Going gently into that dark night?

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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Chuck Messer
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby Chuck Messer » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:00 pm

The early/middle 1970's, that is.
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Rick Keeney
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby Rick Keeney » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:15 pm

Since MadCon ended my decompression slid straight into melancholia. Never been here before. It feels as if a parent is ill. A Keeney doesn't stay down long. But this one is in the shadows and has been for a few days now. I reckon this shite in the Pav isn't exactly putting the shine on my ass.

bleah and grrr all at once,
Rick

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Rick Keeney
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby Rick Keeney » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:04 pm

"But there have always been friends and lovers who brought me back to the understanding that when it is all written, there remains nothing more important than the lives you touch, and that touch you. You are not alone." -Unca Harlan, "The Wind Took Your Answer Away"

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markabaddon
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby markabaddon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:34 am

Keeney, I will call you later, but tonight I do not have the kids and will be around if you either want to talk on the phone or want to get together
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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NeonMosfet
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby NeonMosfet » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:04 pm

Lori Koonce wrote:That depends on how hard you lived Neon. And besides I doubt that Harlan is the kind of guy who wants a lot of extra froofraw to be keepin him alive.
It'll be like the end of an era. It's not how hard anyone's lived that gets my attention. Consider this. i got a letter from my lawyer once, stating I had a projected life span of 22 years. Sounds revolting. Now it all about how Ellison is 76 and about to become a charactor in his own books. i hope that didn't come off as tasteless.
Hi Mark and Rick.
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Lori Koonce
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby Lori Koonce » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:17 pm

Didn't sound crude at all Neon.

But for me at least here's the thing. The man himself used the phrase "I'm like the Wicked Witch of the West, I'm melting." I took that to mean that while he dosen't know day and time, he's coming to terms with his mortality.

And as long as we have what he's written, he's really not dead is he? I mean we may not have that wonderful voice to listen to, or any of the other physical things we've all come to love about him, but his voice will live on far beyond his becoming worm fodder.

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NeonMosfet
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby NeonMosfet » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:53 pm

Oh, I know. Wicked Witch of the West, eh? Do you realise that makes him the World Wide Web! I don't know why. That struck me as so funny. I suppose some of it comes from me od ing on Quantum mechanics. And in 50 billion years the universe falls apart on the atomic level. i woke up in a cold sweat over that.
Myopia Through Convexed Harlequins

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:59 pm

NeonMosfet wrote:Oh, I know. Wicked Witch of the West, eh? Do you realise that makes him the World Wide Web! I don't know why. That struck me as so funny. I suppose some of it comes from me od ing on Quantum mechanics. And in 50 billion years the universe falls apart on the atomic level. i woke up in a cold sweat over that.


Dang straight...what if was only 49 billion? Where would we be then?

Heaven forfend but HE's death will be the end of an era. The passing of the last generation of fantasy writers born before television who wrote many of their mature works during the 60s & 70s right before STAR TREK and STARS WARS came along and destroyed everything.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
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Lori Koonce
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby Lori Koonce » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:35 pm

Ezra

Quit being an old goat....

I cannot be the only person who saw both Star Wars and Star Trek and decided to give this stuff a try in it's written form.

I refuse to be the only one who was drawn to HE because of something someone else had written. I went and searched him out because in the dedication to the book The Inhuman Condition, Clive Barker mentioned him by name and thanked him for something. Then after reading the short story The Body Politic, I decided that if this Ellison dude is the reason that CB can write well enough to scare me to death, then I gotta check this dude out.

Anyways, I'm just getting ready to buy my black wardrobe. If I survive HE, I will be wearing it for quite some time.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:30 pm

Baaaaaaaaaa....

