Harlan Ellison's Watching...

Harlan Ellison

I want to talk this week about the rare and wonderful world of... of... of... of... of fan projects. Fans put together science fiction admirers and aficionados have always been known for putting together conventions. I mean, people will spend a year subverting their own lives, losing their marriages, doing what ever they have to to put on a convention. Ask them why and they sort of look at you like Night of the Living Dead and they say, "I don't know, I just have to do it."

Well, along that line: Richard Lilliblatt I think, I hope I am pronouncing that right Richard Lilliblatt, he makes ray gun miniatures, in the Buck Rogers, Captain Videostyle ray guns. This one's called the Sonic Blaster. This one is the Imperial Disintegrater and they're made out of pewter - and they're heavy! I mean they have some weight to them and sit in this beautiful box with the, with the pseudo velvet backing or whatever this is. It is just an amazing little product. It costs $149 bucks, plus $4 bucks shipping and handling. I know that's a lot of money - particularly today, but look at this. Have you ever seen anything like this? They're like little jewels. Some Arab potentate back in the days of the Arabian Knights would have killed to have had these. We're going to put up the number of the company that makes them, it's called WHATEVERWORKS, which is a good name too. And the guy, this Richard Lilliblatt, is a very nice guy. Now here's the sad part: there are only 3,500 sets of these. Do you know how many sold? Twenty. Twenty. When I showed these to Joe Straczynski from Babylon 5, the guy who created Babylon 5, Joe said, "Must have - got to have!" He went out and bought one immediately. We're going to flash that number:

Classic Ray Gun Miniatures
1 (800) 496-4078
Tell them Harlan sent you and, uh, order the ray guns. Only a fan would do this, put in all this time and effort into an absolute perfect little thing.

Now here's, here's another one. Small press publishing, limited publishing is still very much alive in the science fiction field. This, my friends, is the new Jack Vance novel, Night Lamp (Underwood Books). Look at this. You lift the book out like that... OOHH! So fine. Steven Hinkman cover. Look at the wrap-around Steven Hinkman cover. But look at the quality of bookmaking that is being done, year in and year out by special fans. I don't know why they do it. They must be out of their brains to do it . They never make money off these things, they can't make a living off it. But they continue to do it.

Or, take this. Take this for instance. This is a more commercial item. This is done by FPG, which is Freelander Corporation. And it's ah, they do mostly trading cards, but they decided to do a book of Joe Jusko's Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs. And it's huge. It's only $25 bucks, this book. But look at this. Joe Jusko is dynamite. He's the latter, I mean he's the latest in the long line of people who have done Burrough's stuff: Frank Frazetta, J. Allan St. John, Roy Krenkle, Neal Adams. All of those people. I urge you to get this. You go to your usual comic shop, it's from FPG and it's called Joe Juscko's Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs $24.95.

Now these are the kinds of projects that are done for no reason, except that people really want to preserve this stuff. And in some way, I think it is our obligation to keep these guys in business. Cause otherwise, you're going to wind up with nothing but fast food and crappy clothing and Borax furniture and movies like Independence Day, and we really deserve a lot better than that, don't we? I knew you'd agree.

From Sci-Fi Buzz, episode 164

Publishing Rights to 'Harlan Ellison's Watching' copyright 1996 the Killimanjaro Corporation.