Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion

Archive - 08/08/2006 to 09/01/2006

Harlan Ellison Webderland: Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion

Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion

Rick Wyatt <webmaster@harlanellison.com>
- Friday, September 1 2006 7:14:22

Oh no. Oh no no no no no.
Nuh-uh. No way.

Harlan, you know (I hope), that I love you and Susan dearly, have since the first time we spent a good deal of real world time together, in the flesh...and that I worry about you two when things like this happens. As much of a boon as this site and board have been to you at times, there are other times I am embarassed and ashamed that it has been the vehicle to bring the ugliness and inconsideration of the world screaming into your home at close to lightspeed.

This is one of those times, natch.


I want you to be happy. I want to do what I can in that regard. While I have a responsibility to keep this site running, I also consider it my duty, not as your webmaster but as your friend, to offer whatever aid I find possible when you are in need or having troubles.

It's easy for me to confuse those duties. I am as uncomfortable creating debt as you are at being indebted. And it's recently come to the forefront of my mind that perhaps the reason (other than actually having a life these past few years) that I've let the rest of the site languish while focusing on this area is because I dislike wondering if the site is the basis of that friendship and not shared experience. That's not a healthy way to think, and even if it were it's a poor way to handle it, and you have my apologies on that. Having realized it, I am going to take steps in the next few weeks to rectify it.

It's also true that I have owed you and Susan a visit, one that is almost half a year overdue. One that has already been PAID FOR by the wonderful folk here. I plead that my work has been so fucked up (I've had two major realignments/position changes involving myself and two separate sets of people that wound up reporting to me) that the kind of time I'd like to spend has not been possible. But that's an excuse as well. I found time to make it down to Costa Rica for our first family vacation in ten years. I could have chosen LA instead. I will not apologize for choosing family first, but I WILL try to get down there at the first available opportunity.

There are many more things I could say, but like Susan I do not like this medium for conveying them. I do it here because I DO owe those who come here some explanation of where I've been and where I'm at.


Just as this is not the place for anyone else to remonstrate about your relationship and current condition of offense or non-offense, beef or non-beef, with Connie Willis, neither is this the place to resolve that state of affairs. I have no desire to see that played out on any larger stage than necessary. I am sorry enough that this place has been part of that folderol getting blown out of proportion and brought under the imbecile light of Internet Public Scrutiny. I suspect that it is that very light which has made it difficult for Connie to respond to you. If I were her I would be damned if I would make some response that would be picked over by jackals and either lauded or harumphed in their usual unempathetic or over-empathetic fashion -- thereby adding to what has already become an unfortunate and embarassing event. I am not going to willingly be part of that.

I also suspect this has been a bad and trying week for you. That you are suffering, as you so often do, from being publicly analyzed and re-analyzed and over-analyzed and still nearly completely misunderstood. I also know how seriously you take assaults made on your friends as a result of their standing in the line of fire, and how it pains you when that occurs. It troubles me that it may be the result of all this that uncharitable feelings and suspicions towards a friend, be they grounded or not, have been displayed here.

I would never tell you what you can or cannot say here, what emotions or misgivings you can and cannot reveal. That is your right. This is your home. But it is MY home as well, and I pay the rent and clean the gutters. I am as responsible for what goes on here as you are. I take that responsibility as seriously as you take yours towards your friends.

I wish I had the time today to make this prettier and more considered, to clean up the run-on sentences and comma splices that litter my prose, to do this perfectly. I wish I could resolve this without resorting to the webderland equivalent of the nuclear football. But this has already taken a hour I did not have last night, and a half hour I did not have today, and I have to do SOMETHING.


I'm leaving the latest posts up, rich's response included. And if Ms. Willis wishes to make a public statement about the PUBLIC part of, hell, I dunno what you'd call it, HugoGate?, my e-mail is rick@rickwyatt.com. It's only fair to give her that opportunity, although I hope it is unecessary.

Other than that, nada. I am pushing the big red button. We are going to have a time out over the weekend. Consider me the parent who came in and pulled the plug on the stereo when the party got ouf control and people started pulling each other's hair.

I want everyone, EVERYONE, involved to take a few days to chill the fuck out. Take a walk - outside, not on a treadmill. Sit on a porch and watch a storm blow in. Call an old friend and make sure they know how much you love them. Do whatever kind or ugly things you have time for.

Just don't do them here.

See you on Monday.

Jack Skillingstead
Seattle, WA - Friday, September 1 2006 2:51:26

Anyone who was there (as I was) who did not already harbor some spiteful feelings towards Harlan could not reasonably interpret the incident as anything but innocent silliness. Reading through some of the comments here and elsewhere is depressing.

Los Angeles, - Friday, September 1 2006 2:3:30

Kim Smith:

"I remember a lady in a chair in front of me. A couple three maybe. One was gifted with dark, short hair and a wheeled suitcase. I think another was a long haired Asian lady. I was impressed by the fortitude and courtesy of those in line (though one guy did have that fannish "I know everything about everything and am going to prove it right here right now" sort of attitude going on with his mouth)."

Asian lady! Right here! And I have to think that either the guy in front or in back of me was the guy of which you speak. They seemed perfectly nice, but oy! Non-stop pontificating for 3.5 hours! On the upside, I now know many rationales for why "Titus" is the world's best TV sitcom, and how to alleviate the expensive costs of shipping to Canada.


I was going to say something about being called a "nutjob" and the dubious wisdom about anyone thinking all women should think one way or the other, as if we were all some sort of Borg-hive mentality. But then, I remembered the kindly R. Silverberg at the panel discussion, who said "when someone comes up to me and starts arguing, I just say 'well, you might be right" and then walk away. It saves a lot of talking.'

Soo..."well, you might be right."

- Thursday, August 31 2006 23:58:59

I'm coming late to the party, so forgive me for going backwards. Harlan, Josh, Rick and John-Henri have already plowed these fields, so no vote from me on whether or not Harlan goes to the gallows.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I've been to dinner with Harlan and Susan a couple of times, and I was at the Hugos. And I refuse to speak for Harlan or for Connie Willis. Because seriously. How ludicrous.

But Rich. Dear Rich. You're a mite confused. It's this bit, really:

>So, yes, there may be some question as to the legitimacy of the apology. There also is a very valid question of context, of which HE never brought up. So one can reason that perhaps even HE felt he may have crossed a line. Who knows? Only he and Willis know and neither are talking.So that leaves it to the Flying Blue Monkeys to flit around, ignoring what it means when someone who worked on the ERA does what he did. Ignoring the key fundamental question: Was it right?Of course not. But that doesn't stop the Flying Blue Monkeys, holing up on Webderland like some Alamo, ignoring and disregarding all the chatter going on in the Blogosphere, and defending at all costs the myth that is Ellison.

This is where Rich's psychology rears its distorted, fuzzy head. See, Rich is upset because he thinks that his opinion is just as valid as anyone else's -- on any subject. This is what the bloody internets have wrought. Anyone with (literally) half a brain and a keyboard can spew their drivel out into the "blogosphere." Hell, even the term "blogosphere" is self-important.

There is no vote here. Your opinion on this matter is moot. And so is the opinion of every other member of the vaunted "blogosphere." The apes who pound away at their Dells just have to look at the opening weekend for "Snakes on a Plane." Remember that? The movie driven by the internets? Don't think that for every one of you there are forty more. Just the opposite, my friend. For every thousand message board screeds, there is only one sad Rich, loaded for bear with his big bag of indignation.

You're irrelevant, Rich. You just don't know it.

>Only here, at the Alamo, are there actual comments like there are "more important issues" than this. Of course there are, and no one said, ANYWHERE, that this ranks right up there in the top 10 of "important" issues. But that ignores the very real issue that something happened that was wrong. Only here, at the Alamo, are personal attacks given to those that say HE did wrong. Only here, at the Alamo, are people wondering about "making a big deal" over a "minor incident". Only here, at the Alamo, is someone told to "shut the fuck up".

You know what? Wrong shit happens all the time. Every second, something horribly wrong happens. But still, you rant and bleat and beg for attention. Why have we turned into this country of victims? Why do you feel the need to put yourself into Connie Willis's taffeta gown, primed to be offended?

And apparently, telling you to shut the fuck up has no effect.

Familiarity may breed contempt in the real world but on the internets, it breeds outrage and betrayal. Grab a hold, Rich. Please.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Thursday, August 31 2006 23:21:0

Two Things (Using my Friday post 45 minutes early)

First, I am sick and fucking tired of people tossing the word "syncophant" around if someone disagrees with them and thinks they are overreacting to something that is none of their business. Harlan does not need anyone to jump to his defense, but those of us pointing out the flip side of your argument may actually have valid points of our own, which have nothing to do with cowtowing to anyone. We're as entitled to our opinions as you are to yours. Make that "informed opinions". Yours may not be the only one intelligent, thinking people might hold.

Secondly, taking shots at people on the sidelines who have never, once, raised a word or public comment against you is cheap, cheesy and amateurish. I'm not referring to the above "syncophant" trash, this is directed to the asshole who dragged Susan into this with a broadswipe cheap shot. There have been others. Too many people who hide behind the internet's anonymity are taking nasty swipes against real people -- and have you noticed that virtually all of the attackers are doing so from behind pseudonyms? True courage.

Some on both sides are behaving like adults. If we disagree we disagree, but to be an actual adult acting like a five-year-old bully throwing spitballs on a schoolyard is a sickening thing to read.

And last point: don't take this to the Forums. I'll be deleting any and all personal attacks on this topic, accusations of censorship notwithstanding.

Gwyneth M905
- Thursday, August 31 2006 23:21:0

A modest proposal: since everyone is so hepped up about breasts, why not bring the discussion back around to Mr. Ellison’s works, and quote passages in which breasts have appeared, or played a prominent role. Then we can play ‘Name that Breast’.
To wit, name the piece in which the following quote appeared. For extra credit, give the cup and bra size of the real-life inspiration for the titular character. (Yes, this info is available on the web.) (Yes, I am making a guess on whom Mr. Ellison was basing this character.)

“Their naked, fleshy breasts hung on the window ledges like Dali-esque melting casabas, waiting to ripen. [snips] turned and saw the array of deep-brown nipples, and made a strange sound, “Awuhhh!” as if they had been something put on sale at such a startlingly low price she was amazed, confused and repelled out of suspicion.”

I'll send a special prize to the winner!

Eric Martin
- Thursday, August 31 2006 23:6:0

Leaving Webderland

I always knew this day would come, but I assumed it would be as a result of my own actions. I've had my own ups and downs here, in the five years I've hung around. But in the end, I've decided to leave because this is just not a very good place to be anymore.

It’s not the grope. Frankly, and this may make me look like a cad, I was never that appalled by the Ellison-Willis incident, although obviously many others are. I saw and still see it as a dumb blunder. There have been a lot of different reactions, ranging from sad to supportive to clearly ignorant. What has killed us is how we’ve reacted to each other.

Tonight I was the subject of some truly hostile invective over on the Forums (now censored), and while I knew the source of this bile has his own problems to deal with, it was still a little shocking, this level of hate that I read in his post. Given that I have remained relatively neutral on the groping incident, it was all the more distressing how much fault this person found in me.

Also tonight a friend of mine has been permanently banned from the Pavilion for expressing his own anger and frustration. While his language was coarse and his emotions perhaps too extreme for this board, he was responding to some angry and aggressive and in once case truly offensive postings, that did not restrain their own cursing and opprobrium for those who had some unresolved issues with the Willis matter.

Finally, while I’ve never been one to worry about public opinion, it’s clear from a canvassing of the Internet that Webderland has become a joke. We have not comported ourselves well in this hour of examination; indeed, I think we have really blown it this time. Maybe the site should have been shut down for a week. But it wasn’t, and the damage is done.

This is not a good place to be anymore.

It was an exciting run. I made some good friends, and a devoted handful of detractors, but I enjoyed the gaff and will miss a few of you.

Take care, Eric

Shalanna Collins <shalanna@comcast.net>
Richardson, TX, USA - Thursday, August 31 2006 22:33:21

Oh, Lord . . . I can't believe all this ruckus
This incident, as I had guessed, was apparently blown WAY out of proportion; I kept clicking on links that purported to show me some kind of "grope," but I never got to see anything of the kind. I think I know what a "GROPE" would look like, and I didn't SEE any naughty patting, touching, squeezing (oops, invoking the Journey song there for a moment.) Nevertheless, a very contrite apology was publicly posted all over the net. But that wasn't enough for the people who want to pursue it.

I don't know whether anyone went over to read my blog entries on this topic, but basically, to those who are raising Cain over this, I said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." I mean . . . have we not all made mistakes? Errors in judgment? And sometimes you just can't "fix" whatever it was. Sometimes you just have to let it go.

I know of at least three instances in which an impulsive action or word on my part blew away a friendship of long standing and/or made many people change their opinions of me. I apologized, and the apology was accepted, but the mistake could not be un-made. The word cannot be unspoken. I don't really know what kind of penance these people would like that'd make them happy. If we could turn back time . . . y'know . . . we would correct our mistakes that way. But we haven't figured out how to do that yet without disastrous time paradoxes.

People love to shame others and Make An Example of them. But that isn't always called for. Have none of you made mistakes? Is there no forgiveness in you for someone who has apologized for tomfoolery? (Nothing's permanently scarred, surely, over a momentary event.) Must we always start a crusade over everything?

I have already said that people like to seize on any "impropriety" and then fry the "perp," and it's because they're always looking for something to complain about. Lack of perspective. This was just a momentary tweak, not assault or murder or what-have-you, for goodness' sake. I don't condone sexism or hassling women/men by touching them, but seriously, this isn't some big ponderous Sin. Let's leave it to the two parties to work things out.

Ellen Datlow <datlow@datlow.com>
New York, NY - Thursday, August 31 2006 22:25:30

Thank you Steve Barber :-)

And Harlan--I've been visiting Mikey Roessner-Herman in Stallion Springs so haven't been home yet but my housesitter told me about your phone call. You're very welcome.

Josh Olson
- Thursday, August 31 2006 22:10:36


Please send Simone my greetings and salutations. It has been many, many years, and it’s lovely to be remembered by good people. I went to college (for all of a year) with her daughter, Rachel. Rodney is one of my very best friends on this planet, a fantastic musician, a truly decent man, and will be doing composing duties on my next film. Getting to work with your true friends is one of the greatest blessings there is.

Now, on to more trivial matters:

Good God, I can't keep a promise for even half a day...


Mother of God. Before I unleash on your empty head, let me ask you this - WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT FROM THE MAN?

Seriously. Stop. Take a deep breath. Ponder it.

While you’re doing that, let me respond to your asinine points:

“1. I would expect an adult to be cognizant of the fact that there are children and young people present who would not necessarily understand the context of a boob grab (should an acceptable context exist).”

Fuck The Children. The world does not need to be made safe for The Children. It needs to be made safe from ponderous dickweeds like you who want to sanitize every goddam thing imaginable for those fucking bratss, who - I hate to break it to you - say and do worse on an hourly basis. And thank God for that. I didn’t learn profanity and rudeness and filth from adults when I was six, bubba. I learned ‘em where we ALL learned ‘em- from my six year old peers. Had it not been for those wonderful miscreants, I wouldn’t be half as adept as I am now at verbally eviscerating dung beetles like you.

“2. One does not joke or use purposefully exaggerated hyperbole in a true apology. An apology is contrition, not another poorly thought-out comedy routine.”

One does if that is the way one speaks and writes as a matter of course. To wit- this very response. While my disgust at your poltroonish behavior is very real and very serious, it is still couched in verbiage that is causing some folks here, at least, to chuckle with glee.

“3. If you apology has the phrase "if I offended...", it is not an apology. It's a passive aggressive way of saying "You're offended, but I don't see why."”

It’s also a way of saying, “There are many ways to see this event, and I intended no offense. However, if you took any, I apologize.”

I will not offer such an apology to you. It is my intent to offend you. However, if I don’t offend you, I do, indeed, apologize. But not to you, only to everyone else here who thinks you’re a creep.

“4. Harlan has lots of fans. Lots of people exist who do not read him, know his personality or, most importantly, care about either. They can be offended and not have to take his accomplishments and personality into account to excuse his behavior.”

Well, fuck them, too. The notion that one must take the time to contextualize every individual who might enter the room before engaging in any kind of behavior, for fear of confusing or alienating them is.... well.... moronic.

“5. One's accomplishments and personality are no excuse.”

I haven’t seen anyone making excuses here, except for the dipshits who try to justify beating this mummified corpse for the sake of feeling all righteous and tingly and shit.

“6. One's accomplishments and perosnality are often the very reason some people think they can get away with bad behavior.”

I haven’t seen Harlan - or anyone - cite his accomplishments as justification or excuse. However, the notion that one’s personality has no bearing on one’s behavior is.... gee, that word again... moronic.

“7. One does not lob an apology on his own website to someone he is supposedly good friends with for something that obviously upset the friend and a lot of other people. Good friends call each other in such circumstances. The offender does not passive aggressively put on a public show to effectively embarrass the person further by forcing them to demand an apology.”

I understand that in the midst of all that righteous indignation you may have missed the fact that the apology Harlan posted here was a copy of the one he fucking FED EXED to Ms. Willis. Harlan didn’t make this a big public doo-doo fest. Idiots like you did.

And while the incident may, indeed, have upset Ms. Willis, it is by no means obvious, as she hasn’t commented on it publicly or to Harlan. We do not know she is upset. We DO know you are. But until you posted here, nobody even knew you existed, let alone how to contact you and personally apologize for something that had nothing whatso-fucking-ever to do with you. Genius.

“I could go on, but let me share how I have dealt with guys who grab boobs without permission.”

I’m sure all them helpless, stupid wimmin were thrilled to have such a heroic studmuffin defending their virtue from those Visigoths. Do you do this whilst wearing your Batman costume?

“Four times now I have been witness to "playful" unwanted boob grabs. Each time, I have "playfully" reached over and cupped the guy's crotch. Each and every one--including the one gay guy--were horrified and offended--including two I've known for years. Familiarity has nothing to do with it. It's an invasion.”

Nothing like the one you seem so eager to perpetrate on people. Had Harlan grabbed her cooch in public, that would be a perfectly appropriate come-uppance. But he didn’t. Perhaps the next time you come across someone behaving in this manner you should grab their ass, instead. Breasts are not genitals, and lack of famiarity with same is no excuse.

“All you guys here who think it's no big deal, please stop by so I can hold your balls.”

If you’re so eager, might I recommend you stop wasting your precious internet time here. You will find far more opportunity to indulge your odd but probably harmless little fetish at www.cupmyballs.com

I was going to wrap up by going back to my initial question of what you want from the man, but I find at this point, I truly don't give a crap.

So run along now. It's never too late to get a life.

Now I'm REALLY going to try to ignore this topic for the rest of my natural life.

Check the IP log and figure it out, then ban me
- Thursday, August 31 2006 22:6:5

Please clarify, Mr. Ellison. Are you saying that, due to her "frequently demeaning public jackanapery toward [you] -- including treating [you] with considerable disrespect at the Grand Master Awards Weekend..." that you are, in fact, entitled to touch Ms. Willis' breast in public? She says that's what you did, and she doesn't think it's funny. I believe her. I mean, it's *her* breast, but you seem shocked that "SHE sets the rules for play, and I'm the village idiot, she's cool."

I have news. Yes, indeed, I and most people who are not your sycophantic, frothing fanboys and girls, in your words feel that, "gawd forbid I change the rules and play MY way for a change" if it entails grabbing someone's body parts in front of a large crowd of people. Most people would agree that you are the village idiot, and she is cool in this situation.

Are you angry at Ms. Willis, Mr. Ellison? Has she been, as you claim, publicly humiliating your for years now? Did you want to take her down a peg or two? And what better way to do it than take that lowest of roads that a man can take with a woman, touching her in ways that, if someone touched your wife that way, you'd deck him? All the support for ERA in the world doesn't excuse that. It's irrelevant if it goes right out the window when push comes to grope.

Yes, it sounds like this is more than just friendly playing around, if you are chiding her "to get up off her political correctness and take her pal off the gibbet." Is she letting you twist in the wind? Maybe she's angry, Mr. Ellison. Maybe you went too far. Maybe a big-boy apology would do the trick.

But that's not going to happen, is it? Is that your pride, fucking with you, Mr. Ellison? Is that what has caused you to drop YOUR mask of political correctness, haul off and grope a bitch when bitch had it comin'? Because people all over the place are calling you on your behavior, not accepting half-assed apologies? Don't you think a woman has the right not to want your or anyone to touch her breast, and to be upset if someone does? Isn't that HER CALL, if it's OK or not, not yours, it being HER BREAST? You don't get to decide if it's OK or not. It's not up to you. Sorry.

Basically, Connie Willis had it coming, according to you. She was asking for it by screwing with you. Very nice. What a gentleman. If you had just let Rick & Co silence the rabble and left it at that, you'd have been OK. But your completely horrifying, yep, MISOGYNISTIC response to rich and Ms. Willis leaves no doubt about your character. You, sir, are an appalling, embarrassing, shameless old goat. You need to stay off the Con circuit and hole up in Wonderland with your sainted wife. End of story.

Whatever. You haven't published anything of substance lately, so who cares? I've already spent far more time on you than you deserve.

John-Henri <john-henri@replik.se>
Viken, Sweden - Thursday, August 31 2006 21:40:20

Loveya still
Comments from a distant shore (although from an inhabitant just back from Los Angeles):
1) Harlan, you are too impulsive sometimes.
2) Regardless of that, all you other guys, of course Harlan is a well-known misogynist and woman hater. Just ask some of his other pals. Likse Susan. Or Joanna Russ. Or Ursula Le Guin.
3) Incidentally, Harlan is also the most generous, steadfast and caring friend you can have. Which view I suppose automatically excludes me from having the right to comment on the Hugo Ceremony idiocy. Though even so
4) No, I did not myself see the Incident. But I did talk to many friends who had. And the only thing anyone said about it was that Harlan and Connie Willis had been funny, keeping up their running shtick of mutual tongue-in-cheek abuse which has been going on for more years than some of the Morally Outraged have been alive.
5) Or, in a more all-encompassing vein, get a life, people. Things are not always what they're made out to be third hand. Nor even what they may look like firsthand if you don't happen to know the people involved.
6) Aside from all that, my love to you both, and warmest thanks for another great visit to Wonderland.

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Thursday, August 31 2006 21:32:32

ST: Crucible: McCoy
Just an FYI for Harlan.

The book went on sale as an ebook at ereader.com about 20 minutes ago.

Didn't buy it myself, though. Who can say why?



- Thursday, August 31 2006 21:21:38


Would you be slightly less self-righteous and chiding if I told you there was

NO grab...

there was

NO grope...

there was

NO fondle...

there was the slightest touch. A shtick, a gag between friends, absolutely NO sexual content.

Would you, and the ten thousand maggots who have blown this up into a cause celebre, be even the least bit abashed to know that I apologized WAY BEYOND what the "crime" required, on the off chance that I HAD offended? Let me ask you, Mark:

1) Were you there?
2) Did you see it?
3) Are you standing on your soapbox to chide me via 3rd/4th-hand reportage by OTHERS who weren't there?
4) Do you also buy the infinite number of other internet brouhahas that turned out to be misreported?

Here it is, Mark; and for any others who fit the shoe:

In the words of that great American philosopher, Tony Isabella,
"Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved."

Does not anyone READ WHAT I WROTE within fifteen minutes of learning of this? Does not anyone wonder why, if it was such a piggish thing I did, as one of those jerkwad blogs calls it, Connie Willis hasn't, after twenty-five years of "friendship," not returned my call on Monday ... or responded to the Fedex packet of my posting here on Monday, which Fedex advises me she received at 2:20 pm on Tuesday?

Can the voluble and charismatic Connie not even pick up a phone to tell the man whose work she "admires deeply" that he has gone a bridge too far? Is she so wracked by the Awfulness of it that she is incapable of saying to his face, you went too far? No one EVER asked her to "bell the cat." She decided that was her role toward me, long ago. And I've put up with it for years.

How about it, Mark: after playing straight man to Connie's very frequently demeaning public jackanapery toward me -- including treating me with considerable disrespect at the Grand Master Awards Weekend, where she put a chair down in front of her lectern as Master of Ceremonies, and made me sit there like a naughty child throughout her long "roast" of my life and career -- for more than 25 years, without once complaining, whaddays think, Mark, am I even a leetle bit entitled to think that Connie likes to play, and geez ain't it sad that as long as SHE sets the rules for play, and I'm the village idiot, she's cool ... but gawd forbid I change the rules and play MY way for a change ... whaddaya think, Mark, my friend, am I within the parameters of brutish pigginess to suggest if she WAS offended, then I apologize ... even if you and a garbage-scowload of asinine pathetic internet wanks get up on their "affront" and tell me how to behave?

I've sat here for four days, quietly, having done as much forelock-tugging and kneeling as I feel -- as I -- I -- not you -- not fan pinheads in far places who jumped and bayed and went after me in a second -- but I --who is responsible for my behavior -- as I feel is proper. And for four days I've waited for Deeply Outraged and Debased Connie Willis -- an avowed friend and admirer of my work for more than a quarter century --to get up off her political correctness and take her pal off the gibbet.

I spent more hours traveling this benighted country, for eight years, state after state after state, lecturing in defense of women's rights and passage of the ERA than any of you have spent mouthing your sophomoric remonstrances.

As the Great American Philosopher Tony Isabella has said, "Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved."

My last word on this clusterfuck. If Willis wants in, she knows where you all are. She knows where I am.All the rest is silence.

Harlan Ellison

P.S. Including Mark's post that precedes this one, I URGE YOU all to post this everywhichwhere, and let the poison drip where it will. Gloves come off now, onlookers.

Chuck Messer <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
Lakewood, Colorado - Thursday, August 31 2006 20:54:32

Concerning the Grope:

I think everyone here, the defenders and demanders of the most sincere apology since Cain slew Able alike, needs to sit back, kick their shoes off and have themselves a nice, hot cup of Shut the Fuck Up.

Take it to the Forums, guys. This horse is starting to smell.


John Greenawalt
- Thursday, August 31 2006 20:53:12

From a source I believe reliable

In my state a building cannot be occupied without a certificate of occupancy signed by an inspector. When one inspector refused to sign, he was told "There's too much money in this building. You'll get killed."

He signed!

- Thursday, August 31 2006 20:50:57



You can say whatever you choose about ME, but NO ONE fucks with my friends. Josh Olson, Cindy, and Tim are among my best friends. Your remarks to them are not only addlepated and crude, motherfucker, but they are not permissable in MY house.

You are no longer welcome here.

You will go away. Now.

You will not return. Ever.

Rick, keep an eye out for this dude under other handles. He comes back, let me know, and I'll have the hacker demon dogs track him down as I've tracked down every arrogant internet pirate who thought he could steal my work and hide from me. Them days is gone. This is 2006, and you are free to run me down interminably ...

But NOBODY fucks with my friends.


- Thursday, August 31 2006 20:12:58

just some thoughts...
You know what bothers me more than What Happened? The reactions here.

As has been stated, how Willis deals with it is her business.

But consider a few things here:

1. I would expect an adult to be cognizant of the fact that there are children and young people present who would not necessarily understand the context of a boob grab (should an acceptable context exist).
2. One does not joke or use purposefully exaggerated hyperbole in a true apology. An apology is contrition, not another poorly thought-out comedy routine.
3. If you apology has the phrase "if I offended...", it is not an apology. It's a passive aggressive way of saying "You're offended, but I don't see why."
4. Harlan has lots of fans. Lots of people exist who do not read him, know his personality or, most importantly, care about either. They can be offended and not have to take his accomplishments and personality into account to excuse his behavior.
5. One's accomplishments and personality are no excuse.
6. One's accomplishments and perosnality are often the very reason some people think they can get away with bad behavior.
7. One does not lob an apology on his own website to someone he is supposedly good friends with for something that obviously upset the friend and a lot of other people. Good friends call each other in such circumstances. The offender does not passive aggressively put on a public show to effectively embarrass the person further by forcing them to demand an apology.

I could go on, but let me share how I have dealt with guys who grab boobs without permission. I'm an out gay man. Four times now I have been witness to "playful" unwanted boob grabs. Each time, I have "playfully" reached over and cupped the guy's crotch. Each and every one--including the one gay guy--were horrified and offended--including two I've known for years. Familiarity has nothing to do with it. It's an invasion. All you guys here who think it's no big deal, please stop by so I can hold your balls. All you women here who think it's blown out of proportion, get some self-respect.

Alex Krislov <Alexkrislov@cs.com>
- Thursday, August 31 2006 20:4:2

Hey guys...
...I confess. I once did something stupid in public.

Shall I hang myself now or later? Perhaps I should be flayed first? I want to meet community standards!


All this nonsense reminds me of a walk through the airport security gates a few years ago, before they changed the rules so that only women could frisk women, and only men could frisk men.

After the male TSA frisked my wife, she innocently said, "Will you promise to molest me on the way back, too?"

I swear, I thought the poor sap was gonna have a heart attack.

John Thompson Jr.
- Thursday, August 31 2006 18:17:22

On a lighter note, has anyone been reading the new comic FELL by Warren Ellis? It's one of my favorite new titles. I like that each story is self-contained, but there's still a sense of continuity.

Los Angeles, - Thursday, August 31 2006 17:51:9

Hey Rick,

Were you able make the schlep over to Ellison Wonderland?

Brian Siano
- Thursday, August 31 2006 17:36:16

Unrelated Shout-Out to Josh Olson
Turns out we have a mutual friend; Simone Allender. She called me up to tell me about Rodney Whittenberg's visit to Ellison Wonderland this week. She sez Hi.

I met Rodney years ago, knew him very slightly. Lucky guy, tho.

David Loftus <dloft59@earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Thursday, August 31 2006 17:1:20


> Man, I hate to play to form and pull the "Rick finally comes in and foams at the mouth" bit, but . . . .

You do that well!

Rick Wyatt <rick@rickwyatt.com>
- Thursday, August 31 2006 15:54:25

Shut the fuck up? No, how about MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Man, I hate to play to form and pull the "Rick finally comes in and foams at the mouth" bit, but GOD JESUS FUCK GHANDI KHAN CHRIST ALMIGHTY LIZARD KING SHITSTICK SUNDAY:

The question of the spectacle presented by Harlan at the awards is one matter. His personal relationship over many years with Connie Willis and whatever occurs with them as far as conversation, apology, penance, whatever, is quite another.

In the matter of the first, as it occured in a public gathering of interest to fandom, it seems appropriate that there be some discussion of the appropriateness of his actions. Neither does it surprise me that that discussion here falls mostly down the usual divisions of either blind worship or self-righteous indignance. It also seems appropriate that Harlan explain his public actions here, which he's done. If people aren't happy with THAT explanation, well, fire torpedo two.

In the matter of the second, what personally passes between Ellison and Willis is does quite simply not fall within the domain of any dilettante who would comment on it here rather than discuss it with him in person. What Harlan is telling you Rich, and you Jim, and even you Cindy, much as I love you all, is not that he owes or does not owe Connie Willis anything - or that she is or is not offended - but that it's none of your fucking business. He is telling you it's between him and her and kindly butt the fuck out.

Sexual assault? Jesus. Do you people actually listen to what you're saying or does it just spew from the Kneejerk Lobe of the Brain? The ability of people to take outraged offense on behalf of someone they don't even know, or to make sweeping character statements based on some event they heard about second or third or fourth hand, is just plain amazing.

And to try to shellac this up into some bellweather event, some Waterloo, some rallying point for change within the industry? This was just some stupid shit pulled by a septagenarian at a sci-fi convention that probably seemed like a good idea at the time and now seems obviously regrettable to just about everyone involved. It's a footnote. Hell, even if it was bad as the worst recountings, it might not break the top five on the list of rude or stupid crap I've PERSONALLY seen Harlan pull. You are talking about a man who could assrape a nun on the White House lawn during the easter egg roll without doing significant further damage to his lifelong reputation for falling prey to occaisional bouts of rudeness, rage, highly insensitive insouciance, and other types of general dickery pickery and fuckery puckery.

By all means, please blather on about what you find acceptable and unacceptable, and how Harlan's heinous hee-hawings have your panties bunched up through your GI tract all the way to the duodenum. Or how he's beyond reproach because he fought for the ERA and marched in Selma Alabama and was the only person quick enough to give Gerturde Stein the Heimlich when she choked on that fish taco. Because I am SURE he's on the edge of his seat wondering if the INTERNET finds him ACCEPTABLE.

But leave the matter of Connie and Harlan to Connie and Harlan.

Ryan Leasher
Los Angeles, CA - Thursday, August 31 2006 15:6:42

Current for HERC?


Am I current for the mailings? There have been recent references to the Rabbit Hole but I haven't seen one in a while. Did I let me membership lapse?


Ryan Leasher

- Thursday, August 31 2006 14:28:58

I'm feeling puckish.

To those that can't get upset about this. To those that can't get worked up over a "simple joke" that fell flat. But, especially to folks like Cindy, Tim Richmond, and Josh Olson...I'll wait while you three get Harlan's dick out of your mouths. By the way, Tim, how's "Fingerprints On The Breast" coming along?

Some have said that the type of behavior exhibited by Harlan is not appropriate, and that one just can't blow it off with the following: "On a more serious note: if, in fact, Connie (or Courtney, or Cordelia) were/are/might in any way be offended by this latest demonstration of give'n'take jackanapery between Connie and Harlan (now in its longest-run on Broadway), you may all rest assured I will apologize vehemently, will crawl to Colorado through broken glass and steaming embers, and beg her (their) forgiveness."

IF she was offended. This right after admitting it was not appropriate and admitting it was offensive to do such a thing. So one can see where some may say that HE never really apologized.

So, yes, there may be some question as to the legitimacy of the apology. There also is a very valid question of context, of which HE never brought up. So one can reason that perhaps even HE felt he may have crossed a line. Who knows? Only he and Willis know and neither are talking.

So that leaves it to the Flying Blue Monkeys to flit around, ignoring what it means when someone who worked on the ERA does what he did. Ignoring the key fundamental question: Was it right?

Of course not. But that doesn't stop the Flying Blue Monkeys, holing up on Webderland like some Alamo, ignoring and disregarding all the chatter going on in the Blogosphere, and defending at all costs the myth that is Ellison.

Only here, at the Alamo, are there actual comments like there are "more important issues" than this. Of course there are, and no one said, ANYWHERE, that this ranks right up there in the top 10 of "important" issues. But that ignores the very real issue that something happened that was wrong. Only here, at the Alamo, are personal attacks given to those that say HE did wrong. Only here, at the Alamo, are people wondering about "making a big deal" over a "minor incident". Only here, at the Alamo, is someone told to "shut the fuck up".

Good job, Monkeys. While the universe rages over this particular tempest, probably to be left behind when the next knucklehead takes a joke a little too far, we here at Webderland are safe in our Alamo.

Benjamin Winfield
- Thursday, August 31 2006 14:24:33


Thought it might be a nice idea to lighten the spirits around here a little...

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Thursday, August 31 2006 13:43:29

"People who look for reasons to be offended"

From Mark Evanier, on the subject of the Emmys opening with a skit that contained a plane crash. A plane crash happened that morning.


kir-wan <kevin.kirby@gmail.com>
San Francisco, CA - Thursday, August 31 2006 13:41:27

Becoming Peter Lorre
Having attended many of the WorldCon events involving largescreen video monitoring, I'm probably not the only one here who'd like to re-watch the recording of Harlan Ellison Tells Us. While most of the televised subjects took passive roles onstage, Harlan began his talk by approaching to within inches of the camera lens -- even to the point of becoming a screen-filling Peter Lorre character -- with verbal energy issuing wildly forth and onward to its ultimate, inevitable expression: in the midst of Bob Siverberg's ongoing video tease of the Hugo-winning Guest of Honor, a last grasp at the youthful abandon of decades long since passed.

I wonder about an airbrush illustration from Demon With a Glass Hand that had been brought to the Ellison Autograph Table. This was an unused magazine illustration from the seventies or something -- and it seemed less likely to be signed than actually acquired on site. What ever became of that situation, I wonder...

Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Thursday, August 31 2006 13:25:27

The Glass Teat (And Nothing About The Willis Teat)
As television begins to take it's monthly beating on these boards, I would like to remind everyone that this is not the 60's and 70's. This is not the television days of Harlan's Glass Teat columns.

There is a lot of quality on teevee today. There is bad teevee and good teevee; and there is more good teevee than ever in history. Heck, Harlan himself has offered praise on quite a number of current television shows on this board and in his talks; and this comes from a man who you would never imagine would spend time watching the tube other than to criticize it in Teat columns way back when.

There are good movies, there are bad movies. There are good music albums, there are bad music albums. There are good books, there are bad books. Though we are all intelligent folks who will immediately praise the joy of reading, that does not mean we have to spit on the other media just because it has been a common response in the past.

Hell, give me LOST or THE WIRE or DEADWOOD over any movie that has come out this year or any book sitting on front display at the local Borders!


paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
austin, TX - Thursday, August 31 2006 13:8:42

Thanks to Susan
Susan E.,
Thank you so much for the latest Rabbit Holes and the "extras" in with my ordered records and assorted items. That it is, of course, completely unnecessary (a one day's wait is not a 'delay', it's a 'meditative moment'), only goes to show what a splendid job you do, and i proffer my gratitude and much thank yous.
In appreciation,

- Thursday, August 31 2006 12:27:32

Forgive the grammatical gaffes (parallel sentence structure, et al) in an otherwise heartfelt tract; I wrote that in a hurry, as I'm at work.

- Thursday, August 31 2006 12:24:6

The Writer's Signature

"Joseph Stefano passed away. I'm not sure what Harlan's relationship was to the Outer Limits producer, but I wanted to mention it here out of respect for our host."

Hey, listen, man, at the end of the day, it JUST doesn’t matter...

Harlan always remained true to his convictions in his writing, his language, his vision, and his signature imagery.

So did Joe Stefano.

Stefano’s writing was most strongly marked by a signature neurosis which invariably pumped layered density into his scripts. Whether it was for Hitchcock’s PSYCHO (he was an up-and-coming talent who'd won instant admiration and empathy from a great director), or the OUTER LIMITS, Stefano invested himself in ways uniquely personal; it is possible, in fact, that as an executive producer, he’d approached his handling of a tv series more as an artist than anyone in CHARGE of a series EVER had in the history of the tube. He invested characters with what he saw in himself and in general human nature. He used tv as art – to the extent few got away with.

Thus, like Harlan, Stefano was a deeply personal writer.

Stefano – and you could see this time and time again in OUTER LIMITS – typically invested his characters with a paradoxical mix of humanism, dream symbolism, and gouging cynicism; he often used a parallel structure in his scripts to elicit human weakness and strength; an enigmatic doom hovered over anyone who could not come to grips with his own inner demons, and the moral rot of human temptation at the expense of the greater numbers. It was the careening between these emotional extremes sans the platitudes that lent a neurotic eccentricity to his shows. Stefano made the oscillascope a symbol of these wavelenghts, where no adage was needed. I connected with these wavelengths, flowed with the ebbs and tides, and remained an OLs fanatic ever since.

I think, given the mélange of lofty ideas, the ambition, and the fact that we, as viewers, were experiencing very personal reflections about the inner self, that Stefano was an acquired taste. Like Kubrick’s narratives since 2001; like Jack Kirby’s approach in comics; like Patrick McGoohan’s wild juggling of dream symbolism in THE PRISONER; or like Fritz Lang’s Expressionistic motifs in the Mabuse films: the viewer might not make sense of it the first time; it was something askew; something so off-center, that only a revisiting – or maybe several revisitings – could find a connection. But once the viewer “gets it”, it becomes like a fine wine that one can’t escape. One becomes immersed, it all becomes a great cohesive whole.

Stefano asked us to join him in therapy to visit our inner demons and, cynically, reminded us how often we neglected our own accountability for those inner demons. THESE were his ongoing motifs that reached from the inner mind to the OUTER LIMITS.

Joe Stefano was a talented craftsman who remained true to himself and brought a unique, eccentric vision to a cutting edge series.

**We also just lost Glenn Ford. Which reminds me of another addiction of mine: Fritz Lang, as I had only recently revisited THE BIG HEAT.

Frank Church
- Thursday, August 31 2006 12:0:10

Television makes one a passive spectator; you fear the outside world more, based on the bogus image that is presented from a dumbed down media culture. a culture that sends us sex and violence, pre-packaged and wrapped in gore and vomit. We are the game show contestants and the boob tube is the game show host. All we win is a grope from Cindy.

The less tv you watch the more informed you become. Books are special little devices. Hell, you don't even need batteries.


Susan, we are your friends here. We got your back. The net world may scare ya, but we are as innocent as termites.

Wink wink.

The internet can be very democratizing, too bad the idiots have taken it over.

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Thursday, August 31 2006 11:36:8

And thank you as well, Mrs. Ellison.

> My posts are usually limited to informational posts. I don't
> chat. I don't like websites. I don't like the "instant"
> thoughts that are sometimes typed without understanding, most > times without compassion. Friends are made and kept over time. > I am always astonished at the cruelity both "names" and
> strangers inflict on sites. Real people, not "chat" rooms are > worth much more to me.

Thank you.


Josh Olson
- Thursday, August 31 2006 11:16:59

Here's the problem with this particular strain of political correctness. In the end, the people who are trying to do good end up doing the most harm. Comparing this incident with actual sexual harassment or assault does an enormous disservice to victims of sexual harassment or assault. It trivializes a real problem, and gives ammo to the people who WANT to trivialize it.

Harlan did a stupid, impulsive thing. There isn't a person here - even the most sanctimonious of us - who hasn't done something equivalent at some point in their life. The difference is, Harlan's a public figure, and his stupid impulsiveness becomes fodder for the world, or at least a large handfull of shut-ins who think the internet is a legitimate podium for their insipid views.

Let me add this - if anyone here can genuinely say they've never done anything at least this dumb and impulsive, we may have just figured out why the few friends you have think you're a fucking stiff. I've done worse in the past. I will again. So will you. It was wrong. Harlan's offered the most sincere apology I've ever read, and Ms. Willis has expressed no desire to have him jailed. Case fucking CLOSED, you simpering house apes.

