The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World is a collection of stories by Harlan Ellison. It is also the title of one of the short stories within that collection. First published in 1969 the story won the Hugo Short Story award that year, while the collection itself contains such famous Ellison tales as “A boy and his dog” along with one of my favourites "Try a Dull Knife". This collection really shows the range of Ellison’s genius, containing his characteristic cynical wit displayed in horror and science fiction.

This is also the Japanese title to the final Neon Genesis Evangelion episode, Evangelion Episode 26. Hideaki Anno likes to name his final episodes after SF titles, though in that episode the title is in Japanese Saishuu Wa Sekai no Chuushin de Ai o Sakenda Kemono (Final Episode The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World).

The release details for this collection of short stories have been collated below.

The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World (Avon, July 1969, paperback)

  • The Waves in Rio - in
  • The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World - nv Galaxy June 1968
  • Along the Scenic Route ("Dogfight on 101") - ss Adam August 1969; Amazing September 1969
  • Phoenix ("Phoenix Land") - ss If March 1969
  • Asleep: With Still Hands ("The Sleeper with Still Hands") - nv If July 1968
  • Santa Claus vs. S.P.I.D.E.R. - nv F&SF January 1969
  • Try a Dull Knife - ss F&SF October 1968
  • The Pitll Pawob Division ("The Pawob Division") - ss If December 1968
  • The Place with No Name - ss F&SF July 1969
  • White on White - ss Knight November 1968
  • Run for the Stars - nv Science Fiction Adventures June 1957
  • Are You Listening? - ss Amazing December 1958
  • S.R.O. (as by Ellis Hart) - ss Amazing March 1957
  • Worlds to Kill - nv If March 1968
  • Shattered Like a Glass Goblin - ss Orbit 4, ed. Damon Knight, G.P. Putnam's, 1968
  • A Boy and His Dog - nv New Worlds April 1969

The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World English Edition (H. Millington, 1976, hardcover); Omits "Along the Scenic Route", "The Place with No Name" and "Shattered Like a Glass Goblin".

  • The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World - nv Galaxy June 1968
  • Phoenix ("Phoenix Land") - ss If March 1969
  • Asleep: With Still Hands ("The Sleeper with Still Hands") - nv If July 1968
  • Santa Claus vs. S.P.I.D.E.R. - nv F&SF January 1969
  • Try a Dull Knife - ss F&SF October 1968
  • The Pitll Pawob Division ("The Pawob Division") - ss If December 1968
  • White on White - ss Knight November 1968
  • Run for the Stars - nv Science Fiction Adventures June 1957
  • Are You Listening? - ss Amazing December 1958
  • Worlds to Kill - nv If March 1968
  • A Boy and His Dog - nv New Worlds April 1969

Imagine a science-fiction story written solely for the purpose of confusing the old guard. Imagine the exact opposite of space opera. Imagine someone trying to do Proust in nine pages. Imagine a story that you don't know, even after it is a part of the canon, whether it is a joke or not.

Harlan Ellison wrote in the introduction to the collection that contains the eponymous story, that New Wave is just a label. And then recommended that you read something from a young gun named Piers Anthony. Srsly. But I can't imagine that there wasn't an aspect of showmanship in Ellison's 9 page story, which is about...

There is a mass murder. Michaelangelo, painting saints protecting a pope from barbarian invasion. An alien civilization. Atemporality. Explorers discover a statue of a saint who looks like the mass-murderer. A dragon that is hiding from some treatment. Echoes of Those Who Walk Away from Omelas. And no resolution.World War IV, and cannibalism.

And to quote De La Soul, another pastmaster of pastiche, what does this have to do with love? This is not romantic love, and not even, by most standards, spiritual love. What is the titular beast? Where is the titular screaming of "love"? But the story is permeable, maybe the answer is in the crosswhen. Maybe whatever the story was trying to say, or even if it was just a joke, the story can only be understood when Hideaki Anno and Shinji Ikari flip the script, and use a silly pun to state that identity and relationship are not incomparable. Or, in a series that was strangely parallel, and where Harlan Ellison can be verified to be involved, perhaps the story's title only makes sense in light of Susana Ivanova and Stephen Franklin debating whether all love is unrequited. In either case, perhaps we could solve the mystery of love without almost or totally destroying the planet.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.