That "old" hurts. :cry: I expect I will be an old goat in about ten years. But right now I'm a well preserved middle-aged goat. Wise in his years. Willing to try that much harder so my failure will be that much more spectacular. :lol:

I too loved STAR TREK & STAR WARS. But at some point you have to cast a cold eye on life and death. The original TREK was really only good during the first season. After that it became formulaic and the third season was truly awful. STAR WARS was loads of fun until it bcame a cultural phenom that leeched all the joy out of it. Now we have Luke Skywalker suppositories and C-3PO strap-ons. The worst part is that for our larger culture these movies have become the epitome of all that science fiction ever was and ever can be. SCI-FI, not SF.

Here endeth an old goat's lament. -sniff-
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
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Gwyneth M905
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby Gwyneth M905 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:49 pm

Well, from the POV of a middle-aged nanny, I lost all hope when I checked out the official SF Book Club...and found out they have NOTHING available by Isaac Asimov.

Fuck me Ray Bradbury, indeed. Catchy tune, but he's not a "sci fi" writer!

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Anthony Ravenscroft
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby Anthony Ravenscroft » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:22 pm

Death sucks. If nothing else, it cuts into one's social life.

My brother is sexton (manager/superintendant) of the town cemetery. He took over from Dad, who took over from my great-grandfather, who took over from HIS father, who was the first. So you might say that we think about death a lot.

A couple decades back, a woman in my social circle was diagnosed with degenerative MS. There was much wailing & rending of clothes, & this amused her no end. I got tired of the histrionics at one point, & said, "Fer crissakes, she'll probably outlive half of us." Then I added, "...& at least one moron will opine about how sudden it was."

Maybe ten people in the room. The latter was true enough -- good GOD what a bunch of drama queens. As to the former, two did indeed die before her at about age 50.

Anyway: life is 100% fatal. Sooner or later, we all croak off this mortal whatsit. We all take our turns staring down the barrel as the hammer slowly goes back, & then ALMOST every time we hear click! & go on wobbling around the Universe. Sometimes we shit ourselves over it; most times we never even knew it was our turn.

Ellison's faced real & potential death dozens of times. If he snaps back & is off in Argentina playing polo or whatever the hell he does when Susan forgets the tranq gun, we'll be back to this drama soon enough.

At Minicon, HE scared me by (on a panel) saying wistfully that he didn't want to live past the time the whole game stopped being fun. That struck me as a jaw-dropping honest statement from someone who'd given it plenty of thought. So I was a bit worried when it looked like he had an outside chance at an Emmy -- I mean, jeezus, except for the Nobel & the Pulitzer, what awards has he NOT at least threatened???

One story that SHOULD have been written by HE: Bradbury's "The Kilimanjaro Machine." Mysterious stranger pulls up alongside Papa Hemingway at the peak of his life & drives him away from the long sad decline. Though I figure that Susan is HE's Device embodied, I've always wondered whether, without her, there was a point at which M. Ellison would have wished it all to just stop. Though (gods know) some few of us believe he should by rights be living in a sprawling manse with liveried staff at his beck &/or call, the fact is that The Man is in a good place right now, not the least from living with the long-awaited love-of-his-life. The problem with having met manymanyMANY remarkable people is in outliving them, of watching them take up daisy-pushing position, one after another. It wears ya down. He has Susan, he has his tchotchke-packed man-cave, he has astute admirers. All I can do is reread his massive output & lift an occasional glass in thanks.

And I wouldn't be at all surprised if he outlived me....

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markabaddon
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby markabaddon » Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:53 am

Ummm, Tony, he was a finalist for the Nobel Prize for Literature a few years ago when Harold Pinter won it

Pretty sure he has never been nominated for a Pulitzer, a Tony or an Oscar, though......
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

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NeonMosfet
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby NeonMosfet » Thu Sep 30, 2010 10:09 am

Tony Curtis is one :(
Myopia Through Convexed Harlequins

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FrankChurch
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Re: Going gently into that dark night?

Postby FrankChurch » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:01 pm

Culturally, Mr. Curtis hasn't been with us for years.


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