What Bush did was heinous for many reasons. He didn't have a twenty year relationship with Merkel; he has a long history of being an insensitive, moronic prick; and he can't point to years of being on the frontlines, fighting for tolerance and equality. We know enough about his heart to know where it came from. Equating the two is morally reprehensible, and - again - diminishes what Bush did.

So if you want people to stop giving a crap about abused and battered women, about rape victims, keep on comparing a gag between friends to real crimes. I guarantee you, you do your cause no good whatsoever, and you feed the Limbaughs and the Coulters of the world their favorite meal.

There is only one person who gets to decide if this was assault or harassment, and shockingly, it's not some nitwit on the internet who heard about the incident third hand.

Sometimes I shudder for my species.

I hereby resolve to do my best not to comment again here on this unbelievably trivial, stupid matter, no matter how many more puddles of idiotic sputum I have to wade through.

Steve Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth, MA - Thursday, August 31 2006 10:2:30

Joseph Stefano passed away. I'm not sure what Harlan's relationship was to the Outer Limits producer, but I wanted to mention it here out of respect for our host.

Steve Dooner

Dave Clarke
- Thursday, August 31 2006 10:0:42

My thanks to Tony and others who took the time to find the Beaumont story. Strangely enough (or not so strangely, given my memory these days) I have THE HOWLING MAN collection right here on my shelves, so all this time the story THE NEW PEOPLE was right in front of me.

Years ago I got on one of the old bulletin board systems to ask about an sf book I'd read in my youth, a narrative of a future Earth which had me spellbound. Similarly, many years later I could only recall certain parts of the story. Sure enough, someone found what I was looking for (Ted White's THE SPAWN OF THE DEATH MACHINE).

Thanks again for your help.

- Thursday, August 31 2006 9:59:27


My posts are usually limited to informational posts. I don't chat. I don't like websites. I don't like the "instant" thoughts that are sometimes typed without understanding, most times without compassion. Friends are made and kept over time. I am always astonished at the cruelity both "names" and strangers inflict on sites. Real people, not "chat" rooms are worth much more to me.

Thank you.



Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Thursday, August 31 2006 9:28:34

I am astonished by the postings I have been reading. Harlan has apologized profusely. Whether or not that is sufficient for Mr. Rosenbaum is irrelevant. He stated that no one should excuse his behavior and that "iT IS UNCONSCIONABLE FOR A MAN TO GRAB A WOMAN'S BREAST WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION".

What more do you guys want? Harlan admitted he screwed up publicly, has not made any excuses for his behavior, and has attempted to talk with the one party (Ms. Willis) who was most directly affected by this.

Seriously, other than dragging the guy out to the stockade for a public flogging, what more do you want him to do?

Can we all please move on?

Pamela Lee Anderson Rock
- Thursday, August 31 2006 8:54:32

Cindy said: "Geeeze, I wish we could lighten up as a gender."

If a woman doesn't appreciate having her breast groped onstage, she needs to lighten up? The entire gender needs to lighten up if women, as a group, object to being fondled publicly? How retrograde. How insulting. How craven of you, as a woman, to say so.

Connie Willis didn't like being groped. That is clear from all accounts. Doesn't matter if YOU personally would have loved every second of it, Cindy, and even if you didn't, Harlan knows better than you, so you would have MADE yourself enjoy it because he's right 99% of the time. SHE DIDN'T LIKE IT. So why don't you take Tim Richmond's advice to Jim Davis? Because your opinion doesn't matter here. Connie Willis' does, and her silence in the face of Harlan's apology is deafening.

How would all you apologists take it if Susan Ellison's breast had been groped, on stage, and she was upset by it? I think Harlan has decked people for less, and would probably be similarly incensed if the shoe were on the other foot. The flying blue monkeys would be howling for blood, the death of vaudeville notwithstanding. But Harlan Ellison did it to some other woman, so it's OK. No, in fact, it's GOOD. Women should learn to stop worrying and love the grope. And anyone who disagrees should SHUT the FUCK UP.

Wow. Astonishing. But classic Webderland. Really. No wonder the only women who post here are nutjobs or don't know where Long Island is.

Tim Richmond
- Thursday, August 31 2006 8:44:27

Pardon the typo thus. "spell it out for you".

Benjamin Rosenbaum <info@benjaminrosenbaum.com>
Falls Church, Virginia - Thursday, August 31 2006 8:40:45

Hugo ceremonies

I bet you can appreciate how I felt at the Hugos. I bet if you were in the audience and someone grabbed the breast of your friend and teacher -- and she soldiered on so as not to spoil the coming triumphs of the winners -- and then her assaulter got an award and an ovation and no one said a word...

I'd like to think you wouldn't be one to laugh it off. That you wouldn't be one of the posters now in the SFWA lounge saying "oh please, it was nothing" or "these PC types always overreact, can't we have a little fun" or (a thinly veiled version of)"it's not like she's young and pretty" or "well they kissed later", ie she must have asked for it, or "let's talk about something *important*."

I'd like to think that if it was your friend humilated onstage -- attacked, not as a writer, but as a woman -- you'd also spend the next week or so in a vengeful boil.

Now you've apologized. I appreciate that you did. I appreciate that you aren't trying to villify Connie. And the apology seems to have been mostly accepted, in this forum, among your fans, as sincere.

But beyond this forum, its tone has worked against it. You express doubt -- maybe even incredulity -- that Connie could have been offended. You talk about "political correctness" (as if you were Rush Limbaugh, for God's sake), which reads like you think people are overreacting. You characterize the apology as "puckish". You are "glad to have transcended our expectations". And you seem to imply that, as a holy fool, childish and irreverent, you are beyond the rules -- that if Connie was offended, you are sorry, but that having offended her is an anomalous, surprising, and bewildering occurence.

And nowhere do you say "I will never do anything like this again". It reads like you reserve the right, as a politically incorrect creature, to trespass and then apologize.

To those who don't know and trust you already, the apology comes across as either mocking and defiant, or simply not taking the matter seriously, like, "hee hee, what's the big deal?"

Here's the context: it seems that a lot of men -- particularly, to hell women my age tell it, older, powerful men -- in science fiction feel like women's bodies are fair game. Whether it's for a gag, a thrill, or a "sit down and shut the fuck up, bitch", this kind of thing goes on beyond the Hugo stage. A lot.

As it does in the wider world. A friend of mine who attended the Hugos had just been tit-grabbed by a stranger riding by on a bicycle in the street outside the Hugos the night before. Just for a minute of fun, because she was a woman, he brought her to tears of rage. For her, you grabbing Connie -- and Connie's first horrified reaction before she covered beautifully and went on with the show -- was the same damn thing, and the message was: you're not safe anywhere.

As long as the sincerity of your apology is in question outside the circle of your fans, it aids and abets the guys who think women just can't take a joke.

Here's the other thing. Nobody thinks it was about sex. Nobody thinks you did it for a cheap thrill. But there exists a very plausible interpretation that it was vengeful. Connie had just made fun of you about The Last Dangerous Visions, which got a horrified, gleeful "oooo" from the audience. You grumbled that she'd gotten the title of "Jefty" wrong. The duct tape, the hammer, swallowing the microphone... sure, it was comedy, but it also reads like an escalating duel. We couldn't tell how well you were taking the joke.

And since we know that Connie was furious; and we know you know her and should understand her reactions; and I for one honestly can't imnagine Connie reacting to the proposal of "hey, Connie, I know, then I'll grab your tit!" with "Great idea, Harlan, that'll slay 'em!" ... the interpretation that it was an angry joke is hard to shake off.

Not that it wasn't *also* tomfoolery gone too far. But that it had a kernel of "ok, shut the fuck up already."

That's how it played. And that's an abuse of power. It's far *worse* than Bush's massage of Merkel. That you were being Bush -- operating under a goofy, smug assumption that grabbing a woman is all in good fun -- is the best-case scenario. That you were trying to punish and silence Connie is the worst.

I mean, I don't know you. If you didn't know the guy in question, what would you think?

In some sense, I don't care about your motive. The public perception is what fills abusers with vindication and pride, and pisses me off. I don't care if you say "yes, there was some of that, and I am ashamed" or "God, I know it could look like that, but..." I just care that you take a stand.

Am I saying you can't be funny? I don't know. Connie, pissed off as she was, was pretty damn funny about it at breakfast. Maybe you can be funny.

But the current level of apology is not cutting it for me. Mind, I'm not worried about Connie. For one thing, Connie's no victim, and for another, that's between you and her.

No, I'm talking about the atmosphere in science fiction. We applauded a sexual assault at the Hugos, and now the web is full of folks saying "what's the big deal? get over it". I don't think I need to tell you that that is fucked up.

I wonder what Octavia Butler would say.

Take a stand, Harlan. Apologize for real.


Tim Richmond
- Thursday, August 31 2006 8:36:8

I usually lay low, but I've had it. Jim Davis : Were you there? There are mitigating circumstances in EVERY situation. To CONTINUE to even REMOTELY suggest sexual offending IN THIS CIRCUMSTANCE is appalling and POTENTIALLY harmful to EVERYONE concerned (Having worked as a counselor with a sex offender/victim population for 14yrs. I'm prepared to spell out the for you). It is out of context, i.e. a situation as well as a complex relationship that you are not privy to. Your long winded masturbatory sermons followed by "I'm not trying to rub salt in the wound or make you feel worse about this, so I'm going to restrict all my future comments on this to the Forum" doesn't jive. Just a thought. On your way down Mt. Sinai today how's about spending YOUR time doing something nice like brush your teeth, share a tuna sandwich with a homeless person, let CONNIE & HARLAN handle their own laundry, and shut the fuck up. Sincerely, Tim Richmond

Gwyneth M905
- Thursday, August 31 2006 8:25:29

reflection/refraction - Susan?
re: reflection/refraction
For all the times I've seen REAR WINDOW at home on VHS, it wasn't until I saw it at the local theater that I truly appreciated the craft of the cinematography and the lighting.
In the scene where Jimmy Stewart realizes that he has been spotted by Raymond Burr from across the courtyard, the light from the screen is reflected back upon the audience, bathing us in the same exposed glare as Stewart. And then, as he rolls his wheelchair back into the shadows, we too are shadowed, hidden once again in the darkness of the movie palace. Just brilliant! I wonder how many moments like that are planned by directors, cinematographers, art directors, and are now lost on the viewing public who only see their films in well-lit living rooms with DVDs or on fast-forward TIVOs.
Also, (pet peeve) have you (and this is a question for the group, not rhetorical) noticed that more and more films seem to be shot in close up and for transmutation down to the small screen for video release? The attention to detail that once was there for the big screen is lost. Perhaps that is just my persnickety perception.
One final question: as I sit here sipping my own version of Cafe Ellison Diabolique -- Scharffen Berger cacao nibs ground directly into moka java beans -- I wonder if Susan ever visits this forum to say hello? I would like to pass on a friendly hello to her, since she has always been so incredibly kind at signings and cons.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Thursday, August 31 2006 8:16:51

Last Chance

I'm going to be taking down the LACon galleries at my site this weekend (got a cool new gallery going up that I require some bandwidth to accomplish).



I asked this at the convention but no one had an answer: where has Bud Webster gone?

Ms. Datlow, welcome to Webderland. I've been an admirer of your work for years.

- Thursday, August 31 2006 8:14:41

Re: The Grope
I think that a lot of Harlan's supporter's are missing the real point of why people are upset about the incident with Willis. The message that most women in particular are walking away with is that this is the way our community treats and views women. It says that no matter what accomplishments they achieve, this is what we are going to always reduce them to. And that's just sad.

Rick Keating
- Thursday, August 31 2006 8:6:25


Apologies if I misunderstood. When you told me watching TV makes one passive, while viewing a film in the theater has a different effect on one’s brain, I thought you were _also_ saying the passiveness of TV watching comes, in part, from just sitting there; while you have to take _active_ steps to go to a movie and be among other people, who are sharing a common experience. I didn’t put those assumptions in the article, however. They were just _my_ assumptions. Had I intended to include them in the article, I would have called you back to ask if I was on the right track. You may recall that I did call back to clarify whether the reflective/refractive terms were McLuhan’s or your own.

As to the lack of direct bearing, I meant that particular anecdote about “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, which doesn’t appear in the article. If I had decided to include it (and again it wasn’t even in my consciousness when we spoke), I definitely would have called you back to ask specific questions.

Actually, even if I had thought of my recent viewing of that film while we spoke, I still might not have brought it up. You were very generous with your time on the phone, and I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. It’s one thing to post questions here, where you can respond at your leisure; but a live phone call is something different.

Thank you again for taking the time to talk with me.


John K <windupbird79@yahoo.com>
Grand Rapids, MI - Thursday, August 31 2006 7:45:30

God bless Cindy, who seems as sane and wise as anyone else on this forum.

The incident occurred between two friends who have known each other for years. By this point, Ellison knows what's permissible. If he offended Ms. Willis, I'm sure it was unintentional, and I'm sure amends will be made.

Jim Davis' suggestion that this constitutes sexual assault is frankly galling.

As a PS, my girlfriend said she would've cracked up in Willis' place.

And, finally, anyone who's dealt with Harlan during his 100 years on earth can speak to his essential decency.

Jim Davis
- Thursday, August 31 2006 7:16:2

ELLEN DATLOW wrote: "Cmon people. Please put this into perspective. It was NOT sexual assault. It was a joke/schtick gone a bit over the top."

That may have been how it started, but once Harlan grabbed Willis's breast, it became something else entirely. Sexual assault is defined as being, among other things, the forcible touching of an intimate part of another person; if Willis didn't want Harlan to grab her breast, then he broke the law, end of story. Now, I'm not saying that Willis should've pressed charges against Harlan, but she COULD HAVE, and that's something we all have to face, whether we like it or not. I'm also not claiming Harlan wanted to rape or hurt Willis, or that his grope was anywhere near the same level; that doesn't, however, change the fact that it could have been prosecuted as a crime under California law.

KEITH CRAMER wrote: "We need to support Harlan, not pillory him with our pronouncements of opprobrium."

Connie Willis, who was the victim in this, needs our support. Harlan Ellison, who was the offender, needs our honesty.

CINDY wrote . . . Jesus, I can't believe what she wrote: "I suspect nobody's heard from Ms. Willis because she thought it was typically Harlan-- clever and funny enough to make you smile even weeks or months later. I'd wager his instincts were on the right on the mark. He knew he could play with her in such an outrageous fashion and she wouldn't take it the wrong way."

Oh, wow.

Oh, WOW.

Cindy, are you honestly trying to spin this into something POSITIVE? Are you insane? Harlan isn't an infant or a horny adolescent, he's a 72-year old adult who's been working in his chosen field for 50 years, and who's received virtually every honor his fellow professionals can award, including the title of Grand Master. Don't make excuses for him! To quote the man, AGAIN: "I am 100% guilty as charged, and NO ONE should attempt to cobble up mitigating excuses for my behavior."

HARLAN: I hope you realize that I'm directing these posts at a few of your so-called "defenders" (who are doing you more harm than good), and not at you. I"m not trying to rub salt in the wound or make you feel worse about this, so I'm going to restrict all my future comments on this to the Forum. Take care.

- Thursday, August 31 2006 5:22:22

EXACTLY what Eric said.

Rob Ewen
Harrow, Middx, UK - Thursday, August 31 2006 5:11:35

The New People

The story was also adapted for the 1968 UK TV supernatural series JOURNEY TO THE UNKNOWN, produced by Hammer Films with US backing. One of the best episodes of the series - sadly not commercially available, but well worth tracking down if you know a Brit who recorded it from its 80s repeat on UK television *cough*......


Eric Martin
- Thursday, August 31 2006 5:1:25

Cindy sez:

"From my observations he's got a keener sense of what is right and appropriate than 99% of the rest of us."

So we've steadily moved from "Harlan made a mistake" to "Harlan didn't do anything wrong" to "Harlan behaves better than any of us."

Guys, I think we should let this go now. The world is checking in on this one, and let's not live down to all their expectations, hmm?

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Thursday, August 31 2006 3:35:47

Dave Clarke -- re: story title
Yep, it was "The New People," by Charles Beaumont. It's included in the Selected Stories volume that Roger Anker edited for Dark Harvest some years back, and if memory serves it was also included in the Bantam pbk Best of Charles Beaumont.



Jon Stover
Canada - Thursday, August 31 2006 3:28:8

Quite a cross-section of reactions -- Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Lisa Tuttle, various others -- to the Incident here:


Seems to me that this was comedy that wasn't comic and never was going to be comic, an Ellison Bad Judgment Moment (TM) that doesn't merit silence, over-reaction or defense. Not sure what it warrants other than a 'Jesus Fuck, Harlan!' and an eyeball wash.

Cheers, Jon

TEXAS - Wednesday, August 30 2006 21:20:44

Much Ado
Seems to me two friends who go way back can do shocking things for the sake of humor. It is of no consequence that other people don't "get it". Everyone puts his or her spin on the incident. I might say, "That fucking Becky Rippy" ( my best friend these past 37 years) and Becky would know I was saying it with affection. Joe Blow might think I hated her or was put out with her for something awful but she'd know and I'd know my saying, " That fucking Becky Rippy" was akin to sayin' I love that girl, she's my life long pal and she makes me laugh my ass off".

I've had my tit grabbed under many such unusual circumstances. Becky's younger brother Arliegh O'Reilly once reached over while we were sitting on the floor watching Happy Days and grabbed my right breast and said ( very sincerely) "Honk!" then went back to watching the show as if nothing had happened at all. My son Beau was about 18 months old when I weaned him and at that time he liked to knead one ( like a kitten does) as he would go to sleep-- I know it's strange but he was my baby. Anyway I didn't think anything about it until he was nearly three. One day at the bank a pretty young teller wanted to hold him and he went right to her. He looked into her green eyes and smiled then stuck his chubby little hand right down the front of her dress and grabbed one of her breasts. Her face was one of utter surprise and shock mingled with amusment..the CHEEK of the little devil! In any case it was done in innocence and she took it that way. If one of my old pals that I've known for years and years did what Harlan did--with a similar verbal exchange preceeding it; I'd laugh my ass off. I might do exactly as it sounds like Miss Willis did which was to play it up-- it was a lively and funny gesture. Now if Harlan had just met Pamela Lee Anderson-- uh Rock, whatevuh-- and had grabbed her gi-normous dirigibles it would have seemed something altogether different... but I'd have to figure I didn't know the back story because Harlan wouldn't do something so unguarded without being absolutely certain that it would not be misinterpreted. I don't think he'd play with somebody that way unless he knew in his bones they would get it. From my observations he's got a keener sense of what is right and appropriate than 99% of the rest of us.

I suspect nobody's heard from Ms. Willis because she thought it was typically Harlan-- clever and funny enough to make you smile even weeks or months later. I'd wager his instincts were on the right on the mark. He knew he could play with her in such an outrageous fashion and she wouldn't take it the wrong way. Not ONLY that but Susan was there and Harlan would die before he would offend or embarass her in any manner. He just wouldn't do that--ever. He was just being his own adorable, irreverent self with somebody he knew would catch the wit and intended humor behind the gesture.

Geeeze, I wish we could lighten up as a gender.


Jennie <jbrwn65@adelphia.net>
California - Wednesday, August 30 2006 20:11:1

Harlan, the book is on the way...
I sent the "City on the Edge" book from White Wolf. I mailed it to the Recording Collection P.O. box. I hope it fits! Thanks once again!

About Connie Willis: With your apology, both here and to Ms. Willis, you have done all you can do. The people who've been putting you down online only see (or pretend to see) only one side of you. At least you *did* apologize, unlike those media cornholios (Tom Leykis, Glenn Beck, ad nauseam) whose misogyny and misanthropy is far more extreme.

- Wednesday, August 30 2006 18:38:29


"Reflective." "Refractive."

You misunderstood. I was not speaking of these terms either metaphorically or as subjective philosophy.

They were meant as pure visual definitions of manner of delivery:

Reflection -- as in a mirror.

Refraction -- as of artifical delivery system.

A tv image and an image on a movie screen are delivered differently. One engages but does not hypnotize, does not induce an alpha state. The other does.

It had EVERYTHING to do with what I was saying about the subject. Sorry you didn't ask, rather than glissanding past when you wrote your piece.

But ... not my problem.

Yr. Pal, Harlan

John Greenawalt
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 17:44:9

Attention Harlan
Give us your pick for the single greatest short story ever written.

Mine is "An Incident at Owl Creek," by Ambrose Bierce. It's original, you've got to give it that.

kirwan <kevin.kirby@gmail.com>
San Francisco, CA - Wednesday, August 30 2006 17:29:37

Further Startling Revelations
Although perhaps categorizable as "fan" for over thirty years, it was only this morning -- while studying the introduction to Revolt on Alpha-C -- that I learned a strange truth. Robert Silverberg and Harlan Ellison dwelt as New York neighbors during an early writing phase.

I'm wondering if any other peculiar manifestations can be recalled from that locale and era; ball lightning, phantom apparitions, disc sightings, etc.

debbie <yerkesd@gwm.sc.edu>
columbia, sc - Wednesday, August 30 2006 17:12:4

I'm not sure I can add anything to what has already been posted, but Worldcon was great. Apologies to Steve Barber and Keith and Duane and longungirl and all other webderlanders that I missed. I'm sorry.
The panel on science fiction of the 50's and 60's was great, with Harlan and Robert Silverberg doing most of the talking. Harlan's panel by himself was fantastic! I was sitting about half way back, and I have to admit that when he called people to come down to the first 2 rows, I chickened out and stayed where I was. Sometimes I suffer from terminal shyness. I did take pictures at both panels, and if they come out, I would be happy to scan and email them to someone who could post them. I don't have a webpage.
I did go to the Hugo awards. When Connie came out to introduce Harlan, she was carrying a hammer and a roll of duct tape. I have no idea why. So I just assumed that everything between them was a bit of comedy.
On Sunday, I went to hear Ray Bradbury speak. He is a glorious storyteller, and I'm glad I was able to hear him.
On the whole, I heard writers that I wanted to hear, got some of the books autographed that I wanted, spent way too much money buying books (3 boxes of magazines and books being mailed to me), and as a bonus, spent 2 days in Disneyland. It was a good Worldcon. My only regret being that I didn't get to meet y'all.


Mark Walsh <mmwalsh4@yahoo.com>
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 16:4:38

I, too, always wondered about the Pynchon story re: Dangerous Visions. Harlan, have you told that story anywhere?

You got any staples?

Can you tell us the Pynchon story?


Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Wednesday, August 30 2006 15:38:37


Harlan Ellison wrote The Glass Teat. After reading it, television was ruined for me. For which I can only say Thank You.

I wasted hours every week watching tripe. Glass opened my eyes to the poor quality of most television. This also bled into the rest of my life, and he ruined many movies and books for me, too.

I exult in the hours of my life that have been spared from tedium, and have been put toward greater use.

Thanks, Chief!

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Wednesday, August 30 2006 15:17:12

why, yes, I have an opinion, allow me to excrete it for you.

I was not present at the award ceremony at which Harlan touched Connie Willis' breast, and yet I do have an opinion on it.

I l-o-v-e Harlan and Susan (separately, and packaged together), and I respect them a great deal. Maybe that's why I can't get upset about this. Harlan has already come out and said he did it, and also that he's prepared to face the consequences. I think the show of moral rectitude on the board of late speaks highly for those who post horrified and absolutist statements, but I think those posts miss the point.

And that would be?

We need to support Harlan, not pillory him with our pronouncements of opprobrium. This is his web place, and he's probably harder on himself than any of us can be. (Picture yourself in a "typical," encounter with Harlan Ellison, like some of those described here of late, and then picture yourself AS Harlan Ellison, and having to live with THAT for 24 hours or more....uh, huh.)

Anyone here read “The Tell Tale Heart”?

Harlan: I hope you weren’t serious about this being your last con, but if you were…I’m glad I got to see you one last time. Take it easy and don’t let the moralists in the duck blind shoot you down.


shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Wednesday, August 30 2006 14:56:34

The Younger Generation, and Wellman
I do agree that fandom is getting older, at least the sections of fandom that frequents non-Creation-esque conventions. While I'm a relative newcomer to the fannish scene (actively participating in conventions over the past 18 years), I have been a fan of science fiction/speculative fiction/fantasy fiction/murder mystery fiction/*insert type of fiction here* for more years than I will admit to. NorWesCon is the largest of the conventions in Washington state (I can't vouch for being the largest in the northwest because WesterCon covers more area); though the majority of the attendees are 30+ in age, we do have a healthy crowd of younger fen lurking in the halls. Most manage to pull off passable impressions of goth babies or anime wannabees.

What I have noticed convention fandom is that conventions are becoming more expensive and there-by less accessible to up-and-coming fans. I had no intention of attending LACon, but my wallet whimpered and curled into a fetal position when I browsed cost information for the event. Even the "taster's special" was above and beyond my range. My husband and I budget for one convention a year (NorWesCon); any additional convention attendance has to be on par with the second coming of Christ to get me to shell out the money. Um...so Mr. Ellison attending Foolscap VII wasn't the second coming of Christ, but he did talk about the dead Jew over the door at Notre Dame.

Most conventioneers can't afford the rising prices, or they must be very selective about the conventions they do attend. I may not be happy about the cost of attending a convention, but I can't begrudge the convention committees for those times when they do raise the rates or make decisions that the crowds may not appreciate. NorWesCon gave up "KidCon" last year; it was a form of childcare with special activities for children 12 and younger. The hotel found out that the convention did not have insurance coverage for that service and had to make an unpopular decision to discontinue the childcare portion (they still have a wonderful series of kid-friendly panels and events scheduled throughout the convention, but parents must now attend with their children). The convention could not get insurance coverage for childcare for the convention, and even if they could, they were not willing to nearly double registration fees to cover the cost. As much as I hated the thought of losing KidCon, I would have rather lost that service than watched the convention fold.


Mention was made of Manly Wade Wellman. I'll allow myself a moment of silence to savor the memory of a selection of his Silver John short stories that I had years ago. Another one of those books I gave up during my spineless first marriage. If you haven't had the opportunity to read any of his works, grab up a few and enjoy the ride!

- Wednesday, August 30 2006 14:43:20

Larry Forrest

"Those two have always DESPISED each other--at least dating back to the Iraqi-Iranian War"

Saddam (and Bin Laden) is SUNI-ARAB and Iranians SHI'A-PERSIAN and these two have DESPISED each other for at least 1200 years. Thus, the prospect of Bin Laden and Saddam teaming up against a mutual enemy - i.e., the U.S. - is not entirely far-fetched. Certainly no connection exists between 9/11 and Saddam but he did provide Zarqawi sanctuary in Iraq pre-invasion in order to receive medical treatment in Baghdad.

By far the truest maxim in the Middle East is the ENEMY of my ENEMY is my FRIEND.

- Wednesday, August 30 2006 14:41:57

first post
I've just found out about this board, so, first post.

A couple of points of gratitude for Harlan and a question.

First -- it was in various asides, footnotes, and allusions in your works that I first read the names Salinger, Camus, Kafka, and Pynchon, and got the first reminder that Nabokov's _other_ books were worth reading too. "Thanks" doesn't begin to cover my gratitude for the world you clued me into, even though that led me mostly away from SF.

Second -- I read your "Glass Teat" collections when I was fifteen or so, and haven't been quite right in the head ever since. It taught me to do crazy things, such as mistrusting duplicitous Presidents. Good thing that skill was no longer necessary after Nixon quit. (I've got, incidentally, the pre-Agnew edition of _Glass Teat_. If I ever get a chance to bump into you, I'll ask you to autograph it, "Sorry for ruining your life with this book. No refunds.")

So here's my question. In the forward to -- I think -- _Again, Dangerous Visions_, you mention that you've run out the clock and that there therefore wasn't going to be enough space to go into, among other things, the Thomas Pynchon anecdote. So, here's the question I've wanted to ask for about 25 years now: _what_ Thomas Pynchon anecdote? (Although if you'd prefer to protect TP's privacy, well, I wouldn't want to fuck up anyone's Pynchon karma.)

Brad Stevens
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 14:15:5

"going to a movie is reflective, while watching TV is refractive"

Couldn't specifically selecting, say, a DVD to watch on one's television be seen as reflective? I've pretty much given up viewing films in theatres, mainly because of the astonishingly poor behaviour I've come to expect from audiences (even at art-house cinemas). The movie-going experience usually seems to me quite the opposite of reflective.

Steve Jarrett <sjarrett@aol.com>
High Point, NC - Wednesday, August 30 2006 13:50:14


I think Tony Rabig has it right. The plot you're describing definitely sounds like Charles Beaumont's "The New People."

Steve J.

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Norman, Oklahoma - Wednesday, August 30 2006 13:40:14

The Bewildered Herd
Shalanna, I enjoyed and agreed with your recent post. But no, the Larry Forrest you knew in Richardson must've been an impostor, as I've never lived in that city. Or perhaps I'M the impostor. Will the REAL Larry Forrest please stand up!?

You're absolutely right about the sex angle. This nation goes ga ga whenever sex is involved in a scandal, but when it involves the chronic degradation of our civil rights, or going to war for no good reason, well, everyone yawns and plugs in their iPods.

Noam Chomsky quoted Walter Lippman as referring to Americans as the "Bewildered Herd." I think that pretty well sums us up. How sad, then, that our "shepard" is a functionally illiterate former frat rat, whose intellect, if converted to electricity, would be hard pressed to cause a flicker in even the smallest Christmas tree light.

I'm reminded of the novel "Being There" by Jerzy Kosinski, in which a mentally challenged fellow, Chauncey Gardiner, comes to be regarded as a purveyor of grand wisdom--albeit obscure. In the here and now, fact is stranger than fiction, as OUR Chauncey is presently occupying the Oval Office. Worse, he's a Christian fundamentalist who daily chats with GOD.

Bush: "Lord, should we invade Iraq?"
GOD: "Whatever."

I'm also reminded of a Bob Dylan song, circa 1965, "The Ballad of the Thin Man," part of which is quoted below:

You raise up your head
And you ask, "Is this where it is?"
And somebody points to you and says
"It's his"
And you say, "What's mine?"
And somebody else says, "Where what is?"
And you say, "Oh my God
Am I here all alone?"

Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?

THAT'S the problem: too many people DON'T know what's happening here--or there, for that matter.

Remember, you "Animal House" fans: Knowledge is Good.

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Wednesday, August 30 2006 13:38:46

Dave -- re: story
Don't have the stuff in front of me here at the office, but I think that may have been a Charles Beaumont. "The New People," if memory serves. Will double check tonight & post in the morning if nobody else comes up with it.

Bests to all,


- Wednesday, August 30 2006 13:32:14

Harlan is not some guy who cooks the skulls of small children?
This is how rumors get started.

In support of the esteemed Mr. Ellison intend to go out and grab a breast. Sadly, it'll be my own.

Dave Clarke
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 13:9:34

I read this story years ago, yet I can't seem to recall who wrote it. I'm thinking Richard Matheson or Robert Bloch, but I may be wrong.


A man and his wife move into a small town, get invited to a party, then the man's wife ends up missing. He searches for her, looking through the basement window (I think) of a house, and finds that she is about to be the victim of a ritual sacrifice.

Does this sound familiar? I need the author and story title, please.

Gwyneth M905
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 12:57:53

young people and SF
Although I wasn't at the WorldCon, I think that the new Doctor Who has brought SF into the homes of many more people, at least in Britain. It seems to have increased the demographic of young people watching and talking about science fiction (Doctor Who specifically). One hopes that this will transfer into them reading some of the classic works (Asimov, Ellison, Bradbury, etc.). At the Gallifrey convention, there was a nice mix of ages.

Tony Ravenscroft
Santa Fe, NM - Wednesday, August 30 2006 12:40:14

a context-free comment
I've been reading Ellison for more than 30 years. Not because he aspires to be some sort of masonite saint. In fact, because he doesn't, & because he refuses it on a regular basis when the mantle's waved enticingly at him -- in fact, he's likely to uncivilly embarrass the mantle-waver.

But at every step of the way, missteps included, he's a mensch.

Frank Church
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 12:22:53

Come on now guys and gals. Harlan is not some guy who cooks the skulls of small children at the bottom of a dank well. What happened happened, Harlan did his soft shoe, now we wait for the repast of dear Connie. Harlan has been nicer to me then I deserve sometimes, so just for that I give the man the benefit of the doubt.

Alex, the ERA, not NRA, unless you mean when Harlan shoots off his mouth. har har. Got a million of em.

Kim Smith <amparion@sbcglobal.net>
Mira Loma, California - Wednesday, August 30 2006 12:19:25

Thanks, Harlan!
LoneGunGirl: Thinking, thinking - I remember a lady in a chair in front of me. A couple three maybe. One was gifted with dark, short hair and a wheeled suitcase. I think another was a long haired Asian lady. I was impressed by the fortitude and courtesy of those in line (though one guy did have that fannish "I know everything about everything and am going to prove it right here right now" sort of attitude going on with his mouth).

Harlan: I truly appreciate your offer of the phone number and a chat. I'd enjoy talking with you sometime, but as I've had the pleasure once before (when I tried to book you for a school I taught at, and they wouldn't pony up your pittance of a fee), I feel kind of weird about taking you away from writing and kicking Paramount's ass, even if only for even a moment.

I've all too often fallen prey to that fannish enthusiasm/conceit that "if only I could grab a moment with (fill in name of SF writer) we'd become bestest bouddies and hang together" sort of thing.

Then one day I ran into a lady who had actually -seen- the one movie I had produced. She was actually attractive, moderately well groomed, and was absoutely fucking lead pipe cinch convinced I wrote the lead female character for her. I suddenly was on the other end of the "Creator/Receiver" telescope, perspective shifted, and "shoe on the other foot" abashed.

Anent la brouhaha: We all have a moral bank account. We make deposits, and we make withdrawals. Harlan Ellison has a balance in his moral bank account sufficent to swamp the combined balance s of the myriad gnats that currently swarm about him.

I cannot wait to see "The Discarded". My dream is to write for such a series as it is part of.

Harlan, you opened my eyes when i was 14 and found "Dangerous Visions" in an Alabama small town library(!) You owe me nothing, but I'll take your work as long as you can put it all down on paper.

Kim Owen Smith

Rick Keating
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 12:7:9

Popular culture article

My article on popular culture ran today, and per your request, two tearsheets are on the way to you now. Thanks again for your participation.

A question concerning your statement that going to a movie is reflective, while watching TV is refractive. A friend and I saw “The Day the Earth Stood Still” in the theater earlier this summer. I also own it on DVD. Had my friend come over to watch it at my place, would it have been reflective for him (because he would have left his home and traveled to mine) and refractive for me (because I would have remained at home), or would it still have been refractive for both of us? I can see how the experience of being in a theater among many people would be reflective; but is it the fact of being with many people that makes it so, or is the act of leaving one’s home and journeying to another place enough to qualify?

I didn’t think to ask the questions when we were on the phone- and it didn’t have any direct bearing on the article itself- but I remain curious.


Rick Keating

Shalanna Collins <shalanna@comcast.net>
Richardson, TX, USA - Wednesday, August 30 2006 12:2:13

People like to make big deals
I've linked to HE's apology on my LiveJournal (shalanna.livejournal.com) and have also written an entry about the big hoo-ha/brouhaha that the world is making out of this minor incident at WorldCon . . . basically, asking people, "Who here has NOT made a mistake?" However, most people don't want to hear rational reasoning. They don't like logic; they want to use their emotions. They love to seize upon some excuse to have a "cause" and start crusading against somebody. Whoever that may be.

As Larry Forrest said (hey, I used to work for a fellow by that name who also went to the same church I did, right here in Richardson--is that you?), "Where's the Outrage?" Well, it's misplaced. It's all going to the wrong thing. People are not outraged about the continual erosion of our civil rights . . . about the phone wiretapping stuff . . . about how they constantly manipulate people with fear, but really aren't making us any safer, just more cowed-down. People get outraged about . . . hey! That guy over there winked at me! It's an outrage!! "At that restaurant my piece of pie was smaller than the guy's at the next table, so I'm going to sue!" Or they get outraged that LiveJournal says "no icons of nursing mothers or other bare nipples" and they treat it as if it's censorship, when it's basically just a business decision on the part of the people who own the servers and who were trying to make *another* set of people (the ones who fear nipples) happy. They get all up in arms about trivial, silly matters, and waste all their energy. Then they are too tired to take up worthy causes.

Larry writes: "I share the befuddlement [...] about why the American public isn't frothing-at-the-mouth angry with the Bushites and their deceitful ways. [...] We the People were neoconned [...] [W]e live in the United States of Amnesia, and when it comes to historical perspective we suffer from myopia. So Bill Clinton gets a blow job or two in the Oval Office and the sky falls and he's impeached by the House; but George W. Bush leads the US into a quagmire in Iraq under bogus circumstances and his approval rating drops to the thirties."

Exactly! If there's a whiff of SEX to a scandal, then people go nuts! OMG, Bill Clinton did a Sin! (One that was between him, his wife, and God, and not really anyone else's business, by the way.) But they "GOT" him for it, saying that he lied (he should not have been required to answer such a question in the first place, but that's how they knew they could Make A Big Deal.) And that's like what's happening to Unca Harlan, IMHO, unfortunately. His error was obviously just a lapse in judgment and not some Sinister Plot To Degrade All Women (and he'd been cutting up and joking already, reportedly, so people should have had a bit of perspective.) But it's something people can latch on to and make a big deal about, so they DO.

Recently, when the author of that chick lit novel which contained 50+ plagiarized passages from three other novels was caught, I said on my LJ that she should not have thought she'd get away with it and that I thought the recall of the book was the right response. I was immediately "corrected" by many people who said it had to have been innocent, just an accident, and that I was just "jealous of her success." I replied that I had trouble believing that SO MANY "steals" were inadvertent or total coincidences. But tons of fellow writers didn't want to make a Big Deal over that Poor Innocent Young Writer. This scandal didn't have any sex in it, I suppose, so they said, "Give her a break."

It's silly to have double standards. But then people are like that. It'll all blow over as soon as some other Awful Thing happens and they're all Scandalized. I'm not saying that people should feel free to pinch, slap, kick, grope, or do whatever to other people--I'm a little standoffish myself, and I never touch people without permission--but I *am* saying that sometimes mistakes are made, and we ought to have some perspective and look at events in context. (Of course, that would be too logical.)

Tom Galloway <tyg@panix.com>
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 11:59:26

Ellen; the interview between Connie and Charles was not, as you're thinking, a private interview for Locus, but a program item open to all where he interviewed her in front of an audience. I wasn't there, so I can't say what she said during it, but I do know that it was a program item where people other than the two of them would be able to relate what she said.

I can confirm that she did reference the incident during Closing Ceremonies with an initial comment something like "If anyone wants to start a petition to have Harlan Ellison get his fucking hands off me, I'll sign it". That was the only mention or reference made that I caught. But then again, I managed to miss the grope completely (as did the female friend sitting next to me at a distance where we were dependent on the monitor screens) and didn't pick up on the baby schtick as a coherent routine, so I might easily have missed something.

Steve; thanks for your kind comments on the Superman panel. It's easy to do a good panel with someone like Marv on it, who's both worked on the character and actively thought and been involved with making significant revisions. It does make for a somewhat unbalanced one, since one panelist has more relevant things to say and is likely the person the audience thus wants to hear more from, but sometimes that's just how it goes (I once moderated a panel on webcomics that included Scott McCloud. I started by saying this was the easiest panel I'd ever moderated. I was just going to wake up about every 10 minutes and say "So what do you think of X Scott?" and then recover from a late night by resting my eyes while Scott would discourse excellently on that subtopic. I was semi-joking, but that was close to how the panel ended up since Scott does have so much that's both interesting and relevant to say about the topic).

Kathy Morton <salome121@yahoo.com>
Detroit, MI - Wednesday, August 30 2006 11:50:4

Connie Willis
She was wonderful, and her GoH speech made me cry.

As for the Hugos, I missed them, as I had to see the sunset on the ocean, which I'd never seen before, and then it was late and I really needed a shower (tmi?). Got back in time to see Harlan heading to his room (presumably) and for the Hugos to end when I arrived. Wish I'd seen the Hugos, but I'm sure I would have laughed, and I would never think Harlan capable of ill-intent in ANY way toward a woman. I feel extremely lucky to have been at what Harlan said would be his final convention appearance. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at my first WorldCon.

Thanks to Harlan (and all the other guests and participants).

That said, I made my comments outside this area on this random blog I found the information about the incident on: http://www.edrants.com/ if anyone is interested in seeing it outside this forum.


- Wednesday, August 30 2006 11:17:34

Meanwhile...back in the real world...

Naguib Mahfouz (1911 - 2006)

Joseph Stefano (1922 - 2006)

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Norman, Oklahoma - Wednesday, August 30 2006 10:53:54

Where's the Outrage?
I share the befuddlement of DTS about why the American public isn't frothing-at-the-mouth angry with the Bushites and their deceitful ways. The October issue of Mother Jones shows, lie by lie, how We the People were neoconned into believing that Iraq was a dire threat to our national security.

At one time, prior to the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, seven out of ten Americans thought that Saddam Hussein was somehow allied with Osama bin Laden, and that the former had conspired with the latter to pull off 9/11. Now we all know (as
many of us knew then) that such accusations were the veriest bullshit. Those two have always DESPISED each other--at least dating back to the Iraqi-Iranian War of the eighties, where largely secular Iraq sought to destroy the fundamentalist Muslim Iran of the Ayatollah Khomeini. But then we live in the United States of Amnesia, and when it comes to historical perspective we suffer from myopia.

So Bill Clinton gets a blow job or two in the Oval Office and the sky falls and he's impeached by the House; but George W. Bush leads the US into a quagmire in Iraq under bogus circumstances and his approval rating drops to the thirties. In a perfect world, he would be trimming brush at a federal prison, rather than his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Alas, this world is far from perfect.

I'm reminded of a lyric from a Bruce Springsteen song ("Badlands" if I recall correctly): "Poor man want to be rich / Rich man want to be king / And the king ain't satisfied till he rules everything." I can't think of a better way to describe our current "king": Doofus Maximus himself, George W. Bush.

Once more, with feeling: Where's the OUTRAGE!?

