Then Ellison himself left some notes. They were bombastic, and far more articulate than the comments from the fans. One read, in part, “Goodbye Bradbury. Goodbye Lieber. Goodbye Aeschylus. Goodbye Pliny the Elder…” and continued at length. By the time he got describing me as a “manque, a poetaster, a no-price for whom the internet is a last chance slave market where, for free, he can bleat to his shrunken little heart's delight” my wife Olivia, who had been reading along over my shoulder, said to me, “Wow, I see what you mean. He really is a great writer! No wonder you like him so much.” -- Nick Mamatas on the importance of Harlan Ellison and why he still likes him. [more inside]
"We can go to science fiction for its sense of wonder, its power to take us to far-off places and future times. We can go to political fiction to understand injustice in our own time, to see what should change. We may go to poetry — epic or lyric, old or new — for what cannot change, for a sense of human limits, as well as for the music in its words. And if we want all those things at once — a sense of escape, a sense of injustice, a sense of mortality and an ear for language — we can read the stories of James Tiptree, Jr.," the reclusive, award-winning author whose vague biography started out in the Congo, routed through a period as a painter, then service as a photo intelligence officer in WWII, and finally a researcher and teacher of "soft" sciences before getting to writing science fiction. There was another facet that was only guessed at by some, dismissed by others: the fact that "Uncle Tip," and his reclusive friend, the former school teacher Racoona Sheldon, were the same person. And they were Alice Bradley Sheldon. [more inside]
Dark Dreamers was a series of interviews with horror writers and directors and other icons. Several of them are on youtube: Clive Barker; Wes Craven Harlan Ellison (1, 2, 3); Richard Laymon; Richard Matheson; Julie Strain (MLYT)
Perhaps the most dangerous effect of the Big Crunch mentality has been to make television creators think of themselves as auteurs, to convince them that in spite of the massive interference with their work, they can somehow create a work of aesthetic integrity and sociological insight even if they don’t know where it’s going. Well, sometimes you get lucky, but more often, the result is disaster, and the effort spent toward that failure is redirected from where it would be better put: creating great trash. An essay on the challenges and pitfalls of writing serialized TV plots from The American Reader. [more inside]
Released in 1987, The Masters of Comic Book Art is a collection of interviews with notable cartoonists on their creations, creativity, and craft, introduced by Harlan Ellison. [more inside]
OMNI was launched (PDF) by Kathy Keeton, long-time companion and later wife of Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione, who described the magazine in its first issue as "an original if not controversial mixture of science fact, fiction, fantasy and the paranormal". [more inside]
"The truth of what's going on here is that I'm dying." Harlan Ellison is not dead, but he's anticipating it, saying that Madcon this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin will be his final public appearance and that his next book will be his last. [more inside]
Is it possible to have too many books? Legendary Sci-Fi Author and Crankypants Harlan Ellison thinks so (or maybe his wife) so it's time for the Third Harlan Ellison Book Purge Sale! 289 items of varying levels of collectability, ranging in price from US$4 to US$1200. The eBay-averse Ellisons are only accepting mail orders (mailing deadline already past, sorry) or phone orders via a dedicated phone number at specified times, starting July 6th (today for most of you) at 9:00AM Pacific Time, your timezone will vary. All the offerings and instructions are in this pdf (also in semi-readable webpage form here). Mrs. Ellison is standing by!
Dreams With Sharp Teeth – clips from a Sundance Channel documentary on science fiction writer (and somewhat litigious colourful character) Harlan Ellison. Harlan says pay the writer. (via)
In the grand tradition of Kaycee Nicole, Anthony Godby Johnson, and Kodee Kennings, Jesse James was a studly volunteer firefighter and 9/11 hero who A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson's friend Audrey fell in love with over the internet. He turned out to be not what he seemed. None other than Harlan Ellison himself took part in the intervention, and the ensuing confrontation of the perpetrator was recorded for posterity. Via.
Have you read all these books? Hell, no. Yes, and many more. The answer is yes. No, these are the ones I have to read by the end of the month. Nay, I have written them. No, only four of them. No, and I never intend to live in a house where I can't find a book I haven't read. Not one-tenth of them. No, but I know why I bought each one. Probably not.
Why I use a typewriter. All this talk of retro technology! Great essay from Bill Meissner on why he uses a typewriter. Also worth checking out is Ian Frazier's piece in The Atlantic about typewriter man Martin Tytell, and this interview with Harlan Ellison about why he can't use a computer to write with. (via Sassone)
Harlan Ellison vs. AOL This case has been discussed before, but here's an update from the Wall Street Journal.
Harlan Ellison mad as hell, not going to take it any more. Starts a fund to Kick Internet Piracy. "WHAT WE’RE LOOKING AT IS THE DEATH OF THE PROFESSIONAL WRITER!"
"The world is turning into a cesspool of imbeciles!" "I don't want your input! You wanna input something, write your own goddamn story, moron!" "There's no amount of money in the world that could get me to do a commercial for McDonald's toadburgers." Choice quotes from a hilarious, scathing interview with Harlan Ellison. (From the "AV Club," one of the few non-parody/baloney sections of the Onion.)
Barbara promises to go away. Given her track record, I bet she goes back on her word this time, too. (Psst! Barbara! Be a mensch. Pay Harlan back his fifty bucks. You don't even have to include over forty years of interest, and/or any vigorish for inflation, OK?)