Anarchists throughout history have not only attacked society, authority, and civilization, they have been voices screaming into the void; they are lights occasionally blinking in the bleak darkness that has overtaken what is now called humanity. Harlan Ellison captures the voice of a lone revolutionary, a lone terrorist, who lies into the bullhorn that he is part of a movement and one of many, when in reality he is alone, destroying the entire University of Southern California by himself.
“Silent in Gehenna” is the story of this lone anarchist, Joe Bob Hickey, who never fit in, who snarled, who would not eat their sandwiches nor stay in their homes, and who eventually was forced to face himself and discover if revolt strengthened the state or created freedom for himself. This is one of my favorite short stories and forces me to take a hard look at myself and my anarchy ever single time that I read it. Also, it has robots whipping themselves, so there is that.
Description and Voice: Rydra Wrong
Editing and Production: September