Ellen Datlow <datlow@datlow.com>
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 10:13:31

I was offline for a day or two after the con and then when I got back I discovered this whole brouhaha over Harlan's baby schtick -and that's what it was. A schtick of Harlan acting like a baby. Thus, he went up to the mike when Connie called him up--he put the mike (a round one) into his mouth, swallowing it like a lollipop, Connie took it gently out of his mouth and wiped it off. He gurgled --like a baby-- and then grabbed her breast like a baby and she smacked his hand off. A few seconds later she kissed him....Cmon people. Please put this into perspective. It was NOT sexual assault. It was a joke/schtick gone a bit over the top. I was not offended as a woman watching this. I thought it was silly (but yes, I admit I personally thoughth the schtick funny). I also know that Connie and Harlan have a history of ribbing each other. I've seen it in the past. So please keep the incident in context and calm down.

Now if Connie was upset by it then it is right and correct for Harlan to apologize to HER. Not to the field. Not to the audience. So far the only evidence I have heard that Connie was upset is third hand. "Someone" claims she cursed Harlan during an interview with Charlie Brown the next day. Well, since it was a private interview, I would like to know who supposedly witnessed this--as presumably the only people AT the interview were CHarlie and COnnie. I have further heard rumors that she referenced the incident in the closing ceremonies --again, this is rumor not fact.

John Greenawalt
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 10:5:47

For the record

Harlan has been misquoted on his own web site. Somebody fabricated his comments at the auction for the widow of Manly Wade Wellman. Here's what really happened: A TV camera was shoved in his face. Harlan said "Do you have permission to be here?" Answer: "No" Harlan: "Then get out." A guy then ran up to Harlan and Harlan said "I haven't got time to fuck with you sir, I've got an auction to run."

DTS <none>
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 10:3:25

More Important Issues
JOSH OLSON (and ANY OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES): On the subject of more important issues -- and until Tom and Katie show off their rugrat - check out the MotherJones.com website (they capitalize the first letters). Under the "Blog" portion (near the top, righthand side) you'll find an "interactive timeline" which ties into the coverstory of their October issue, "Chronicle of a War Foretold." The folks at Mother Jones will keep updating the online portion of this "lie by lie" accounting of how Government leaders (more than a few Democrats were involved -- but, as usual, Republicans are in the majority) played the fear and bullshit cards to get their peers, the American public, and the Fourth Estate to generally rollover and accept the chicanery and poison currently flowing out of Washinton D.C. at a higher rate than ever before.

Maybe it was apathy, maybe it was willful ignorance (what else could explain so many people using Dubya's stance on religion as an excuse), but I still can't fathom how so many people could have voted this gang of white-collar criminals (Dubya, Cheney, etc., who value corporations more than people and enjoy undermining what little Democracy we have left) back into office in 2004.

Although I don't expect that same majority of supernaturally-inclined, intellectually deprived conservatives to wise-up and vote for leaders who will at least try to get us out of the mess that these one-time, high school nerds and geeks (Dubya, Cheney, etc.) got us into, I'm enough of a Pollyanna to remain hopeful.

In any case, read that timeline -- or check out the magazine -- and after looking over the litany of lies and crimes that came about IN ONLY THE FIRST THREE YEARS of this filthy-handed administration, ask yourselves: why aren't we more outraged at these lawbreakers and/or useless politicos?

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 9:51:50

What Josh wrote. My thoughts exactly.


Harlan - Sending the pictures from my website to you today, along with a buncha others I had no room for.


Fun stuff: Susan K. Perry, a very good friend of mine who has published six non-fiction books including the well-known "Writing in Flow", has just completed her first novel. I've got her final draft (barring editor suggestions and proofreader corrections) and am reading it now. Just sharing some cool news amongst people who can identify with the feeling.

Kell Brown <deadjohnny@gmail.com>
Toronto, - Wednesday, August 30 2006 9:39:17


I have to admit I've publically gropped a both male and female friends.

When it was clearly an offense I've appologised immediately, been called, correctly, a prick, then let off for it a few days later.

If Connie is a friend, and can't imagine why she wouldn't still be, she'll return the gesture the next time HE and She meet and make some joke about the size of his rivialing the size of hers and Harlan will feel a lot better about being an ass.

That when the true test comes. The urge to comment on the facts discovered by the grope is almost too much to bear.

Josh Olson
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 9:34:4

Harlan hasn't issued a rote apology. He's written a thoughtful, intelligent, good-natured and genuinely understanding mea culpa of the most honest sort. He's done it publicly (here) and privately (he mailed the same essay to Ms. Willis.)

I, myself, have never in my life done anything impulsive, stupid, or thoughtless, so this is all pure conjecture for me, but if I ever do, I'd sure rather live in a world where we're allowed to make amends for our mistakes than one where we're pilloried endlessly on the fucking internet by poltroons who have nothing better to do than engage in endless recriminations and attacks on our character for a moment's good-natured stupidity.

And, by the way, let's make this clear - it was a MOMENT. A one second flash of goofy, ill-considered, line-crossing pranksterism with a close, personal friend of many, many years is hardly the same as, say, going on a drunken rant about the evils of the Jews when the Malibu police have pulled you over for, oh, I dunno, drunk driving, say. Christ, it's not even as bad as calling a police officer you've never met "Sugar tits." (Which reminds me - my band, Sugar Tits & The Fucking Jews, will be playing at Adolf's House of Flapjacks in Orange County next Wednesday.)

Really, people - aren't there more important issues to discuss? I mean, we STILL haven't seen Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' love-spawn, and what about JonBenet?

Mike Jacka
Phx, AZ - Wednesday, August 30 2006 7:29:42

A quick thought on why there weren’t as many young people at the WorldCon. My son (18) has wanted to hear Harlan for quite a while. I tried to talk him into going to the Nebulas (I went) or WorldCon (I didn’t go) with me. His and his sister’s (20) responses were pretty much the same. They didn’t want to be associated with those Start Trek dress up geeks. My kids aren’t cheerleader/quarterback snobs – closer to that second-to-lowest tier of band geeks and theater wackos.

So, the question; how much of the younger set are lost to these conventions because of the bad rap associated with the cliché?


Eric Martin
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 6:58:50

"Sexual assault" is a pretty strong term, and I'm not sure it applies here. On paper, perhaps, but there are a lot of mitigating circumstances that make the issue fuzzy.

So this is Harlan's Gibsongate. I don't approve of what he did (and were I Connie's husband, HE would know that in stronger terms). But Harlan fucks up like the rest of us, and if he can recognize that and be genuinely sorry for it, then it's time for Ms. Willis to make a statement for the community and end this.

It should be noted (and this is not a qualifier to the act in question) that the science fiction community has for a long time tolerated much idiocy, poor manners, sloppy dress and rude behavior at their gatherings, all supposedly in the pursuit of that special individuality that they hope characterizes them as a group. Well, a little decorum and propriety go a long way, and maybe now these major awards ceremonies can stop being industry yuk-fests, and start treating literary achievement with the respect it deserves.

Brian Siano
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 6:53:51

Lonegungirl wrote, "One thing I noticed, that a few panels mentioned, is that there was a general lack of young people there. I can think of a few reasons for this: WorldCon is mainly a literary convention, and no one under 30 reads anymore; modern SF is of a poorer quality now than it was previously, and engenders less fervor; younger fans now can communicate via the internet and no longer have to rely on physical meetings for comradeship; and with the passing of a lot of the giants of SF, a major impetus for attending is gone. Whichever reason you favor, I wonder what the attendance is going to look like in 10-20 years, given that the median age there this year looked, by unscientific observation, to be around 40."

We deal with this a lot here in Philly, too: fandom is aging, and fandom existed because we geeks'n'fans didn't _have_ cool networking stuff like the Intrawebs. The older ones relied on hektographed 'zines and correspondence, and could meet up only at cons. by the time I came around, the culture'd been well-established, and cons were plentiful.

At Philcon last year, the anime and gaming tracks brought in a lot of young people. Which was great. But some of the older members were bugged by this shift from literary SF (which is funny, because some of them have terribly limited literary taste). Bugged or not, you've noticed a very real phenomenon, and it begs an interesting question: in a time when we can meet people from around the world with instantaneous ease 24-7, are cons a necessary part of being an SF fan anymore?

Okay, the Connie Willis incident. I didn't see it, which means I can't evaluate it on its most important point-- how did it _play_? By most accounts, not real well. Harlan's apologizing to Connie Willis, he's being public about his regret, and I hope they can patch things up and move this into the harmless past.

But all the chatter got me thinking about something. A few years ago, a friend told me about how he'd introduced his girlfriend to a Famous Writer who was a friend of the family. The Famous Writer was, by all accounts, witty, charming, delightful, kind, intelligent, and a gentleman, and also prone to puckish jokes. So, when the girlfriend presented her hand for a shake, he reached out and shook her breast instead. Goofy story, and given the writer's rep as a sterling person and a great guy, it was amusing, but uncomfortable-making, too. (I will not spill the name. The story's secondhand anyway, so just trust me that he was a genuinely good guy by all accounts, and leave it at that.)

This may sound callous here, but I don't buy that "it's never acceptable to do that" argument. We've all been in social situations where someone, through dint of charisma, playfulness, or some unquantifiable social alchemy, _can_ make a playful grope or backrub and make it delightful. Some people can do this. Others can't; I certainly can't. (It's also not something I want to do. It's just not _me.)

Let me put it this way. Some of us can get in front of an audience, spit out some choice jokes and insults, and have'em hemorrhaging with laughter. Some of us try the same thing and come off like sullen cranks with a really uncomfortable audience. There isn't a _rule_ that determines who can "get away" with it with style and panache. Even those who are gifted with The Performance Knack might misread a situation and commit a dreadful, appalling _faux pas_.

And yes, such things do require apologies. Not because it's "never acceptable," because we all know that under the right social alchemy, it's not only acceptable, but can make for a funny social spectacle. But in this case, it didn't. Connie Willis was offended, for good reason, and it's up to Harlan to set things right.

Jim Davis
- Wednesday, August 30 2006 6:47:52

I have to say, I'm kind of fucking amazed at some of the reactions here and in other places. "You can't become indignant for other people." "It was just good-natured tomfoolery." "We haven't heard from Connie Willis yet, so maybe she was okay with it." "It's really not any of our business." And so on and so forth.

Folks, let me explain it to you, since some of you are clearly NOT GETTING IT:

What Harlan did was not just presumptuous, or risque, or a wee bit over the line; it was flat-out SEXUAL ASSAULT. Do you people understand that? If Willis had decided to run from the stage, call the cops, and have Harlan thrown in jail, she would've been completely in her rights. This kind of shit may have been cool in 1600 or 1850 or even 1950, but it doesn't fly any more in 2006, and that some of you are trying to claim it does amazes me. To put it another way: if Harlan had slapped Willis instead of groping her, would anyone even be TRYING to make the case that it was just good-natured ribbing between friends? Guess what: a grope and a slap are basically the same thing in the eyes of the law. You don't like that, fight to change it--and give me your address, while you're at it, so I can come over and throw rotten eggs at you.

And as for the notion that this is none of our business, that's bullshit. This happened during an awards ceremony in front of hundreds of witnesses, so you're damn right it's our business now. Whatever Willis's feelings and opinions may be, this is now part of the public discourse, and rightly so. It's no longer about Harlan Ellison and Connie Willis anymore--it's ultimately about US, and how WE react to such blatant disregard for the rights of others. (By the way, I've read many credible accounts of Willis's comments after the incident, and they make it clear that she was NOT happy with what went down. Yes, she initially joked it off and soldiered on, but that's what most women have done in response to this kind of crap since time immemorial. So though I'm not going to make a definitive statement on the How Connie Willis Feels until she does, I'm going to make book that it wasn't "Oh, that Harlan Ellison! What a charming rogue!")

No, this wasn't a murder or the Rape of the Sabine Women. But that some of you are making excuses for the public assault and humiliation of a woman, especially one as respected and liked as Connie Willis, flat-out blows my mind. To quote the man himself: "I am 100% guilty as charged, and NO ONE should attempt to cobble up mitigating excuses for my behavior."

So stop trying, okay? If we all really want to move on from this, the only way that that's going to happen is if we all acknowledge that a wrong was done in the first place. Otherwise, we're not really talking about moving on, but, rather, about a decision to commit collective amnesia. And THAT, my friends, has never worked once, though many have hoped otherwise.

P.S. Despite my strong words, this is more directed at Harlan's fans than at Harlan himself, whom I believe is contrite and fully aware of the wrong he's done. I hope the incidents of last weekend don't poison what has, by many accounts, been a close friendship between him and Willis, and that he takes this as an opportunity for a lesson learned. Believe me, I know how he feels, 'cause I've done similarly heinous stuff, too, and though it stung like hell when I got my licks in for doing it, it made me a better man in the end. I have no doubt this will do the same for him.

- Wednesday, August 30 2006 5:29:18

What Alex Jay said. Willis deserves better, HE deserves better, and the fans deserve better, and certainly didn't need to see this. Plus, considering Barney made note months ago of something seemingly "off" in the banter between the two, perhaps it's time to mothball the Ellison/Willis show.

It may not have killed Vaudeville, but I'm thinking it contributed mightily to its decline.

And as my mom was fond of saying: This, too, shall pass.

Kinda like diarhhea. Just stay hydrated, and let the convulsions and cramps come and go until it all comes out. That's for everyone, by the way, not just HE.

- Wednesday, August 30 2006 3:54:9

Listened to the audio recording of Harlan's too short lecture (thanks Eric!!), he was indeed in top form, and I'm getting an idea why the Deep Shag CD's are so heavily edited. ;-) I didn't mind hearing the gopher anecdote again (was the guy planted who asked for it? how can someone still get it wrong?), it's in the way he tells it.

Lynne Batik <lynnebatik@yahoo.co.uk>
Aberdeen, UK - Wednesday, August 30 2006 2:45:55

Mr. Ellison:

Thank you, and I hope that your response is taken in the spirit it is intended. And, yes, there is a difference between making people irritated and uncomfortable, and //really// making people uncomfortable, and I think this difference came into play when you stopped disassembling people verbally (or arranging other kinds of long-distance communication) and moved into that kind of physical intrusion.

I remember reading "Neither Your Jenny or Mine" -- and I guess I was simply shocked that someone who wrote that would step over the line you did, even with a friend, and I know that Connie Willis has been a good friend of yours. I don't think you could stop being abrasive if someone held a gun to your head and your life depended on it -- it's part of your native charm, after all -- but as you very well know, sexual harassment problems haven't disappeared, and this kind of played into them in a bad way. A very bad way, if even fans get the message that grabbing a woman's breast is no more an intrusion of personal space than an uninvited hug. That was why your 72 years of indefensible, gauche, horrifying, jaw-dropping, sophomoric, sometimes imbecile behavior hasn't--till now--reached my level of outrage, but did manage to kill my laughter this time.

Alex Jay said it best, though. I defer to him.

With respect,

P.S. I notice that your responses have already been widely reposted, so I abdicate my responsibility on that one. On the other hand, I cannot promise to graffiti the Great Wall of China with it, but will do my best if the opportunity arises.

Alex Jay <Berman>
Philadelphia, - Wednesday, August 30 2006 0:56:57

MY FEELINGS ON THE GROPE, and then no more: It was wrong. It is wrong until and unless Connie Willis comes out and says it's just fine, and I rather think that by now she would have done so.

And it deserves a direct apology to her. If you cannot reach her by phone, then you write--after all, you have often spoken of your love for the epistolary arts.

had you jokingly faked it; had you stopped short of actual mammary flummery as she, mommy-like, admonished you to "behave", then fine; it would have been something I would have laughed at. A faux paw would have been infinitely more preferable than your faux pas.

Just my take.

(And please; can no one say how Harlan cannot possibly be pilloried or scolded for this becuse of his work on behalf of the NRA and his lengthy bonafides as a supporter of women? Advocacy does not equal permission; and past fortitude should not equal immediate forgiveness. Remember, Bob Packwood was one of the leading advocates for women in the Senate. Not that I equate the grope with Packwood's history of harassment, but I trust all see my point.)

Okay; that's done with.

Can we get back to talking about art and to spanking Paramount/Pocket Books?

Los Angeles, - Tuesday, August 29 2006 22:23:11

Nice to hear from you again too--I wonder what happened to Lynn? I thought I might see her at LACON, but she wasn't there.

Kim Smith:
I must have been about 3 people in front of you in the signing line. I was the one who surgically attached herself to a chair in order to survive the 3+hours in line.

Parting LACON thoughts:
On Gropegate--
I was at the closing ceremonies, where Connie Willis prefaced her comments with something like "I will be passing around a petition later to have Harlan Ellison keep his f-king hands off me." I must admit, it would never have occurred to me that this was anything but a joke, or that she was in any way offended by the incident. I don't know any of the people involved, but it seems as though she'd be less likely to joke publically about it if she was genuinely put out.

On Cons--
It was a nice con, and certainly more like the cons I remember from childhood than the Creation Cons I've subsequently gone attended (only when they sent me free tickets! I swear!) The program booklet was easy to use and the panels were almost all very well planned with interesting topics.

On Fans/Fandom--
One thing I noticed, that a few panels mentioned, is that there was a general lack of young people there. I can think of a few reasons for this: WorldCon is mainly a literary convention, and no one under 30 reads anymore; modern SF is of a poorer quality now than it was previously, and engenders less fervor; younger fans now can communicate via the internet and no longer have to rely on physical meetings for comradeship; and with the passing of a lot of the giants of SF, a major impetus for attending is gone. Whichever reason you favor, I wonder what the attendance is going to look like in 10-20 years, given that the median age there this year looked, by unscientific observation, to be around 40.

On Bradbury--
He is still an incredibly inspiring speaker, with an interest and passion in his speaking that you really don't see in the younger speakers. I did notice that speakers over 60 tended to just start talking about things, whereas speakers under 60 tended to throw the whole thing open to questions, which generally is just an invitation to the land of banality. Anyway, it was wonderful to see him again, as it is everytime.

Sorry I missed meeting all the Webderlanders this time out! Glad everyone seems to have had a good time!

Sandy Cohen <sandycohen@earthlink.net>
Van Nuys, CA - Tuesday, August 29 2006 22:17:5

Connie and the Hugos
I've known Harlan far too long to believe his action at the Hugos was anything more than an (admittedly childish) impulse that happened before his brain was fully engaged. Chalk it up as a senior moment. Unacceptable behavior? Yes. Intentionally mean? No. We're all sorry for Connie's embarassment, but Harlan probably is kicking himself harder than anyone else can. Let him get back to creating wonder.

Joe L.
- Tuesday, August 29 2006 20:32:51

Context is everything
Harlan's playful grab of fore mentioned mammary gland is no more a "grope" than a hug can be considered a "dry hump"

Lynn Guest <marilynn33@onebox.com>
San Francisco, CA - Tuesday, August 29 2006 19:55:15

Sweet-Ass Elllison CD's
Yeah! Harlan and Susan, thank you so much for the LP -- and WOW--so much fun to see the 'on the roads' being released. I was/am still distressed over the destruction of my signed and numbered originals. Missed the brouhaha at the Hugos. Missed WorldCon. I got a Service Dog instead. His name is Jack. Jack and I say Hi! (and a big slobbery dog kiss planted where ever you least expect it)
Any chance you'll be up in the Bay Area any time soon at a signing?
Lynn& Jack HERC #M905

Larry Forrest <idoubtabout@aol.com>
Norman, Oklahoma - Tuesday, August 29 2006 19:39:34

Much Ado
I've been reading the myriad writings of Harlan Ellison since the late seventies. I've also been entertained, and, to some extent inspired by, the colorful and controversial persona with which Ellison faced (and sometimes faced down) the public. So it was with a keen sense of disappointment that I learned of his rude and crude move at what will no doubt hereafter be referred to GropeCon.

Some of the messages I've read thus far confirm my view that people go to the extremes in their attitudes toward celebrities. Those whom they love, they apotheosize; those whom they hate they demonize. Such an approach is rarely, if ever, justified. (Okay, demonizing IS justified in the case of O.J. Simpson.) Of course Ellison is no angel; hell, he's not even a saint. He's a mere mortal who's created an extraordinary corpus of work, and who's nobly gone to bat for a great many progressive causes, and who's now brought upon himself much richly deserved opprobrium. To those who say that such a judgment is too harsh, consider what Ellison himself wrote:

"When George W. Bush massaged the back of the neck of that female foreign dignitary, we were all justly appalled. For me to grab Connie's breast is inexcusable, indefensible, gauche, and properly offensive to any observers or those who heard of it later."

He messed up and he 'fessed up. That said, after Ellison's made a few trips down the fashion runway in sackcloth and ashes, and moaned some lamentations, I say we forego the march to the gallows. The embarrassment and humiliation are punishment enough.

To those who say that such a judgment is too lenient, consider the fact that Ellison fought the good fight in the seventies and eighties for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. As he wrote in the column "An Edge in My Voice" in March, 1982:

"I'm back from sunny Florida. Hardly a vacation. I do quite a lot of college lecturing. Always did a brisk business with institutions of the higher learning in Southern states. But when the National Organization of Women slapped a boycott on the eleven remaining states that hadn't ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, I honored the blockade by turning down all speaking engagements in non-ERA states UNLESS. The 'unless' was that if they wanted me to appear badly enough, they had to sponsor a concurrent ERA fund-raiser, or a seminar, or whatever form of Pro-ERA chivari the local NOW/ERA branch thought would serve the commonweal best. That's been the MO for about six years."

Those are hardly the words of a male chauvinist pig. I can further testify to the fact that Ellison has been an advocate for several feminist causes in his many essays. Last but not least, there's no evidence that he's a serial groper like that guy who was elected governor of California.

Few writers are as zealously honest as Ellison, and fewer still offer their readers so intimate a glimpse into the realm of their thoughts and feelings as he does. It is this intimacy that gives the reader a sense of kinship with him, for he has never allowed himself to be perceived as an elitist icon on some faraway mountaintop. And so it is that one can, even though one has never even met the writer, find oneself caring a great deal about him. That, I suppose, is why I bothered to write this message of chastisement and support. Not that Ellison needs either one from me, but if everyone else is going spout off ...

Hey, Ellison, thanks for pecking on the keys of that old manual typewriter for all these many years--and may you peck on them for many more.

Oh, and one more thing: Keep your goddamn hands to yourself!

Rick <rick@rickwyatt.com>
- Tuesday, August 29 2006 19:33:55

Reasons that will never be known?
Harlan was in that trailer because he had vowed to not support any state that did not ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. This included spending a single thin dime in Arizona in 1978. Believe me, if Harlan sweats it's usually for a matter of principle...

Jon Stover
Canada - Tuesday, August 29 2006 17:42:25

Note that that's to indicate that the Willison Show has come up before, a few short months ago, and not to either endorse or unendorse Barney's views at the time.

Cheers, Jon

Jon 'Watson' Stover
Canada - Tuesday, August 29 2006 17:40:8

Thanks to the Holmesian research and emailing of rich, from the Pavvy archives:

"Barney Dannelke dannelke@gmail.com
Allentown, PA. - Sunday, May 14 2006 9:40:45

At some small personal risk I am going to insert some remarks about The Connie Willis / Harlan Ellison Show.

I don’t know how long this has been going on or how exactly it started or what the intentions of the two participants were [or are] – but it doesn’t work. There is a tension in evidence that starts small and builds to a point where it’s no longer really fun for the audience. The best way I can describe it is that it
starts out as gentle prodding and all too quickly gets away from both of them. BOTH of them.

If I had to guess – and this is a BIG guess – it might be an attempt to recreate the sort of verbal abuse that Harlan and Isaac Asimov used to go at each other with.

But although this is the stuff of fannish legend, Harlan and Isaac both retired the act because it was sometimes misunderstood by casual bystanders. I think this MAY be more of the same kind of competitiveness."

Mike Jacka
Phx, AZ - Tuesday, August 29 2006 16:45:26

Some Cents

Look – I wasn’t there. That makes me one of the worst people to comment on this affair. However, there are some things of interest here.

Harlan, I want to thank you for setting the record straight – that it did, indeed, happen. That is important to know. As you mention, our little group here often jumps into these frays without knowing what we’re talking about.

My personal feeling is that this is a case of (knock me over with the proverbial feather) Harlan Ellison going a little too far. (Again, I wasn’t there, I don’t know.) We all go too far every once in a while – you just happen to be famous enough for the ramifications to result in more shit.

So with that in mind, here are my two cents. Cent number one. You know Connie. An apology is your decision. And it makes sense that the apology is only due if the person has actually been hurt. I understand that you have made the first motions, and that is what is to be expected.

Cent number two. Is there an apology due to those in attendance/witnesses to the event? Even if Connie is not upset, there was a message delivered to the accumulated masses that might be harmful. One of my favorite sayings – “Don’t tie your shoe in a watermelon patch.” This comes from the deep south. The idea is that, if you are in a watermelon patch and bending over, even if you’re just tying your shoe, it will look like you’re stealing a watermelon, and you will be shot just as dead as if you were actually stealing it. So, I wonder if there is an apology in order for stealing the watermelon, even if you were only tying your shoe.

Cent number two and a half. Do you really owe that apology? That is the crux of the biscuit. Do you owe them anything, and what do they owe you?

These are just thoughts – the same kind of thoughts I would share with any friend, so I hope they are taking that way. No judgement (did I mention I wasn’t even there?) – just thoughts.


Tom Whitmore <t.s.whitmore@att.net>
Berkeley , CA - Tuesday, August 29 2006 16:39:24

re: Hugos
Hey, Harlan --

I was at the ceremony (I almost never go to the ceremonies) and I honestly feel what you did was "pushing it" and within the levels of schtick that you and Connie had already established as reasonable between the two of you. Yes, it was edgy -- no, it wasn't over the edge far enough to make it unconscionable.

This is all about context. The two of you have known each other for years -- you were in the context of shocking the audience (else why eat the microphone?). Personally, I didn't even notice the "breast grab" -- it was in the context of schtick. You were both playing with edgy comedy. Yup, you did it. Yup, this is someone you've known for years, and you both know just how far is too far, at least in private.

Public discourse is different from private discourse. The message you sent was both reprehensible and very, very funny -- and what you were supposed to be there was funny. If you'd done that in private, I'd excoriate you -- doing it in this public context, with someone who's got serious history with you, I personally think it's all about going for the laugh.

It's not the way I play. That doesn't mean it's wrong, in context. I get to learn from others, right? And the lesson I take from this is that play is different for different folks, depending on venue and amount of time I've known someone.

Bill Warren <billybond@aol.com>
Los Angeles, California - Tuesday, August 29 2006 16:20:8

I was at Keith Kato's chili party when Harlan and Susan were. And >I< grabbed Harlan, all unbidden. I was very moved by the award the convention gave him, feeling that it was about goddamned time, and touched/amused by the fact that for a moment, the award left Harlan speechless. I've seen Harlan here and there, now and then, to this one and that one, and I've never seen him speechless before. I imagine I'll never see him speechless again. So when he arrived at Keith's party, I hugged him. I've known Harlan since 1961, and have been around him a good deal, and I've never before done anything like that; it's very uncharacteristic of me (and of Harlan for that matter). I realize this won't bother people as Harlan's groping of Connie Willis' breast, but I hereby apologize for my impulsive act.

Robert Morales
New York City, - Tuesday, August 29 2006 15:43:40

Pam, I've been waiting for Harlan to apologize for grabbing at my tit since 1981.

Tony Ravenscroft
Santa Fe, NM - Tuesday, August 29 2006 15:34:9

still awaiting
Thus far, I'm seeing a LiveJournal dogpile on Ellison, yet (how strange) no official word yet from Connie Willis herself.

It's easy to get the impression of watching a game of "Telephone" being played out.

Ms. Willis is a big girl now, & I get the feeling she'd readily kick Ellison's walker over when she gets genuinely off-pissed at him. I betcha she's even got his phone number on the Rolodex.

If she doesn't want to deal with it, then I'd like an explanation of why there's a half-assed cadre of self-appointed deputies waffling about. Her call, right? Or do y'all _begin_ from the assumption that she's more stupid &/or powerless than the rest of you glued together?

John Greenawalt
- Tuesday, August 29 2006 15:1:7

Harlan's guest of honor stint

While I was basking in air conditioned comfort at the Adams Hotel, (Iguanacon 1978) Harlan, for reasons that will never be known, was suffocating in a Winnebago in the hotel parking lot. The temperature was 105 degrees at night and Harlan looked like he was ready to collapse. By the end of the convention he was gasping for breath. I thought they were going to have to carry him out.

Pam Noles
Los Angeles, CA - Tuesday, August 29 2006 14:43:13

The Levy Has Long Since Broken
So, *if* Willis is offended, *then* you’ll apologize for your rank behavior? This requires far less trademarked performance and far more simplicity, Ellison. Your actions were shameful and dismaying.

This is about you, but based on the way you've expressed yourself here, it's not about you in the way you appear to be thinking. Let me quote yourself back at you in case you missed what you said the first time around: "IT IS UNCONSCIONABLE FOR A MAN TO GRAB A WOMAN'S BREAST WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION. To do otherwise is to go 'way over the line in terms of invasion of someone's personal space. It is crude behavior at best, and actionable behavior at worst."

This is about being sick to absolutely fucking death of having this sort of behavior tolerated at all levels of this industry for longer than I have been alive. It is *because* it has been so that you felt comfortable enough to get on stage during what is (arguably) the second most prominent awards ceremony for your industry, grab the tit of your peer, and play it off as if it was part of the show that comes with the 'TM'.

For one, I am less interested in what you're *going* to do *if* Willis is offended. I am fascinated by what you're doing right now without, as you say, needing anyone to prompt you.

Becky Zoole <beckyzoole@gmail.com>
Saint Louis, Missouri - Tuesday, August 29 2006 14:22:6

Harlan may think of himself as "a friend of Connie Willis", but this friendship seems to be just another product of his fantastically creative imagination.

Either that, or his "puckish" behavior has been enough to end a friendship.

Bloggers are quoting Ms. Willis as saying:
"At the closing ceremony Connie said something like "If someone wants to start a petition for Harlan Ellison to keep his f*cking hands off of me, I'd be willing to sign it!" Or something like that." -- http://lauriemann.livejournal.com/3470.html?thread=13454#t13454

"I didn't attend the Hugos, but I attended Connie's interview by Charlie Brown the next day, and she started it by referring to "f*cking Harlan Ellison" and "why do I always have to bell the cat"? She evidently kept her cool on stage, but she was upset by it." -- http://matociquala.livejournal.com/881156.html?thread=13637380#t13637380

Dave Clarke
- Tuesday, August 29 2006 13:29:19


I love you, man. You are a class act, and I don't see how any genuine intelligent human being could turn you away (not in direct reference to Connie Willis, but just in general).

You've made my life better, and I'm altogether proud to share the Earth with you.

- Tuesday, August 29 2006 12:43:2


On a more serious note: if, in fact, Connie (or Courtney, or Cordelia) were/are/might in any way be offended by this latest demonstration of give'n'take jackanapery between Connie and Harlan (now in its longest-run on Broadway), you may all rest assured I will apologize vehemently, will crawl to Colorado through broken glass and steaming embers, and beg her (their) forgiveness. I need no one to prompt me.

Harlan Ellison, a friend of Connie Willis

- Tuesday, August 29 2006 12:31:1


How's chances of me playing either the "I'm an old man and my brain is leaking out of my ass" card ... or ... even better ...

"I'm an old Jew and this is just another example of anti-Semitism because all you goyim are pissed that Jews really DO control the whole world."

I can go either way.

Yr. pal, Harlan

- Tuesday, August 29 2006 12:28:31


This may be what killed vaudeville.


- Tuesday, August 29 2006 12:28:31


This may be what killed vaudeville.


- Tuesday, August 29 2006 12:26:56


Did I fail to mention, I am 100% guilty as charged, and NO ONE should attempt to cobble up mitigating excuses for my behavior? As with everything else I REALLY DO (as opposed to the bullshit that is gossiped third-hand by dolts), I am responsible for my actions 100% and am prepared to shoulder all consequences, instead of shunting them off to Vice-President ScaryGuy.

Adultly said, Yr. pal, Harlan

- Tuesday, August 29 2006 12:19:50


Would you believe that, having left the Hugo ceremonies immediately after my part in it, while it was still in progress ... and having left the hall entirely ... yet having been around later that night for Kieth Kato's traditional chili party ... and having taken off next morning for return home ... and not having the internet facility to open "journalfen" (or whatever it is), I was unaware of any problem proceeding from my intendedly-childlike grabbing of Connie Willis's left breast, as she was exhorting me to behave.

Nonetheless, despite my only becoming aware of this brouhaha right this moment (12 noon LA time, Tuesday the 29th), three days after the digital spasm that seems to be in uproar ...YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!

iT IS UNCONSCIONABLE FOR A MAN TO GRAB A WOMAN'S BREAST WITHOUT HER EXPLICIT PERMISSION. To do otherwise is to go 'way over the line in terms of invasion of someone's personal space. It is crude behavior at best, and actionable behavior at worst. When George W> Bush massaged the back of the neck of that female foreign dignitary, we were all justly appalled. For me to grab Connie's breast is in excusable, indefensible, gauche, and properly offensive to any observers or those who heard of it later.

I agree wholeheartedly.

I've called Connie. Haven't heard back from her yet. Maybe I never will.

So. What now, folks? It's not as if I haven't been a politically incorrect creature in the past. But apparently, Lynne, my 72 years of indefensible, gauche (yet for the most part classy), horrifying, jaw-dropping, sophomoric, sometimes imbecile behavior hasn't--till now--reached your level of outrage.

I'm glad, at last, to have transcended your expectations. I stand naked and defenseless before your absolutely correct chiding.

With genuine thanks for the post, and celestial affection, I remain, puckishly,

Yr. pal, Harlan

P.S. You have my permission to repost this reply anywhere you choose, on journalfen, at SFWA, on every blog in the universe, and even as graffiti on the Great Wall of China.

Frank Church
- Tuesday, August 29 2006 12:5:41

Boy, Susan sure looks different from the picture on the front of the website here. Harlan didn't need that bright red shirt, he is too much of a presence, as is.

Paramount drops Tom Cruise now this. Suing corporations must be loads of fun.


The Wall Street Journal talked about how there are these Hedge funds, where companies that don't report their earnings on time can be forced to pay back their interest, fast. The corporations seem to be eating each other, not even leaving bones--I hear a belch, but it may be god, bored with us all.

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Tuesday, August 29 2006 11:24:52

Relaxation, reflections, bandaids
Mr. Olson,

I understand the appeal of a weekend of serenity. They don't come often enough these days, but when I do happen upon one I take full advantage of it. My relaxation this morning has been in the form of holiday crafts. For all the frustration and occasional swearing, I find the pattern work, graphing, and selections to be very meditative. Of course, I may scare my youngest son from time to time when I miss a cut or forget why I should measure twice, but I'll file the experiences away as helpful for his environmental awareness.

I've also sparred with a piece I'm working on, picking at strands of words much like I do with the threads of my crafts. The shadows of the piece are sifting through the back of my mind as I mark and cut. With luck, I'll have the piece finished before I slice my fingers off.


Mr. Ellison,

Good luck on your investigation of Pocket Books and Paramount. You've said many times how important such matters are to not only yourself but to anyone who steps up to the plate and puts their work on the line. I'll help where I can, even if its only to keep you in mind and direct people to this site to spread the word.

Los Angeles, - Tuesday, August 29 2006 10:25:49


What you posted by that "Doctor?" lady is not humorous; it's downright frightening. The fact that she is highly respected among certain segments of the Black community for speaking these views means that those views trickle down and become part of the thought process of millions of people of color.

What happens is that instead of addressing the root causes of racism and lack of equal opportunity for Blacks and others, people wallow in a self perpetuating myth, unable to believe that there is any hope or chance of ever living any kind of a meaningful life.

Picture a Black child being told from birth that his abundance of melanin makes him a superior being to those with less of it, but because of the hatred and jealousy of the melanin deprived, he is doomed to a life of poverty and subservience.

I shouldn't have to tell you what happens next.

Josh Olson
- Tuesday, August 29 2006 9:20:22

So what I have to know is... Did Harlan take credit for my sex scenes?

Sorry. Inside joke.

I spent the weekend in the Adirondacks, in the most blissful state of serene relaxation I've been in in years. Still, I was very, very sorry to miss my friend's performance at Worldcon. By all reports, he was his typical wondrous self. And when my friend Kay told me about his extremely gracious shout out to me, I marvelled again at how surreal and wonderful my life is. (Harlan - she would have come up to say Hi, but it was pretty crowded. As I guess you know...)

Harlan, I don't need any association or organization to tell me you're the Grand Master. You are truly The Man, and it remains one of the most singular honors of my life to be friends with you and Susan.

All that said, though - next dinner's on you, pal!

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, August 29 2006 8:56:22

More Pics


My favorites are the one at the top, and Susan getting the last word.


Cramer - Ouch, didn't know there was a Starbuck's at the Marriott. I waited at the Hilton until 9:30, just to the right of the doorway. (The exit, not the left side where the line could be found.) Sorry you accosted strangers and had coffee dumped all over you. I appreciate the effort. Don't feel badly about the programming gaffe, I made the same exact mistake. Fortunately for me, in my case I found the FORBIDDEN PLANET session.

Tom Morgan, glad we had a chance or two to talk, nice meeting you as well.

Okay, I missed the story but have read enough to have picked up on the particulars. The whole "gropage" thing sounds like a tempest in a small water container filled with dry leaves and boiling water. Unless the principals involved were shocked and scandalized, it's a non-event.


Eric Martin
- Tuesday, August 29 2006 8:12:10

Ellison at Worldcon audio


Scroll down to bottom of the page for mp3 or real audio options.

Lynne Batik <lynnebatik@yahoo.co.uk>
Aberdeen, UK - Tuesday, August 29 2006 7:43:46

WorldCon awards ceremony
For the record: I've met Mr. Ellison, had a conversation with him, and liked him. I found him intensely funny. I respect his work --a lot-- the man is a great writer.

But grabbing Connie Willis's breast is NOT ok, and people being upset over it is perfectly legit, not just "a bunch of fen in a snit." Grabbing any woman's breast, uninvited, much less a professional author of equal stature, in public, just because he wanted to I guess -- is **NOT OK**. He really ought to issue Ms. Willis an apology. Period. He has no excuse. That is not how you treat women and not how you treat a colleague.

The man I met ten years ago had more class than that, even though he enjoyed being abrasive. What the heck happened?

Jeff R.
Phila., - Tuesday, August 29 2006 4:57:36

Just in case you didn't already know...
Harlan, one of the STAR TREK cartoons, 1973's "Yesteryear," by D. C. Fontana, also used the Guardian of Forever. If that entitled you to monetary consideration, I hope you received it!

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Tuesday, August 29 2006 4:48:36


Boy am I pissed that I missed the Ellison/Silverberg panel on Science Fiction. I feel like such a dweeb for not asking about it, seeing as I posted here about it, when I signed up. The schedule I was given did not have the current info on it, and I was thinking that Harlan had scrapped his involvement so that’s why it wasn’t listed in the time I had seen it on-line.

In this case, the freaking ON LINE info was more current than the single paper with the schedule handed out at the registration desk. In every other convention I’ve been to, the most up to date info is handed out every morning in a little flyer.

Such an idiot I am for not asking!

Plus, I missed Steve! Steve, I swear, I was at the Marriott Starbucks (where an old gentleman dumped a coffee at my feet) at 9:05am on Saturday morning, and at the Hilton Starbucks at 9:20am. And I accosted at least 10 people who looked like I remembered you to look from one of your on-line pictures (close-cropped beard, glasses, and carrying serious cameratech). Problem with a Science Fiction convention is that practically EVERY 5th PERSON looks like that. And, I’m not even sure you look like that…just like my memory forgot WHICH Starbucks we were to meet at, it could also fool me about what you looked like: I never forget a face I meet in person, but pictures are tricky.

I also missed Duane. Dammit!

So the one Harlan Gig I saw (Harlan Ellison Tells Us) was fun. I was a bit dismayed that he kicked people out of the front seats (I was in the second row, behind Michael Tobin, with whom I’d shared conversation and a table at the Nebula Awards in Tempe), but HE did say that he had asked those rows to be cordoned off for his friends.

I must confess the line outside, after the signing, was huge. Not wanting to wait in it, I wandered off to check out the art room again, intending to come back when it was shorter, because I had brought two Mind Fields and an old hard-back British Book Club Edition of Ellison Wonderland to be signed. When I got back, the Hobbits at the end of the line were holding an “End of the Line” piece of paper, and I figured, better luck next time.

It was so crowded and busy that I didn’t even feel comfortable coming over and saying Hi to Harlan and Susan. So, Hi!

On Sunday, I had fun running around the mission at Capistrano with a few friends.

Now, I’m back here in Arlington, and can’t wait to go to work this morning. Psyche!


- Tuesday, August 29 2006 4:5:52

EDGE OF FOREVER: Harlan, the Guardian of Forever has been used a whole number of times in the STAR TREK novels before this. Since the previous editors knew about your contractual rights, I can presume they always asked for permission. In any case, here's a checklist of the novels that used the Guardian: YESTERDAY'S SON by Ann Crispin, TIME FOR YESTERDAY by Crispin, FEDERATION by Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens, FIRST FRONTIER by Diane Carey, DEVIL'S HEART by Carmen Carter, IMZADI by Peter David (there might be one or two more I don't know of, but I think not). The Guardian has also been used in the Marvel and DC comics (e.g. Oct 1978, Dec 1986, Oct/Nov/Dec 1993, Jan/Feb 1994).

Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@earthlink.net>
Philadelphia, - Tuesday, August 29 2006 1:28:21

HARLAN: Damn it. I used to have Sumner Redstone (CEO of Viacom and the former Murray Rothstein)'s home phone number--don't ask.
I DO have Redstone's direct office numbers, though, should you want.

Squeeze 'em HARD, Cap'n!

A diversion, if I may, and something of an invitation: Should you ever get back Philly way (hmm ... maybe we can get the con here to GoH you ...), there's something you may not ever have heard of you might like. Ever been to the Rosenbach Library & Museum? It's a little place; two townhouses which used to belong to two brothers, antiquities and arts dealers.

