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The Hated Phrase
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:45 am
Name: Steve Barber
(Or, as Harlan once put it: "The name that shall never cross my lips" -- SciFi Buzz editorial comment.)
Forry Ackerman -- for those of you unfamiliar with him, shame on you. Do some research -- was not only a long-time SF fan and reader, he edited 'Famous Monsters of Filmland', a way-cool movie monster mag that many of us grew up with. He also worked as an agent for several known writers, and -- probably most importantly -- assembled a collection of SF publications and movie memorabilia that is awesome in its scope and dimensions. Make that THE collection, with all due nods of the head to our host for his own spectacular trove.
Yes, originally the term SciFi was coined by Forry as a tongue-in-cheek riff on Hi-Fi. Then, as its use became more mainstream the term became pointedly derisive and dismissive given that, at the time, a correct assessment of popular SF films, in particular, were of pretty shoddy quality. Sadly, all of SF got lumped into the term in the minds of the public.
Now, of course, it's a pretty meaningless insult to label something SciFi -- usually earning a low groan and maybe the roll of an eyeball or two. To the general public "SF" = "SciFi", and we just have to accept that the hated moniker is here to stay.
And as for Forry, while his place in fandom history is secure (once he dies, that is), it is a very rare achievement to have contributed a phrase or term to the general lexicon. He's rightly proud, despite the fact many of the rest of us fanboys just shake our heads.
That said, I'll repeat that Forry is a wonderfully kind and generous person, I've met him on several occasions and privately toured the Ackermansion with him as my guide. He has contributed much beyond the hated phrase, and will be sorely missed by the entire community once he is gone. If you don't know much about him do yourself a favor and look him up.
And ignore the puns, it's the one part of his personality that just needs to be forgiven.
IS SHELLY NUTS?
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:46 am
SHELLY: In a country where citizens of a city fight tooth and nail to get, say, a big fat Dome installed on their local football/baseball stadium but don't think twice about living in a state that is 49th in terms of funds allocated for the fine arts scene (the answer to those questions would be Kansas City and Missouri), where beautiful old, architectual wonders are regularly torn down so someone can built another strip mall (thereby making sure _all_ American townships look the same), where fastfood joints and Starbucks coffeehouses are patronized long before excellent mom & pop joints or even upscale, local restaurants (wherein your money is _well_ spent, even if that means eating out only once a month), in a country where an idiot Silver-spoon baby can be elected President (even after lying, stripping the Bill of Rights and mealy-mouthing his way through a first term), in a country where most people _want_ bland, synthetic, Idon'tcareifittastescrappyaslongasIgetitnow food, TV, movies and reading material and fake news (just as long as they don't have to think too much or stand up and be counted), yeah, the reaction of your local boy/clerk at the Chain bookstore is "usual." (Which is why so many writers only love European countries and readers, where literature is still given proper respect and consideration).
Have a better one,
Obscure Harlan Mention In Print
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:46 am
Name: Todd Cassel
I was listening to my audiobook of Stephen King's and Stewart O'Nan's FAITHFUL (about the 2004 Boston Red Sox Championship Season)((Ech. Just typing those words makes me want to projectile vomit all bodily fluids....but hey, it's still a good book)).
Toward the end of the book, King is writing about the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, and he comments on having attended most of the games while watching the others on "Harlan Ellison's Glass Teat."
That's it. Those words came out of the blue in my Ford Explorer as I was maneuvering onto 17 North on my way home last night. I had to backtrack and listen again.
Here is a nice little baseball book written by two author fans, telling the tale in diary format of a season watching their favorite team, and out of the blue comes a Harlan mention.
The man is everywhere. He is all things.
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:29 am
Name: SUSAN ELLISON
A copy of WEB OF THE CITY is on hold. Glad to hear Rabbit Hole #39 is starting to arrive.
Rabbit Hole &c
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:46 am
Name: Alex Krislov
Susan -- my copy of Rabbit Hole 39 arrived here in Cleveland sometime over the weekend. Couldn't say exactly when, as we were up in Ann Arbor for a family event on Friday and Saturday.
Regarding skiffy, it is Ackerman's assertion that the term "sci-fi" was actually coined by Robert Heinlein. He may be right, but there's no doubt in my mind that it was its incessant use in "Famous Monsters of Filmland" that engraved the term into common usage. I've always disliked the term, and, for that matter, was never too fond of "hi-fi." The latter had the grace to expire and be forgotten after a decade or so of use. It seems that sci-fi will be with us forever. Alas.
And finally: I just came across a rather obscure Ellison reference. I'm sure I'm far from the first to spot it, but it's new to me, at least. I was rereading the old Stephen King yarn "The Body," a novella from "Different Seasons" that was the source of the film "Stand By Me." The narrator is a writer, and he talk a bit about his craft, and the isolation of the writer's life. Then he inserts a bit about a crazy man writer who sits in store windows and writes stories, but assures the reader that this is very much the exception (g).
