These pictures are all thumbnails of larger image files. To view the full image, click on the picture or the accompanying text. The images on this page were all taken from various Ellison publications. Where such information was available I have given the photographer or artist proper credit.
All the images on this page were contributed to this gallery and most can only be found here. In direct contravention of logic, they are posted in the order I received them, so the latest pics are at the bottom.
My personal Ellison pictures
From the DragonCon/NaSFic Convention, Atlanta, July 1995.:
Harlan leaving the opening ceremonies at DragonCon.
From Readercon, July 1999
Harlan and I share a quite
moment at Readercon. (photo by Dave Truesdale).
Harlan at the 1996 Chicago Comic Con
Pictures and Descriptions Courtesy of Sue Luesse
Harlan realized THIS picture will be going onto
Webderland for all the world to see.
Harlan in the '80s
Courtesy of James Wilson
Harlan at the 1980 World SF convention in Boston. This picture marks
the first meeting between James and HE.
Harlan on the Occaision of his 60th birthday
Courtesy of Cynthia Schaefer
Pictures from an HE Storywriting Session
Courtesy of Chad Netzer
Here is Harlan sitting in the front display window of The Booksmith,
with pen in mouth, banging out a page of his story while listening to
Django Reinhardt music. As he finished each page of the story, Harlan
would tape it to the window, facing outward, for interested onlookers
to see. Off to the right is a partial view of one of these pages, along
with an audience of readers. Notice the manual typewriter and the characteristic
hunt-and-peck typing style that Harlan is employing.
Here is a view of Harlan from outside The Booksmith. Harlan is reviewing
what he's written and smirking; he is probably thinking, "How the
hell am I gonna get out of this corner I've written myself into?"
Those who were present that day know the answer to this question. Notice
Harlan's handheld watch on the wall which reads 11:17 am. Also, reflected
in the glass is an image of the humble photographer... "Smile,
Here is another, close-up view of Harlan from outside The Booksmith,
looking in through the front window. See? I got him to say, "Cheese!"
Actually, he is concentrating fully on his work, oblivious to my intrusions.
What cannot be clearly seen in this shot, unfortunately, is Harlan's
cool Rorschach tee-shirt, which readers of Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbon's
_Watchmen_ would have recognized. Was there some symbolic significance
to the blood red shirt Harlan wore on top of it? Nah, probably not;
But it was still neat.
Ellison at the 1996 Chicago Comicon (again)
Courtesy of ScoperJohn@aol.com (with his comments)
These shots are from the same Con as Sue Luesse's pictures. In fact,
I'm informed the "Girl of Steel" shot below was taken just
a few seconds after Sue's shot of HE taming the crowd.
Ellison at Harper College, 1998
Courtesy of Kevin HlousekRead Kevin's comments about the event
Harlan relaxed, as usual before the crowd at Harper.
A great shot of Harlan gripping the mike.
Harlan reads from The Essential Ellison
Harlan at Dangerous Visions bookstore(Photos taken by and appear courtesy of Lydia C. Marano)
Harlan with author Connie Willis at a DV signing.
Harlan writing one of his "stories under glass" with X-Files creator Chris Carter looking on.
"The 102 year-old pregnant corpse", the story idea given to Harlan by Chris Carter for the above.
Finally, the first page of the story Harlan wrote based on Chris Carter's idea.
Harlan at Glendale Community College, March 1999
The pictures and commentary are by Shane Shellenbarger (shown above with HE). I also am including some pictures of Harlan at Arizona State Univerisity West that Shane sent me. You can also view a text version of Shane's comments.
Neither Your Harlan Nor Mine: The Morning, Afternoon, and Two Evenings
of Delicate Terrors
Harlan Ellison is mannerly, cordial, and courteous: In the two days that I spent enjoying his company, I never saw Ellison treat a clerk, cashier, waitress, or manager with anything less then a respectful or gentlemanly manner.
Harlan Ellison is puckish, charming, and winsome: Whether he's trying to convince a waitress to commit a felony, talk a short-order cook through the best way to prepare a cheeseburger, or surveying an elderly couple's opinion about my paying for breakfast, Ellison radiates feelings of alliance and connection with his new acquaintance.
Harlan Ellison is forthright, blunt, and direct: Ellison doesn't hesitate telling an audience member to stop biting his nails, a litter bug to pick up his trash, or a group of rowdies at a restaurant to take it down a notch or ten.
Harlan Ellison is a storyteller. I've read his work since the mid-seventies and I first heard him speak at the 1978 World Science Fiction Convention, IguanaCon. Whether his words are printed on the page, he is reading his work aloud, or he is extemporizing for an audience, Ellison captivates, fascinates, and enthralls. For those reasons and more, I decided to bring Ellison to Arizona.