Anyway, this little museum, in addition to having Maurice Sendak on the board of directors, in addition to having a wonderfully eclectic collection of fine art, in addition to having all sorts of incunabula, has one of the finest manuscript and first edition collections outside of government hands.

Little tchotchkes like the manuscripts of Dylan Thomas' UNDER MILK WOOD, Joyce's ULYSSES, Stoker's notes and outlines for DRACULA, the largest surviving portions of Dickens' manuscripts for NICHOLAS NICKLEBY and THE PICKWICK PAPERS, and more than half (two-thirds, maybe?) of Joseph Conrad's manuscripts, including LORD JIM and NOSTROMO.

Add in their other little holdings like manuscripts by Robert Burns, Emile Zola, Anatole France, and others; a First Folio belonging to Shakespeare's godson; the best-preserved copy known of the first edition of DON QUIXOTE, original William Blake drawings, and what may be the largest collection of Lewis Carroll's letters, drawings, and stuff on the planet ... and I think you can see why, when their latest postcard came to me in the mail, I thought it would be something you'd like to see.

Next time you two make it here, I'm fairly sure the Philly-area Webderlanders would be all too happy to spot you to some fine dining and a Rosenbach visit.

Shalanna Collins <shalanna@comcast.net>
Richardson, Texas USA - Tuesday, August 29 2006 1:25:12

Where can I buy?
I would like to buy an audio tape/CD or a video tape/DVD of Unca Harlan's presentation. Wish I could have been there. I also really want _The Glass Teat_, if there are really five copies left. Is there anyone selling such items?

I told my friends who attended to say hello from me if they ran into Mr. Ellison (although he probably won't remember me--we have a mutual friend in Sally S., and she once wangled me an audience by phone on my birthday when I couldn't attend a convention several years ago). So if he got some cryptic "Shalanna says hello" messages, that's why.

poogy <noemailsorry@stupidmandatoryfield.com>
adelaide , sa - Monday, August 28 2006 23:36:22

Ummm just letting you know that gropegate has made it to the fandom wank community over at journalfen and they are doing their usual mockity mock mock. 50 replies so far.

Feel totally free to delete this post BTW, I probably would if it was my forum.

Tony Ravenscroft
Santa Fe, NM - Monday, August 28 2006 23:9:48

the "Crucible" mess
Mister E, for what it's worth, it looks like the buck has been thoroughly passed around the corporation. Amazon.com hands out some excerpts, then notes that they're "Copyright © 2006 CBS Studios Inc."

I half-expect them to resurrect Desilu while they're at it...

As the damned things appear to be selling dozen-a-day at that site alone, here's my best wishes that your legal team gets that wide-reaching C&D soon. The "Spock" volume isn't even out yet ("November 28, 2006") but it's already "#23,176 in Books". Similar "Kirk": February 27, 2007; #45,764.

(Is this a SFWA matter? Seems exceptionally clueless for a "pro" writer to pull something like this.)

I mean, if they're willing to mess with _you_, us beginners wouldn't stand a chance. Make 'em cry some, if you please.

John Greenawalt
- Monday, August 28 2006 22:37:45

Harlan's home

Los Angeles is one of only two major cities in the world that is built on a desert. Cairo has the Nile river, but Los Angeles? The book "Cadillac Desert" warns that the water table built up over millions of years in the west is rapidly being depleted. Harlan's home will literally dry up. Fortunately, he can always move back to Cleveland.

Tom Morgan
Silverado, CA - Monday, August 28 2006 22:11:10

WorldCon memories

Can't help you with the names/numbers, but I know that those who can will.
Made it to the convention on Saturday. Yeah, bit the bullet and travelled all the way from Orange County to Orange County. (Side note from someone who has lived here 25 years: "The OC" is a TV show, not a location.) Got to the room for Harlan's talk about a 30 minutes early and sat right down in the 3rd row. Glad I did, because that room (actually 3 rooms combined, room 204ABC) filled up FAST.

Also glad I did because in the second row were Steve Barber and Adam and Mrs. Castro. Enjoyed meeting and talking to you all. And add one more thanks for the pix, Steve.

About Harlan's talk. I have been thinking about it and what people say about it. A couple things come to mind:
1) Often when people see someone pull off a performance that is a little risky and improvised and it works you hear the phrase "Wow, he is in rare form tonight!". I think about Harlan's fans and think perhaps the opposite is true. We are likely to think, "All right, the same old Harlan! Just like so many times before." Because improvised and risky is what we have come to expect. We are spoiled.

2) Watching one of Harlan's speeches reminds me of when I was first making my way through Dangerous Visions and came to Riders of the Purple Wage. You sit down in a comfy chair to see what is next in this great collection. Then you start reading. And you quickly realize that the comfy chair is gone, you have been jammed into a roller coaster car and it is time to strap in and hold on tight. For over 70 pages you hold on and in the end you finally, slowly, release your grip and say "Whew". A Harlan speech is kind of like that.

That is my waxing poetic for the night. Getting late. Enjoyed the show.
Good day to you all.

Kevin Kirby <kevin.kirby@gmail.com>
San Francisco, CA - Monday, August 28 2006 20:52:54

Groping for Relevance
Regarding last weekend's awards cermony, was there a source recording for the main video feed?

Dan Thorne
Royal Oak, MI - Monday, August 28 2006 20:33:23

Very glad I could help. I was a little reticent to mention it at first because I’m not one to beat a dead horse. But, as in this case, sometimes the horse is anything but dead.

I remember thinking as I perused the novel that your name had to be included somewhere. When I saw that the novel had a foreword and acknowledgement section AND that you weren’t mentioned, it seemed astoundingly wrong in every sense. Again, glad I could bring it to your attention.

Wishing you a trailer-truck full of $$$$ from Simon & Schuster,

(P.S. On a completely separate topic, I’ve been quiet for awhile because I took my life in a new direction which required a lot of schooling/studying. Last April I quit my dull and mindless corporate job after 17-years and became a full-time personal trainer at a major mega-gym—this after having gone to school and received my diploma and certifications in said field. Yes, that huge guy you and Susan once met is now 176 lbs. of lean muscle, and he teaches others how to achieve their fitness goals. Anyway, finances have been rough the last few months as I started out, but now I have a dozen clients and things are just beginning to take off for me.)

St. Pete, FL - Monday, August 28 2006 19:4:38

FYI: The "Guardian" is the centerpiece of "In Harm's Way", the fan produced ST episode that is distributed freely on the net at their website. Next to the Guardian is a building with a plaque stating Project Timepiece. http://www.startreknewvoyages.com/800/episodes.php

- Monday, August 28 2006 18:23:27


Pocket Books is a division of Simon & Schuster. Pocket Books licenses its STAR TREK books from Paramount. Paramount controls STAR TREK. Paramount is a subdivision of Viacom. There is a "suit" or a "little black dress" who is the boss purchasing/media merchandising Head Honcho of these licensing liaisons at Pocket Books. And an Opposite Number at whatever Paramount/Viacom department.

I need the name (phone number, if possible) of the former and latter. The former is probably no problem; but I'm having a devil of a time (or rather, a Minotaur's time) getting through the labyrinth. If any of you out there have had experience, publishing or otherwise, with either of the Current Incarnation at these positions, come thee hither and assist. Big-time thanks, in advance. Because my attorneys are already moving on this.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, August 28 2006 16:50:7

(Second post, but in response to a question. See rules.)

Harlan, I'm ... wow ... wow! ... THANK you.

"Barbeque'd" was taken down in the Belmont Shore part of Long Beach. The restaurant in question is Lucille's BBQ, it was the original Hof's Hut before a conversion a couple of years ago. Knowing you're a man who knows barbeque, it's one you should try.

Of course you may have prints of LACon. What size would you like? Do you want a cd? (Annoyingly, I just returned from the post office, mailing you and Susan a package.)

BTW - I haven't posted even a third of the lot. I tried for the audience reaction shot you mention, but the autofocus decided that you were superfluous, and the upraised arm ten feet from me must be what I wanted to shoot. But, rest assured, there are many more to peruse. (Bandwidth limitations on my own site restricted me to ten pics. Go figure.)

Let me know if you would prefer a cd, or the size shots, and I can get them out right away. And thank you again for the comments.


(And thank you to the other folks who've emailed me about my shots in the past. I love this place, it's good for my ego.)

Frank Church
- Monday, August 28 2006 15:32:36

Aww, that Harlan, what a swell guy. Kim, be thankful you live in a world populated by both Gore Vidal and Harlan Ellison.


Thought you all needed some humor in your lives. By the way, this lady is completely serious, she means every word she writes, even though what she writes is hysterically crazy; loon-time at the soup sandwich canteen.

Her name is Frances Cress Welsing, she is a "doctor?" This is from her one book called the Isis Papers, The Keys To The Colors. She is, sadly, highly respected by noted African Americans, even thanked at the end of Baby Boy, the film by John Singleton. She lectures on this stuff and is taken very seriously as a scholar, at black colleges, usually. Her main spin is that white people are albino's, with recessive genes, that make them want to dominate and inact White supremacy, based on their being inadequate, because they are not black. She believes Melanon, the chemical in skin that makes one go dark, has something to do with how one acts. The more Melanon, the more moral someone is. Whites want to dominate and kill black life, because they are afraid of being racially anhiliated, because they are the worlds minority. No reason to go much further, it is obvious, the lady is a bigot, uses faked science to prove her point. But her writing is really wacky, and in an odd way quite funny--unintentially so.

Her theory of the balls:

"some of these highly symbolic "ball games" are played with white balls, while others are played with colored balls, either black or brown. Generally, the white balls are small in size, whereas the colored balls are much larger in size, paralleling the respective genetic power in the white and colored testicles."

"Bowling is also an interesting game in white supremacy culture. Usually, this game is played with a large black ball being rolled forcefully down an alley where it is expected to knock down 10 white pins; the central pin is referred to as the "kingpin." Clearly, the bowling pins are white and, in shape, are phallic symbols."

"In symbolic fantasy, the bowler sees himself as master and possessor of the larger black ball and thereby in control of the harm it can bring to the white male genital apparatus (the white pins)."


"The quarterback almost always must be white, no matter the colors of the other players? And, of course, the owners must always be white so that no matter who wins or who is the star, the white owners control the big brown balls and who gets to play with them."

"It is of symbolic importance that the large brown basketball is thrown into a circular opening (the basket-usually a white net) that can be viewed as a symbol of the white female vaginal orifice. Similarly, the large brown football is kicked through a white upright opening, that can be viewed , again symbolically, as the uplifted legs of a white female in the act of sexual intercourse."

This kind of stuff goes on for an entire book. What would America be without the kooks.

Eric Martin
- Monday, August 28 2006 15:22:52

Harlan, you're welcome. Hard to believe that the publisher wouldn't have checked all this out after listening to the author's pitch. Someone screwed up...good luck.

Atlanta, - Monday, August 28 2006 14:53:13

Hi Harlan & SUsan,

Cindy and I wish we could have been in LA for WorldCon. Sounds like one hell of a time. And Harlan It is time to Kick Pocket Book's ass. I say see them in court. Pure arrogant stupidity on their part.

- Monday, August 28 2006 14:35:29


You can get my phone number through Rick Wyatt, our GodFigure WebMaster. Call me. I'll chat with you for a few minutes to make up for my blowing-you-off in the "U"-line.


I would luuuuuuuuv to have a set of those LACon photos, kiddo (with captions). I wish you'd gotten a panoramic shot of the audience in the moment AFTER asking how many had never heard me speak previously. The sea of upraised arms in that crowd of more than 1250 (which, I was told by LACon Chairman Craig Miller was the most densely attended presentation -- other than the Hugo ceremony and costume thingee). And then a shot of my puckish self as I gleamed at the raised hands and said, "Do d'phrase, 'fresh meat' strike'a familiah note?"

Not to mention that, when I went to your website to see the LACon stuff, I let curiosity lead me to the "Edgeworks" site and was absolutely KNOCKED OUT by your gorgeous photo gallery. Particularly the BBQ shot! Lawdy, son, you is GOOOOD. (P.S.:
Where did you take that BBQ shot? In what city? When? Is it still there, do you know?)

Yr. pal, Harlan

Kim Smith
Mira Loma, CA - Monday, August 28 2006 13:58:6

Just a "thank you"
Dear Harlan,

Your WorldCon talk was wildly enjoyable. For an "Old Jew" you still have the Moxie and MoJo to mix it up with the best.

I had never heard the Dorothy Parker story.

Watching you at WorldCon brought to me memories of Phoenix in 1978 when you did that thing you do for five fucking days. While "sleeping" in an RV on a street called "Anvil Of The Sun" or somesuch delightfully and appropriately name for a stretch of Hell's Pavement.

I waited three and a half hours in the "U" line to have you sign my copy of "Approaching Oblivion" (and one of "The Glass Teat" PB's Susan (what a babe, I had not met her before!) was proffering at your side). The time invested in the wait was well and truly repaid in my 30 seconds of contact with you. I am indeed enjoying the Tim powers novel, as you told me I would. You are, indeed, a prince among men and a writer for the ages.

When you walked the line, towards the end of the event, signing some books for people at the ass-end (to which I was, more or less, a lower curve in the sigmoid colon in relation to said "ass end"), you glanced at my opened "Approaching Oblivion", then at my name tag, and with a semi-Olympian shake of your head, said "No!", and walked away down the line ("Sunny Bob, surely you jest!' to the next fellow in line with his crate of Ellison). You got me there. No offense taken, and I am certain none intended, and the interchange even, in a fit of self-schadenfreude, made my day. As someone wisder than your humble servant once said within my hearing, "If Ellison fucks with you, you know you were in the game." Kind of like being tackled by Dick Butkus.

Yr. Admirer From Afar,

Kim Owen Smith

- Monday, August 28 2006 13:40:25



Many MANY thanks for the heads-up. Neither Paramount nor Pocket Books has the publication or adaptation rights to CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER (which were reserved by me from the git-go when it was originally aired back in the '60s, under the "separation of rights" terms of the Writers Guild of America, West MBA--the Minimum Basic Agreement with all tv/film producers, including Paramount, which licenses the STAR TREK franchise to Pocket Books). Every Pocket Books STAR TREK editor from the beginning of their publishing liaison with Paramount (particularly John Ordover) has known this. I published the story in book form years ago. CITY remains in print in a White Wolf trade paperback, and the publication indicia therein clearly indicates Paramount has signed off on their status! It was copyrighted and registered by The Kilimanjaro Corporation, not to mention that my name is both trademarked and registered, as is that of the Corporation; and Pocket Books has ABSOLUTELY no right to use the characters and/or the story I created, IN ANY WAY without my--and TKC's-- permission. I have my agent, Richard Curtis, on this. I have called the editor Marco Palmiero (who is "out" till Labor Day). I have called the Media Merchandising Division of Pocket Books (and gotten a machine, of course). The wheels are in motion.

If they play nice and tug their forelock and acknowledge where the material came from and pay me a trailer-truck full of cash, I will not sue them in Federal District Court, I will not serve them with an injunction to cease distribution of THIS book, and I will not sue them for a fortune on the "forthcoming" books, which I may or may not allow them to publish. Whether I insist they withdraw all copies of the book out there now, and make them add my credit to the cover and indicia, or just reprint it in its entirety, I have also not decided. We will see if they're smart enough not to drag their feet, thus annoying me the more, and if they're conciliatory, thus permitting me to be civil and not scorched-earth. If they know how I behave in litigious situations, and my track record -- sixteen lawsuits, O losses -- they will move fast, speak straight, and clean this up. It is clearly a case of their left hand not knowing their right hand is in my pocket, and they will be paying the price for having no sense of history or business protocal. They have a smartass generation of know-nothings who act arrogantly and unilaterally, without checking their Contracts Department, or their Rights & Permissions Departments, and they deserve to be whacked over the head to wake them up.

This is not, let me say at the outset, one of those grotesque, disingenuous "it's a matter of principle" locutions. It's the money, dummy.

None of this would have caught my attention so quickly, had it not been for you, Dan...and for your jump-in, Eric.

A working writer thanks you ever so much!

Yr. pal, Harlan

Douglas Harrison
Northeastern BC - Monday, August 28 2006 12:25:0

Thanks to Duane, Steve, and lonegungirl for posting their accounts from the con (and an extra thanks to Steve for the pics).

Good to see Dan Thorne posting again.


Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA. - Monday, August 28 2006 9:22:28

*** Todd *** The short answer to your question is, yes, for better or worse, he almost certainly did. The LONG answer to ALL of your questions is contained in the extensive introduction(s) to the Screenplay of CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER.

And for people who might say, "ah, yes, but how common was the commitee letter" - I can add that back in the 1980's I processed and sadly, disassembled a very large fanzine collection once owned by Dr. Law of Kutztown, PA. and the cover sheet of about half the fanzines that were coming out for a 12 month period, starting with the WSFA and spreading out from there on the East Coast - had these letters to save Star Trek stapled to their fronts. Sometimes inserted but usually on top of the front cover where you couldn't miss it. I only saved one copy for myself but I saw dozens of others. If you were in fandom back then (and you really must remember, before the internet fanzines were the lifeblood of fandom) and you subscribed to ANY major 'zine, you'd have seen one sooner or later.

- Barney Dannelke

Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Monday, August 28 2006 9:9:18

Did Harlan Save Star Trek?
I was reading an article this weekend that was briefly summarizing the trals and tribulations of the three seasons of Original Star Trek. I've heard, ad nauseum, about the fan letter writing campaign that saved the show after season two, but this article indicated there was another campaign that helped save it after season one ratings troubles.

The article stated the following: "A letter-writing campaign spearheaded by the work of 'The Committee' headed by SF author Harlan Ellison, which included Poul Anderson, Ray Bradbury, A.E. Van Vogt, Phil farmer, Richard Matheson, Ted Sturgeon, Robert Block and Frank Herbert - leads to hundreds of thousands of letters being sent to NBC, who relent and renew the show."

Is there any truth to this "Committee" headed by our illustrious host?

If so, what would have been the alternate universe of a planet where Star Trek lasted one season and disappeared? Just another Time Tunnel quirky show to remember? Did Harlan save Star Trek?


PS, the article was in a new Star Trek magazine that just hit the magazine racks this weekend.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, August 28 2006 8:41:26

LA Con (in the OC) Pictures

As promised, shots from the con.


shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Monday, August 28 2006 7:31:36

To PC or not PC
Hmmm...PC? I'll have to file that label right next to my comment to the doctor when he described my youngest son's in utero development as "didn't gel completely": "See, James, the doctor says you're half baked."

Jennie <jbrwn65@adelphia.net>
California - Monday, August 28 2006 7:26:23

Thank you, Harlan...
...I'll send the very first book I bought of yours, the one with your original script of "The City on the Edge of Forever." (Unfortunately, I seem to have lost the "An Edge in My Voice" columns from L.A. Weekly...alternative weekly paper doesn't seem to last too long!) I'll look on your site for the correct address this evening.

I hope that you enjoyed the World Con. Congratulations on the special award that you received at the Hugos (I hope it's not the last!)

John Greenawalt
- Monday, August 28 2006 2:38:23

I will be soon visiting my alma mater for the first time in 30 years. They were so nice to me that I was embarassed. How many people can say that?

Los Angeles, CA, - Sunday, August 27 2006 23:35:57

A Lot Can Happen In Three Hours
Saturday was my first EVER science fiction convention, and I'm fairly certain it won't be my last. I wimped out and went the "taster" membership route, paying the whole $75 up front and setting my watch for just under three hours later after my time stamp.

I'm about 15 minutes late to Harlan's lecture, so I'm climbing up the escalator to the second floor, only to slow down to nod and wave nonchalantly at Robert Silverberg as he effortlessly descended the escalator steps. I'd like to say we exchanged contact information, but... you know...

I stood at the back of the room, trying not to sweat too profusely from my jog through the Hilton parking lot and across to the convention center, but Harlan had me calmed down in a hurry. He told some great stories, as usual. Though I'm still a bit perplexed by the whole "proposing to you [or he, or she, or it] in uniform" question. But the time flew, and it was great to see Our Host energetic and in top form. As usual.

Then Tom Galloway walked over and stood by me, ostensibly to exchange contact information (yeah, right...).

As Harlan was closing up ("chance favors the prepared etc.") I noticed a number of people beating a hasty exit. How rude, I considered, until I stepped outside and noticed the line forming rapidly around the open pavilion.

After standing in a non-moving line for what seemed like 20 minutes, I looked at the Convention schedule and saw that there was a panel discussion about the works of Connie Willis right next door. Robert Silverberg, Nancy Kress and Gardner Dozois were the panelists. Couldn't miss this, especially since it was happening right next door. Connie Willis is one of my favorite writers, and it was great to listen to some of my other favorite writers (and editor) discuss her and her work.

I walked back out to the line shortly before the seminar ended and was scanning the name cards for any familiar names when a woman I had been standing next to earlier told me she had saved my place for me. I was really grateful because the line had moved perhaps 40 feet since I had stepped out. Her name was Mattie Brahen, and her husband is the editor of Weird Tales, and he had stepped away to participate on a panel. I got to listen to her describe her latest fantasy novel ("Claiming Her" / Wildside Press). It's definitely a book I will look for and read.

Had a nice conversation with the Wolfman, a guy about my age with the hair and the beard and the teeth (which, luckily, he could remove when he needed to talk in depth.

We all had our books signed, and I said my goodbyes and glanced down at my badge: If I stayed another 10 minutes, there would be no $55 refund (the price for the whole day was $75). Considering that I had just spent $53 at Harlan's table (Mind Fields, Glass Teat), I figured it would be great to get gas money to return home.

I flipped through the convention program as I walked back and noticed all the great events I would be missing that evening, as well as the ones I missed on the previous days. In particular, the Phil Plait ("The Bad Astronomer") panels as well as the other Silverberg, Kress and Dozois events. It was indeed a "taste" of the whole Convention, one definitely leaving me wanting for more.

See you next time.

Rick <webmaster@harlanellison.com>
- Sunday, August 27 2006 21:53:8

Too much water under the bridge now to remove any comments, but please dial the dick button back to about 7, Tony. And the rest of you, the subject of Eric's sowing and reaping is inappropriate here, played out elsewhere, and does not excuse breaking the rules in any case.

De Birdman of Webderland
- Sunday, August 27 2006 20:17:57

Eric crowed too loudly, thus angering a flock of birdbrained PC Nitpickers and ended up with Raven'scrap on his head!

Eric Martin < >
- Sunday, August 27 2006 19:17:49

Violating posting rules to give Harlan link to this City book, including ISBN number:


Dan Thorne
Royal Oak, MI - Sunday, August 27 2006 18:40:34

City on the Edge Redux *sigh*
So I’m walking through the local B&N and I glance down at the table of New Release paperbacks when I notice a rather nice portrait of Deforrest Kelly on the cover of a Star Trek novel. Now, before I go further, I have to admit that I have never read a Star Trek novel in my life (not even the Blish ones, which I’ve heard are quite good).

Anyway, I decide to check it out not only because of the cover, but also because it seems rather thick for a Star Trek novel (over 600 pages). You see, like a lot of you, I tend NOT to read such TV/Movie-novels because there are so many other original novels I’d rather read. The novel is entitled Crucible: McCoy: Provenance of Shadows by David R. George III.

The astounding part is that, as I read the back cover and inner minutiae, I learned that this novel (and two other forthcoming novels, one about Spock, the other about Kirk) is a reworking and/or re-imagining of City on the Edge of Forever--specifically it adopts as its conceit “what if Edith Keeler didn’t die?”. Each novel is about how McCoy, Spock, and Kirk’s lives are affected by this incident.

Again, normally I wouldn’t be interested in a Star Trek novel, but after casually perusing the McCoy novel, it SEEMS (again, I have not read it) to be a rather thoughtful and intelligent story. My only displeasure is that nowhere in the foreword or acknowledgement section is Harlan mentioned. Regardless of the teleplay circumstances which most of us informed Webderlanders are familiar with, it seems to be a blatantly inconsiderate omission as the author—Mr. George—remarks in the foreword about how that episode is his favorite and left a lasting impression on him as a youth. Grrrrrrrr….

- Sunday, August 27 2006 18:24:40



I apologize. Send me all/anything you want personalized to you, as my atonement, and I will happily do so. (I had asked the LACon director to tape off those first two rows for HERC and Webderland folks -- verifiable by scrolling back half a dozen days ago and noting my post right here -- but, of course, in the hurly-burly of juggling a million odds and ends, someone forgot to do it, thus making for awkwardness and, in your case, justifiably stung feelings.) I genuinely regret your being inconvenienced by my seemingly cavalier behavior; and you need merely ask ... for me to make it as right, ex post facto, as I can.



Reed Rothschild
- Sunday, August 27 2006 17:57:59

"Maybe even do some serious thinking about what your critic had to say"

The critic equated this guy to Rosa Parks, and posted twice using jive talk, which he seemed to think was a cool thing to do. It wasn't. He also talked a lot about Nazis. I don't think he merits any serious thinking.

- Sunday, August 27 2006 16:16:41


I currently work for a global multinational, and have been position hopping pretty regularly for the last ten years (six moves in ten years). Most recently, I was in a product design function over in France, then got promoted to a plant quality management position in Canada. The Canadian plant was unfortunately shut down and I was again relocated into the same quality position, but in an Alabama facility. In many ways, it sucks to move around so much. But there's something good in every situation and with five little ones, I'm willing to trade geographic stability for more or less guaranteed employment.

I still love to read this board, but I don't post very much right now as I'm struggling to settle into my new home and my new team at work. I have about 50 direct and indirect reports on my team, so "settling in" takes a lot of time and energy. Especially with the business planninng season looming.

I should have my head above water again by January or there abouts.

DTS <none>
- Sunday, August 27 2006 16:6:37

Criticisms and ad hominems... or, add hominy -- your choice
ERIC: Not too long ago, some guy out on this board called me a mornon when I told Harlan he oughta go ahead and punch someone 'cause the guy's past actions still pissed him (being one who often feels that way, but hasn't yet trained himself anew, I was, at the time, feeling as one with my buddy). I was wrong. I shouldn't have told Harlan to do that; and it was dumb of me given Harlan's past heart problems. So I didn't see any reason to cry in my cornflakes about some pissant calling me a name (can't remember who it was, and I don't have the patience to look it up on the archives just now). But my point (and I do have one, to quote Ms Dengeris) is that you've obviuosly displayed some personality traits that would lead Mr. Ravenscroft to the conclusion he made. And whether or not I agree with him -- I ain't sayin -- I don't think he needed to call you a name to drive his point home. And since there was some truth to both criticisms (the one directed at me as well as the one directed at you), maybe you should just let bygones be bygones...

...Maybe even do some serious thinking about what your critic had to say. Worked for me. Otherwise, maybe your own observation about the "guy in the t-shirt" should be directed at you. To wit: "He wanted attention and he got it. He'll dine out on this for months...look at all the web notice he's getting now."

(This moment of thoughtfulness has been brought to you by Charmin -- and, DTS -- both so squeezably soft)

Jon Stover
Canada - Sunday, August 27 2006 15:37:46

Well said, Tony.

If I were running the airport, I'd at least get him to waive liability during his flight so that when he gets injured on the flight while being gang-tackled the first time he scratches his ankle, he can't cry foul.

Cheers, Jon

the other TR
Santa Fe again, - Sunday, August 27 2006 15:34:15

On the other hand, I take the "sad times" smoke as, "oh, well, what can ya do, eh? It's perpetual war for perpetual peace, & the Brownshirt patrols make it safe for all decent people like me."

If them darkies get uppity, or them beatniks think they got the same rights as the Good People, well, some busted heads make it a Better World.

It's said that "A conservative is a liberal who got mugged." My experience is that a Liberal is a Conservative that gets officially harassed (& then wonders why the ur-Liberals keep snickering).

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Sunday, August 27 2006 14:55:46

Guy walk into a bar, and the bar is an off-duty hangout for a number of NYC firefighters. Guy's wearing a t-shirt showing the WTC collapsing, with a caption that reads "Nice work, Osama. Do it again." Now it's the guy's constitutional right to wear that shirt any place he pleases, and everyone knows it, and nobody's got a right to hassle him over it.

But what kind of treatment should he expect to receive in that bar? Commonsensically speaking...

Airports these days are downright paranoid places, with about as much concern for your right to express yourself and about as much sense of humor as the induction center where I took my draft physical umpteen years back. Yes, the guy's got a right to wear that shirt, and barring other factors he doesn't deserve to be scrutinized just because of the shirt. But as William Munny might have said, "Deserve's got nothin' to do with it." He really shouldn't be surprised that security (and some passengers if I remember his blog post correctly) got a little twitchy over it, especially in a time when some Muslims equate not being silent with making themselves heard by means of explosives.

And if I read Eric's post correctly, I take "it's the times, sad as they are" to mean he's not that thrilled with all this anyway. He's just not surprised by it. The guy made his statement in the wrong bar.

Not interested in mixing into a three-month long argument here. Just an observation.

Bests to all,


John Greenawalt
- Sunday, August 27 2006 14:2:58

I used to buy presents for the girls at the office

I took her out to Tiffany's,
I spared her no expense
I bought her two gold earrings,
they cost me fifteen cents.

TEXAS - Sunday, August 27 2006 13:55:49

I'm here.
Like Cookie I tend to lurk more than write these days. The fight continues and there are only so many hours in
the day. Some day I hope to report things have been settled in a way that ends the torment and sends the bully to prison. Until that time I am a polarizing personality not only on these boards but also in this town. Those who know what is going on back my efforts. Quinn would point out that they do so quietly. but I understand their reluctance. It'll all end correctly one day-- soon I hope. Until then I'll stay on point, passing information on to state and federal agencies who seem disinterested. My faith demands I embrace the notion that it is not disinterest but the drag of inertia on the wheel of justice, slow to turn but moving-- however imperceptibly.

It is so good to see your name here again, Dorie. You asked about Paris. She is 10 years old now, a fourth grader. She is still outspoken and unafraid. Sometimes her vocabulary gets her into trouble.

As I said, it is lovely to see you hereabouts. I hope you stick around.

Yer pal,

Hey Cookie and Lonegungirl-- it's good to see y'all too!

Eric Martin
- Sunday, August 27 2006 13:50:51

Hey, could I have some moderation here? Ravenscroft went ad hominem.

Eric, trying to make Webderland as safe as our national airports.

Frank Church
- Sunday, August 27 2006 13:29:21

Eric, like some terrorist would wear a t-shirt in an airport broadcasting that they are a terrorist, I doubt even the Government is that stupid. I think the terrorist motto is "try to get away with it, don't be suspicious." More Wheaties for the kid.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Sunday, August 27 2006 12:57:11

"and the anecdote where he sleeps with 700 women."

What year was that?

Tony Ravenscroft
Santa Fe, NM - Sunday, August 27 2006 12:52:59

living in an age of fear
Eric, I cannot believe you are that thick, but this would mean that you're intentionally jerking people around. (If there's indeed a third alternative, I'm interested.)

Last month, I flew back to Minnesota for my class reunion.

For the first time in my life, I found myself worried about which books to carry for the flight, lest I be flagged as a terrorist.

I'm mid-tall, skinny, myopic, white, long-haired, & pushing 50. So, if I get pulled aside for "special procedures," I shoulda knowed better & got my hair cut? I shoulda put on the Italian suit (double-breasted, three-piece, navy-blue chalkstripe -- oh, baby) instead of the comfy tan chinos & safari shirt?

And there you are, echoing the PseudoCons that still believe their little boats are gonna rise on the NeoCon tide.

You want that sort of safety? You want armed troops randomly rousting your neighborhood "for the safety of us all"?

Then go the hell back to the USSR & give Joe S. some mouth-to-mouth, kid. Some of us aren't enamoured about statist fascism.

Remember, Rosa Parks "just wanted to get some attention." That wasn't the first time she'd refused the back of the bus -- just the biggest. Clearly, Eric, you think that Uppity Nigra should've just been slapped into jail for breaking the law rather than "working through her legislative representatives to change the law in a peaceable & appropriate manner."

Yeh, that's the ticket -- it worked So Friggin Well up to that point in Alabama etc., eh, bucko? All them black folk shoulda just kept a-votin' & not gone got they heads busted like any fool knowed!!


Increasingly, those calling for "appropriate" are those who (correct or not) think they're exempt from the gas chambers. When I find myself down the line from you, buddy, I'm gonna laugh until the pipes start to hiss, & maybe a little longer when I see the look on your face....

Eric Martin
- Sunday, August 27 2006 12:16:1

> I've been needlessly detained by assholes who clearly don't like my tint<

It wasn't the tint, sweetie..twas the tint + the t-shirt. He got profiled, and if you were working for the TSA, you'd have yanked him too.

Hey, I'm lily-white and yet if I marched through an airport with a t-shirt that said "Bush takes it up the ass" (as is my first amendment right, goddamnit) I'd expect to get pulled over. Get real, it's the times, sad as they are.

And I stand by my comparison to Tehran airport...he may have been inconvenienced here, but he would have been considerably more worked over in just about any other part of the world. Again, he wanted attention, and he got it. So what's his beef?

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Sunday, August 27 2006 11:55:6

Re: Hugo, T-Shirts, PC Planets
Congratulations, Mr. Ellison, on your award! Not only did you have the honor of receiving it, you have afforded us the honor of reading your work for the past 50+ years. You may not have written your stories, novels, and essays for me, but you have proven to be the second greatest advocate for the regrowth of my spine and my ability to tell people where to get off when it really counts. Thanks to you and a few well placed kicks in the pants, I am my greatest advocate.



You're absolely right about Jarrar. He should have known better than to wear that t-shirt in times like these. And them nigras should have known they'd be causin' trouble when they sat at that counter and wouldn't move back to their own seats on the bus. Not to mention them Jap families on Bainbridge Island who was expectin' to keep their farm land when they was put in the camps so they didn't make any trouble. Next thing you know, women will be wantin' the vote, and we all know that they don't have good sense enough to have an opinion. Just goes to prove it's damn silly for folks to expect civil and equal treatment in the God's own US of A. Especially for wearin' a shirt like that!

Words are powerful things, whether offered in peaceful script or tendered as justification for poor treatment of another.



The astronomers said Pluto's mass would eventually grow back.

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA. - Sunday, August 27 2006 8:58:37

James Bama: American Realist
For Tim, or anyone with the coin I suppoose.


160 pages, 8.5"x11", full color on premium glossy stock
$34.95 hardbound edition, ISBN: 0-9723758-8-0
$74.95 hardbound limited signed and numbered edition, ISBN: 0-9723758-9-9


Pluto footnote - they don't like to be called "dwarf" planets. They prefer to be called Massively Challenged.

- b

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Sunday, August 27 2006 7:33:29


Jennie, let's hope this finds you returning again and again to Webderland. We felt for you guys (and especially given your retort when asked "Do I know you?" was "Not yet." That's our kinda response!). The con was under instructions by Harlan to "rope off" that section. Nice to hear you enjoyed, nonetheless.

Not a whole lot to add to lonegungirl's comments, save missing the "SF of the 50s and 60s" due to the "delisting" of the event on the daily calender. Instead I attended the Forbidden Planet presentation hastily rearranged around a sickened presenter. Bob Eggleston, Rick Sternback and other visionary luminaries -- including Webderland's own Adam-Troy Castro -- spent an hour full of wonderful memories of the film and what it meant to each of them personally and professionally. A very cool and very personal event for all 200 of us, I think.

Tom Galloway's Superman session, once we all wiped the cobwebs from our eyes, was a good one. Marv Wolfman shocked a number of people by coming out wholehandedly against comic book continuity. (No offense against the other presenters, Tom, but you and Marv made the show.)

Got a chance to meet both Tom and Adam-Troy -- and the beautiful, energetic Judy Castro. No elevator stories, but we met as allies "in defense of the row" (of seats). In the end, all were seated safe and sound, though warnings of shrapnel and other cautions greeted our Ellison Virgins as they sat down. (Adam-Troy recieved a slight jibe in Harlan's speech, but it was merely a scratch.)

Harlan's speech. I hope, as you have been told before, that this is not Harlan's last convention appearance. That hope is completely and self-servingly personal, of course. I will say that the way he put it, and the way he presented it, made for a touching moment. Like Harlan does them, of course, not sickeningly sweet or maudlin.

The opening portion was hysterically funny, and completely unprintable here. A video was indeed being made (and, sadly, the cameraman managed to get Harlan's undivided attention, which makes it all the funnier). It would be highly advised that the convention make copies for sale, though with a very clear Parental Advice sticker on the cover.

Susan was working, and I mean working hard. At one point she gathered up copies of Mindfields and walked the line promoting and selling copies to anyone who wanted one (finishing twenty people ahead of me, dammit).

Ah. The line. I dawdled and ended up on the far side of the "U" and, after forty minutes, decided to call it quits (my feet were aching). It did not help my mood to have had one of those annoying conventioneers who harps on everything three people behind me. So, apologies to Susan and Harlan, I left the line.

And I completely missed Keith Cramer at Starbuck's yesterday morning.

I'll be posting pictures on my website tomorrow morning and will let you all know how to find 'em.

- Sunday, August 27 2006 7:30:15

Kristin's non-cryptic answer.
Yes, Long Island is an island. Brooklyn and Queens, though they are loath to admit it, are geographically on Long Island. Governmentally, they are boroughs of NYC. JFK airport is in Queens, at the southern end of the Van Wyck Expressway next to Howard Beach. If you want a map, I can probably e-mail you one.

Los Angeles, - Sunday, August 27 2006 2:24:34


Nice to have you back here--it is good to hear a familiar name once in awhile.


Day 4 of the con--HE day today.

1130--Hysterical panel discussion allegedly about SF of the 50's and 60's, which ended up being more or less HE and Robert Silverberg's recollections of that period. I actually thought this was the best panel thus far, as there was no audience participation. I have come to feel that audience participation in a panel discussion does not improve the content or flow. This may be cynicism born of attending too many panels this week.

1300--HE's solo panel. Excellently entertaining as always (although the first 2 rows were not cordoned off.) He recounted the dead gopher anecdote, the Dorothy Parker anecdote, and the anecdote where he sleeps with 700 women.

1430-1800--In line for HE signing. HE announces that this will be his last convention appearance, and then seems bewildered that the entire audience then lines up to meet him for the next 4 hours. The lovely Susan sells out almost everything except 5 copies of The Glass Teat ("you can never have too many!") and a small booklet for $150.

1900--Try to eat at a nearby diner (Tilly's,) where they take 10 minutes to seat me, and then never come to take my order again. After 20 minutes, and overhearing the table next to me complain that the guy on the other side left from inattention, I decamp to Quiznos.

2000--Hugo Awards. HE presents Best Short Story, during which he is told to "be good" and in response tries to consume the microphone. Shortly afterwards, he is presented with a plaque celebrating 50 years as a professional writer and gives a very nice, relatively inoffensive speech.

I have some video of the panels--if it's ok with HE, I can try to upload it or play segments on internet radio. If not...well my Mom enjoyed it.

Congrats HE.

Jennie <jbrwn65@adelphia.net>
California - Sunday, August 27 2006 1:11:28

At L.A. Con IV...
Dear Harlan,

I was the young lady who you asked to move, along with two other guys, so that your friends could sit in some front row seats at your afternoon presentation at L.A. Con IV on Saturday. I have to admit I was a *little* peeved. But I've listened to your two Deep Shag CDs, and I should not have been too surprised. When you're in a place where bombs get thrown, you should expect to get hit with some debris! All is forgiven.

I debated within myself whether or not to ask you to autograph one of my books, but in the end I realized that you owe me nothing; you have given us over fifty years of magnificent dreamscapes (and sometimes nightmarescapes), and that is more than enough. So I say THANK YOU for all of your great work.

Now I can sleep knowing I've taken care of unfinished business...

Robert Morales
New York City, - Saturday, August 26 2006 22:55:57

Long Island juts off the Siamese twins of Queens and Brooklyn like a monstrous growth in a Cordwainer Smith story. JFK Airport is at the Howard Beach border between South Bklyn and L.I.; and the whole of it is a single island many times the size of Manhattan. (Brooklyn itself is one of the largest cities in the U.S., larger than many nations.)

I see your point: I myself have parlayed the times I've been needlessly detained by assholes who clearly don't like my tint into many a wholesome free meal. Nothing stirs up an appetite like the memory of having one's stomach clenched by terror. Yum!

Kevin Kirby <moonbase4@hotmail.com>
San Francisco, CA - Saturday, August 26 2006 22:11:4

Hugos and Suchnot
This is to congratulate Harlan on winning that Hugo Award plaque a few minutes ago.

Great to see you in person again.

Kristin Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Saturday, August 26 2006 21:49:34

current /former new yorkers.....NYC geography.....
We're arguing about Long Island. My parents say Brooklyn and Queens are on Long Island. Is this confusing Long Island Sound with the East River? Or is it really the same landmass? The problem is, the Oxford Atlas of the World isn't very useful with US states (it just has regions, and an inset map showing the boroughs - yeah MANHATTAN is an island, but...Is Long Island an island at all? I thought it was things like where "The Great Gatsby" is set, and definitely NOT part of the city!!! )And is Long Island where JFK Airport is, by the way???

Looking stupid,


Eric Martin
- Saturday, August 26 2006 21:25:5

Jarrar's story is a relative bummer. He wanted attention and he got it. He'll dine out on this for months...look at all the web notice he's getting now. And he got a free t-shirt.

Serioulsy, he can't expect, as an Arab-American, to wear a politically provocative t-shirt with in a US airport these days without being profiled. Sorry, life is unfair, but things are tough all over. He could try wandering around Khomeini International Airport in Iran with a t-shirt that has the Ayatollah in the center of a target (remember those?) and see how he's treated there. I'm guessing they wouldn't just buy him a free t-shirt and move his seat.

Rick Keeney
- Saturday, August 26 2006 20:47:40

James Stewart

...hopping by to encourage you who have missed it to PLEASE enjoy HARVEY (the fill-um).

no longer a HARVEY virgin,

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Saturday, August 26 2006 18:24:42

Songs and shirts
Thank you for the song of the briar and the rose. I've never heard it before, and thought the lyrics were lovely. Anyone have an idea where I might find a recorded copy?