REPLY TO ANDRE MEDRANO:
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 8:01 am
Name: HARLAN ELLISON
No, I won't be at DragonCon '06.
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:09 am
Name: Tom Morgan
I ususally give you a very prompt note of when the Rabbit Hole arrives at my house in Orange County. Sorry this time it is late and a little vague. Thursday I was gathering the family to head to Long Beach to see Cleese and didn't stop to get the mail. It was there Friday, so it got to OC either Thursday or Friday.
By the way I recommend the John Cleese show to all. I'm not sure where all he is performing but it seems to be colleges since he mentioned Berkeley and San Luis Obispo and I saw him at CSULB. Hilarious review of his life and skillful skewering of sacred cows. Good day to all,
Enough to make one weep
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 11:42 am
Name: Jeff R.
More Forryisms: Espionage fiction: Spy-Fi
Murder mysteries: Die-Fi
Soap Operas: Cry-Fi
The man is incorrigable...
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:53 pm
Name: R. Treehorn
"Surprise, the Washington Post has a nice long obit in today's edition for Stanislaw Lem, although alas he is described as a Polish "SCI-FI" writer. (I suppose that battle was lost a long time ago, huh?)"
Could be worse. One Lem appearance on Sanford and Son and all the Lem obits would have been headlined 'Sanford and Son guest star passes away; also wrote stuff."
This is the Clive Cussler board, right...?
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:53 pm
Shelly- From 1998 (when i first arrived in TX) till now, i would, and do, visit the bookstores. All of 'em. And of course they stock much in the way of college materials and supplementary course books, not just at the college stations but in smaller shops as well. Invariably, when i ask the informed people about certain authors, the conversation runs thus:
Paul "i'm looking for (Sam Shepard, Kathy Acker, etc..)
Clerk "well, you know, this IS a college town, and it's hard to keep that sort of stuff in stock for long..."
and then thusly:
Paul "i'm looking for Harlan Ellison--"
Clerk "Sorry. sold out."
They know EXACTLY who our patron is and what he does (the more erudite clerks that is) and they shake their head negatively once and give me that line, i nod perceptively and we shrug to each other in a camaraderie of unspoken, " Yeah, well, whaddaya gonna do?"
When i was new to Harlan's writing i was astonished that no one knew who he was. I then realized how astonished i could become by simply mentioning things that should be common knowledge but were not. That i should speak of the civil war to any human over the age of 30 and they ask me where i was born, and i say Maryland, then they furrow brow to ask, "Where is that?", fills me with the deepest confusion. Are we even on the same fucking planet?
Ignorance is pandemic and you should realize it now, gird your loins and decide what's best for you: hedge your references and live a life of gnashed teeth and clenched fists, or keep hammering at the anti-intellectual wall with all the information you can muster.
My grandfather used the old saw, "if sense was common, everyone would have it." This is clearly not true. To paraphrase a someone, "Everyone has common sense. What is sadly lacking is INFORMED common sense."
Common sense tells us not to cross the street when there are trucks coming.
Informed common sense tells us wether or not the street is worth crossing.
"Lick me, i'm a lolly.": now THAT is Lit-trit-choor.
Disclaimer: this is WAYYYY too easy.
Oscar Wilde- Wry-Fi
Judith Krantz- Why-Fi?
Joe Orton- Guy-Fi
Dr. Rif'at Sayyed Ahmad-Deny-Fi
John Grisham- Buy-Fi
Margaret Wise Brown -Shuteye-Fi
and lastly, apologies, but i cannot resist-
J.F. Cooper- Hawkeye-Fi
Viva Las Vegas
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:36 pm
Name: Rick Wyatt
So any of you live near Sin City or know someone who does? I am doing a trip with 2 friends Sunday April 30th - Thursday May 4th and if I fly in Saturday night the plane ticket is $298 instead of $478. But our hotel suite is $300/night.
If I could find a place to crash Sunday night (I'll have a rental car) then I'd be happy to spend some of that savings on a really nice meal for my benefactor. Harlan will tell you I'm a polite enough house guest. BTW I'm still working on getting time to head out to LA, Harlan - this one was planned a while back with some old high school buddies.
I am not a castrated lamb.
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:37 pm
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:52 pm
Alan Coil Source:
Paul said: "...gird your loins..."
Far more entertaining would be to take a Sharpie and 'grid' your loins.
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:47 pm
If you can't find a free couch in the Vegas area, get on I-15 and head about 30 miles south towards the Nevada / California border to Primm or Jean, NV. There are a number of large casino/hotels in that area that range in price from $35-65 a night. I've stayed at the GoldStrike a number of times and I've never paid more than $55 for the privilege, and that was on a weekend.
Here's a link: http://www.stopatjean.com
Look for the Gold Strike Rooms tab.
Posted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:49 pm
ps. This will take you right to their reservations / rates page:
https://ww1.mrgres.com/resnet/LANSAWEB? ... s+UP(A2560