In January of 1998, I contacted the William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, to get some information about an upcoming appearance by Ellison. After he had spoken, I contacted the college again for more details. I worked with the chairman of the Speakers Forum at Glendale Community College, Hannes Kvaran. Then my wife, Lauren, found out about the LodeStar Grant, which was sufficient to cover Ellison's speaking fee. Kvaran wrote the grant proposal, Ellison agreed to the venue, and the stage was set. Fast forward to 11 a.m. March 10th, 1999.
While he can speak on any number of topics off of the top-of-his-head, Ellison wasn't constrained to any single subject and so he spoke in stream-of-consciousness. He started by requesting his check and then told the story of a Chicago talk where the coordinator breached the terms of a contract by not having Ellison's fee in hand before he was ready to go on stage. The president of the college wrote a personal check, which he had delivered (along with his identification), to Ellison. When the bank opened the next day, Ellison cashed the check.
Language was discussed and Ellison warned the audience that some words might offend them, but as a writer he knew of only one obscene word: Nixon.
After loosening up the crowd with a couple of jokes, Ellison talked about his recent return to acting on the syndicated show, PSI FACTOR and his early career as a child performer in minstrel shows. This lead to Ellison voicing his despair for the future of the film industry due to the upsurge in movie remakes and films based on old television programs. He was down on GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE, couldn't understand why the animated KING AND I was made, and the inherent illogic of WILD, WILD, WEST just made him shake his head in disbelief. He felt that FARGO is about, "Stupid people doing stupid things." He states that Quentin Tarantino is a poser (he could learn a few things about dialogue from the 1955 film, PETE KELLY'S BLUES) and relayed a story about how he went PSYCHO on copycat director, Gus Van Sant. Ellison wasn't totally down on Hollywood. He had praise for A BUGS LIFE, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, Stanley Tucci in MONTANA and Christian Slater in THE TEARS OF JULIAN POE. His final comments concerned the growing age discrimination against writers in Tinsel Town. Sixty year-old producers are telling thirty year-old writers that they're too old to write scripts and teleplays for modern audiences. Ellison allows that he hasn't suffered from this rampant state of ageism, although producers usually come to him as a last resort.
Ellison spoke about designing the computer game I HAVE NO MOUTH, AND I MUST SCREAM. He gloats a bit that he's never used a computer, doesn't use an electric typewriter, types one hundred and twenty words per minute on a manual typewriter, and that his computer game has received an industry award. He laments existing in a world where blotting paper and fountain pens are so esoteric that mentioning them gets you looks from people as if you were speaking Esperanto. He pointed to writer, James Sallis, sitting alone in the back of the audience and spoke about Sallis's work in poetry, jazz, and crime fiction. Ellison talked about the honesty that is owed to the work and how it prevented him from writing an introduction for a collection of old stories by mystery writer Bill Pronzini that didn't live up to the stature of his current work.
Ellison's feelings about his writing can be boiled down to, "You are responsible." He doesn't write about science fiction, he writes about friendship, courage, ethics, and living your own life to some purpose. When asked what he would do if he had to do it all over again, Ellison remarked that he is as famous as he cares to be, that he has a great marriage, people buy his books and come to hear him talk. He said, "I'm either lucky or skillful enough that I can fall into shit and come up smelling like a rose."
Ellison wrapped up his talk and was quickly surrounded by autograph seekers and well wishers. After posing for a photograph with a woman, Ellison told her that she stank of smoke and that cigarettes would kill her. He told her that he had smoked four packs-a-day since the age of thirteen. These were unfiltered coffin nails: Camels, Lucky Strikes, Philip Morris, and the like. In 1962, he accompanied a girlfriend to her doctor's appointment and corrected galleys while he waited. After the doctor noticed Ellison coughing up his lungs, he led the author to a room where he took an x-ray of his chest. When Ellison saw the picture and the black shadows where his lungs should be, he made a decision. He pulled the cigarette pack from his pocket, crushed them, and never smoked another cigarette. After telling the story, Ellison directed the woman to get her cigarettes, took them out of the pack and sank them into a half-filled glass of water. He returned the empty pack and bid her to smoke no more. Harlan Ellison is concerned, involved, and uninhibited.
It's been said that if you confuse the work of the writer with the life of the writer you'll be disappointed. I couldn't tell you what I expected of Ellison before his visit to Arizona but I can tell you that it was an extraordinary experience that I won't forget.
Part II will continue with Harlan Ellison speaking at Arizona State University West
Pictures from the Arizona University West Appearance
at ICON 1999 smiling pretty at the book signing. Photo by Karen
harlanellison.com is maintained by Rick Wyatt - firstname.lastname@example.org