I read Raed Jarrar's story with interest. I'm looking for corroborating (sp?) information regarding it that wasn't linked to the page, but it wouldn't surprise me if something of that idiotic nature happened.

Robert Morales
New York City, - Saturday, August 26 2006 16:56:32

Today's bummer

Ithaca, - Saturday, August 26 2006 15:11:6

Hi, Dorie!
I'm here. Lurkin' daily; writin' rarely. Good to see you back! Hope all is well. Things cook along here in I-town. The students are coming back and thus it begins.... :)

Barb'ra Allen: this is the first song I remember my mother teaching me. I must have been 4 or 5, maybe 6 and she taught me the two verses that appeared in her beginning piano text. We played it at a Grange meeting together--my first solo. I love that song dearly.

John Greenawalt
- Saturday, August 26 2006 14:7:25

300 years old, author unknown

In Scarlet town where I was born,
There was a fair maid dwellin'
Made every youth cry Well-a-day,
Her name was Barb'ra Allen.

All in the merry month of May,
When green buds they were swellin'
Young Willie Grove on his death-bed lay,
For love of Barb'ra Allen.

He sent his servant to her door
To the town where she was dwellin'
Haste ye come, to my master's call,
If your name be Barb'ra Allen.

So slowly, slowly got she up,
And slowly she drew nigh him,
And all she said when there she came:
"Young man, I think you're dying!"

He turned his face unto the wall
And death was drawing nigh him.
Good bye, Good bye to dear friends all,
Be kind to Bar'bra Allen

When he was dead and laid in grave,
She heard the death bell knelling.
And every note, did seem to say
Oh, cruel Barb'ra Allen

"Oh mother, mother, make my bed
Make it soft and narrow
Sweet William died, for love of me,
And I shall die of sorrow."

They buried her in the old churchyard
Sweet William's grave was nigh hers
And from his grave grew a red, red rose
From hers a cruel briar.

They grew and grew up the old church spire
Until they could grow no higher
And there they twined, in a true love knot,
The red rose and the briar.

Dorie <greeneking@aol.com>
Rochester, NY - Saturday, August 26 2006 11:28:3

Ever so pleased!
Lee!! That was going to be my next question, whether you were here. I always enjoyed your stories. Hope you and the family are enjoying Alabama. How'd you end up there?

Another person I was going to ask about was Cindy in Texas (?)--still here? If I remember correctly she was singlehandedly fighting corruption in her hometown and she had a little girl of about age 7 who was besting bullies three times her size.

And Cookie in Ithaca, are you still around?

- Saturday, August 26 2006 8:54:37

Hi Dorie! Nice to see you back.

I've moved twice since you sent the electrolytes for my barfing children.

Currently tasting that special Deep Southern Alabama culture.

Mmmm mmm good, and pass the Early Times.

- Saturday, August 26 2006 7:40:13

forget the roadmap, get printing some song sheets
TIM MINCHIN is, I think, too young and probably too weird looking to pass for a LACON IV attendee (ok, perhaps not); but he's made a big impression at the Edinburgh Fringe. And I think the Aussie comic may have the perfect remedy for the troubled Middle East, with a delightful peace anthem, which goes ...

Er ... on second thoughts it just occurred to me that perhaps I shouldn't post Tim's lyrics without permission. So you'll have to read them by scrolling down the page at


It sounds like a plan to me. If you're able to navigate BBC's Radio 2 web site, you may be able to "listen again" to Tim's song (should be in the last few minutes of "Dara O'Briain & Friends" of 26th Aug).

You'll all be singing it tomorrow.

Frank Church
- Saturday, August 26 2006 7:1:50

From my boy, Steven Zunes:

"There is increasing evidence that Israel instigated a disastrous war on Lebanon largely at the behest of the United States. The Bush administration was set on crippling Hezbollah, the radical Shiite political movement that maintains a sizable block of seats in the Lebanese parliament. Taking advantage of the country's democratic opening after the forced departure of Syrian troops last year, Hezbollah defied U.S. efforts to democratize the region on American terms. The populist party's unwillingness to disarm its militia as required by UN resolution -- and the inability of the pro-Western Lebanese government to force them to do so -- led the Bush administration to push Israel to take military action.

In his May 23 summit with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President George W. Bush offered full U.S. support for Israel to attack Lebanon as soon as possible. Seymour Hersh, in the August 21 New Yorker, quotes a Pentagon consultant on the Bush administration's longstanding desire to strike "a preemptive blow against Hezbollah." The consultant added, "It was our intent to have Hezbollah diminished, and now we have someone else doing it.""

The evidence is becoming damning. Too bad the media will bury it, like they always do.


Have fun today, you guys. Don't get Harlan too riled. When he mentioned that essay collection I almost came. Who needs foreplay when the Deathbird shines balls like a champ.

- Friday, August 25 2006 22:47:20

Harlan - If all else fails, I can replace the ones that need it - I tend to keep spares in the file, and if I don't have 'em, I can have them done post haste, no prob. I have vacation prints processing next week, so I can batch in any you need. Let me know.

John Greenawalt
- Friday, August 25 2006 21:4:41

There's always a catch

The positive energy in matter and the negative energy of gravity exist in such a perfect balance that you would only have to add an ounce of matter to create a new universe. The catch is that the ounce would have to be incredibly compressed.

Steve Dooner <sdooner@earthlink.net>
South Weymouth , MA - Friday, August 25 2006 20:45:21

Steve Dooner's e-mail
Hi Rick,

My e-mail is sdooner@earthlink.net or sdooner@quincycollege.edu or sdooner@comcast.net. Take your pick.

Steve Dooner

- Friday, August 25 2006 20:43:24


Not at all a "sore" subject, I just guess I never got around to answering DTS (Dorman Shindler)'s question, back a while ago. The columns I did for BUZZ -- I think there were four of them --are among my personal essay favorites, particularly the ones I did on the Nixon Library; and the Charles Keating piece. No, they haven't been reprinted. Yet. But they'll go into my next essay collection, already in preparation.

Keep watching the skies.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Greg Hurd
- Friday, August 25 2006 20:22:23

Not household, but my all time favorite has been rubber cement thinner, which works great on most any surface-will take off any alcohol or solvent based debris but does not harm underlying surfaces that have dried or cured with additives (printed ink, emulsion, plastics, ++). Most craft, office supply places have it. Anything off an inkjet or similar printer is iffy, including those faux photoprint jobbies for home computers. Rubbing alcohol may even work, but use with caution.

Daniel B.
- Friday, August 25 2006 19:18:1


"I worked in photofinishing for 15 years. Hair spray can work for ink. spray it on and immediately rub with a soft cloth or kleenex. Then wash print under cool water. sqeegie off excess water on a flat surface and blow dry with a hair dryer. You can wash and dry any print this way that got water spots or a little food on it."



Might be woth a try?

- Friday, August 25 2006 18:47:4


The following is direct text from scientists - not dorks on radio; not shmoes off the street; not bought-off voices in behalf of the oil industry; not the self-appointed experts of this board - but from the technical people who know exactly what they're looking at:

"The climate of the earth is indeed warming, with an increase of approximately 1 – 1½ degrees Fahrenheit in the past century. The warming has taken place as averaged globally and annually; significant regional and seasonal variations exist. The amount of warming in the upper atmosphere has been more difficult to quantify, but new research shows a trend similar to that near the surface.

Impacts can already be seen, especially in the Arctic, with melting glaciers, retreat and thinning of sea ice, and thawing permafrost affecting human populations as well as animals and vegetation. There and elsewhere, rising sea level is increasing coastal vulnerability.

Odds are now leaning toward increased frequency and intensity of heat waves in the warm season and warm spells in the cold season in parts of the world, as well as reduced frequency of low temperature extremes.

In some regions there has been a tendency for an increase in precipitation extremes, both wet (including floods) and dry (droughts). These observations over the past several decades are consistent with what theory and global climate models would suggest.

Global warming cannot be ruled out as a contributing factor to recent increased hurricane activity.

Human Influence:

To what extent the current warming is due to human activity is complicated because large and sometimes sudden climate changes have occurred throughout our planet's history - most of them before humans could possibly have been a factor. Furthermore, the sun/atmosphere/land/ocean "climate system" is extraordinarily complex.

However, it is known that burning of fossil fuels injects additional carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This in turn increases the naturally occurring "greenhouse effect," a process in which our atmosphere keeps the earth's surface much warmer than it would otherwise be.

More than a century’s worth of detailed climate observations show a sharp increase in both carbon dioxide and temperature. These observations, together with computer model simulations and historical climate reconstructions from ice cores, ocean sediments and tree rings all provide strong evidence that the majority of the warming over the past century is a result of human activities. This is also the conclusion drawn, nearly unanimously, by climate scientists. Any meaningful debate on the topic amongst climate experts is over.

Humans are also changing the climate on a more localized level. The replacement of vegetation by buildings and roads is causing temperature increases through what's known as the urban heat island effect. In addition, land use changes are affecting impacts from weather phenomena. For example, urbanization and deforestation can cause an increased tendency for flash floods and mudslides from heavy rain. Deforestation also produces a climate change "feedback" by depleting a source which absorbs carbon dioxide.

The Future:

The bottom line is that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, a significant warming trend is expected to also continue. The ability to adapt will be crucial. Potential outcomes range from moderate and manageable to extreme and catastrophic, depending on a number of factors including location and type of effect, and amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Not every location and its inhabitants will be affected equally, but the more the planet warms, the fewer "winners" and the more "losers" there will be as a result of the changes in climate. The potential exists for the climate to reach a "tipping point," beyond which radical and irreversible changes occur."


"Today's atmosphere contains 32 per cent more carbon dioxide than it did at the start of the industrial era. Levels of methane and carbon dioxide are the highest they have been in nearly half a million years.

The Kyoto Protocol covers six greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride. Of these six gases, three are of primary concern because they are closely associated to human activities.

Carbon dioxide is the main contributor to climate change, especially through the burning of fossil fuels.

Methane is produced naturally when vegetation is burned, digested or rotted without the presence of oxygen. Large amounts of methane are released by cattle farming, waste dumps, rice farming and the production of oil and gas.

Nitrous oxide, released by chemical fertilizers and burning fossil fuels, has a global warming potential 310 times that of carbon dioxide."

- Dr. David Suzuki

Todd, REALLY think about this, because it doesn't challenge the imagination too much:

Since the beginning of the 20th century we've thrusted methane and octane into the atmosphere 24 hours day worldwide. Multiply that by the global population, and the range of fossil fuels being burned ceaselessly - unlike anything the face of the earth has ever seen. HOW? HOW can you believe that will NOT have an effect on the atmosphere and the planet? These emissions are in addition to all the other sources of damage, including destruction of the rainforests. Next time you're in a long, hot traffic jam stretched for endless miles, try to imagine the concentration and damage is ultimately HAS to produce. There's no way it CAN'T cause damage.

Here's an additional point about emissions:

Cars also cause water pollution. As we drive, our cars and trucks leave bits of tires, brakes and rusty metal on the street. When we park, our cars and trucks leave stains of oil, grease, and transmission fluid on driveways and parking lots. Less visible are the tiny exhaust particles that gradually settle out of the air or come down with the rain.

Well, the rain washes auto pollutants off the pavement, down the gutter, and into storm drains. Under these drains are storm sewers - pipes that carry the dirty water to rivers, lakes, streams or wetlands.

Even on sunny days, polluted water often flows out of storm sewers. To understand why, take a walk to a small stream in your town. Do you see mounds of foam? Streaks of blue? An oily sheen? The foam may come from soapy water that runs down the street when we wash cars in our driveways. The bright blue streaks are probably antifreeze drained from radiators.

That's just the tip of the iceberg where human activity is concerned.

Finally, consider the guys who pose themselves as the "skeptics":

The coal and oil companies, including ExxonMobil. They also have well-documented connections with public relations firms that have set up industry-funded lobby groups to - in the words of one leaked memo - "reposition global warming as theory (not fact)."

...and, yes, Todd, Gore's film did an excellent job conveying it as it is. It doesn't even take half a brain to perceive that.

- Friday, August 25 2006 18:37:29


What a poopyhead I am!

Doug Lane (FinderDoug to y'all) sent me this nifty packet of photos from the Grand Master ceremony last May in Tempe, so I get around--today--to writing names of who's who in the pix...on the back of each...with a blue Flair...and then I stacki 'em...and transferred some of the blue onto the front of five of the pix.


I know there's got to be some simple household tip substance that does the job without harming the photo, but I don't have the faintest what it would be. Help is requested.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Dorie Jennings <greeneking@aol.com>
Rochester , NY - Friday, August 25 2006 16:10:57

Haven't visited in a while
Hello all, just dropped in to see how things are in the Pavilion, I think it's been a couple of years. Nice to see there are still familiar names: Frank Church, Todd Cassel, lonegungirl, Faisal Qureshi, Eric Martin... glad the conversation's still going.

all the best from Dorie in Rochester

Brian Phillips <hagar@mindspring.com>
McDonough (Visiting NY), GA - Friday, August 25 2006 14:45:49

The Egg Magazine Mix-Up
Dear Mr. Ellison,

Here is what seems to have gone on in my head:

1. There was a magazine called Egg, which was one of the last projects that Malcolm Forbes oversaw and it was started about 1990. I bought the first issue of it, but only because I liked to get the first issue of things I might like. It was the size of a record album and it had various articles. It lasted for a few issues, died, came back several years later and died again.

2. There was ALSO a magazine called Buzz, also started around 1990. I believe it was THIS magazine that you wrote for.

3. There was a time that I didn't fuse things together in my mind and confuse people, including myself; this time seems to have passed.

So, my revised question would be whether the Buzz magazine columns have been or will be anthologized, but I looked at the archives and saw a similar question asked by one "DTS" back in 2004. I looked for a response and didn't see one, so if this is a sore subject, I will happily change it.

The following is an offer to Mr. Ellison ONLY. Please do not ask me to do the same for you.

As we were discussing our appreciation of the Goon Show, I remembered that I have a VHS copy of a performance of an entire Goon Show from 1966. I believe that John Cleese takes over the Greenslade role of announcing and it is NOT commercially available, nor am I seeking money for it, but would you like a copy of it? It is not the "Last Goon Show of All", it's a vintage script, re-done for a TV special. If you'd rather enjoy the show as an audio experience, I understand. However, I enjoy it, because it is nice to see what all the audiences saw at a Goon Show recording.

Brian Phillips

Frank Andrews
St. Paul, Minnesota - Friday, August 25 2006 14:28:35

Some of you, including our estimable host, may be interested in a couple of recent posts over at Tim Lucas's blog. (videowatchdog.blogspot.com). His postings of 21 and 22 August concern writers and the internet, and the printed word v. the internet. Well worth checking out.

John Greenawalt
- Friday, August 25 2006 12:21:49

How do you like this one Harlan?


Song dates from 1843 and is still kicking!

DTS <none>
- Friday, August 25 2006 12:1:27

Exile on Sympatico Street
STEVE: In sympathy to your self-exile, I now make a stupid move that will take me to the same island (street?) -- largely because I wanted to let you know that Mr. Shindler isn't perturbed -- not even preturbed, come to think of it. And here I thought my last "rule" (not to mention the obvious outrageousness of telling someone when to mourn) would be a dead-giveaway as to the comedic tone of my post. The Bard was right: Dying IS easy...Comedy (Cah-muddee as my Aunt Slappy would say) is hard.

Hope this clears things up for the rest o' the sensitive souls in Webderland
Putting myself in Exile with the Barber, I remain,
DTS (AKA, Skippy).

- Friday, August 25 2006 11:49:31

Frank says "scientific truth is that global warming is real and it is caused by car exhaust"

Um, no it's not. Car emissions may in fact be a contributor, but they are not the root cause.

Please look on the "other board" for my glorious, all-singing, all-dancing "Global Warming Disambiguation" thread. I will post my thoughts and allow you to "et tu, Brute" me with your steely (yet Harlan, Steve and Rick non-offending) knives.

If I don't get to it shortly, feel free to beat me to the punch.

Steve B
- Friday, August 25 2006 11:17:21


Sorry to stress you unnecessarily. Insert "According to the WorldCon schedule" before "Harlan Ellison, etc" and it will make more sense. I wasn't trying to be oblique, it just came out naturally, I guess.

I will remain silent tomorrow in penance for the second post (but Mr. Shindler seemed perturbed).

Frank Church
- Friday, August 25 2006 11:15:47

Todd, please no more, you are making Carl Sagan roll around in his grave. Gosh, dern, guy, science is about consensus, the praxis is clear: the overwhelming scientific truth is that global warming is real and it is caused by car exhaust, as a chief resource of it. When you drive your Explorer, you are telling the rest of us to go fuck ourselves. Litter, pee in the alley, fondle the crossing guard, put a hitler Mustache on the Mona Lisa, but please no more Kool Aid chatter. I love you, I really do, but ohhhhhhhh, my hed.

Beaverton, OR - Friday, August 25 2006 11:3:8

So they take Pluto off the register of known planets in our solar system...so what? It is not likely we will be visiting with a manned spaceship in the near future....isn't it? Hell, we will be damned lucky to make it to Mars...if at all in the next twenty or so years...by then I will either be dead or drooling down my chin at eighty.

DTS <none>
- Friday, August 25 2006 10:58:59

NEW RULES for WEBDERLAND (w/apologies to Bill Maher)
NEW RULE: You can no longer post cryptic messages expecting everyone to know what the fuck yer talking about, i.e., Steve Barber's last post. (What the fuck, Steve?!)
NEW RULE: You can no longer go into mourning on this board over a public figure who has been dead over a month (see Stan Beaverton's last post): There ARE expiration dates on public chest beating and the wearing of cyber-shrouds.
NEW RULE: You can no longer post (and post...and post) about the change in status of Pluto, which has always --FER FUCKS SAKE!-- been little more than an oddly shaped rock (Hell, the guy who disovered it was from Kansas, and we know THEIR standing when it comes to REAL science).
NEW RULE: No more table dances by Harlan (cut that shit out, buddy boy).

Thank you, and good night.

- Friday, August 25 2006 10:9:56

Harlan takes on another giant.

Steve B <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Friday, August 25 2006 9:19:14



What to do, what to do...

(BTW, Susan, looking forward to getting some of that "Good Stuff". I have cash and am not afraid to use it.)

Kell Brown <kel@archenemy.ca>
Toronto, - Friday, August 25 2006 8:3:37

Oh great! I was writing a short story called "Paralytic on Pluto" and now I'll have to change it to "Sloshed on Saturn" or "Numb on Neptune" or something equally unsatisfying.

An even greater tragedy is that I can longer quote Robin Williams. I'll have to paraphrase and now say, "Pluto, it's a Mickey Mouse DWARF planet". It's doesn't flow as nicely.

- Friday, August 25 2006 7:35:25

Wow as soon as I posted my poem the conversation immediately turned to Shakespeare. You guys are embarrassing me. I guess my mother was right!

Heh heh Heh.

Folks, Pluto is not an also-ran world, it is the gateway to the Kuiper Belt, a strange and wonderful realm where we may get a glimpse of the primordial Solar System.

This is a wonderful educational opportunity. Any teachers out there listening?

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Friday, August 25 2006 6:10:42

Ashwin, here is the statistical data on Ceres:

Ceres follows an orbit between Mars and Jupiter, within the main asteroid belt, with a period of 4.6 years. The orbit is moderately inclined (i=10.6° to be compared with 7° for Mercury and 17° for Pluto) and moderately eccentric (e=0.08 to compare with 0.09 for Mars).

Perhaps I should have used the modifier moderately complex, rather than complex. I apologize for that confusion.

However, the rationale for the inclusion of Ceres as a dwarf planet remains murky to me. It orbits Jupiter, rather than the sun, and there are larger bodies that have been found within the Kuiper Belt.

Todd, I think you need to do a bit more research on global warming, as you say you believe that it is happening, but seem to doubt man's impact on the environment.

You ask how can we know what the climate was thousands or millions of years ago. The way we know what the temperature was during those periods is through various methods including ice cores, examining tree rings, and through the effect on sea coral.

The scientific community is unanimous in its belief that humanity is causing global warming. Even the scientific advisers in the White House have agreed that we are a major contributing factor to global warming.

Policy decisions related to that are a separate discussion but the science underpinning the existence of the phenomena is without question. Whether or not the US signs onto the Kyoto Agreement (which is not being enforced or followed in almost any of the signatory countries, and from whose standards both China and India are exempt), makes more of an effort to promote alternative fuels, or creates policies that encourage conservation are completely separate topics.

However, it is completely false to imply that this is not occurring. As for Frank Church, he is not a figment of our imagination, but I do believe he is comprised of dark matter.



Los Angeles, - Friday, August 25 2006 4:0:43


After 2 days, I have the following observations:

1) It's a really long walk from the Mickey and Friends parking lot to the Convention Center.
2) It suddenly got roasting hot around Anaheim.
3) The con is a much nicer experience than the SD Comic Con--way fewer people and a ton of programming.
4) I'm not sure whether it's because these past days have been weekdays, but there are apparently no SF fans under the age of 30 anymore, from the looks of it.

More news as it happens...

- Thursday, August 24 2006 22:19:2




Why don't IIIIIIIII remember such a magazine?

You say I wrote for it?

Tell me more, please. I'm drawing a blank.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Chuck Messer <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
Lakewood, Colorado - Thursday, August 24 2006 21:1:14

Pluto is not dead.

Let's see what the New Horizons probe finds in nine years and then...

...a few surprises, as Duane pointed out.

Didn't someone recently *expand* the number of planets in our system, including some other bodies out there? Wasn't it expanded to twelve? What the hell?

This to Susan:

Got my issue of Rabbit Hole #39 and the complimentary issue 38.

Thank you, thank you. You are a goddess.

You and Harlan run one classy joint.

Thanks, guys.


paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
austin, TX - Thursday, August 24 2006 19:55:37

In memorium, at planetarium
I thought astronomers were supposed to discover planets. Not lose them.
Why do i actually care about this chunk o' rock spinning with us around the sun? Why does this bother me, not in the "big scheme of things" way, but in the "i thought the planets, our planets, would be there for us and our kids" kinda way.
How can my daughter make a mobile without Pluto? Why is her 2nd grade solar system structure, made out of styrofoam balls and wire, now obsolete? Every planetarium owner will have to change the layout, not to mention the textbooks and episodes of COSMOS. It gives one pause, again, not in an earth-shattering way, just as though something were off. Something a tad askew. As if The Mayor of New York decided to rename the Empire State Building 'Old Grand 350 Fifth Avenue'. It's there, but generations that grew up with it only have it's former status as a memory.
Ah, the heck with it. It's not like any old-timers will preface any great stories with, "I'll tell you, you whippersnapper, back when Pluto was a REAL PLANET...".
Not even 100 years, in name.
What can you say about a planet that died.......

Rick Keeney <rick_keeney@yahoo.com>
- Thursday, August 24 2006 18:21:55


does anyone here in the entire scientific community have Steve Dooner's email addy?

Steve, you out there?
Pls email me.

Any of ya'll got an MFA in Creative Writing? hmm?

Hi, Unca Harlan.
Bye, Pluto.


Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Thursday, August 24 2006 17:36:28


Peg is right in that my post was commenting on the hype; of the fear that the media was pushing with anticipation of the upcoming hurricane season. The hubbub that has thus far led to nothing (and yes, I'm sure we'll get a hurricane or two, don't we always?). My mention of Gore's film is simply because that helped feed the fear as it was released early in the summer.

Also, I do believe in Global Warming, but I don't believe in it the way Rob and all his scientific facts and informed opinions wants me to believe it. You see, Rob thinks that just because many scientists will state their theories and facts confirming that Global Warming is a human made disaster on the rise, that there are absolutely no scientists in the world who will pose different theories. Rob thinks that because he believes it and has read his articles and watched his documentaries, that it's a fact and no one would ever state otherwise. Rob thinks that using Harlan's oft-quoted-on-this-site INFORMED opinion entitlement comment will put me in my place because I'm just a moron right-winger who does nothing but drink the Kool-Aid (vs. the left-winger Crystal Light?) and read Rush Limbaugh books.

Yes, Rob is right on my opinion on Global Warming as a manmade phenomenon. But, mind you, I do believe in the fact that Global Warming exists and the effects that it will have on this planet over time. The difference is, that I also believe (and this ain't a religion, people) that Global Warming has happened in the past. Many times in the past. In the past when records were not kept because no one was around to keep them. The Earth warmed, the Earth went into Ice Age, the Earth quaked well before man stepped on board. Though our technological excretions might now contribute ever so slightly to a warming event, it's not the root cause. Nature is.

How many weather events must people hold up as proof of Global Warming? A bad hurricane season? A soft hurricane season? A summer of heat waves? A rainy summer? A winter of blizzards? A mild winter? More tornadoes, less tornadoes, colder, hotter, the fact that my pug has started lifting his left leg to pee instead of his right?

How long have we superior beings been recording global temperature trends in relation to the age of the planet? How informed are we all, truly, when we still can't agree on what killed the dinosaurs, if existence is made of superstring and whether or not Frank Church is a figment of our imaginations?

Peg was right on her interpretation of that one post. Rob was right in my opinion of a Global Warming that is manmade. Rob is wrong in his portrayal of my opinion as not informed.....he just feels that anyone who does not agree with his opinion and read his authors cannot be informed. Selah.

Hey, it rained here in Phoenix this morning. I think it was because I started driving an Explorer a couple of years ago.


- Thursday, August 24 2006 16:14:41

...Ah, Pluto...ya poor li'l fuck!

Anyway...yes, Peg...

" I wouldn't say you were either generous or stingy, merely misdirected??"

I would put my cards down that Todd DOES consider global warming to be bullshit; I can infer that from his complete discarding of Gore's film, which is supported by the entire scientific community. I DID end my post to him in the conditional, but I disagree with you. I think it's easy to read into Todd's words, and knowing his posting history helps a lot too.

I leave it at that; how you perceive it from there is your own business.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Thursday, August 24 2006 13:40:36


Frank Church
- Thursday, August 24 2006 13:22:32

Pluto gets kicked in the nuts and all anybody can do is make little jokes. Pluto may have not meant much to you all, but Pluto meant a hell of a lot to me. Pluto, my dear, my everything, don't let them get you down. Too much elitism and bad comic books. I will hold you and make it ok. Let Uncle Frank make it better.

"I left my hearrrrrrrrrrrt, dockeddd innn Plutttoooooo!!!!"

- Thursday, August 24 2006 13:4:10

as we appear to be talking science this week

Where oh WHERE do you get your information from?

Ganymede and Callisto - "the two most likely places where we might find multicellular life"? Really? Not Titan or Europa or Mars or (hell) even Venus? Who is making this bold claim? It could almost be Angstrom Medal material.

Ceres "has a complex orbit between Mars and Jupiter"? I'd agree with this, but for the word "complex". What do you mean by a complex orbit? It doesn't look like a particularly eccentric or chaotic orbit to me.

References please, Mark - it ain't proper science without citations.

But, yes, I agree with your other sentiments. The big Jovian satellites, being about the size of Mercury: If they were orbiting the Sun rather than another planetary body, they would be referred to as planets.

Way I look at it is this: If we lived on (say) Saturn, we would declare that there were only 4 planets in the Solar System (and a dozen or so rocky cores that could barely scrape together an atmosphere).


Think of it not so much losing a planet as gaining an extended family of trans-Neptunian objects. Clyde Tombaugh still keeps his place in the history books, that's what really counts.

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Thursday, August 24 2006 12:52:9

Re: Sheer Fussiness
> This one is almost as common -- though not as irritating -- as > the repeated popular references to "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore
> art thou Romeo" as if "wherefore" meant where, when it means
> why. (Juliet is asking why Romeo can't go by some other name, > since it is his family name that is at war with hers.)

Good point! Play it again, Sam!

Erm, no wait...that was never said in the movie...

How about... Planet again, Pluto!

Beaverton, OR - Thursday, August 24 2006 12:30:8

Jack Warden Passing
I know its a month late, but I just saw on IMdb that Jack Warden had passed away for real into the Twilight Zone. His passing will be missed...like DARREN MCGAVIN (another character actor icon), their talent is what made stars out of some actors and actresses who couldn't act their way out of a paper bag.

Brian Phillips <hagar@mindspring.com>
McDonough(currently visiting NY), GA - Thursday, August 24 2006 12:17:49

Egg Columns
As always, my apologies if this has been asked before, or if this is a sore subject.

There was a magazine in the 90's, called "Egg". I bought the first issue, but I lost track of it. I bought it because it was the first issue and also because it had a column by Harlan Ellison in it.

Will those columns be in a future anthology and how many of them were there? I cannot recall the name of the column, because the magazine is packed away and I haven't looked at it for about fifteen years.

Brian Phillips

Los Angeles - Thursday, August 24 2006 12:4:44

When Ceres was first discovered, it was hailed as a "new planet" between Mars and Jupiter. Once astronomers of the day learned more about it (and especially once they discovered a couple of dozen others orbiting nearby), they defined a new type of celestial object (Asteroid) and demoted it to that status.

Unfortunately for Pluto, it was too small and too far for astronomers to find out more about it. I remember when astronomers thought it was almost the size of Neptune. The problem is, not much more was known about it for over 70 years, so generations of kids grew up with the conception that Pluto was indeed a planet.

God bless Clyde Tombaugh, but what he discovered was the first KBO object. However, this does not discount Pluto's importance to us. We just sent out New Horizons, one of our fastest interplanetary probes, to explore it, and I guarantee you that what we will find when it arrives in 9 years will surprise even the most jaded planetary scientist. Who would have thought we'd find Nitrogen geysers on Triton?

Regarding Ganymede and Callisto being "planets": They are indeed planet size, but unfortunately they happen to orbit an object that has already been designated a planet, which makes them moons. Moons, by the way, that have the distinction of being possible habitats for life. Titan is the size of Mercury and it has an atmosphere thicker than Earth's, but it is a moon all the same. This does not in any way discount its importance.

Isaac Asimov once argued that the Earth Moon system could be considered a double planet system -- not just because of the Moon's size, but because of its size relative to Earth. No other moon in the solar system measures up so close in size to its primary. Not even Ganymede, which isn't that much smaller than Mars.

Planets, Moons, Dwarf Planets, Ice Giants, Ice Dwarfs KBO objects, Oort cloud, Brown Dwarfs, Dark Matter "Galaxies".... it's getting pretty crowded out there. How lucky we are to be living in these times.



I'd sure like to meet you all. Not exactly certain if I can make it, but I'll try. That "taster membership" idea with the three hour time limit will help. If you do see me, I'll be the one wearing track shoes.

John Greenawalt
- Thursday, August 24 2006 11:13:14

To Loftus on Shakespeare
The complete works of Shakespeare are not so complete. Two of his plays were never found (although we know their titles.) And as to the claim that Shakespeare didn't write his own plays, his friend Ben Johnson was an eyewitness who saw him write several of them. Shakespeare's grave is inside a church, 17 feet deep, and has never been disturbed.

Jim Davis
- Thursday, August 24 2006 10:56:51

Pluto got what it deserved! Lousy little oblong-orbiting freeloader! It's been riding on Neptune's coattails for too long! WE MUST SECURE OUR SYSTEM'S BORDERS! IF SOME DWARF WANTS TO BE CALLED A PLANET, THEN ACCRETE THE NECESSARY MASS, JUST LIKE WE DID!

(Okay, I'll miss the little bugger, too.)

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Thursday, August 24 2006 10:41:25

What confuses me more than Pluto being moved down to dwarf planet status is that Ganymede and Callisto were not afforded the same designation.

They are the two most likely places in the solar system where we might find multicellular life. Both moons are larger than Pluto and Ceres and both contain an atmosphere (however thin it is).

Has anyone seen a rationale why they were not changed in planetary status? The argument that they are both satellites of Jupiter does not make sense, as Ceres also has a complex orbit between Mars and Jupiter.

David Loftus <dloft59@earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Thursday, August 24 2006 9:48:15

Sheer fussiness

> Alas, Poor Pluto, We Knew You Well...

Just a polite reminder from your resident Shakespearean and pecksniff.

Despite decades of "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well," there is no "well" in Shakespeare: it is "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. . . ."

Hamlet can't say he knew Yorick well, because he was only a boy when the dead man was a working fool in the court (he has to have been dead a good while, since he has resurfaced as a nice, clean skull), who used to carry Hamlet around on his back.

This one is almost as common -- though not as irritating -- as the repeated popular references to "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo" as if "wherefore" meant where, when it means why. (Juliet is asking why Romeo can't go by some other name, since it is his family name that is at war with hers.)

But yes, I mourn the loss of Pluto as well.

- Thursday, August 24 2006 9:20:4

On the Occasion of Pluto Losing Its Status as a Planet - A Poem
So, the crown is tipped from my head,

the placement at the banquet is haughtily removed,

The pedants and baldheads have spoken.

But out here in the starry twilight perpetual

Where glittering ghosts breath in and out of the gloom

And gaze out not in,

With your Buddha’s half-smile, saying

"I know something you don’t know."

Sunwards, squishy softness celebrates for a season.

But methane frost is forever.

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlingtoin, VA - Thursday, August 24 2006 8:43:5

Anaheim, Part deux

Thank you for the info about the 5. That aspect of CA life slipped my mind. I have been to SoCal about 30 times, and have experienced first-hand the abysmal traffic situation. In the early 90s I worked for the Mills Corporation, so was out there frequently for The Block in OC, and Ontario Mills (where I felt my first earthquake!). Used to fly in to John Wayne and stay in the Hyatt Newporter. But, I did not know there was an airport in Long Beach. I got the ticket I got because it satisfied 2 major criteria: it flew from National Airport, and it was $318.00; JetBlue couldn't touch that on such short notice, and they fly from Dulles, if I'm not mistaken.

Am very much looking forward to meeting you, finally. I'll try to be at the Starbucks, but I'm not drinking any of that acidic toxic waste they call coffee. (Actually, I don't even think they call it coffee anymore, because that would be false advertising: instead, you can order a grande Columbia Narino Supremo, derived from coffee beans and the testicles of pack mules.) And that's a medium drink.

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone else from here is going to be there. Have you heard anything? I'd like to meet Duane and Rob, and I think they're both in SoCal....



Steven Prete <steven.prete@gmail.com>
Boston, MA - Thursday, August 24 2006 8:8:8

Eric: There has been backlash even before the decision was made. Many people, including John Scalzi, have been arguing to keep Pluto as a planet. No doubt they'll become more vocal with time. Although the arguments against it being a planet are fairly convincing and sound, it seems that most people will not want to give up what they are used to having as a planet.
For some strange reason, ever since this whole debate started in the media, I've really felt like I'm living in the future. Despite all of the advances I've seen in my short life, from plasma TVs to Roombas, there's just something about celestial decisions that make me feel like we're moving forward.

Eric Martin
- Thursday, August 24 2006 7:53:29

It will always be a planet for me, just like "apatasaurus" remains brontosaurus. Fred Flintstone didn't eat apatoburgers, and My Very Elegant Mother Just Sat Upon Nine Porcupines, baby.

Sometimes "science" forgets about culture. I wonder if we'll see some backlash...pro-Pluto websites and the like.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Thursday, August 24 2006 7:46:12

Alas, Poor Pluto, We Knew You Well...

The celestial body known as Pluto was dealt a harsh blow today when a cadre of human scientists from Earth voted it off the planetary island.

To assist with the global shock and awe, the scientists issued the following pneumonic to hurry the recovery: "My Very Elegant Mother Just Sat Upon Nothing"

No word yet on whether Pluto will appeal.

DTS <none>
- Thursday, August 24 2006 6:11:58

SUSAN: Thankyouthankyouthankyou, for not using the heart of Paul Haggis (he's just getting started and we want to give 'im a chance -- besides, I wouldn't have been able to explain finding a _man's_ heart in our bed to the live-in). I gotta go take a shower and wash this animal blood off. Yours in cupidity, Dorman (who is happy it wasn't a horse's head, and who will never spell sheep, or calf, bits wrong again).

- Thursday, August 24 2006 5:13:11

Does Frank have a brother, and is his name John?

John Greenawalt
- Wednesday, August 23 2006 21:51:4

Any big name fiction writer is a household word. How many people can name America's greatest song writers without looking them up? For the record, Harry Warren is number one and Harold Arlen is number two among the all time greats.

Michael D. Blum <leftearpro@hotmail.com>
Albuquerque, NM - Wednesday, August 23 2006 21:47:14

Several years ago, I was canoeing on the Orinoco river when my tiny boat was overturned by a passing ahuizotl. While struggling to shore, the canoe hit me on the head and I passed out. I came to three days later in a small thatched hut belonging to a shaman of the Yanomami tribe. There, in the darkest corner of his hut, he had his village's greatest treasure, carefully preserved in paper made from the bark of the araguaney tree (oddly enough, handwritten with a garbled translation of "No Tengo Boca, Pero Debo Gritar"). With great solemnity he showed me the mystical artifact... The Heart of Haggis.

Ever since, I can only sleep during the day, and only with a toy lamb stuffed with oatmeal.

- Wednesday, August 23 2006 18:50:40

on tempests in teapots

I have re-read both your post and Todd's.

I saw no mention in Todd's of his belief or lack thereof in global warming, and only an off-hand reference in the comment of Al Gore's recent film. In fact, to me it seemed his point was more the lack of evenhandness in reporting the variations in severe weather and the tendency of news to be the harbinger of doom.

Your conditional closing notwithstanding, your own post appeared more concerned on global warming, and to a lesser extent Todd's view of it. Your second post, addressed to me, raised it again. My point is you seem to be reading things into Todd's post that weren't necessarily there in the first place, regardless of how much they are related. Frank mentioned it, but not Todd. I wouldn't say you were either generous or stingy, merely misdirected??

It's entirely possible I've misunderstood the intent of your and/or Todd's posts. (In fact, on second reading, Frank's post is more tempered than I first credited.) If so, my apologies. The whole exchange has now undoubtedly taken up more Pavillion space than is due, and I've no wish to argue further over what was meant vs what was wrote.


Derek Anderson <djande@gmail.com>
St. Paul, MN - Wednesday, August 23 2006 18:29:39

Ellison in the ODDEST Places
I recently switched to teaching High School after teaching Middle School for four years. The classroom I'm moving into was once home to a veritable packrat of an English teacher who filled her classroom with every possible resource she ran across (or could pick up at garage sales, or out of the trash . . .).

Sifting through the stacks of textbooks and workbooks, one book caught my eye: PATTERNS OF LITERARY ART: THEMES IN SCIENCE FICTION By Leo P. Kelley, published in 1972. Curious, I pulled it out and cracked open the table of contents.

The first name I saw was our very own Harlan Ellison, whose story SOLDIER appears on page 219. Other notable names on the list include Spinrad, Asimov, Sheckley, Fredric Brown, PK Dick, Saberhagen, Matheson, Kornbluth, and Fritz Leiber!

Pretty darn amazing mix of talent. I only wish I had a class set of these beauties -- just think of the class discussions we could have! If only the High School textbook makers of TODAY had such an eye for quality writing.



John pacer
Philly soon, Pennsylvania - Wednesday, August 23 2006 17:38:40

Eric is right. My father is a scientist. He's got a Ph.D. in Nuclear Chemistry to be specific. I once saw him get into a heated argument with some Environmental scientists over the reason why there was a high level of mercury in the water in certain parts of PA. They claimed it was due to the nuclear power plants. My dad said it had to do with the specific geology of the region and would've been there anyway. Beats me who's right. I haven't researched it myself. The point being that scientists are human beings, not gods, and are subject to the same inadequaces and fallibilities as everyone else.

Eric Martin
- Wednesday, August 23 2006 16:17:27

>I listen to a scientific consensus.<

My wife is a high school biology teacher, and she always gets a chuckle when she hears some newsanchor on the telly talk about "the scientific community," or "scientists," as if they were some unified group that meets every third Tuesday at the Elks club.

Most scientists in this country and abroad are employees of large corporations, doing corporate research for corporate interests, which fosters intense competition and secrecy in the profession, not really "consensus." Not a few are working for their goverments, usually in the military wing, where the rivalries and secrets are even more pronounced.

The (very) small minority to which Rob is no doubt referring are the university professors and free-lance researchers hired by special interest groups...and it should be noted that anyone with a degree in science can call themselves a scientist, no matter who is sponsoring their research. Since many of these individuals also do side work for corporatia and their national governments (Noam Chomsky, for example, did a great deal of work for the Pentagon in the 50s), even this group is not immune from the influences and restrictions those employers require.

So, cite "scientific consensus" if you must. But I'd caution you on believing it to be some over-arching, universalist theory of the world. You're pretty much parroting the research in the small handful of journals that suits your needs. Not saying it's not true, but let's not make "scientists" into some kind of grand collective of wisdom.

- Wednesday, August 23 2006 16:16:11

Dorman and David:

You'll find the still beating heart of a Haggis in your beds tonight.

Innocently, Susan

Cynthia Rosiek <rdrrabbit@comcast.net>
San Jose, CA - Wednesday, August 23 2006 15:20:40

Just a thank you........
I have nothing to discuss, well, that's a lie, I do actually ..... but will leave that for another time.

What I simply wanted to say, if Mr. Ellison does indeed receive these emails, is 'thank you'. Mr. Ellison you are a thought provoking author and a damn good storyteller. To my mind there is nothing greater a person can be ....... so guess you're pretty tops on my list. You have added to my life, you've made me think and made me proud when my views match yours (want to talk tv and the denegration of society? ... smile).

I'm one of those superfast typists and get run on of the fingers quite quickly, so I'll stop while I'm ahead. Just one more time, from the bottom of this menopausal woman's heart ... thank you, Mr. Ellison.

Truly, Cynthia

- Wednesday, August 23 2006 13:51:59

Zombies In The Stratosphere

Peg...PEGGY?...Slow DOWN Peggy...

You might want to re-read MY post to Todd as well: My closing was in the conditional. I said, “ASSUMING you are discarding the reality of global warming all together”. And given Todd’s sneering, self-assured broadstrokes, sans any real effort to separate fact from fancy – as he doesn’t KNOW for sure whether or not the frequency of heat waves and hurricanes may WELL be increasing DUE to global warming, and I really doubt he’s consulted the data provided by scientists (too logical a step for right wingers) - I'd say I was being kinda generous.


