Repent Harlequin, Cried the Ticktockman ~Harlen Ellison

I was fishing around Some old literary award nominee list and stumbled upon this gem from 1965, “Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman,” by Harlen Ellison.

As is my want I read it before knowing anything about it.

Plot unseen, I discovered this was a nice little story about owning one’s life.

Ellison published this piece in 1965 having penned it in less than 6 hours.

This is the first audio story I was forced to voice dialogue for. In the few dozen other stories I read leading up to this one, like Lovecraft before the 1920s, they all seemed to shy away from dialogue.

Here one character controls time and the other seeks to waste it.

It’s interesting to think of the juxtaposition the Harlequin and the Ticktockman creates in this story, time versus money. Money being the primary motivator for what?


Corporations, profits, bottom lines, stock dividends, all the other financial terms I’ve heard and can’t remember right now that boil down to mean that money is always more important than some dickheads life.

And that dickhead being the average American worker.


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