“Get it straight right now: these aren’t kids playing games of war. They mean business. They are junior-grade killers and public enemies one through five thousand…”
In Rusty Santoro’s neighborhood, the kids carry knives, chains, bricks. Broken glass. And when they fight, they fight dirty, leaving the streets littered with the bodies of the injured and the dead. Rusty wants out – but you can’t just walk away from a New York street gang. And his decision may leave his family to pay a terrible price.
First published more than half a century ago and inspired by the author’s real-life experience going undercover inside a street gang, Web of the City was Harlan Ellison’s first novel and marked the long-form debut of one of the most electrifying, unforgettable, and controversial voices of 20th century letters.
Appearing here for the first time together with three thematically related short stories Ellison wrote for the pulp magazines of the 1950s, Web of the City offers both a snapshot of a lost era and a portrait of violence and grief as timely as today’s most brutal headlines.
About Harlan Ellison
Harlan Ellison is a pop culture legend now fully entered in the Encyclopedia Britannica. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1934. He has written over 1,700 stories, essays, and newspaper columns, more than 70 books, and 100 films and… More about Harlan Ellison
“It’s hard to fathom that one of the most illustrious speculative-fiction writing careers—in addition to ten Hugos, Ellison has won so many other awards that even he probably can’t remember half of them—launched with this gangbanger tale in 1958. Ellison based the action on his own experiences in a Brooklyn gang. Along with Web, the volume includes three related gang stories—”No Game for Children,” “Stand Still and Die,” and “No Way Out.” More fodder for the argument that Ellison may have pioneered what we now call street lit. Classic cover art on this one, too. – Library Journal
“Take a look at Web of the City, you will be glad you did.” – Crimezine
“Hard Case has done an amazing job repackaging Web of the City with three additional tales of violence and dread.” – Bibliodiscoteque
“It’s a great read itself and even more fascinating when looked upon in the context of Ellison’s hugely influential career.” – Ain’t It Cool Holiday Gift Guide