The malleable song of language follows a magical bouncing ball, so sentient and vibrant, so wondrously imperative in the meeting of ideas. ‘Tis the bouncing ball of CONTEXT. Please: FOLLOW the bouncing ball that we may find harmony in the song.

Taking it in CONTEXT, when I say, “I don't care what anyone else has to say..”, I refer, obviously to the consensus of the scientific community; the corroborated findings from decades of close research; the substantiated data from people who understand what they’re looking at.

In other words, when it comes to these findings, I don’t listen to you; I don’t listen to Todd; I don’t listen to grand, fat-ass sages like Rush Limbaugh. I listen to a scientific consensus.

Surely, you see the logic in the bouncing ball.

Frank Church
- Wednesday, August 23 2006 13:6:11

Ralph Nader comes back swinging:


Good one Ralph. See, being on the outside is better then being an insider. It will keep you sane, and the dirt will not stick.


All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.
Alexis de Tocqueville

I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.
Alexis de Tocqueville

Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
Adam Smith

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.
Gore Vidal

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.
Noam Chomsky

Functionless art is simply tolerated vandalism. We are the vandals.

-Type O Negative

Wars throughout history have been fought for conquest and plunder...The master class has always declared the wars, the subject class has always fought the battles.

-Eugene Victor Debs, socialist

What good fortune for those of us in power that people do not think.

-Adolf Hitler

- Wednesday, August 23 2006 12:8:36

>However, the streets were full of teenage girls carrying automatic weapons. Can you guess why?

'Cause chicks with guns are hot?

- Wednesday, August 23 2006 11:52:34

Harlan: The youtube clip is an excerpt from "The Masters of Comic Book Art."

David Loftus <dloft59@earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Wednesday, August 23 2006 11:29:12

HE swag


I want the BAD STUFF!

DTS <none>
- Wednesday, August 23 2006 11:7:36

Hi Susan
HI SUSAN: Waitaminute! You mean there's some BAD STUFF (or stuffed?) Ellison books for sale? And even though you won't have ON THE ROAD, will you BE on the road (or just above it) while traveling? Furthermore, what really IS in Haggus anyway? (I know you may not be directly repsonsible, but ya used to share the island).

Big smootch for ya (purely platonic -- in case Harlan's listening, or watching, as it were) -- Dorman

- Wednesday, August 23 2006 9:23:45

Dear Steve:

We will be bringing GOOD STUFF Ellison books for the signing, but we will not have ON THE ROAD. Sorry.

All best--Susan

John Greenawalt
- Wednesday, August 23 2006 9:23:9

My trip to Israel

I was there a week right after the 6 day war. I didn't see a single civilian policeman. I had to ask "Do they have them?" The answer is yes, but crime as we know it doesn't exist so they have very few. However, the streets were full of teenage girls carrying automatic weapons. Can you guess why?

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, August 23 2006 8:21:15

Anaheim Tips
Keith - Not sure if you come out here very often, but you're arriving at LAX at just about the worst possible time to get from there to Anaheim. If you're not familiar with the traffic flows, I might suggest, as anathema as it might be for a weary traveler, that you kill some time and grab an early dinner at or near the airport. Just south of LAX is a section of freeway (the South Bay Curve) that is accepted by Guinness as the world's largest free parking lot during rush hour. (Suggestion: http://www.encounterlax.com/)

(Kind of curious why you didn't take JetBlue into Long Beach.)

And couldja bring a sixpac of Clyde's Chili with you??? Can't get that out here, no way, no how.

There is a Starbuck's in the Hilton next to the Convention Center. As per my previous post regarding parking at the Hilton I plan on being in the area around 9am for registration. I should hit the Starbuck's around that time if you're near there.

Tom Galloway kindly posted this note on membership and admission prices in the Fora before he headed down here: "look at the www.laconiv.org website for "Taster Memberships"; you pay for a full day, but if you return to registration within some period of time (I think 2 hours, but am not sure and don't have time to check) all but around $20 (see previous parenthetical) is refunded to you."

Lastly, if anyone is coming into town and would like a local contact (in the event of a flat tire, getting lost, etc), shoot me an email and I'll send you my cellphone number.

- Wednesday, August 23 2006 7:52:21

Small addendum, sorry: Actually, the premature numbering of the episodes can be traced back some more: www.thewebnewsroom.com/?itemid=765&catid=5 .

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Wednesday, August 23 2006 7:11:10

New/Old Book
My husband picked up "The Starship & The Canoe" earlier this week (by Kenneth Brower, paperback, Harper Colophon books, 1983, first hardback publication 1978). It is a biography of Freeman Dyson and his son George Dyson. He enjoyed it, said it was a thoughtful read. I'll give it a go and see what happens.

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Wednesday, August 23 2006 6:24:31

Harlan, the Worldcon people have already listed you as a participant in the "SCIENCE FICTION OF THE '50S & '60S" w/Robert Silverberg (et. al) at 11:30am on Saturday in the on-line programm, confirming what you said here a few days ago. Not sure if that makes it any more real, or likely.


Got my plane tickets and made my hotel reservation yesterday, and I'm flying in to LAX at 4:35pm on Friday evening. Expecting sore arms, may need a massage.

I am very excited. This will be the third time I've seen Harlan and Susan this year. My Stalking quota will be fulfilled and I can fly back here on Monday with a satisfied grin and a few more Harlan scratches in books.

Be seeing y'all.


- Wednesday, August 23 2006 4:20:5

Harlan: About the youtube video: what Eric said, give it a moment. If that doesn't do the job, you guys need a new version of the free Flash Player (www.adobe.com/downloads) which is the invisible program that plays all the internet stuff in your web browser.

I didn't know all your Jans have the same initials, I'm the German fella.

Sorry for relaying false information. What I saw was an Aug 10th article on Paramount's Star Trek website: http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/news/article/21895.html (they have a picture of Harlan in a bathrobe) Since the info is fake, I suppose the editor has not been in touch with Frakes' management - he has simply misinterpreted the OLDER article you people mentioned, which listed the episodes in a certain order. I'm sending them a note.

Jon Stover
Canada - Wednesday, August 23 2006 3:54:14

Mainly getting used to being bipolar, Frank (or more accurately getting used to knowing I'm bipolar -- the being part is apparently the last twenty years). I did get to walk through a hallucination in January that looked like something Neil Gaiman and Ramsey Campbell would have cooked up while on an ether bender, so that was cool. As it turns out, meds and cognitive therapy actually work for me, so far, anyway.

Cheers, Jon

- Tuesday, August 22 2006 20:45:14

I don't mean the Reed Rothschild post, of course; I mean the one from Jan.


- Tuesday, August 22 2006 20:43:37

Geezus protracted Peezus:

Y'know how fuckin' OLD that announcement is!!??!!

Y'know how many of us discussed it weeks ago????

Y'know how ANNOYING it is when one of you is too goddam lazy to check back to see if what you're reporting as NEWS is actually stale and outdated? That's why God created Rick's Archives!

See, Josh, I TOLD you it was the usual internet bullshit.

Exasperated at the feckless behavior, Harlan

Reed Rothschild
- Tuesday, August 22 2006 20:28:30

He and Mel can start a company


Josh Olson
- Tuesday, August 22 2006 20:21:4

Ah, the internet.

There is, of course, nothing in the article about the sequence in which the episodes will air.

Could be worse, I suppose. Someone could have read it as "ABC discards Ellison" or somesuch nonsense.

The airing schedule of the episodes has not been set yet. When it is, it will certainly be posted here. Until then, could folks either refrain from posting unsubstantiated rumors, or at least label them as such?

- Tuesday, August 22 2006 20:5:19

Masters of Science Fiction
Cast Set for 'Masters of Sci Fi'


The above link has an article about the series and lists "The Discarded" as the 6th episode. Hope this helps.

harlan ellison
- Tuesday, August 22 2006 19:27:29


1) Are you the same "Jan S." to whom I replied earlier, or another?

2) Are you Jan Strnad?

3) Are you Jan Sadler? Jan Sadler Penny?

4) Since it flies in the face of all we (i.e., Josh and I) know about the possible airing sequence of the first six MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION episodes, where did you come by your contrary posting of earlier today? Please be specific.

Josh is perturbed by your post, and I do not intend to lumber the producer of the series with yet another harebrained phone call proceeding from internet blather. So: be specific.

Please reply ASAP.

Harlan Ellison

Peg <check the other board>
Houston, tx - Tuesday, August 22 2006 17:52:15

Whoever said weather was small talk?
Uh, Frank and Rob, perhaps you should re-read Todd's post. I looked several times, and I don't see anything where he repudiates global warming. He questioned the original forecast of a significant storm season vs the reality of a fairly calm season so far.

I'm not sure what caused your alarm and why you decided to lay into him quite so much on the subject? You might have started instead by asking him if, by his statements, he was implying that global warming wasn't substantiated.

Actually several services have scaled back their forecasts for the season, but you're correct in that this doesn't get the same airplay as do the stories of potential horror to come. Why expect otherwise? It's not sensationalist enough. The forecasts still call for an active season to come, though.

FYI - one of the sources I check on the hurricane issues is Eric Berger, who writes a science column/blog with the local paper. He doesn't make predictions, but he references several other weather services and explains their forecast and data well. I take any info with a grain of salt - this is for a newspaper after all...


Eric Martin <ericdmartin@gmail.com>
- Tuesday, August 22 2006 16:55:11

Harlan, the link should just play in your browser window. If you have dial-up, it might take a while to load.

I don't think You Tube videos are downloadable.


- Tuesday, August 22 2006 16:28:37

JAN S., et al:

We haven't got the equipment to downlode the Frank Miller with Harlan video from YouTube. But thanks for telling us about it.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Steve Jarrett <sjarrett@aol.com>
High Point, NC - Tuesday, August 22 2006 14:45:59


I was very fond of the Silents Majority web site, and was sorry to see it go the way of all bandwidth. Many thanks to you and the other folks who contributed to the site.

Steve J.

Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK - Tuesday, August 22 2006 14:37:22


The 8th September Phantom of the Opera screening sounds like quite an event. I remember when there was a similar screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1996 that I missed. Unfortunately I've been invited to a film festival in Bulgaria.

A friend saw some of Michael Mann's early films at the NFT recently and told me that they had managed to locate an alternate cut of Last of the Mohicans that looked stunning and different to the two cuts currently on DVD. They also managed to find his preferred cut of Jericho Mile.


Rick Keeney <rick_keeney@yahoo.com>
- Tuesday, August 22 2006 14:5:32

two weavils

I don't know what I find more frightening.

Statements like this:

"I don't care what anyone else has to say..."


the freaky-deaky followers of the Cult Limbaugh.

Although I think that I would rather have a scientist with an agenda blow smoke up my ass than have a tyrant with panache pouring poison punch down my gullet.

Still, the options are unacceptable.

Someone needs to lay offa the bong.

Alliterate Rick

P.S. Hi Rob Ewen from "Old Blighty"!

- Tuesday, August 22 2006 13:55:39

Don't know if all of you heard, but THE DISCARDED is set to air as the sixth episode. I think that would make it the last episode, so it's a prominent spot after all.

- Tuesday, August 22 2006 13:39:59


I presume you know better than the ENTIRE scientific community, which has corroborated global warming; whether some scientists have the ever-convenient "corporate agenda" or not, it is a concesus.

I don't care what anyone else has to say - particularly the imbicilic asshole your vote helped place in the White House; the scientists are the people I listen to.

It IS conceivable that hype over long intense heatwaves or hurricanes - in the immediate run - is over-the-top. The changes taking place - to my understanding - are much more subtle.

Having said that, rather than presuming the "hype" should be your source by which to determine just what the truth, you might want to turn your eye to the math found in the research itself. The patterned frequency over x number of years, and so forth.

And it's the unseen changes that, in fact, worry ME. As polar ice caps melt - as they are, indeed doing - climate changes ARE inevitable.

Your opinion is totally uninformed, ASSUMING you are discarding the reality of "global warming" all together.

Frank Church
- Tuesday, August 22 2006 13:3:13

Todd, I hope you are not saying that you think Global Warming is a myth, because that would be like implying that you think the earth is flat--the consensus is that wide, my friend. Just because you are a conservative Republican, doesn't mean that you cannot be independent of their tentacles of bad thinking.

You will see hurricanes around September, if not, that is either good news or proof that the worst is around the bend.

Gary Wallen <garydotwallen at gmaildotcom>
Ashland, MA - Tuesday, August 22 2006 12:57:46

Sweet Relish James

James Taylor gave a shout out to Pink’s last night, in his show at Tanglewood, in his stomping grounds of the Berkshires of Massachusetts. LaBrea Ave in LA, no tables but a line going down the street and around the corner; it was his preface to his song Chili Dog. No mention of Dostoyevsky, though.

- Tuesday, August 22 2006 12:14:7

Sorry if somebody already pointed this out, but this last Sunday, Aug 20th, the New York Times Book Review led off with a review of Julie Phillips' bio of James Tiptree Jr/Alice Sheldon.

You can read it here.


There's also a link on that page to where you can read the first chapter of the book.

If you get the login page try www.BugMeNot.com

Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Tuesday, August 22 2006 11:43:38

With all the springtime hubbub over last year's hurricanes and threats that we are going to have the worst such season again this year…and Al Gore's big scary movie……how come we don't hear now about the fact that at this time the last two years we had been hit with a few devastating hurricanes, and this year…..nothing. Where's all the news about nothing?

Sure, the hurricane season isn't over yet, but with all the warnings of death and doom approaching this summer, I'm confused about where all the meditations on the pleasant summer are. Oh, yeah, I forgot about the killer heat waves. That will be our warning for pre-2007 summer.

Locusts anyone? Hail? Killing of the firstborn son?


John Greenawalt
- Tuesday, August 22 2006 11:2:7

Are you ready for this challenge Harlan?

Write a story based on this touching picture


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, August 22 2006 8:41:35

Susan - WorldCon Merchandise?

Susan - I am making the broad assumption that HERC is bringing for-sale items to the autograph session this Saturday. Will this include any of the Deep Shag recordings???

(And slightly different issue: Though I am loath to poke at the sleeping dragon, how goes the "Spring Cleaning in the Cellar" project???)

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Tuesday, August 22 2006 7:41:10

Re: Dennis Etchison
Mr. Stevens,

Thank you for the story title. I picked up The Dark Country last night and re-read The Dead Line almost immediately after getting home. It was as disturbing as I remember and a great read. This should also be the collection that has a story about the type of people you meet late at night at the laundromat, but I haven't read that far. Sleep beckoned. I'm weak, I know...

Some images keep with you through the years. I'm the person who forgot the Black Road war in Zelazny's original Amber series, but vividly recalled his description of the Trump of Fiona.

Rob Ewen
Harrow, Middx UK - Tuesday, August 22 2006 5:23:29

Kevin Brownlow

Hey Steve J., Ashwin and Faisal,

I've met Kevin Brownlow several times at the National Film Theatre, and used to be on his Xmas card list when I was the UK representative for the late lamented US website, The Silents Majority. He occasionally pops up at the NFT whenever an important silent film screening takes place there.

Strangely enough, when I visited the Hollywood Heritage Museum in 2002, I made a point of signing the visitors book - only to see Kevin's own signature just up from mine. He'd been there only two weeks beforehand!

If any of you are in London this October, there are two major silent film screenings taking place:

a) the 80th anniversary celebration of METROPOLIS on Mon 2nd at the Barbican (with Germany's Babelsberg Film Orchestra performing live), and

b) the Channel 4/Photoplay Productions restoration of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Sun 8th, with Carl Davis conducting his own score for the film. This is being shown, appropriately enough, at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

I hope to attend both of these - and I'm sure Kevin will be on hand to introduce the latter!


Jan S.
- Tuesday, August 22 2006 0:42:57

HARLAN et al.: The first Harlan clip ever is on youtube, a piece in which he introduces Frank Miller. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ycVele0OMTU

John Greenawalt
- Monday, August 21 2006 21:27:34

Dark matter is in the news

Frank Church
- Monday, August 21 2006 12:17:22

Jon Stover, where have you been man? Hope all is well. Here I am getting bunny jumped and you are not here to have my back. Welcome back, if you are back.


Harlan's work is all about the introductions. The introductions are key, they are what got me into Harlan in the first place. His introductions give the stories more weight, more meaning. You can understand why the stories are about what they are about, when you notice the way Harlan looks at the world. You either think he is the meanist, elitist asshole on the planet or you love him, like all of us do. Love that knows no color or value. Love deeper than the blackness of space. Harlan lances the bugs, and we are his collection.

SF, NM - Monday, August 21 2006 11:24:17

I mean, I'm almost done reading "The Book of Ellison." I breezed past the schmaltz und drang of the "appreciations."

The biography was helpful; the bibliography, too. The pieces bracketed between these bookends are being actively treasured: the founding of Clarion Workshop; misadventures in publishing; misadventures at Milford; the decline of John Campbell's genius; why Bob Silverberg is a really spiffy human being.

All in all, I sat in the audience for two or three panels & read Ellison's words (however poorly transcribed) because they had more immediacy & energy.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, August 21 2006 8:29:11

Books, Architectural Notes, and a Weather Report (in reverse)
For Saturday's Shindig (Courtesy our friends at weather.com) - "Sat Aug 26 Sunny 85°/66°"

Humidity has been running at 65%, more or less, for the last two weeks.

California has a nasty reputation for tearing down our landmarks (look what's happened to the Ambassador Hotel, for instance), so when you rediscover that hidden gem it's a very pleasant surprise. Downtown Los Angeles has a number of them, including the Bradbury Building and several (still) grand movie houses. So when Cris played a wedding gig Saturday night at the Biltmore Hotel next to Pershing Square, I'd found I'd forgotten what a beautiful building it is.

The ceiling of the Crystal Room, forty feet above our heads, was adorned with a beautiful reprint of Classic Renaissance art (I did not recognize the artist or the piece itself, but I wasn't looking too closely). Aligned along both walls were second-floor box balconies with tables for two guests in each. The wedding cake was suspended on a slightly larger balcony directly over the bandstand (making for a fairly nervous drummer until an examination of the cake revealed it was securely balanced). The walls were a soft yellow with white trim and white molding. The hotel's grand hallway adds to the elegance with carved dark wood panelling on all the walls and ceiling. Really quite spectacular.

If you ever have the opportunity to take at look at the Biltmore it's a wonderful echo of early 20th century grandeur.

I caught the Shatner roast last evening. I wish I hadn't. Roasts are no longer funny riffs shared among friends. They have become very sad and mean-spirited stand-up routines with paid professional "comics".

Tony -
"I gladly dropped $15 for "The Book of Ellison," ed. Andrew Porter, with the very spiff Gaughan pen/ink portrait. (VG-, some spotting & cover fade.)"

I'm sure that Harlan would appreciate this being brought to him at WorldCon, along with a pitchfork and a book of matches.

Brad Stevens
- Monday, August 21 2006 7:53:51

Shagin - The Dennis Etchison story you are looking for is 'The Dead Line', which can be found in a collection entitled THE DARK COUNTRY. The actual line is "This morning I put ground glass in my wife's eyes".

Coincidentally, I picked up Etchison's novelization of John Carpenter's THE FOG this afternoon.

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Monday, August 21 2006 7:45:46

Convention Reflections and Parrots
A very good friend of mine was the focus of an article in The Seattle Times Sunday Magazine portion of the newspaper. While the online version does not have the majority of the pictures from the article, here is the link for those who may be interested: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/pacificnw08202006/2003206272_pacificpfans20.html

I first dipped my toes in the wonder of fannish culture nearly 15 years ago (still a relative newcomer, I admit); my husband is a veteran conventioneer from the days of his happy gaming-convention geekhood in highschool. Our older son has attended a convention here and there as patience and finances allow; our youngest son has about as much tolerance for crowds as he does for being sliced repeatedly with razor blades and then dipped in rubbing alcohol (which describes the experience of taking him, as well).

The article mentions Foolscap, a local literary convention where I had the privilege of meeting Mr. & Mrs. Ellison and Mr. Danelke last year. Based on the description of Stephen Bard's house in the article and an accompanying picture in the print version, this may also be the self-same abode where Mr. Ellison was mistaken for a brazil nut by an over zealous bird. I remember Mr. Ellison's description of the event, though I can barely remember my name at this early hour let alone the specifics (I believe it was a macaw/parrot...sounds about right; ask me when I'm awake).


I'm a fan of Ramsey Campbell's work as well, but my all time favorite first line from a horror short story belongs to Dennis Etchison: "Today I sprinkled ground glass in my wife's eyes." (Here's hoping I'm not butchering it too badly.) I spent two hours online last night trying to find the name of the story. I read it years ago in one of his many wonderful collections that my first husband later insisted I get rid of because it was "boring". Hindsight being what it is, I should have kept the book and got rid of him.

Jon Stover
Canada - Monday, August 21 2006 5:39:58

Thanks, Harlan.

In the course of seeing if Campbell had anything to say on the subject on the Internet, I ran across this blurb for a recent collection of Campbell's non-fiction, Ramsey Campbell, Probably, which states the following (CAPS mine):

"Ramsey Campbell, Probably collects 140,000 words of Campbell's non-fiction from the last three decades.

The subjects range from the perils of authorship to the delights of amateur fiction and film, from drugs to nightmares, from the Highgate Vampire to the Dracula Society's marching song. Friends are remembered, and so is Mary Whitehouse. A seminal study of English schoolgirl spanking on video is brought up to date. Many thoughts on the history of horror fiction are included. AT LAST IT IS REVEALED WHY HARLAN ELLISON IS RESPONSIBLE."

So I'll have to track down a mass-market edition of the collection when I have the chance.

Cheers, Jon

Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK - Monday, August 21 2006 3:50:26

Hey Steve J. and Ashwin,

I correspond with Kevin Brownlow and spoke on the phone a few times about various things. I've never met him as he lives in London and I reside Northwise. If I remember correctly, Kevin was employed by Channel 4 and Thames TV during the eighties.

Goddamm, Harlan knows Ramsey? Shocked again. I used to go to the Fantastic Film Festival in Manchester and Ramsey's auctions were a fun event to witness and partake in.


Tony Ravenscroft
Santa Fe, NM - Monday, August 21 2006 0:13:29

assorted Ellisonia
Just got back to the house from Bubonicon, the vastly underappreciated little annual gathering in Albuquerque -- for 500 attendees, I think we've got a remarkable chunk of SFWA living in this state, & a fast guess at the pool this year says something like a thousand published books (okay, so Victor Milan & George Martin & Nancy Holder & Stephen Donaldson kinda tip the scales).

The GoH was Ben Bova, as delightful & informative as ever despite crediting Ronnie Reagan for bringing down the USSR.

By some quirk of fate, Page One Bookstores packed along various HE treats which I pillaged before being forcibly restrained, primarily due to the insane cackling as I began to channel Gollum. If anyone is looking for obscurities, please help support this independent shop, page1book.com. The prices are quite good, too.

Now, I've finally got a copy of "No Doors, No Windows" (Pyramid #9), which, though there are stories I've yet to read, I coveted for the massive intro, "Blood/Thoughts." Good condition, slightly musty, $1.50. No, really, $1.50.

Then there's "Unrepentant Harlequin, by George Slusser, Vol. 6 in "The Milford Series: Popular Writers of Today." Okay, that was $7.50, but solid.

I gladly dropped $15 for "The Book of Ellison," ed. Andrew Porter, with the very spiff Gaughan pen/ink portrait. (VG-, some spotting & cover fade.) To my delight, a slip of paper fell out, an upcoming-events flyer from Dangerous Visions The Store, promising HE's return Saturday, April 17th, for a rematch with "A-Z in the Sarsaparilla Alphabet." Tres cool.

Ooh, aah: fair+, some cover browning, $1.50, "Nightshade & Damnations," Gerald Kersh, ed. HE.

As a side-trip, "Science Fantasy" #49, with a Sam Moskowitz article on Philip Wylie, to whom I'm devoted & I have one of the better Wylie collections in the known Universe because I live among semiliterate intellectual Munchkins.

Last but potentially least... Mr. E, sirrah, is the radioactive buboe you mentioned at Minicon named "Run for the Stars"? Wasn't certain, but I nabbed the bastid before it could get away. Near-mint, five dollah. I wasn't certain because its copyright page beseeches pitiably, "This publication represents the first correct, author-emended text of _Run for the Stars_ since its original magazine appearance in 1957. _This_ is the preferred text."

Hm; "preferred," truly?

John Greenawalt
- Sunday, August 20 2006 21:46:18

Does Harlan have a copy of this magazine?
A long time ago I acquired a science fiction magazine that had a story by Robert Heinlein, a story by Jack Vance, and between those two a story called "Tiny Ally," by Harlan Ellison. Unfortunately I no longer have the magazine. If I did I could have told Harlan "It's not for sale, but you can have it as a gift."

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Sunday, August 20 2006 11:19:12

Re: Chinese Translation
That sounds like a reason to celebrate and smile! Congratulations!

>It is just amazing. I keep opening it, and it is still >indecipherable. Even the flowcharts are in Chinese. And on the >front, my name in English and in Chinese.

>There is just something about it that is sooooo cool.

- Sunday, August 20 2006 10:56:42


Though I cannot, at the moment, remember EXACTLY what knowledge or minutiae it was that I provided Ramsey for his book, it was--I DO recall--substantial and idiosyncratic enough that it got Ramsey out of a hole he'd written himself into. Just WHAT that tittle of arcana may have been, well, you'd have to ask Ramsey, who continues to this day to thank me for what was a pleasure to proffer. Unlike several Brit Authors who are less than worth the powder to blow'm t'hell, Ramsey Campbell is a gentle gentleman, a VERY VERY accomplished writer, a sweet man, and a member of society absolutely chockfull of class, gratitude, goodheartedness, and admirable couth. I am chufft to be in his acknowledgment.

Yr. pal, Harlan

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
austin, TX - Sunday, August 20 2006 8:57:48

et al. Jeez...

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
austin, TX - Sunday, August 20 2006 8:56:26

Very nice, Mr. Jacka. I do not know that feeling, but man oh man, i bet it tastes good and strange at the same time.

Rob~ You do yourself an injustice, good sir. After that last round of fecal fecundity, tell me, which was greater, the laugh or the groan? Who says civilized after dinner conversation is dead? We rule the parlor darkly.

Mr. Ellison, et all~ Before i forget, have a safe and momentous trip next weekend. Learn things. Be convivial. Laugh.

Remember, the phrase isn't "Life Sucks" but rather "Suck Life". Leastaways, that's what the bumper sticker said.

Mike Jacka
Phoenix, AZ - Sunday, August 20 2006 8:17:8

Something that was cool to (assuredly) just me

I apologize for what is about to follow – it is really just my ego being unleashed – but I received something in the mail yesterday that just floored me.

In 2001 I got a business book published through Wiley – Business Process Mapping: Improving Customer Satisfaction. It has done okay selling about 7500 copies. In yesterday’s mail I got a package from Wiley. In it three copies of my book – translated into Chinese.

It is just amazing. I keep opening it, and it is still indecipherable. Even the flowcharts are in Chinese. And on the front, my name in English and in Chinese.

There is just something about it that is sooooo cool.

I now return you to our regularly scheduled dissertations and away from my selfish needs.


Jon Stover
Canada - Sunday, August 20 2006 4:29:8

Harlan Ellison and The Nameless
I've been on a Ramsey Campbell kick lately (or as I've come to think of him, the greatest horror writer who ever lived) and ran across a bit of Harlania.

In the Acknowledgements section of Campbell's novel The Nameless (1981) Campbell writes "and I have a special thank you to Harlan Ellison and his feats of total recall."

Anyone know what that's about? I assume it has to do with the opening chapter set in an American prison, but for all I know Harlan once infiltrated a cult of nameless people and opened up a can of whup-ass on them.

Cheers, Jon

John Greenawalt
- Sunday, August 20 2006 2:52:33

Can a career be based on a mistake?

For years best selling writer Sidney Sheldon was getting the door slammed in his face for 14 and 17 dollar a week writng jobs because he "didn't have any experience." Finally he did get a job and began to climb the ladder of success. Years later he found out that he was not supposed to have gotten that job. His name had gotten on the hiring list because of an administrative mistake!

Los Angeles, - Sunday, August 20 2006 0:40:59

On cellphones:

I have T-Mobile, and my trusty Samsung s105 finally had to be replaced, as the headset wiring gave way,and no one carries the proprietary plug anymore. After a failed trial period with the Samsung 809 (I hate the slide phone,) I went with the Samsung t609 which works pretty well. It's small, has a very simple voice-activated dialing function, bluetooth, and camera. You may not think you would use any of the features, but it's often handy to have them. The reception is fairly clear, and the ringer is loud enough to be heard from inside my bag. I got it from Sam's Club for about $70.


Dibs on a seat! At least now I can pay in person, for that HERC renewal I keep forgetting to mail...

- Saturday, August 19 2006 17:44:52

We finally saw Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man' s Chest.

Some good consecutive scenes throughout the movie - working when the humor works (which was infrequent).

Apart from that, the only thing worth the time is Johnny Depp and the "look" of the movie.

The rest of it was a zig-zag narrative, leaving us with a few moments to get to each character, and abrupt jump cuts to unrelated and completely uninteresting "goings ons". Also, it was peppered with phony, boring "tender" moments (like the "very gross-looking father to son talk") that only could have worked with a stronger sense of parody, given the tone of MOST of the flick.

I didn't give a shit: sat there feeling "outside" the movie for the most part. When that happens, I am extremely bored for 2 hours - mostly mulling over personal problems back home, or thinking "does this movie ever END?"

I had to run out for a cup of coffee, or I was literally going to fall asleep.

It's too bad, because we pretty much liked the first movie. Depp was STILL the main reason THAT was worth seeing, but it also had a more focused storyline. This sequel is a fucking mess.

I should add, in closing, that there was, I think, ONE line I understood in the whole damn thing. Couldn't foller a goddamn word. The "yarrrrrrrrrrs" were too exaggerated and interspersed with every syllable of dialogue. But whatever the hell they were talking about, I generally didn't care ANYWAY.

I'm planning to see THE DESCENT, hoping it will live up to the critical hype it's been a gittin', and holding me better than THIS thing did.

Brian Siano
- Saturday, August 19 2006 17:22:32

Hey, Harlan, if you get a chance at Worldcon, and you encounter a large guy with a beard, piercings, and a big Hawaiian shirt who goes by the _non de guerre_ of "Mr. Shirt"-- tell him Brian Siano says Hi.

(This is _NOT_ an important, imperative, or even serious request. I know him, have his number, and I see him every so often... but the idea of _you_ passing the greeting in a venue on the other side of the continent amuses me. Only if ya think of it, and if ya don't, no biggie.)

Oh, and to everybody, since I might not have mentiond it here before... I start a new job this Wednesday. Full time, with benefits, in an interesting field. I have officially rejoined the Middle Class, and can now restart my efforts at improving my humble house.

- Saturday, August 19 2006 14:12:55

"I didn't say "ignorant," I didn't say "uninformed" or even suggest you were coming to the party two days late, I merely said "naive," which is both courteous and considerate of your feelings."

Just not used to the word being used so openly; was thrown off by it. But I now understand you meant no harm.. Thanks a bunch for clearing it up.

Frank Church
- Saturday, August 19 2006 11:41:35

Yikes, I didn't read that one guy's posting. A very sick onion, that one. Extreme sexism is never funny, unless you are either a sociopath or Ann Coulter's boytoy. See, these are the people that end up having great lives, that's what really bites the bullet for me. Bet this shmo is some CEO or inventor of some slick dandruff cream.



Sad news, seems famed novelist Gunter Grass was in the Waffen SS when he was younger, but didn't tell anyone, until now, in a a recent interview. Der Spiegel confirmed that he was part of the Waffen. This is Germany's answer to Mel Gibson, I'd surmise. But, it is no time to be flip or cute. This is not good news.

- Saturday, August 19 2006 10:37:31


Your tender feelings may have been poked with the (apparently, to you, discourteous) word "naively," but true is true. I didn't say "jejeune," I didn't say "ignorant," I didn't say "uninformed" or even suggest you were coming to the party two days late, I merely said "naive," which is both courteous and considerate of your feelings. I, sir, will be the sole judge of necessity or otherwise in my careful selection of words. I'm not suggesting you "chill out," as you have every right to take umbrage or whine about what is said to you; but if you're going to heave a snit over the tone used in language, kindly don't attempt to spit back at me bysuggesting that being OVERLY courteous to you endangers my world-famous (in your view) Credentials of Champion of the Civilities.

Respectfully, Harlan Ellison

- Saturday, August 19 2006 10:26:51

Rick, or anybody else:

Would you please get rid of the idiot calling himself "John OyGevalt." I'm certain it's one of our simpering dementos previously driven from our midst, returned under yet another moronic handle. His behavior is no less adolescent and useless now than it was then; he will never grow up, nor will he ever be able to fathom that he's no-price; that he amuses no one--not even himself; and that the reason he's so desperately lonely, so constantly leaping up and down for cheap attention ... is that he truly IS (as he suspects) utterly worthless.

Slap his face. Send him away. Again.


DTS <none>
- Saturday, August 19 2006 9:24:9

Somedays, reading the posts (one after another) in this joint is scarier than living inside my head. --DTS

John OyGevalt
- Saturday, August 19 2006 7:37:5

An amusing anecdote

One day, during a break in the filming of “Send Me No Flowers”, Rock Hudson went up to Doris Day and said: “You know, DeeDee (his pet name for her), every time you say that line, it just cracks me up!” Day replied: “Oh, go take it up the ass and get out of my face, you goddamned candy-assed pole-smoking fairy fraud!” They laughed and laughed and laughed! Then Hudson smashed her teeth down her throat. Then they laughed some more!

Harlan may have seen this movie

John Greenawalt
- Saturday, August 19 2006 4:44:54

He never retired

For years guidebooks said the Stork Club was owned by "former" bootlegger Sherman Billingsly. But when the club was finally demolished a moonshine still was found in the basement. Customers had been paying for the high priced stuff and getting moonshine in their drinks instead.

Marilyn Monroe never retired either. She practiced her original profession (to some extent) all her life.

Some say Harlan may consider retirement about 20 years up the road. Others say 30 years.

- Saturday, August 19 2006 2:15:23


Interesting stuff. You've got me looking into KB's book "How It Happened Here", which is in print again! Bad month for the credit card.

What Steve J said. Also, I have fond memories of the Channel 4 season of restored silents (early '80s). They ran "Napoleon" over 2 days, "Greed" of course, and "The Wind" (don't know if KB was involved in that one).

I hope the legal issues with "Napoleon" get resolved, and the full version (with the superb Carl Davis score) can be released on DVD. I'm not a fan of the "Coppolized" version.

If your trajectory ever intersects the Brownlow orbit, you can tell him this semi-anonymous nobody on the internet thinks "It Happened Here" should be on the National Curriculum. (Kids these days ... they don't even have Commando comics!)

- Friday, August 18 2006 20:57:17


That was unnecessary. You could have just said "Direct Marketing is the parent company of Request Audio" and left it at that. For someone who claims to be a champion of common courtesy.....

- Friday, August 18 2006 19:56:25

Diversified Marketing is the "parent company." REQUEST AUDIO is the audiobook division of same. It's not two different companies, as one of you naively suggested. The Wal-Mart/Sam's Club tripartite longbox is composed of three audiobooks my friend Stefan Rudnicki did for Request last year. Request issued RUN FOR THE STARS solo. Now comes the omnibus 3-pak. But they never advised me they were doing a separate "as the market requires" special packaging unit for Wal-Mart (or anyone else). I don't know if they're entitled to do it, or are being cavalier.

They've been cautioned about this sort of behavior already, by another party--out of NYC--with whom I have no connection; but because of the alertness of all of you, and especially Mr. Dannelke, I am checking out my contract with Request; and we shall see what we shall see.

Thank you, and we'll be seeing a number of you next weekend.
It's possible I'll be coming in to the WorldCon earlier on Saturday the 26th than I'd previously signed-on-for. There may be (MAY be)(again, it MAY be) a reconfiguration of the lecture schedule, requiring me to appear on a panel with Silverberg anent the sf of the '50s/'60s that morning, possibly (POSSIBLY) at 11AM. I'll know more later, and will get said info to you as soon as I know, and you can pass it around. This is all iffy and maybe, at the moment. Everything else Ellisonwise stays as announced.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Darren Hennessey <gamera_spinning@yahoo.com>
Kansas City, Missouri - Friday, August 18 2006 19:38:23

It never gets any easier...

A very dear friend of mine, Amy, lost a year long battle with leukemia last week in Florida. I can't begin to tell you what light she brought into the world. Her wit, her kindness, and her humor made the world a better place and helped her get through an ordeal that I still can barely comprehend. She was a high school English teacher, and she made a difference in many kids lives. She loved all kinds of fiction, and I know she read and enjoyed your work.

I'm still grieving and talking with old college friends. We're going to get together at the end of October and share our memories of her, and probably empty ourselves of tears until it's better.

I haven't had a friend and contemporary of mine pass away before. I know this is going to happen again and again as I get older and my friends get older. I can already see that it doesn't get any easier.

Thank you for "Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral". The part at the end when Dennis' father tells him that even if they had six months to say goodbye, he would forget something, and kick himself for the rest of his life. There's an object lesson there that I've taken to heart.

Thank you very much.

Jon Stover
Canada - Friday, August 18 2006 15:53:38

Dark matter and dark energy are just Cthulhu and its ilk gradually rising up from the Underverse. I thought everyone knew that.

Cheers, Jon

- Friday, August 18 2006 15:41:53


Mike Lane,

"No need to get upset. If you want to be insulting then use my email address which is provided."

...I will pay a LOT of money to ANYONE here who'd be willing to explain to Mike that I was J-O-K-I-N-G...

I'll wire it by Western Union.

Think about it. I'll make you a rich man (or woman); you'll be able to buy out businesses, ruin lives, or even command a starship of your own. All this for a small favor.

But you must do so within 24 hours. The offer expires after midnight tomorrow.


Y'know, I'm actually pretty good at dishing out cool, disgusting gross-out humor, as some of my friends can attest when we're on the phone (often with the front window open yet!). But I think you just made me realize I'm not very good at taking it.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Friday, August 18 2006 15:27:31

A long time ago (it may seen like eons to some), people thought there were only 5 elements: air, water, fire, earth, and ether.

Ether was all the stuff that was unexplainable.

Thus, today, the ethernet. (Which is also called the internet by some.)

- Friday, August 18 2006 15:0:49

Sorry for the double post
But the company Request Audio Books also puts out those 3 titles on cd. When you to look them up on Amazon, Request is the publisher. When you look them up on walmart.com or that other site I mentioned down below, Diversified is the publisher. Strange that 2 companies put out the exact same product and they use the exact same cover art. Do they have some sort of contract with each other? I have no idea how the audio cd business works, but something seems strange about this.

Steve B
- Friday, August 18 2006 14:19:48

(Rick: Forgive the second post, but tomorrow morning might be too late)


LACon isn't until NEXT weekend, folks. There've been a couple of notes that seemed to suggest it's THIS weekend.

23-27 August 2006 (Wednesday through Sunday)

Frank Church
- Friday, August 18 2006 14:9:51

Too bad I can't make it to that shindig, would love to meet everyone; to show him how reasonable I can be.

Enjoy, ya brats.


Oh, come on with this learnin stuff, you all know that black matter is chocolate and the moon is green cheese. Don't confuse the kids, they are tryin to watch cartoons.

Tom Morgan <tjmorgan58@cox,net>
Silverado, - Friday, August 18 2006 13:24:47

Diversified Merchandising
Do you still want/need someone to get to a Sam's Club and buy the audio CDs? Also I tried to search the net for Diversified Merchandising and did not find a page for them but did find an article that mentions them. I will try to post the link.


Sorry if I am late to this and/or am overstepping. In catching up on the Pavilion I saw that Barney had opted out of getting samples to you.

Hoping to get to Anaheim this weekend. Good day to all,

Tom Morgan

Steve Jarrett <sjarrett@aol.com>
High Point, North Carolina - Friday, August 18 2006 12:39:52

>Kevin Brownlow is a hell of a nice guy


Do I infer correctly from this that you have met Brownlow? He's one of my all-time favorite film historians. Moreover, his film preservation work, in my view, secures forever his position as one of the saints of the cinema. If you are in contact with him, please convey my appreciation and respect. Oh, and ask him when Fremantle is going to get off the dime already and release his HOLLYWOOD series on DVD. Amazon UK has pushed back the release date twice now, and my often-viewed VHS copies aren't getting any younger.

Steve J.

paul <vaughnichards@hotmail.com>
austin, TX - Friday, August 18 2006 10:51:24

Okay, I'm done now.
Rob~ I have that story in the compendium HEMORRHOIDAL HILARITY: Piles and Piles of FUN!!

It was okay.

Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK - Friday, August 18 2006 10:18:32

Hey Ashwin,

Peter did have a cameo in It Happened Here. My old film lecturer (and damm fine editing tutor) Mamoun Hassan also got his break on that film which attracted support from Stanley Kubrick and Tony Richardson (Peter Suschitzky managed to get free B&W film stock from Dr. Strangelove whilst I can't remember the Richardson movie).

Also Kevin Brownlow is a hell of a nice guy, check out his biography of David Lean or his excellent history of silent films, "The Parade Gone by". For years, Kevin was the man who Channel 4 employed to restore silent films for TV broadcasts. Without him I wouldn't have seen Wings, Greed and the Lon Chaney Phantom of the Opera amongst others.


- Friday, August 18 2006 10:17:17

Of course, prior to 1846, Neptune WAS seen through a telescope, but mistaken for a bluish-green star.

Los Angeles, - Friday, August 18 2006 10:14:46

Dark Matter
"That's because it doesn't exist."

Actually, it does. We just don't know what it is.

The baryonic matter in our galaxy (the stuff made of protons, neutrons, etc.) rotates around the center much faster than it should. If there was no "dark matter" (whatever it may be), the galaxy, and all others, would simply fly apart. All baryonic matter gives off radiation (infrared, radio, etc), and we simply haven't found enough of it to justify the inferred mass of our galaxy.

