard anything about the film.  By the way, I've reread this several times and any unusual spelling or punctuation you find belong to HE.  


  1. What was the "idiotic last line of the film"? I can't remember it.

  2. Cheryl,

    I was afraid someone would ask me that. I don't remember either. I guess I'll just have to get it again.

  3. OK, I found it on You Tube here:

    At the end, the "boy" is saying "Why'd she have to fall in love with me, of all people?" The dog responds"I'd say she had marvelous judgement, if not particularly good taste.' The dog laughs and repeats "... not particularly good taste." The "boy" laughs with him. The end.

  4. Cheryl,

    Thanks for the link. I didn't remember it until after you mentioned it. I don't see why HE objected to it. It certainly fit the brutal tone of the film.

    The last lines of the story:

    "We had to move slow because Blood was still limping. It took a long time before I stopped hearing her calling in my head. Asking me, asking me: 'do you know what love is?'

    Sure I know.

    A boy loves his dog."

    I guess the film comment makes Vic seem a bit more callous than HE does, a bit more anyway.