In addition, when scientists view distant galaxies (ie, ones more than five billion light years from Earth), gravity from other galaxies between bend the light and cause "gravitational lensing." Relativity can compute the amount of mass needed to cause a certain degree of lensing, and it's always ten times more than what is discernible through optical and radio telescopes.

Different techniques have been used to discover if "dark matter" is really Earth or Mars sized rocks, Red or Brown Dwarf stars, pockets of gas, etc., that simply hasn't been accounted for. The consensus is that though those objects exist, they tally up to less than 1% of the necessary mass required to account for observations. Clearly, there is SOMETHING out there, and a hell of a lot of it, that we have not YET been able to observe.

((Remember that the planet Neptune was discovered mathematically before it was ever seen through a telescope.))

Rick Keeney
- Friday, August 18 2006 9:26:39



ethoxyethane CH3-CH2-O-CH2-CH3?

meth addicts love the stuff.


Eric Martin
- Friday, August 18 2006 9:15:7

>Today "dark matter" is standard in any science book, but nobody has a clue as to what dark matter is! <

That's because it doesn't exist. When the established math doesn't work, science invents something to make it work. Witness ether, which was once standard in any science book.

Michael D. Blum <leftearpro@hotmail.com>
Albuquerque, NM - Friday, August 18 2006 9:1:8

I dunno, suddenly I'm sensing a link between sex and pregnancy...

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Friday, August 18 2006 8:10:4

Cellphones, LACon and Uplifting Experiences
Susan - If you're already on a term plan, there may be a clause in which the provider replaces a basic phone every year or so. I'd be surprised if your current provider wouldn't be willing to work it out (then again, my assumption is that it was that very group who looked at the Nokia and shrugged). Some older phones had chips which could simply be flipped from phone to phone, but the newer ones have to be programmed remotely for them to work properly. Lemme know if I can help out.

Thank you to our illustrious patron for arranging the seating to accommodate us poor, oft-neglected little Blue Monkeys. It will make the identification of membership a great deal easier. I will be shooting (within WorldCon limits) his presentation and will post some shots for those of you who will be attending Parental Birthdays, the Burning Man, or restricted to daytime television.

I was at the downtown Los Angeles branch of my company a week ago, where the parking structure alone is 9 stories from bottom to top. (Macy's Plaza for those of you who know the area.)

From the ground floor, I boarded the elevator along with two other individuals to claim my car and head home for the day. The elevator slid smoothly from the first floor through to the fifth, where my car was parked. Nothing happened ... the doors didn't open. It hesitated for a moment, then, apparently assuming I was safely off to reclaim my car, the elevator sped to the seventh floor. Where again, nothing happened.

For the next five minutes, I kid you by not even a second, we skittered up and down, stopping regularly on each floor, hesitating, then taking off for the next destination. The door opened three times, each time between floors. We were in constant touch with building security, of course, but the running tab of "where are you now?" added a degree of surrealism to the adventure. Finally, and inevitably, the doors opened on the ground floor, where we three rushed from the car, startling more than a few people who were ready to crowd in.

And yes, I thought of the story of the Ellisons and the Castros the entire time, just waiting for the poor hyperventilating claustrophobe to panic.

Rick <rick@rickwyatt.com>
- Friday, August 18 2006 7:49:27

Common Sense
Only two things wrong with that. First, the current view is that dark energy is 2 to 3 more times prevalant than dark matter. Second, Harlan said the two most common "elements" in the universe, not "things." Whatever dark matter and energy turn out to be, neither is made up of common baryonic particles in the classic atomic form. As far as science's inability to describe its composition, the problem of missing matter in the universe is such a bitch that it caused even Einstein to perform the mathematical equivalent of putting his thumb on the scale. It's remarkable enough that we've inferred it exists at all.

John OyGevalt
- Friday, August 18 2006 7:39:39

Possibly bad servicing
Harlan once wrote a well known story about a group of people who are trapped inside a vengeful computer. But more people are trapped inside elevators than computers. I was trapped inside an elevator the other day. No, really! I was returning to the lobby from my therapist’s office when the elevator lurched to a stop. There were others there with me, a man and a woman who I took to be his wife. I smiled and asked them, “Your names aren’t Nimdok and Ellen, are they?” They looked at me oddly. Then, the car started again, and took us to the lobby. As I left the building, I felt that the elevator was probably serviced by a woman, because Lord knows they don’t know what the fuck they’re doing.

- Friday, August 18 2006 6:29:41

Susan: Here's a link to some cell phone stuff that may be useful. http://www.letstalk.com/reviews/reviewhome.htm

If you're looking for JUST a phone, your best bet is to just go to a cellphone kiosk and ask for the simplest phone they have. Just about any big-box retailer has them, but they may try to pressure you into signing up for a plan.

By the way, I recently switched from Sprint to Verizon and I'm very happy. It's cheaper and the coverage is better.

And if anyone is looking for those audiotapes that Barney mentioned, I live in the south so we've got Sam's Clubs up the ass. Let me know and I can grab a copy for you.

John Greenawalt
- Friday, August 18 2006 6:5:4

Probably dark matter

Harlan's quote about hydrogen and stupidity is well known. But "dark matter" is probably the most common thing in the universe. A woman scientist calculated that our galaxy and others would fly apart if they didn't have 10 times as much matter as they do. For years her calculations were ignored because science doesn't take women very seriously. Today "dark matter" is standard in any science book, but nobody has a clue as to what dark matter is!

Mike Lane <mflane@odu.edu>
- Friday, August 18 2006 5:33:2

Hey man, just sharing a little info with you. No need to get upset. If you want to be insulting then use my email address which is provided. As our host has pointed out, fighting inside the Pavillion is supposed to be prohibited.

- Friday, August 18 2006 2:20:27

JOSH: re "I don't even know what a pica-ruler ledge fight IS"

I don't know either, but I assume it involves fighting. I saw that massive prosthetic biceps thing they grafted onto you for THE DISCARDED. I had visions of you, not so much *winning* the fight with a massive left hook, more that you diplomatically *swatted* one or both of the combatants aside and said "Hey, break it up you two!"

TONY R: So what exactly is a pica-ruler ledge fight? And why would HE and PW be involved in one?


I discovered recently that Watkins had an uncredited acting role in IT HAPPENED HERE (chilling 1966 pseudo documentary in the alternate history genre).

- Friday, August 18 2006 0:40:4

The Publisher of the Audio books
All three items Barney mentioned are published on cd format by Diversified Merchandising Inc.


Orson Scott Card's Eye for Eye Audio Book CD
Card, Orson Scott / Rudnicki, Stefan (Narrator) / Stein, Margy (Narrator)

H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds Audio Book CD
Caulfield, Maxwell (Narrator) / Wells, H. G.

and of course the book by our host:

Harlan Ellison's Run for the Stars Audio Book CD
Ellison, Harian (Narrator) / Ellison, Harlan

Seems like Walmart/Sams made an exclusive deal with the company to put them together in a boxset with el-cheapo packaging.

Kristin Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Thursday, August 17 2006 22:50:1

Barney/Harlan - huh? *Everybody* lives near a Wal-Mart. No Sam's Clubs around here, though - it's Costco territory. Which is good, since I understand they (Costco) pay their people better and retain staff better.

Jason, *everything* gets audiotaped, video too these days - i'ts just that it'll take years and years to make all of that stuff available. ... (me I want a tape of HE's anecdote about vigilante death threats to people who talk ath the movies, which I JUST missed last time!) While HE is speaking at LAcon I'll be getting packed for Burning Man....I do know people who are doing both the con and BMan but my boyfriend won't go to cons at all these days, especially hot out of town ones. Some folks are going directly from LA to the festival = it's cutting it close though. Tickets to BMan *in advance* cost more than a worldcon membership does at the door! However, camping is cheaper than convention hotels.


Trying not to think too much of things fannish, SFnal or especially Ellisonian lest I wallow (well more than I have already anyway)..in self pity over missing it

Jason Michelitch <jasonmichelitch@gmail.com>
Astoria, NY - Thursday, August 17 2006 22:12:59


Any hope of there being a recording of Harlan's lecture appearance at Worldcon for those who are unable to attend? I for one would gladly pay whomsoever it was who deserved the money (Harlan, Worldcon, the videographer, etc.), even for amateur video, so long as the sound was good enough to hear what I'm sure will be an evening to be missed at one's own peril.

Apologies for leaving my lurker status solely to ask about something that would benefit me personally. It's just the horrific mercenary in my breast known as humanity, that's all.

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
- Thursday, August 17 2006 21:54:49



I will be working. But, no. Regardless. In fact, no to the whole deal. I'm sure there is someone else on the East Coast or the West Coast or Ultima Thule near a Sam's Club or a Wal-Mart who can get these. I'm sorry I mentioned it. What the hell was I thinking?


- Barney

- Thursday, August 17 2006 21:41:5


Called you three times today. Cell-phone twice, house once. Got answering machine all three times. Re: Sam's Club triple-pak of audios. Please call me anytime after 9 AM Los Angeles time tomorrow morning, please.


- Thursday, August 17 2006 21:17:50

That's definitely the art I saw. It was paired with the aforementioned WAR OF THE WORLDS and Orson Scott Card's EYE FOR EYE (I finally remembered the title)
here's the art for that one;

but, as I say, the way the box surrounds them, none of that is really visible from the outside other than the titles.

and goodnight.

- b

D. W. Pareis
- Thursday, August 17 2006 20:57:44

Re: Run for the Stars Audio Book
The following link is the wal-mart.com listing for the Run for the Stars audio book;

DTS <none>
- Thursday, August 17 2006 20:35:53

Cell Phones
SUSAN: My wife told me that, if you are familiar enough with the internet, you could go to the T-Mobile website -- dubya, dubya, dubya, t-mobile.com -- and either pick one out there, or ask them to send you a phone number (if one isn't easily locatable) which you could call so that you can order the phone while actually talking to someone. The models she got for herself and me and our daughter -- Samsung -- are as "no frills" as possible: they are as small as the things that serve as those mini"phasers" on Star Trek, and they have no cameras, no printers, no connection to "transporters" of any type.

- Thursday, August 17 2006 19:30:33


We will have a FEW copies (just off the press)at the Harlan's signing. We will not be offering it through HERC. If you can't make it to Worldcon, you can order it through Morpheus (check Rabbit Hole #39 for the discount).

Question: We need to buy a new cell phone. This turns out to be much more difficult than you think if you don't want a phone plan. We just want a SIMPLE flip phone. No need for Bluetooth or lunar landing capabilities. What about a Nokia 6101 or Samsung SGH-X640? When I showed the young salesperson our dying Nokia 3390 (no camera) they looked very confused.

Thanks, Susan

Robert Morales
New York City, - Thursday, August 17 2006 18:59:13

"Prince Myshkin, and Hold the Relish" is my favorite of HE's funny stories.

Jim Davis
- Thursday, August 17 2006 18:49:8

Funny to see Peter Watkins' name here, as I've been renting his movies via Netflix over the last week. THE WAR GAME is classic, indeed, and his other movies look interesting, too. Another director I've been checking out lately is Alan Clarke, who worked in British TV until his death in 1990. He specialized in gritty portrayals of the working and criminal classes, and his influence is all over the British cinema of the past twenty years. SCUM, his study of the English borstal system, is probably the most famous, and stars an impossibly-youthful Ray Winstone as the "Daddy" of a boys' prison. Other good ones are THE FIRM, with Gary Oldman as the proto-yuppie leader of a gang of soccer hooligans, and ELEPHANT, which is one of the most original hours of television ever made. It depicts, with almost no dialogue and zero exposition, 18 assassinations in Northern Ireland. Each segment opens with a Steadicam shot of someone walking, you follow them as they find their targets, and then they shoot them in cold blood, at which point the camera lingers over the bloodied corpse for close to a minute. And that's it, for the entire film. I can't claim it's the most entertaining or uplifting thing to come down the pike, but it is strangely beautiful, and is likely the strongest indictment of political violence I've ever seen. Even with the BBC's reputation for stronger fare than we have in the States, I don't know how they ever allowed this to go over the airwaves.

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA. - Thursday, August 17 2006 18:48:36

*** Run For the Stars redux ***
*** Rick *** My apologies. This is a response to a couple of phone calls. I will happily absent myself for awhile.

*** Harlan *** I'm posting from someone else's remote device. It doesn't really matter when you see this as SAM'S CLUB will have been closed for over an hour. I'll pick a couple of them up tomorrow and post them USPS Priority on Saturday. You'll have them by Tuesday. I honestly don't know if SAM's CLUB is a Nationwide thing or East Coast only or sporadic. My plan is to buy 2 copies to post to you. If more are needed I'm sure someone else can pick up the slack on this.

The store information will be on the receipt. I'm not going to ask store managers where these came from as I'm betting large coin they won't know and will think I am out of my mind for asking. I will leave it to you or a lawyer to ask pertinent questions.

I would call but you already know everything I know and I rank phone time below dentistry these days. FAR below.

I bit my toungue on the "humor" question but had some candidates.

- Barney

Wilderone, PA.

- Thursday, August 17 2006 18:25:6

Have I ever written anything humorous!!!????!!!

Geezus palpitatin' peezus!

How about "Goodbye to All that" and "Send Not to Know for Whom the Lettuce Wilts" and "If This Be Utopia..." and "The Toad Prince, or, Sex-Queen of the Martian Pleasure-Domes" and "A Boy and His Dog" and "Working With the Little People," not to mention "Quicktime" or "Up Christopher to Madness" or "I See a Man Sitting on a Chair and the Chair is Biting His Leg" or "Rubber Duckies from Space" or..........

Talk about coming to the picnic two hours late, and two bucks shy.


- Thursday, August 17 2006 18:15:59


A number of you seem to want/need to know this, so spread the word. Ask no additional questions. It is ... as it is:

I have taken steps to make sure the first two rows of my single lecture appearance at the Worldcon will be RESERVED strictly for MY FRIENDS (you know who you are), members of HERC, and those of you from Webderland who are planning/hoping to get together at the Anaheim do. I may or may not run across all/some/any of you in lobbies, halls, meeting rooms, signing lines, passageways, restaurants, gutters or bowling alleys; but FOR CERTAIN there will be space for you in the first two rows at my "presentation." Anaheim Convention Center (next to the Hilton, I guess). 1:00 PM in Room 204.

Just come in, go to the taped off/roped off seats down front, plonk yerself, and fight off the idiots who think the reserved status doesn't refer to them.

You're welcome.

Yr. pal, Harlan

Faisal A. Qureshi
Manchester, UK - Thursday, August 17 2006 17:1:56


If you liked Peter Watkin's The War Game, check out Punishment Park, Culloden and Edward Munch. Privilege is also worth getting hold of. It's dated and Watkin's technique is a little disconcerting but Johnny Speight's contribution can still be felt. I finally managed to track down a copy when last working in Cuba. Imagine a re-make but with Britney Spears in the lead.

Watkin's is like Gillo Pontecorvo in that he has the talent of shooting something that appears so close to a documentary. Both these filmmakers have been an influence on the works of Oliver Stone and Fernando Meirelles amongst others.


Eric Martin
- Thursday, August 17 2006 16:58:22

>will all now recant in print, in light of the suspect arrested in Thailand, and apologize for their full decade of putting a bereaved family through hell by making up shit?<

Let's wait and see. Something doesn't quite smell right with this guy and his confession. But your point on the tabloids is well-taken...even if it turns out this freak is indeed the perp, I doubt we'll see any sorries from them.

- Thursday, August 17 2006 15:46:18

Mike Lane,

"Just thought you might like to know".

Fuckin' nerds!

Rick Keeney,

Did you really have to leave KURT out?


"For some reason BLEEDING STONES has always tickled my funnybone"

Then you'd REALLY get off on the hilarity of RAUCOUS ROIDS.

paul <vaughnrichards@yahoo.com>
austin, TX - Thursday, August 17 2006 15:20:30

For some reason BLEEDING STONES has always tickled my funnybone. I read that to people and am surprised at the folks who don't laugh much. The ones giggling usually stay for dinner.

ECOWARENESS ranks up there with HOW'S...CISSALDA for sheer melodramatic bugfuckery (no pun intended). If you don't laugh at these, you're probably in cardiac arrest.

John Nitiss
- Thursday, August 17 2006 14:34:52

My fave among HE's humerous efforts is "Djinn No Chaser". The punchline was a tad corny, but the piling on with many of the descriptions has made my day more than once.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Thursday, August 17 2006 14:15:52

Adam-Troy: I share your disgust and your rant at the gossip/scandal magazines. But I heard on the radio this afternoon that the ex-wife of the scumbag who claims to have killed JonBenet Ramsey says that he was at a family get-together several states away when the murder happened. If this is true, he is sicker than we might think he is.
Barney, you didn't say if you bought the audio books. Perhaps you should so you can listen to it to see if it sounds as if it is a real item or a bootleg. How sweet it would be if Harlan had to sue Wal-Fart.

Mike Lane <mflane@odu.edu>
- Thursday, August 17 2006 13:7:58

Philandering Phyla

Interesting comments about our molluscan friends but I should clarify that gastropods are not crustaceans. Crustaceans are a subphylum (depending on which classification scheme you use) of Phylum Arthropoda i.e. all of those organisms with multiple jointed limbs and a hard exoskeleton which includes things like insects, spiders, crabs and shrimp and the like. Just thought you might like to know.

Frank Hezbollah Church
- Thursday, August 17 2006 13:1:44

Josh, Olson, my, are you the clever one. Congrats there Pal. I really loved the movie Mystic River. I was always wondering when the next Lehane Movie was being readied.

So, Josh, any tips to getting a screenplay read?


Diving Belle <thedivingbelle@gmail.com>
- Thursday, August 17 2006 12:26:11

Has anyone heard of any upcoming East Coast appearances of HE?

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA. - Thursday, August 17 2006 12:6:38

Run For The Stars
I was at SAM's CLUB this afternoon. Anybody who wants to remind me how "evil" Sam's Club is can save the speech. Until somebody else in the area can sell me 25 count packs of well made padded envelopes for $6.00 and 36 count boxes of Pop-Tarts for $6.35 I will continue to do "evil" consumery type things.

To make up for it I re-shelve (hide) all the Ann Coulter books while checking out my competition. I smiled today because they were "end-capping" the V FOR VENDETTA dvd's. This is VERY funny because they refused to carry Jon Stewart's AMERICA because of it's liberal slant. Apparently a metaphor as subtle as a sledge-hammer to the temple flys right under their radar.

The point of all this is that in the audio book section they had some long white oblong boxed CD - 3 packs of various books. The Science Fiction offering was H.G. Well's WAR OF THE WORLDS, some book by Orson Scott Card I don't remember the title of and Harlan's RUN FOR THE STARS. For the life of me I don't remember this as getting the audio treatment but then I didn't know about some of the Le Guin stuff Harlan did until last year and only recently discovered his introduction to Bova's JUPITER, so clearly I am slipping in my monomaniacal interests. In any case, the packaging tells me exactly fuck all. There is a quickie story synopsis on the back and some un-spectacular art on the front. Doesn't say how many CD's or if it's abridged or who reads it. No isbn or catalog number. Just a white box. Nada. Nada. Nada.

So, I hope this was a payday for Kilimanjaro Corp. and not another re-packaging clusterfuck - but I thought I would mention it in the spirit of flying monkees and their defective notions of usefulness.

- Barney

Generic, PA.

Rick Keeney
- Thursday, August 17 2006 11:56:10

ellisonius humerus

i think the story with the hilarious first line is "How's the Night Life on Cissalda?" (someone please correct me if i am misteaked)

that one gets me every time

another funny-ish ellison title is "The Big Space Fuck", but it's not by ellison. it's by kilgore trout or ivar jorgenson or eugene v. debs or someone. hal ellson, maybe...


- Thursday, August 17 2006 11:25:55

Robin Williams: I say he should be applauded for having gone so long without a drink, should be applauded for catching his slip early and getting help before it became a problem. He's a great guy; strong willed. He serves as a rolemodel, to seek help as soon as you notice yourself going back to the bottle.

A Rebecca Keegan writing for Time magazine did a blurb about his announcement and ended it with this sentence: "Audiences that saw RV are urging Williams to take all the time he needs." I had heard the movie didn't get good reviews, so I read that last sentence as a completely inappropriate jab at him. I don't think I'm wrong about my interpretation.

Josh Olson
- Thursday, August 17 2006 10:39:30


Sadly, I won't be there this weekend. Happily, it's my Dad's seventieth birdthday, and I'm flying back East to celebrate. I'll be there in spirit.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Thursday, August 17 2006 9:27:4

LA Con (in the OC)

All -
I think we're arriving at a consensus that most likely place to find Webderlanders next week at LA Con is going to be during the 1:30 "Harlan Speaks" event. I know Tom Galloway and Adam-Troy are also participating in events. (Bud, Josh, you guys going to be at the ... party? I understand Harlan is going to "pointedly ignore" a certain British writer who has no name around here.) If anyone wants to shoot me an email I can provide my cellphone number, making it a trifle easier to hook up. It's been years since I've attended anything but ComicCon, so I may be overthinking this...

BTW - IMHO, best place to park is in the parking structure next to the Hilton Hotel. It's a little difficult to find, but worth the effort. Disney and company will try routing you to lots located in San Diego County (slight exaggeration). This structure is much closer and more convenient.

My $2.97

Mark Goldberg <markabaddon@gmail.com>
Minneapolis, - Thursday, August 17 2006 9:19:7

Greenwalt, other Harlan stories which are extremely funny include "Ecowareness", "Erotophobia" and "Prince Myshkin, and Hold the Relish". There is an entire section in the Essential Ellison devoted to Harlan's humorous stories. My favorite is "Mom," however, my own mother did not find it terribly amusing when I read it to her....

Josh Olson
- Thursday, August 17 2006 8:50:7

I just saw The War Game for the first time a few months ago. Pretty powerful stuff.


I'm chuffed by your confidence in me, but I don't even know what a pica-ruler ledge fight IS. Also, I'd never bet against Harlan in anything, except for maybe a brevity contest. (Oooh, I'm gonna get SUCH a smacking)


Until Gwen. Yup. The short story was originally published in The Atlantic, but it's out this month in a collection of Dennis's short stories called Coronado. It's a phenomenal story, and it owned me from the first line: "Your father picks you up from prison in a stolen Dodge Neon, with an 8-ball of coke in the glove compartment and a hooker named Mandy in the back seat."

I optioned it directly from Lehane, and wrote the script last year. Dennis absolutely flipped for the script, which was the second biggest thrill of my year (The first being meeting and working with H.E.) and I'm doing it with independent financing. Looks like there's a decent chance we'll be shooting around February of next year. Keep them fingers crossed. If the movie's half as good as Dennis's story, you're in for a treat.

DTS <none>
- Thursday, August 17 2006 8:36:40

HE's humorous stories
GREENWALT: In addition to those below, there are "Mom," "I'm searching for Kadak," "Laugh Track," "Working With the Little People," etc., etc., et-seter-ah! (little "Yule" twist on that last etc.) You won't have to search far and wide to find a humorous Ellison story; or, for that matter, humor _in_ just about any Ellison story --DTS

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Thursday, August 17 2006 7:11:1

Re: Humorous Story
Of the many wonderful ones that are too numerous to be at hand at the moment, "Djinn, No Chaser" and "The Outpost Undiscovered By Tourists" immediately come to mind as I recently finished Stalking The Nightmare for the 3,000th time.

John Greenawalt
- Thursday, August 17 2006 5:53:48

Has Harlan ever written a humorous story? I once wrote a letter to the late John D MacDonald saying "This scene is so ridiculous it's funny."
"So help me, it was intended to be funny," he wrote back.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Thursday, August 17 2006 5:19:4

Just Wondering
Y'Know What I'm Wondering?

I'm wondering if all those supermarket tabloids that ran weekly pictures of JonBenet Ramsey for years on end, running false "SHOCKER!!!" stories about her mother confessing, about her father confessing, about her older brother confessing, about a conspiracy between the parents, about a secret videotape that showed the murder, about a diary that showed the whole family did it, about a secret child-pornography connection, about police paid off to hide evidence, about the cancer-ridden Mom planning to confess on her deathbed, about the Mom actually confessing on her deathbed, about a conspiracy between Father and cops to hide the Mom's confession on her deathbed, about the police determining that the older brother was also in danger, about psychics determining that some combination of the parents and Brother killed her, about seances determining that some combination of parents and Brother killed her, and so on, will all now recant in print, in light of the suspect arrested in Thailand, and apologize for their full decade of putting a bereaved family through hell by making up shit? And whether the morons who buy such papers and believe every word will now apply this lesson about the journalistic ethics involved and stop reading the crap, even if there'sa great front page story about ANGELINA JOLIE GAY SEX SHOCKER!?!?!?

That's what I'm wondering.

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Thursday, August 17 2006 3:16:3

Josh Olson/Dennis Lehane
According to IMDB, J.O. is listed as scriptwriter and director for UNTIL GWEN, based on Dennis Lehane's short story. IMDB says the project is currently being cast.

Should be delightful. If it plays here, I'll be one of the first in line; if it doesn't, I'll be waiting when they crack open the boxes of new DVD releases the day it goes on sale.

Bests to all,


- Thursday, August 17 2006 2:27:14

re cage match
Ok Tony, I'll bite ......

-- which story? SILENT IN GEHENNA

-- who should write the screenplay? JOSH & HARLAN

-- would Ellison or Watkins win the pica-ruler ledge fight? JOSH!

Must be more than 30 years since I experienced THE WAR GAME. Still gives me The Runnies thinking about it now. PUNISHMENT PARK on DVD? Life just got better. To see PRIVILEGE would be just that. How about it, Universal?

Tony Ravenscroft
Santa Fe, NM - Thursday, August 17 2006 0:46:31

cage match
If Peter Watkins were to decide to base a film on a Harlan Ellison story:

-- which story?

-- who should write the screenplay?

-- would Ellison or Watkins win the pica-ruler ledge fight?

(Insert insincere obscurantist apology. Seems I'm one of the few people to have seen _Privilege_ in its entirety, when CBC ran it back in the early 1970s, but I'm chuffed to see _Punishment Park_ finally available, & now have to go after _The Gladiators_.)

Barney Dannelke <dannelke@gmail.com>
Allentown, PA. - Wednesday, August 16 2006 20:2:8

Dream Corridor
For anybody who may have missed it;


- b

gregory chiles <tophed@aol.com>
columbus, ohio - Wednesday, August 16 2006 17:35:57

the spread of stupidity
As we all listen to the lies and spin of the 'dominant paradigm' that passes for the U.S. govt., does 'anyone read anything' that sounds like truth, outside of fiction? Reality is too surreal to be believed nowadays. Only the story-tellers can compress social commentary into a form that can reach the great, ignorant masses. The true history of the world may never be known.

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Wednesday, August 16 2006 17:12:36

What do chickens think about?

Getting laid.

(Same as the rest of us.......................fowl..........creatures.)

- Wednesday, August 16 2006 15:46:43


As logic, facts, and higher learning seem to be such a clarion call right now, let's have a look at some intriguing facts:

The Great Scallop: this tatty, scrofulous old rapist, is second in depravity only to the common clam. This latter is a right whore! A harlot! A trollop! A cynical, bed-hopping, firm-breasted, Rabelaisian bit of sea food that makes Fanny Hill look like a dead Pope!

And THEN we come to that most depraved of the whole sub-species among lamellibranch bivalves...the WHELK. The whelk is nothing but a HOMOSEXUAL of the WORST kind. This gay boy of the gastropods, this queer crustacean, this mincing mollusc, this screaming, prancing, limp-wristed queen of the deep makes me SICK.

Finally, another loose-living gastropod is the periwinkle. This shameless little libertine with its characteristic ventral locomotion is - well - is NOT the marrying kind: "Anywhere Anytime" is its motto. Up with the shell and they're at it.

That's all for TODAY IN SCIENCE.

Tomorrow we'll have a look at the human brain when it doesn't receive sufficient anesthetic after having read Frank's posts, as WELL as the New EXCITING strides being made today in TUNNEL VISION.

Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Wednesday, August 16 2006 13:30:43

Frank, you are one creepy fellow. You make a perfectly sane statement in your first paragraph, and then veer off into Nuttyland with your second paragraph.

Next thing you know, you will have Hezbollah winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

I sigh, as usual......


Frank Church
- Wednesday, August 16 2006 10:50:34

Killing in the name of naked aggression is worse then killing for self defense reasons. We all should agree on that as well.

Hezbollah is defending Lebanon, Israel are the aggressors. The World Court made its say.


There is no way in hell Bush would ever bomb Canada, except for Michael Moore's stupid movie, Canadian Bacon. We only bomb third world countries now. Guess you didn't get the memo.

DTS <none>
- Wednesday, August 16 2006 10:34:52

Liberty...and gettin' old
EZRA: It's always nice to see there are others out there who feel the same about the idea of giving up freedom (bit by bit, inch by inch) by letting Bush (the "Man" Who Wants to Be King) and Co. take it away. Hell, I'll admit to feeling a bit of fear at the thought of being in the wrong place at the wrong time -- but that could just as easily happen when I hope in my car and head to the store. I just hope the mass of men (and women, for you PC folks) leading lives of desperate ignorance in the USA participate like hell in the next two major elections...do so wisely this time, instead of voting for idiots who profess to be guided by some god or some religion. (Religions, like all superstitions, only make for stupidity in the end).

ALL: A person who shall remain unnamed, but for whom I care deeply, has a mother (83 years of age) who has been physically debilitated for some time (the condition stemmed from childhood polio). The mother has gotten around well despite that for a long time now. But in the past five or six months, the mother's mental clarity and ability to function on her own (without taking the wrong medications, or falling down constantly because she's given up on exercising her arms and torso) has grown steadily worse.
I'm hoping the person I care about can convince a sibling to that the mother _needs_ to be in a nursing home -- for everyone's good (the mother currently resides in an elderly "community."

Regardless of what happens in that case, I got to thinking about the future. Now, at my age, 83 still seems pretty damned young. And there are quite a few centurians still getting around (some of them driving) with no problem at all. But a lot of folks (even those who don't have the disadvantage of having suffered through something like polio) sadly go downhill fast after hitting their seventies or eighties or (if they're lucky) nineties. (Not our esteemed host, obviously). Anyway, I started thinking about what I would do if I started suffering the onset of some dibilitating mental condition (most physical problems can be overcome or worked around); or, worse, mental deterioration along with a physical disability. Even though it seems cowardly, I'm certain I'd want to follow in Hemingway's steps -- albeit without a shotgun (or anything so messy). If I was still physically able, I'd wanna do something like climb a tall mountain and wait for the cold to set in; or maybe do the sleeping pill thing (less messy).

Sorry for the morbid topic -- I'm not feeling morbid or depressed -- it was just something I was thinking about. Sound off if you've got an opnion (and around here, I know that's not such a big if) or a mind to do so.

- Wednesday, August 16 2006 9:43:54

These illustrations intended to highlight the various possible ideological positions on the Arab/Israeli conflict are getting farther and farther fetched.

Could we at least come to a consensus whereby we all agree that killing so-called "non-combatants" is a bad thing?

I have another concern. Namely, our response to the so-called "War on Terrorism". I listened to a panel discussion here in Fort Wash - I mean Washington DC - yesterday involving several "intelligence" and "security" experts discussing what if anything we could learn here at home from the apparently successful attempt by the Brits to break up the latest terrorist threat to blow up planes coming from the UK to the USA.

I was extremely disturbed by the conversation because the default position of all the panelists was that we are certainly going to have to give up some of our civil rights in order to protect ourselves from terrorists. Their argument was how far we would have to go.

Folks we shouldn't let recent judicial setbacks to the Bush admin's contempt for civil rights lull us. These guys have plans. Plans that involve constant surveillance, tracking of every move you or I might make, either social or economic. Their view is that as soon as you set foot outside your home, you give up any presumption of privacy.

Now their reasoning is as such. At time of war we must necessarily invoke measures that would not be tolerated during peace-time. They assure us that when the enemy is defeated then these draconian rules will be relaxed. BUT, when pressed they admit that the War on Terror is open-ended and might last decades.



Or maybe the idea that there are values more important than physical safety has become a quaint and obsolete notion?

David Loftus <dloft59@earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Wednesday, August 16 2006 9:5:30

Who (was) On First?

> Tell that to the Native Americans - the descendants of the
> terrorists who took over their country are still running
> things, last I heard.

Yeah! Why don' dey go back where dey come frum?

I've decided I'm no longer campaigning for the right of return for Canaanites.

I'm a Hyksos nationalist now.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Wednesday, August 16 2006 8:28:4

Terrorists, the Manhattan Transfer, and (SHHHH)
Karen, Brian - You're a little late to the party. I already did the "If California were Iraq" thing over on the boards:

Roger - Agreed completely on the Transfer. We saw them at the Hollywood Bowl some years ago, but missed the most recent breeze through town. Cheryl Bentyne played at Catalina Grill (one of the most influential jazz clubs in LA) two months back, but we had competing plans. From all accounts it was brilliant.


I can't go into too much detail -- don't want to "put the mouth on it") -- but my wife has been booked into a very cool gig in October. Music and film industry types, including an A-List "legendary" jazz singer (you'll all know the name) who will be sitting in with Cris' band. Once we have the details locked down I'll give you more, but I'm literally bursting to tell someone SOMETHING and you guys are not likely to spill the beans to anyone...

Peter Reeves
Edmonton, - Wednesday, August 16 2006 8:5:48

Just like their ideological predecessors they probably will ensure the trains run on time too. To Auschwitz if they had their way.

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Wednesday, August 16 2006 7:27:9

Unca' Harlan's Bedtime Stories
My mother and I were sorting through old family photos yesterday and we came across one of my oldest son and I taken when he was six months old. In it, I'm sitting in my mother's black walnut rocker and he's snuggled against my shoulder as I read to him to quiet him for a much needed nap (remembering the day, it was a nap for both of us!).

My mother: "That's a sweet picture."

Myself: "Yeah. I remember that."

My mother: "What book is that? I can't tell."

Myself (looking closely at the picture): "Gentleman Junkie."

Ten Bears
- Wednesday, August 16 2006 7:9:31

...Tell that to the Native Americans - the descendants of the terrorists who took over their country are still running things, last I heard....

The native Americans were about a thousand different tribes, most of whom warred against each other for land, so I guess they are terrorists too. None of them had any more final claim on the north american landmass than the Pilgrim terrorists. Being somewhere first may work at the swingset, since you can always cry to Mom, but in history it's a little more complicated. Karen.

Robert Morales
- Wednesday, August 16 2006 7:0:45


Robert Morales
New York City, - Wednesday, August 16 2006 6:59:32

Eric Martin, fyi:

- Wednesday, August 16 2006 5:55:53

>Terrorist organizations don't "take over" anything, except the occasional set of embassy offices, and even then one's definition of "taking over" must be stretched. Because terrorist organizations don't rule, or organize, or make sure the trash is moved out, or really do anything but live out private fantasies.

Tell that to the Native Americans - the descendants of the terrorists who took over their country are still running things, last I heard.

Eric Martin
- Wednesday, August 16 2006 5:0:27

Terrorist organizations don't "take over" anything, except the occasional set of embassy offices, and even then one's definition of "taking over" must be stretched. Because terrorist organizations don't rule, or organize, or make sure the trash is moved out, or really do anything but live out private fantasies.

The notion that so-called "terrorist" organizations like Hezbollah or Hamas have ever successfully taken over and run anything larger than a gripe session or some street arms training has yet to be demonstrated.

A Chicken
- Wednesday, August 16 2006 4:21:38

What do chickens think about? Getting to the other side.

Jon Stover
Canada - Wednesday, August 16 2006 4:9:39

Captain Canuckistan
Hmm. A terrorist organization large enough to "take over Canada" from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island would have to have a larger standing army than the US, so I'd guess the US would be in trouble from the get-go against these super-terrorists and their gigantic land-grab.

How about, 'What if a terrorist organization took over Vancouver Island and started lobbing rockets into Washington State?" That one doesn't violate my suspension of disbelief.

Or what about 'What if a small handful of Canadians burned down the White House?' That one has the ring of veracity.

Cheers, Jon

John Oygevalt
- Wednesday, August 16 2006 3:57:47

What do chickens think about? Science is uncharacteristically quiet on the subject (why?). Do they hope, fear, feel despair, love their young? We may never know.

John Greenawalt
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 21:23:35

Vincent Price plays a diabolical fiend whose whole operation has been destroyed. He turns to the person responsible and says "I don't know how I can thank you for this. But I'm certainly going to try!"

Chuck Messer <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
Lakewood, Colorado - Tuesday, August 15 2006 20:49:50


The check is in the mail. I'd like to start with issue #39, if it's still available.

Thanks for your help,


Brian Siano
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 18:59:18

"Can you imagine what Bush would do if a terrorist organization took over Canada and was lobbing missiles into Montana, Maine and Illinois?"

My first guess'd be "Continue reading aloud to the little schoolchildren."

- Tuesday, August 15 2006 18:0:37

>Can you imagine what Bush would do if a terrorist organization took over Canada and was lobbing missiles into Montana, Maine and Illinois?

On the other hand, can you imagine what would happen if members of a persecuted religious sect in the Middle East had a holy book which told them that their promised land was located somewhere in California? If that group then took over Los Angeles, kicked out everyone who was living there, and started expanding into San Francisco, isn't it likely that Bush would respond with military action? And if he did, would it be fair for members of the religious sect to call him a terrorist, and use his actions as an excuse for refusing to withdraw from San Francisco, claiming that they had no 'partner for peace'?

shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, WA - Tuesday, August 15 2006 16:37:7

*offers to buy Tony a drink*
You can't go wrong with a Callahan fan. And while I can't picture Mr. Ellison behind the bar at Callahan's, it warms the valves to think he'd slip in behind Admiral Bob a time or three.

- Tuesday, August 15 2006 16:7:19

"ask Israel for restraint in a way no other country would"

Libertarians.... bah! It's about taking the moral high ground. It's about realizing bombs have not settled things thus far, so why would they now? Restraint doesn't mean not to defend itself; restraint means fight smarter, fight fairer, and don't forget a good dose of diplmacy. It's not about anti-semetism. Besides, all these people are semetic, right? Someone as smart as Maher should atleast know that.

Frank: It's astounding sites like mediamatters and crooksandliars aren't constantly struck by viral attacks. The closer to the truth you serve, the better firewall you better have.

Jazz fans: Jon Hassel - Fascinoma. Check it out!

Roger Gjovig
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 14:44:18

since then including all the solo records by Janis and Cheryl and the one Alan has released. Cheryl's are the toughest to get, most of her records have only been released in Japan so much more expensive. I just got a new release by the group, but it also was only released in Japan. It is called the "Symphony Sessions" and has the Prague Symphony, I believe, as the backing group. It has a very interesting array of songs, but it was pretty expensive to get ahold of. I've seen them 15 times in concert so far and would go again if they are anywhere close.

Roger Gjovig <rlgjovig@aol.com>
West Des Moines, IA - Tuesday, August 15 2006 14:36:15

Steve, regarding your comments about "The Offbeat of Avenues" by the Manhattan Transfer. I would have to agree it is one of their best works, and they have had a lot, including "Vocalese" and "Brazil".On Offbeat they were the most involved in song writing with 8 of the 11 tracks having contributions by one or more of the four members, and all four have writing credits on this album along with Tim Hauser producing the record. It is a terrific record. I have been listening to them ever since a young lady I was crazy about took me to see them in 1979. It was an incredible show and I have everything the group has released

Roger Gjovig <rlgjovig@aol.com>
West Des Moines, IA - Tuesday, August 15 2006 14:36:15

Steve, regarding your comments about "The Offbeat of Avenues" by the Manhattan Transfer. I would have to agree it is one of their best works, and they have had a lot, including "Vocalese" and "Brazil".On Offbeat they were the most involved in song writing with 8 of the 11 tracks having contributions by one or more of the four members, and all four have writing credits on this album along with Tim Hauser producing the record. It is a terrific record. I have been listening to them ever since a young lady I was crazy about took me to see them in 1979. It was an incredible show and I have everything the group has released

- Tuesday, August 15 2006 14:19:14

“...defending the weak is the only thing left to feel at least decent about.”

As Bill Maher put it,

“As I watch so much of the world ask Israel for restraint in a way no other country would (Can you imagine what Bush would do if a terrorist organization took over Canada and was lobbing missiles into Montana, Maine and Illinois?) - and, by the way, does anyone ever ask Hezbollah for restraint. you know, like, please stop firing your rockets aimed PURPOSEFULLY at civilians? - it strikes me that the world IS Mel Gibson: Most of the time, the anti-semitism is under control, but that demon lives inside and when the moon is full, or there's been enough alcohol consumed, or Israel is forced to kill people in its own defense, then it comes out.”

Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Tuesday, August 15 2006 14:8:13

"Thornton, Paxton and Fonda were well served"...o.k., so I wasn't on set to see how well they were served their meals.

Typing faster than you think can work wonders on a posting.


Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Tuesday, August 15 2006 14:5:28

>> >Scott Smith, author of the superb A SIMPLE PLAN<

The movie was considerably more superb than the book, in plotting, characterization, and theme. The book itself plods and the characters unlikeable and poorly-devloped. I'm not surprised this follow-up isn't much better.<<

I must disagree wholeheartedly. The book was a fantastic read. Many people spout on about books they can't put down, but this is one of those books that I literally could not put down. A fantastic debut novel and then Smith vanished. I thought I had missed his subsequent work, and every year I remembered to search the 'net for any word on if he would be writing again....if he were even alive. When word of The Ruins arose, I've been all giddy with anticipation. I bought it the day it came out (while in SD at the Comic-Con) and plan on cracking it open very soon.....when I have long periods of time to veg out if it's as readable as his first novel. Probably Labor Day weekend.

The movie was good; Thornton, Paxton and Fonda were well served, and Raimi does have some directorial talent. Yet, still, it was a good adaptation of a terrific book. I love that book.


Frank Church
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 12:31:42

Some fucking creep sent a virus into Znet, destroying the written postings of many, including Chomsky and Michael Albert. More than likely, they do not like what the left is saying about Israel. Sabotage, instead of honest debate, this is how these cruds play. But, we keep keeping on, because defending the weak is the only thing left to feel at least decent about. No stupid computer hack will disrupt that.

Tony Ravenscroft
Santa Fe, NM - Tuesday, August 15 2006 11:49:7

Rights in publication
For lack of a better word, whether or not one artist's work infringes upon another's is primarily a matter of "obviousness" & the preponderance of evidence thereof to a "reasonable person."

For instance, if I write about a preteen kid who goes to a creepy old academy outside of Des Moines that teaches sorcery, & I name him Harry Palmer, I'm edging rapidly toward the landmines.

Then again, if I borrow heavily -- oh, hell, rip off wholesale -- from Sinclair Lewis (whose rickety prose I find not just tolerable, a step behind Hawthorne & two from Stevenson, but engrossing), who's ever gonna notice, much less complain?

A few weeks ago, I almost pulled in at Sauk Centre just to see if I could find myself an "Arrowsmith" bobblehead or "It Can't Happen Here" American-swastika T-shirt or something.

See, that's the thing: if there's not potential buckage being tossed by the breeze, it's not too heavily guarded.

To the original question, anyone's free to take someone else's character as a starting point, just like I could use a knockoff of the "Venus de Milo" as the basis of a sculpture. But If I can just drop that character in my story, then I've got a really lame story that's probably depending entirely upon the recognisability of that character -- therefore, I'm being a parasite, not a writer, leeching off my betters.

So, I begin by filing off all the serial numbers & identifying marks, not unlike how I'd deal with a hot gun, not that I'd ever do or have done any such thing, your honor (though chucking a rat-tail steel brush & reaming the barrel a little would be a good idea while I'm at it, & just a touch of emery cloth on the firing pin & ejector, but I digress). Then I tighten here, loosen there, change the accent, the coloration, the backstory, the major life choice, the attitude... & after a while, I don't have a statue of an armless woman but a pro (male) soccer player overdue for retirement.

I know a Mike Callahan. Loud, wise, mop of sandy reddish hair, quick with a joke, loves his cigars. If I wrote a story putting him in charge of his own bar where strange stuff happens, Spider would have every right -- nay, responsibility -- to sue me white(r). (The worst part, of course, would be the songs he'd write about me, not merely for their sarcastic content, but for the ghastly puns.) Then again, the Callahan I know is about HE's size... but claiming that my reality-based character looks nothing like Robinson's is hardly enough, because I'm stepping edgewise onto a well-recognised & much-beloved commercial property.

Often, in such cases, the deciding factors will show up under "unfair trade" considerations. If I get kinda recognisably close in a dozen ways, it's a fair bet I'm infringing, intentionally or not.

Then again, there's also the "deep pockets" approach. Anyone want to try writing a "Beauty & the Beast" or "Little Mermaid" property & then proving that Disney neither created nor owns these properties? They're wrong, & in a fair world they'd lose, but they could waste $10MM/year keeping me at bay in order to set an example for others who might try to demonstrate "fair use of a public-domain property" or some such nonsense.

A pastiche is a pastiche. Writers in the U.S. are notoriously thick about pastiche & hommage, so it's certainly not something I'd recommend to beginners, & it's perhaps something that ought be left to art-school auteurs & much-beloved Grand Masters.

Eric Martin
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 10:7:49

>Scott Smith, author of the superb A SIMPLE PLAN<

The movie was considerably more superb than the book, in plotting, characterization, and theme. The book itself plods and the characters unlikeable and poorly-devloped. I'm not surprised this follow-up isn't much better.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 9:19:36

Just Finished Reading
Just finished Reading...THE RUINS by Scott Smith, author of the superb A SIMPLE PLAN, who has here produced the best written bad and pointless book in many years.

I go into greater length elsewhere, but the problem is narrative futility. The hapless protagonists are spam on a frying pan, doomed from page one, not only sentenced to death by the author but also unable to fight it in any way.

- Tuesday, August 15 2006 8:54:18


The last sentence in the second graph should read "MOST standard agreements keep characters in the hands of the author, which is why this instance caught everyone by surprise."

(Where's an editor when you need 'em?)

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 8:51:36

Obviously there are far more learned people on this board to speak to copyright, but the rights to characters in a literary work usually remain with the author. Tom Clancy wrote HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER with his character Jack Ryan for a small publisher named the Naval Institute.

When the book became a bestseller, Clancy signed a deal with the vastly larger Putnam. Unfortunately for all, the Institute had used a standard contract (remember, this was their first original book of fiction, and Clancy's first publication). That contract retained the rights to the characters, putting Ryan off the market until the rights could legally be reverted to Clancy. Standard agreements keep characters in the hands of the author, which is why this instance caught everyone by surprise.

My two cents.

Harlan: Speaking of two cents, one of the less hotly debated topics on the boards has to do with music, and I made the recommendation to Mr. Loftus that he seek out The Manhattan Transfer's "Offbeat of Avenues", which I consider one of the most underrated jazz recordings in the last two decades.

Given your appreciation of Janice Siegel -- this album includes her Grammy-winning "Sassy" -- I wondered if you'd heard this collection and what, if anything, you felt about it.

Brad Stevens
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 8:25:24

I was thinking about the concept of copyright infringement a few days ago while watching Woody Allen's MATCH POINT. It's obviously an impressive film, but its plot is a little too close to that of Theodore Dreiser's AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY for comfort. How do laws relating to copyright deal with the concept of 'homage'?

Perhaps Dreiser's book is now in the public domain.

Rick <rick@rickwyatt.com>
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 7:33:47

Yes, yes, yes, yes it's copyright infringement
If you use a character in your story that is substantially similar to a character in one of Harlan's stories, you have infringed on his copyright. Harlan has the right to both derive new stories derived from that story (including the use of the characters). He also has the right to reproduce that character in a new story even if that story is otherwise unrelated to the original work. By using his character, you infringe on both rights.

This doesn't apply to archetypes like a generic harried housewife or gruff but lovable bartender, but it does apply to any unique/identifiable character.

John Greenawalt
- Tuesday, August 15 2006 3:43:19

If someone wrote a completely original story using a character obviously taken from a Harlan story, is that a copyright violation?

Kristin A Ruhle <kristin@rahul.net>
Los Gatos, CA - Monday, August 14 2006 21:3:54

In San Leandro, CA....
(I wish there was a really good streetsign to take a photo of...) ...there is a Harlan Street, and a Clarke Street. And they intersect!

Too bad nobody named one after Isaac Asimov....


- Monday, August 14 2006 14:13:58

This looked like a news story HE and the rest here would enjoy:


While having the option to use electronic guidence/mapping systems installed in their cars, London cabbies - out of pride of their amazing skill - want to navigate on their own brain power, not by machine.

Sheehan already doesn't appeal to so many Americans. But by associating herself with Chavez, even people like me who thought Cindy was a neat gal are being turned off. The enemy of the your enemy is not....

- Monday, August 14 2006 13:8:57

And good ole Hugo Chavez has been doing something else besides giving a little money to the poor and locking up his opponents. He's been traveling, and speechifying. A week or so back while he was in Iran, he came out with this...

"Do they want war because they have the Devil inside them? I say to them from here, from Iran, once and a thousand times: Murderers! Cowards! ...their fate has been sealed..."

This about the "Jews". To rip off Molly Ivins, I'm sure it sounded better in the original German.

Tony Ravenscroft
Santa Fe, NM - Monday, August 14 2006 12:16:0

Once in a while
I'm reading issue 4 of "Subterranean," the "Special SF Cliche Issue." I think that Allen Steel has been able to neatly capture the Ellison Approach. The two characters are trying to get a reanimated writer to recapitulate his previous work, & failing, when one says:

"Look... when everything is weird, then nothing is weird at all. We could have cartoon characters crawl out of his ass and it's not going to make any difference. It'd just be one more strange thing... and this guy made friends with strangeness long before we were born. Maybe he just wants to tell a story, and not have anyone tell him what it's supposed to be."

Oh, yeah, & I read the F&SF "Lady Luck" triad. Not bad, which is damning with faint praise, maybe. But the only one that seems in the least to properly capture Ellisonian depth is "Poor Guy" by Michael Kandel, though I think it would benefit by dropping the last two grafs.

Frank Church
- Monday, August 14 2006 11:47:52

I avoid Marc Cooper at all costs. The guy is a fraud and that's all I am going to say about it.

Chavez is a leader and in that spirit I will always have my doubts, but in the world of maximum leaders, he will do for now. At least he funnels some money to the poor. Greg Palast has been doing extensive investigations on Chavez. Don't worry, when Palast jumps ship then I will too. Marc Cooper, on the other hand is a Hitchens. Don't truss him.


Hope the ceasefire goes well. Israel is trying everything it can to find a way to keep the violence going. Part and parcel of that history. I just wish the leader of Hezbollah would shush. He is not doing his people any service with his mouth running.

Seymour Hersh has a new story, where he is convinced that the United States started Israel in their attack on Lebanon, kind of as a dry run for an attack in Iran. Hersh was wrong about the last Iran story, so I am still skeptical.


Palast, Fisk, Pilger and Christian Parenti, the best of the best in investigative reporting. Beeoch.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Monday, August 14 2006 10:38:44

Mentos, and other items of abuse
A-TC: Everything old is new again???

Actually, if you haven't caught it, the MYTHBUSTERS episode on the Mentos (and Sweettarts, etc) phenomenon is a good one.

So, in the next week we're all to find out the answer to science's most enduring debate. No, not Evolution: Is Pluto a true and regular planet, or has it played an enormous practical joke on those simple folks on Earth? I can just hear it now. Quoting Jimmy Buffet:
"I hear universal laughter
Ringing out among the stars"

Susan, yes, as others have confirmed from their various abodes, the postcard also made it to LB. If my question regarding "downtime" is part of what originally concerned you, it had more to do with reading between the lines than any information actually published anywhere.

I am in the early planning stages for a photo trip that will take us to the Grand Canyon and Sedona (okay, with a side trip to Vegas). Along the way we're going through Jerome, Arizona, reputedly one of the most haunted Ghost Towns in the old west.

Lastly, I plan on having my handy-dandy trusty little bag o' Nikons at WorldCon and will post pictures of this little herd of cats if anyone actually stops moving long enough to get shot ... er ... photographed. I will have releases available for signature.

Adam-Troy Castro <adamcastro999@yahoo.com>
- Monday, August 14 2006 6:51:41

The Mentos Phenomenon, Various
It stuns me that the Mentos Phenomenon is being treated as a new development. Back in summer camp in the 1960s, we used to amuse ourselves pulling the same trick with Swee-Tarts. You could really get somebody pissed off at you by dropping a Swee-Tart into his Coke when he wasn't looking -- half the soda would fizz up over the sides of the body. This was forty years ago.

Just completed reading THE EMPEROR AND THE WOLF, the Kurosawa / Mifune biography; and have begun the thriller THE RUINS by Scott Smith, who has taken what is essentially a 5000 word short story plot for CEMETERY DANCE and treated it with novelistic characterization and pace. I am enjoying it, but a friend whose taste I respect loathed it beyond measure, claiming it an idiot plot.

John Oygevalt
- Monday, August 14 2006 5:8:56

An Interesting Reaction
Recently, it has been observed that if an open bottle of Coca-Cola is placed on a hard surface, and a roll of Mentos mints is dropped into it, a chemical reaction will occur that will cause the soda to violently issue from the top. The profundity of this is obvious and inescapable, and I share this with you to further understanding of the works of Harlan Ellison.

John Greenawalt
- Monday, August 14 2006 1:49:41

During Caesar's time mixed bathing was not allowed. After Caesar it was, with one important rule. Don't stare! Break that rule and out you go.

Brian Siano
- Sunday, August 13 2006 17:55:56

His machine punishes dissidents too, Frank. Haven't you learned to be suspicious of maximum leaders?


Frank Church
- Sunday, August 13 2006 12:49:29

Hugo Chavez is linked to Cuba now, so I doubt even if Castro died would the country change much. Would be nice to see more of a switch to a Swedish kind of government, with Parecon replacing the crass Marxism of Castro. Would still piss of the United States, but that's the point.

Chavez is trying to get oil down to forty bucks a barrel, plus he is not going to send those Petro-dollars to the screaming eagle.

His machine kills fascists.


The Associated Press finally is talking about depleted uranium and Iraqi vets. The story was fair, but didn't mention the simple fact that use of depleted uranium is illegal. Well, give them time, western contraints are hard to break.

Clyde Ramone
- Sunday, August 13 2006 10:42:8

Not sure if this is a copyright violation. I have never seen this particular design either. eBay, of course.


Mr. Bitterness
- Sunday, August 13 2006 10:5:19

Gee, I dunno Nathan. the United States has been dead since about 1999 and no one has seemed to notice yet...

- Sunday, August 13 2006 6:52:49

If Castro died, how long do you think they could keep up an illusion that he was still alive?

John Greenawalt
- Sunday, August 13 2006 3:44:40


I don't think you'll find a comprehensive course on the history of Cuba anywhere. Cuba has been a charnel house for 400 years and has an unbelievably depressing history.

MF Korn
- Saturday, August 12 2006 22:48:45

HERC Postcard

Dear Mrs. Ellison - I received the Worldcon notice -- many thanks!


Douglas Harrison
Northeastern BC - Saturday, August 12 2006 18:32:12


I received the Worldcon schedule on Wednesday. Merci.


- Saturday, August 12 2006 15:59:47

After a storm destroyed the cruise ship, Josh finds himself stranded on a desert island with 6 women. At first he was ecstatic about his situation. They shared him; each girl got to spend one night a week alone with him. With the one remaining evening spent by himself.

For the first 10 weeks or so it was heaven. 6 lovely ladies, each with their own special talents (winkwinknudgenudge). But the novelty of the situation grew tiresome and he looked forward to his night alone more and more. Maintaining six relationships was become more than he could handle; he wished there was one another male around to divvy up the task.

Then one morning, he caught sight of a life raft. With yes.. a single male survivor. He swam out to the little raft to pull it ashore. "Am I glad to see you!" - said Josh. To which the man in the raft replied - "You're a sight for sore eyes, too, Handsome!"

"Damn" - muttered Josh - "There goes my Sundays."

Jan S.
- Saturday, August 12 2006 15:7:10

Susan, how was Harlan's acting? The Rabbit Hole (and the Worldcon notices) arrive here in Europe probably only a day later. The Rabbit Hole is such a wonderful thing to get, and what you & Harlan said was planned for the next one makes me wish you could go weekly.

Harlan, will you publish the DISCARDED teleplay in your next anthology or in some other form? Did they finish shooting without too many hickups? Will you & Josh get to comment on the rough cut?

Today I received a copy of the German edition of A TREASURE OF MODERN FANTASY by Greenberg/Carr with your JEFFTY in it. Judging from how often it turns up on eBay here, it must have been a popular book (and I can see why).

- Saturday, August 12 2006 14:51:53

Ooops. Brain-freeze. That should be "your," not "you're."


Kiim Smith <amparion@sbcglobal.net>
Corona, California - Saturday, August 12 2006 14:30:55

Howard Waldrop and WorldCon
Howard Waldrop, sui generis, is a Hugo nominee this year. In the course of a conversation with some friends, we decided to try to raise enough money to enable Howard to attend LAConIV. We've only got ten days to raise $2000.00 If it is acceptable, can I ask for ddonations here?

I don't want to break any rules, written or un, and I apologize if I have already done so.

Kim Smith

Kevin Kirby <kevin.kirby@gmail.com>
San Francisco, CA - Saturday, August 12 2006 12:58:41

Yet Another L.A. WorldCon

I'm looking forward to spending a few days near Disneyland in about a week and a 1/2. Has anyone considered placing the webderland URL on the LACon IV homepage (see below) page?

...warning...URL being posted...



Mike Jacka
Phoenix, AZ - Saturday, August 12 2006 12:37:51



In Phoenix, got the postcard about HE's Worldcon appearance last weekend.


- Saturday, August 12 2006 10:50:34

Dear Chuck:

Glad to have you back in the HERC fold (sooner or later I will get you all--you can't run!!!). Just send $15.00 and let me know which issue you want to start with (#39 is current, working on #40; if you're membership number is still available I'll use it, if not, you'll get a new one.

Glad to have you back.

P.S. I know I sent out HE's Worldcon schedule to HERC members, does everyone on the board have it?


Jim Davis
- Saturday, August 12 2006 10:17:57

Bush read Camus's THE STRANGER on vacation?!?

Really, he did: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/08/11/060811231406.rsxjfr54.html. Hmmm . . . a novel about a man living a dissolute life, who then rejects conventional morality by killing an Arab for no discernible reason. Nope, I can't POSSIBLY figure out why Dubya picked it for his summer reading . . .

DAVID LOFTUS: Angela Carter's short stories are wonderful, but I'll recommend her novel, THE INFERNAL DESIRE MACHINES OF DOCTOR HOFFMAN, one of the rare books that actually lives up to its outrageous title. Try it, you'll love.

HARLAN: Lord knows the bones of this topic have not only been picked clean, but polished and sold as roadside jewelry, but you promised us your thoughts on Mel Gibson's little tirade. Don't tease us, man!

Alan Coil <lcoil@peoplepc.com>
Southeast Michigan - Saturday, August 12 2006 8:5:7

Well, Frank, now you've gone and done it.

I'm sitting here, eating my breakfast, enjoying the start of a wonderful day, and now you've gone and done it.

You've ruined my day.

Please discontinue posting about Garfield. I HATE that strip.

Frank Church
- Saturday, August 12 2006 7:12:53

Rob, Harlan has no time for our guff. I will do the shorthand version:

You see, Israel illegally used force in Palestine, blowing up the electric grid, causing pain and evil to many innocents, who had nothing to do with the kidnapping of one Israeli soldier. This was revenge for illegal jailings, in essence, kidnappings of arabs, with no charges; more violations up the ying. The back and forth has been intense, pretty one sided, when you see the amount of damage done by Israel, compared to the damage done by Hezbollah--but, I prefer Hizbollah, because I am such a naif.

Hizbollah has been firing homemade rockets into Israel from Lebanon, since before 2000, but oddly, Israel never blew up the suburbs in Lebanon, until now. What took them so long to be this scandalous? American orders? Who knows. I'd say it was an excuse to punish the Lebanese for voting in elections for the evil Hizbollah, basically the defense force for arabs in that region, since the illegal invasions of 1982. Hizbollah has this here charter that states that they want to obliterate Israel, but some question if this is mere tough talk on their part. Rob seems to think that talk is enough to justify an illegal shelling of civilians. I guess there is a thing called just war theory that they forgot to read or understand. Large power has responsibities to adhere to basic rules of conduct in war. The rhetoric of Islamic hooligans cannot justify a war posture, especially the overdone posture of the Israeli army.

I call for a cease fire and talks, with supervision from the UN, Rob thinks Israel is right to defend itself, with no rules for its conduct, just the flimsy fact of some rhetoric. The one Jewish member of the Iranian parliament may have a different take.

Rob thinks Israel can justify what it is doing, I say it cannot, based on international norms of law and decency. You have to have Security council sanction before going to war. The UN has condemned Israel, so have most human rights groups. The consensus in Europe is on my side, American propaganda is on our Rob's side. Most experts in the region agree that Israel is wrong in most of what it is doing. I say it has a right to stop the rocket attacks, but only under norms of decent conduct.

Basically, this is a debate about who matters: Innocents or power bases. We know where I stand.


So, today's Garfield sure was funny. That darn cat. Can't blame him though, I love the lasagna myself. Yumm.

John Greenawalt
- Saturday, August 12 2006 2:33:59

The curious history of the black rose

Is there such a thing? No. Was there such a thing? Yes. German botanists developed a black rose in the 1930s. But Hitler couldn't find a military application for it and the secret of creating black roses has been lost forever.

Chuck Messer <chuck_messer@hotmail.com>
Lakewood, Colorado - Friday, August 11 2006 22:17:7

Say, Susan:

I had to let my HERC membership lapse a while back, due to a severe case of unemployment. I am now gainfully employed and would like to be a member again.

My question is, do I just reactivate my old membership, or start a new one? My membership number is M:275, my last issue was 31.

I'm thinking of making it a birthday present to myself.

Thanks Susan!


Steve Evil <evening_tsar@hotmail.com>
- Friday, August 11 2006 19:54:31

SO Unca Harlan & Susan, whachya think of the new Doctor Who?????
Ain't it cool?

J Wrote:

" Here's a favorite WW2 story: An American prisoner of war in Germany escaped and hiked across the border into Switzerland. He wrote a note to the camp commandant asking to have his suitcase forwarded. A few days later his suitcase arrived. "

That was incredibly cool. Got any more?

And while I'm at it (here's the long, LONG shot) does anybody know anything about the plight of Italian Prisoners of War in Russia? (WWII era of course. To my knowledge there are none there now. Though one never knows. . .)

- Friday, August 11 2006 15:57:42


I dun enjoyed your passage on the Middle East.

If - I mean, just in case - you should suddenely crave some late night entertainment when you break from work our long-winded discussion on Israel, Hezbollah, and practically the whole damn history of that region is engraved under the heading

'Frank Church's news corner, the sequel'

Click on that sucker, scroll to the bottom and hit 'Newest First' so that you can read from the most recent posts back.

You may have nothing to add to the discussion, but it does have some interesting moments.

BTW, I saw your old Hitch epsode, MEMO FROM PURGATORY. Did you become pals with Walter Koenig way back then?

Enjoyed the show, but it just couldn't capture the heart and subjectiveness of the book - which I went through several times. It looked like Hitchcock himself shared your concern on the issue.

Frank Church
- Friday, August 11 2006 11:57:27

Harlan, I understand, you might find your eyes melting if you read all the stuff. The amazing thing is that finally, someone is more radical then me. You made me look moderate Harlan. That is a hard thing to do. I wildly disagree, but will leave it at that.


The color coding stuff was so silly, it went beyond stupid. When they lowered the color, that meant that screeners would be more "liberal" when it came to inspecting people's bags. Basically, the department of homeland depravity was telling terrorists when to best hit us a really good body blow.

Yea, our Bushie, he sure cares about terrorism.


I think I will hide here under this tarp, with the rest of the world's refugees.

Rick Keeney
- Friday, August 11 2006 11:21:49


Please understand that I am not one for posting random urls that only I find funny.

It's Friday and many of us can use a little cake...(make certain to scroll down for the end-product, folks.)



Dave Clarke
- Friday, August 11 2006 11:19:53


Thanks for the response.

Yes, unfortunaley Angela Carter was taken by cancer in 1992. If you wish to revisit her work, I recommend "Burning Your Boats", a collection of her short stories. Standout stories from that book are "The Bloody Chamber", "The Executioner's Beautiful Daughter", "The Lady of the House of Love", & "A Souvenir of Japan",...though your impressions will no doubt vary.

I find much of Carter's work extraordinary, to say the least. She had a way with language that bordered on the ideal.

David Loftus <dloft59@earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Friday, August 11 2006 8:57:27

various bits


For a short time, circa 1991-92 you were doing a column in Pulphouse magazine called "Ask Uncle Harlan" -- what sort of content did it feature, and how long did it run? Have these pieces been republished anywhere?

Dave Clarke:

After a patient, one-day wait, my answer is: I recall reading _The Sadeian Woman_ many years ago, and it struck me as refreshingly radical, but a little beyond me at the time. I haven't read any other Carter, but my impression is of a pre-"Do Me" feminism that was kind of a voice in the wilderness at the time. I understand she's passed away, though -- correct?

Several days ago, "Scodd Carbindur" asked if I'd indexed him. I held off because a quick look at my completed index for _The Glass Teat_ didn't have Scott Carpenter (the Mercury astronaut), though I distinctly remembered the column, and I panicked. But of course, he doesn't turn up until early in _The Other Glass Teat_. * whew *

- Friday, August 11 2006 8:56:45

Dear Rob: Four Dr. Who magazines arrived. Thank you, thank you. It was wonderfully kind.


Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Friday, August 11 2006 8:11:55

"From HE's introduction: "An idea is not a story"."

This likely reverts back to the absurdity of a year or so ago when some nimrod (not Nimdok) back east decided he could copyright his story "plots". I never did read the end result of his efforts, but since copyright law clearly states that "ideas" and "thoughts" cannot be copyrighted (unless you're "W" and Darth Cheney, at which point Thoughts are things you can be jailed for)(Don't believe me, remember this?: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5509366).

But, enough of International Relations and Politics (you can find some terrific discussions on the Boards).

Harlan, Susan, are you going to be available for a Webderlander moment or two between WorldCon events, or can we play it by ear? We're trying to schedule something like a lobby get-together or sumpin' and the two of you are certainly among the favored guests. Lots of people will undoubtedly be grasping for your attentions, but I thought we could put in an early request.


Robert Morales
New York City, - Friday, August 11 2006 7:22:41

Bovary trans.
Get the Francis Steegmuller; it's the one all my French-speaking pals steered me toward as being the most faithful.

Tony Rabig
Parsons, KS - Friday, August 11 2006 5:15:30


Can't answer that question myself but if nobody here gives you a good lead, it might be worth posting your question over at the Dan Simmons site forums. His recent "On Writing Well" essay focuses on Bovary.



Jeff R.
Philadelphia, Pa. - Friday, August 11 2006 4:38:47

Small World
The man who got into the fist fight with Ted Healy that, some say, was responsible for Healy's death, was one Albert Broccoli, later to become world famous as Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, producer of the James Bond movies.

John Greenawalt
- Friday, August 11 2006 0:23:11

The three stooges were created by Ted Healy

A cloud of mystery still hangs over the cause of Healy's demise. Newspaper accounts attributed his passing to serious head injuries sustained in a night-club brawl while celebrating the birth of his first child, a son. Conflicting reports stated that the comedian died of a heart attack at his Los Angeles home. Apparently, his physician, Dr. Wyant LeMont, refused to claim a heart seizure as the cause, and refused to sign the death certificate. Despite his sizable salary, Healy died penniless. In fact, MGM's staff members got together a fund to pay for his burial. Moe later mentioned that comedian Brian Foy of the Eddie Foy family footed a great part of the bill for Healy's funeral.

Ryan Leasher
Los Angeles, CA - Thursday, August 10 2006 22:39:26

Decent Madame Bovary translation?

I'm looking to correct a horrible, terrible, appalling oversight and finally read Flaubert's Madame Bovary. A shame that the translation issue makes it more complicated than just grabbing the paperback off a shelf.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a decent Madame Bovary translation that is still print? I'm leaning toward the Penguin Classics printing with the Geoffrey Wall translation; the language and style seems more fluid than the others I compared.

I know this is a little left-field for the list, but then again...



shagin <sandraodell@kon-x.com>
Bremerton, Washington - Thursday, August 10 2006 22:15:34

Terrorism by any other name...
Said the TickTock Man to Chancellor Sutler, "How is it with Big Brother Orwell? Have you heard from him of late?"

I followed the news today with a sense of dread, and finally admitted to my husband over dinner that I was more frightened by the potential range of responses to the foiled airline bombings plot than the plot itself. I don't feel any safer with Threat Level Red/Orange/Fuscia. What horrifies me is the people who slipped the blinders on and proudly announced that they supported racial profiling to keep their travel plans intact. **Confirms that the Bill of Rights are tucked securely in her purse.**

If you don't have a set of your own, check them out here: http://www.securityedition.com/

- Thursday, August 10 2006 19:25:44

"The odd thing is, all of this has been orchestrated by Western civilizations (the Brits, the Yanks, the Frogs, etc.). Arabs never proclaimed any countries for themselves as far as I know (I may be horribly mis-informed in this)."


"And we need to stop sending guns over there. And so does everyone else."

Yeah. Bush spoke for an arms block to Lebanon, but didn't call for one to Israel. What's up with that?

I picked up the Fantasy and Science Fiction ish. From HE's introduction: "An idea is not a story". It's astounding how many writers, directors, illustrators, etc don't get that. Just finished Tananarive Due's piece. Never read her before, or heard of her before, but this was a great first glimpse at her talent.

Dhimmitude - Thursday, August 10 2006 19:10:5

middle east

Don't worry. You don't have to go to the trouble of travelling to the Middle East to experience Islamic revelry. Just ask the folks in Londonstan and New York, Washington, Pensylvania, India, Spain, Bali, the Philippines, Sudan, Russia, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Canada etc. etc. etc. Why should the folks in Afghanistan and Baghdad get all the excitement.

Brian Siano
- Thursday, August 10 2006 18:17:52

Harlan's comment reminds me of a short story J.G. Ballard had in F&SF a few years back. If I recall, the main character was a battlefield surgeon in a near-future Beirut. He learns that global powers had learned that war was best treated as a disease, a virus, an infection, like smallpox... and that, like smallpox, they had to maintain a pocket of the globe where it was allowed to run free and mutate so they could keep pace with inoculations.

- Thursday, August 10 2006 18:9:28


I don't know what to think. This is an enmity more than 6000 years old, and shows no signs of EVER abating. I think this, however (which may not actually be an answer to your query): anyone who goes there, for any reason--oil, power base, humanism, colonialism, religious fervor--is a damn fool! The middle east is a grotesque, hateful, ancient tar baby; and no American should EVER forgive George W. Bush (or any OTHER American president) for venturing to imbed our paws in that demented charnel house's voodoo icon.

I tried to find the thread whereat you folks were back&forthing this hot poe-tah-toe, but as usual not even bread crumbs were left for me. (No, no, thank you; I don't need instructions; I've said all I'd have to say, anywhichway.)

Sadly, Yr. Pal, Harlan

Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Thursday, August 10 2006 16:1:13

To Charlie

Man, your comments are right on. The people over there can play finger-pointing games until they don't have any more fingers left...then they'll play nose pointing, and then penis pointing, and then stub pointing. They have got to cut their losses and get down to peace.

But how? Everyone over there, it seems to me, has a legitimate grudge. The Jews want a Jewish state because of rampant anti-semitism the world over, culminating in the Nazi's "Final Solution" to wipe out all the Jews. Every country refused Germany's Jews when it came down to the wire.

The Palestinians have a beef because Jews took their land and homes to make Israel.

The odd thing is, all of this has been orchestrated by Western civilizations (the Brits, the Yanks, the Frogs, etc.). Arabs never proclaimed any countries for themselves as far as I know (I may be horribly mis-informed in this).

But they have got to get over it.

And we need to stop sending guns over there. And so does everyone else.


- Thursday, August 10 2006 14:55:11

(...soup DU jour)

St. Pete, FL - Thursday, August 10 2006 14:52:47

Rob, Don't worry about the history; it's too convoluted to learn in the short term and is nonetheless irrelevant to the present situation. I'm Lebanese, born "over there", read dozens upon dozens of books on the subject, have lots of friends and family still in Lebanon, and am more than fully informed on the subject. All you need to know is that right now innocent civilians on all sides of this conflict are dying - in Israel, Lebanon, and Palestine. Present and future generations are being snuffed out. Probably more than 90% of the casualties are civilians. I have a friend visiting here in the U.S. and can't return to Lebanon because her 12-story condominium building in Tyre is rubble. Her house is gone - along with her belongings. The carnage and destruction needs to stop yesterday. Yet, ignorance seems to be the soup de jour -- listening to C-Span this morning, a gentleman caller from Illinois called for the death of every Lebanese man, woman, and child. Sad, very sad.

- Thursday, August 10 2006 13:50:25

Santa Monica Sewage Spill

A "debate" consists of directly addressing questions, counterpoints, and facts raised. On the matter of Hezbollah and Israel, Frank has never done so. Rather, he uses blanket quotes from the few sources he trusts (primarily, Chomsky and Rabbani...and, apparently, Wikipedia) to make such arguments as, "Israel wants to destroy Islam", while refusing to address any historical data provided.

I've been learning a lot about this convoluted history with growing fascination - from 1917's Balfour Declaration, to 1943, where we find the Grand Mufti saluting Nazis, to the present, where even France's foreign minister finds himself condeming comments of Iran's Ahmadinehjad to the effect of destroying Israel as the only ultimate solution. My opinion on this issue changed or modified as I learned more, and that process continues. That's what's demanded of something this complex; one shouldn't fall back on the opinions of a trusted few in order to formulate his OWN opinion. That's the lazy way out. That's the reason I'm posting this comment here.

These are the 2 basic questions Frank would never address:

1) Are Hezbollah and Hamas interested in any diplomacy with Israel other than eradicating the country entirely?

2) If not, what options are left to Israel other than an offensive? If you hear the vow of your destruction coming from 3 neighboring countries, what are you going to do? Watch your civilians get bombed?

I provided quotes from Hezbollah and Iran, from 1992 to the present consistently declaring Israel's total destruction. Frank avoids all this, and reiterates, "what makes you think they would not negotiate if Israel ceasefired and returned its prisoners?" ("Hostages" is the word Frank used)

Now, back to the merriment and pleasures of a work day.

Dave Clarke
- Thursday, August 10 2006 13:14:41

David Loftus:

Have you ever reviewed Angela Carter? I'm like to see what you think of her work.

Frank Church
- Thursday, August 10 2006 12:49:6

Harlan, what is your take on the Israeli bombings of Lebanon? Do you think they are justified forms of self defense or war crimes, or something else? Thanks.

We are debating our butts off in the other room.

David Loftus <dloft59@earthlink.net>
Portland, OR - Thursday, August 10 2006 11:10:29

Not logical

> Look, not every episode can be "City on the Edge of Forever," okay?

Spock would NEVER say "okay?"

More like "It would be highly illogical to expect every episode to reach the pinnacle of 'City on the Edge of Forever.' "

Rick Keeney
- Thursday, August 10 2006 10:55:26


Package received.

Many thanks, my friend.


"Never go into the jungle, unless you're ready to go all the way." --John Milius

Alejandro Riera
Chicago, Il - Thursday, August 10 2006 10:20:14

Fellow whovians
It's official. The Sci Fi Channel has picked up the brand new season of Doctor Who featuring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. According to the BBC Dr. Who website the series is scheduled to air sometime in September with The Christmas Invasion. According to sources quoted by Gallifreyone.com, the official lanch date is September 29.

Oh, and Roy Marsden, better known as Adam Dalgliesh and the head honcho of The Carpetbaggers (a wonderful late 70s British series about this MI-6 style agency), will make a guest appearance during the next season of Dr. Who which just started shooting.

Todd Cassel
AZ / USofA - Wednesday, August 9 2006 22:27:59

Harlan In F&SF
Fantasy and Science Fiction just made it's way into my mailbox the other day, and it features three authors writing individual stories from an idea of Harlan's.

Haven't read either story yet, though I have read Harlan's introduction.

So, Harlan, do you have a favorite of the three takes on your Lady Luck idea?


Keith Cramer <remarck@hotmail.com>
Arlington, VA - Wednesday, August 9 2006 20:29:7

I got nuthin'

These are Inspirational Posters done up from Star Trek scenes and episodes. Halfway down the page is a picture of Spock and McCoy with the caption:

Look, not every episode can be "City on the Edge of Forever," okay?

Good laughs. They are downloadable.


DTS <none>
- Wednesday, August 9 2006 9:8:58

FRANK: Hope ya know that my reverence for your pretzel-shaped prose and syntax is real. I only love it when you pound out a really good phrase on the keyboard. And I really _did_ step on Rushdie's toes last week. Just after watching Stephen King comedically genuflect to Tim Robbins and Whoopi Goldberg ("We're not worthy!"), who had just been gushing to John Irving about getting to meet him. Being a dad, I also managed to throw my body in front of the petite JK Rowling (when it was apparent my "deer-in-the-headlights" daughter couldn't get her mouth or legs to move but really wanted to say hi to her before she left in preparation for a reading). It was an unusual night -- and week.

I aver to your above-average abilities to whip out bon mots and twisted badinage when punching the keys, Frank. Nobody does it better or wetter.

Eric Martin
- Wednesday, August 9 2006 7:41:4

>"churchism" is a strange concept to some<

Because it's really a Kavinism.

Come on, Paul. Spider-Man just dropped the secret identity. You can too.

Frank Church
- Wednesday, August 9 2006 6:31:48

"churchism" is a strange concept to some, who dare to peg people against some arcane wall. Original thinking has never been encouraged in our society; this is why you see propaganda as a personalized kink. George Bush becomes President in that type of society, and people like Donald Trump become cultural heros. Better to be on the sidelines, throwing rocks at the passing scene, then to be inside the machine, watching good men getting their penis parts lanced. Lay seige to the machine, I say, tear it to ribbons.


The "leading historian" in Israel says something, I usually listen. I didn't call him the leading historian, Israeli intellectual consensus did. Blame them. You want to trust CNN over Democracy Now, fine by me. Manufacture your own consent, I will go with the cave dwellers, slapping their wet hands against the walls.


Harlan, nooooooooo, always be that sand in the gears, buddy. Never play nice, this is why you are my boo. I am your killer robot, beep beep.

No, when hacks like Lucas get the pat and kiss and you get the doggy door I strike. Hell, Harlan, just laugh at them, like I do. Their money will not buy them peace, in the end.

John Greenawalt
- Tuesday, August 8 2006 21:45:48

Was Harlan ever a boxing fan?

Little by little a fighter named Mauro Mina is being recognized as the greatest pure boxer that ever lived. When I saw him fight his opponent's best punch missed by about a foot. He also changed his style every 2 or 3 rounds just to put on a show for the fans.

Eric Martin
- Tuesday, August 8 2006 21:9:45

Paul Giamatti is a good actor, but I don't think he can open a film. "Sideways" was a road movie featuring two actors, and Lady in the Water has bombed.

Of course, if he's started a production company to release movies that he stars in, I suppose he can do what he wants. But that doesn't mean he'll sell a lot of tickets.

Steve Barber <barbergallery@verizon.net>
- Tuesday, August 8 2006 10:56:14

Philip K Dick Biomovie
From Cinescape.com:

Paul Giamatti is in negotiations to star in an upcoming untitled biopic about sci-fi author Philip K. Dick.

Dick, who died in 1982, wrote more than four dozen books and numerous short stories, with at least seven being adapted for the big screen, including BLADE RUNNER, TOTAL RECALL, and MINORITY REPORT. A SCANNER DARKLY is in theaters now.

The nontraditional biopic will interweave the prolific author's life with his fiction and incorporate elements of his last unfinished novel, "The Owl in Daylight."

Tony Grisoni (FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS) has signed on to write a screenplay for the film. Giamatti's newly launched Touchy Feely Films will produce along with Anonymous Content and Electric Shepherd Productions.

Tom Morgan - The Museum you missed is Paul Allen's EXPERIENCE MUSIC PROJECT. Interesting and spectacular exhibit, especially if you're interested in the history of rock and roll. Some blues, virtually no country, jazz or classical. Certainly worth the side trip if you're into that sort of musicology.

Joseph J. Finn <josephfin@gmail.com>
Chicago, IL - Tuesday, August 8 2006 10:28:25

Going back a few days, some folks were remarking that Brian Dennehy looked much thinner lately. I don't know when it was filmed, but I cuaght him a couple of weeks ago in a new episode of "The 4400," and he looked just fine there.

Rick Keeney
- Tuesday, August 8 2006 9:13:55


i am sorely tempted. alas, me old mudder taught me never to date a woman with substandard grammar or a license to kill.

sorely, sorely tempted.


- Tuesday, August 8 2006 9:12:10

Alex--You're a charmer. Thank you.

- Tuesday, August 8 2006 8:21:34

I think Dan Simmons prophecied this in one of his stories a few years ago.


John Greenawalt
- Tuesday, August 8 2006 3:8:37

I wonder who his lawyer is

Comedian Jerry Lewis filed a $2.3 million lawsuit against two entertainment companies, claiming he is owed money over a proposed remake of his 1961 movie "The Errand Boy."

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, names as defendants Spyglass Entertainment Group and Hollywood Pictures Corp.

Calls to Spyglass were not immediately returned on Monday. No phone listing could be found for Hollywood Pictures.

Alex Jay Berman <alexjay@earthlink.net>
Philadelphia, PA - Tuesday, August 8 2006 2:12:26

HARLAN: Fuck 'em. I bet Borges and Twain don't have much of a showing in the museum either.
(Speaking of comic fantasists, what's your opinion on Christopher Moore?)

POLITICS: Has anyone been following the leadup to the Lamont-Lieberman Democratic primary going down tomorrow in Vermont? Oh, it's a fun one. "Fun" in that there are planted thugs in opponents' appearances, thugs who turn out to be high-powered lobbyists, some really cool lies being slung about, and all manner of meltdowns. I hope Lieberman gets his clock cleaned.

MUSIC: I've been Napstering a lot of stuff of late, pulling down classic rock and soul all over the place, but some things have stood out:

Harlan, if you like Stevie Ray-style Texas guitarslinging, you should try to find some of the sadly out-of-print discs done by Alan Haynes. A genuinely nice guy who was friends with SRV, and is probably the best example of SRV/Albert Collins/Lonnie Mack-style picking today.

I know I've said it here before, but my nomination for the BEST guitar player today--and one of the best songwriters as well--is Monte Montgomery. Amazing fingerpicking, intelligent lyrics, and really eclectic vocal stylings.

If you like classic pre-Motown soul, check out James Hunter--the guy's disc People Gonna Talk sounds like someone unearthed a heretofore-undiscovered Sam Cooke album. Pretty good for a one-time London busker.

If you like power pop, you might want to look up Scot Sax. Whether with his bands Wanderlust, Feel, or on his solo work, you'll find an erudite and exuberant musicmaker you'll want to bop with or sing along with.
(Plus, he's a hell of a great guy; I worked with him in Telefundraising Hell for about two years.)
The funniest thing? He just won a Grammy a year or so back--for COUNTRY. A song he wrote was recorded by faith Hill and Tim McGraw. Weird.

HARLAND AND JOSH ("Don't Mess With Me! I Know Joan Rivers!") OLSON: It's been edifying in the extreme to hear the good time you guys had writing this thing, and though I don't watch TV at all these days, I'll be on the lookout for "The Discarded" when it comes out.
Might this lead to more?

SUSAN: It may seem shallow of me to say, but you look lovelier tha ever. (And somehow younger than when I met you briefly at the High-Verbals event at MIT some years back.)

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