leading with the heart
from an un
to brightest heaven
The flood unstopped
a channel cleared
has a soul.
“Now they come from everywhere to see it. Now they call it
Oddums’s Tapestry, not the Rio de Luz. Now everyone speaks
of the magic.”
Harlan and Susan: So excited to see you all for lunch tomorrow! Finishing up some incidental local biz not far from LAX at the moment, and clearing my head for fun and conversation. Hope my fax arrived okay. Feel better Susan!! Gotta fight those seasonal bugs this time of year. Sending healing thoughts your way. xxooo
I went to Blastoff Comics today for the very first time, simply because you made a YouTube video about it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BM3zT9plGQ Great shop! While I was there, I met Jud Meyers and bought a copy of "Dangerous Visions" from him. Very excited to finally read that! Thanks for letting people know about the shop. It's just down the street and I had no idea it was there!
Almost a man, yet still a small boy - a note from YJ to Harlan
YJ came home from a school club event this evening near in tears. It seems he made an honest mistake of the sort anyone can make, it resulted in one of the school administrators finding out, and now he is spinning at Mach OMGI'MDOOMED, worried that he's killed the club, or he'll be suspended.
I asked him if he'd lied about anything, he said no. We spent about half an hour talking about his feelings, how best to handle the stress, what he can and cannot do. My favorite part of the exchange (other than the hug at the end)?
"Mom, do you think Harlan ever gets this spun up over something?"
"I'm sure he does. Everyone does. That's part of being human."
"I think about Uncle Harlan when I get stressed. I figure if he can do something, so can I. I think about Dad like that, too."
YJ has Aspberger's, yet sometimes he gets to the heart of the matter with a touch of wonder. He'll be 18 in 12 days. He's too young to be that old.
Today I was the recipient of a Harlan Ellison anecdote for the ages. I will keep it to myself for the time being...but suffice it to say that the Earth warms beneath his feet.
THERE IS YET another ANECDOTE ...
You know them as "thread-drifts.
Josh and I use short-line lingo and call them
"Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon."
I have one that goes like this:
What is the connection between Harlan Ellison, born 1934, and Marlene Dietrich in BLONDE VENUS, 1932?
Six degrees of drift. Six degrees of Separation, Kevin Bacon, Not To Be Believed.
Yr. Pal, Harlan
They checked me over and over the four days I was in the hospital to attempt to understand why I fainted, which has never happened before. I am going through some therapy the next couple of weeks at my home and after that a visit with the doctor to get me released so I can go back to work.I hope I get better and find out what caused to knock me out and fall the last third down the stairs at work.
Jeff R: My feeble condolences for your loss. That just cuts too deep for words. As you have seen, you are not alone.
Roger: Please find out what caused you to pass out. I hope for a complete recovery for you.
To Cindiana Jones: I hope you're getting completely well. The Flu is...hell, I can't think of words, except that is best left behind. Far behind.
Diane: Hell, you've got us all on your side, whether we share your beliefs or not. You silly goose. We've got your back.
Jeff R. and others: I know the feeling. This will be the fourth holiday season without my life companion. I married someone years younger than me, lovely, strong and healthy, thinking I would always have her, but it didn't work out that way. Easy to be morose about the past this time of year anyway, but I'm putting some likable but inexpensive non-Black-Friday stuff together for my daughter and son-in-law, hoping they do the same for me, and will genuinely try to immerse myself in secular Yuletide bliss. The older we get, the more cherished people and beliefs we lose through attrition, and the accumulation of it all really stays with you for keeps, but what is, is, and I hope we will all find reasons to be happy this season, and people in our lives to be happy for.
Harlan -- Just Tweeted him on your behalf. Keep yer fingers crossed.
HARLAN SEEKS SOMEONE ------- CAN YOU HELP?
I am trying to get in personal touch with an artist named
The only contact I have for him is an art website at
and I have tried sending a post there...but I'm not sure if it went into the ionswarm or reached some company or whatever. If anyone can locate
and drift him back here to me--or if you're one of my closer friends, give him my phone number--I would be, as always, enormously grateful. And I'd owe you one.
Yr. Pal, Harlan
A MOMENT WITH JEFF R
Jeff, your post certainly struck a chord with me and its' resonance made me shiver. My wife loves Christmas so much - an almost childlike preoccupation - that it gives form and life my mortal dread which is that she expires before I do and I have to spend even one holiday without her.
So please accept an extended virtual arm from across the pond and drape it round your shoulder.
AS THE WEEK STUMBLES WEARILY TO ITS REST
Helluva seven days. Neil Gaiman visited. Wonderful visit. Robert Crazis visited. He looked great, I gave him one of my latest two harlanellisonbooks.com titles, the one dedicated to him, wonderful visit. Chris Ryall and the film team from IDW came to visit and talk movie business. Met David Ozer. Wonderful visit. Showed Chris where in honor I had placed the gorgeous Swedish glass piece he brought me back from his Finland sojourn. He looked great, we talked some very interesting PHOENIX WITHOUT ASHES stuff, the nice young man from the Circle of Confusion Agency had twinkles in his eyes leaving the Lost Aztec Temple of Mars. Wonderful visit. Waiting for Naren&Shireen, and Carol Connors from NYC, to come visit tomorrow. It will be wonderful. I'm so happy, I could puke.
Talked to Patton Oswalt. He's back on the road, carrying his baby to every gig. Reading Peter Tomasi's BATMAN & ROBIN in 3 hardcovers...and if anyone is in contact with my friend, Peter, who was the first editor ten years ago when DC and I began the pre-prod for 7 AGAINST CHAOS...would you please drift him back here to me so I can clutch his claw with love? Thank you.
Apart from that, the item I donated to Janis Ian's Pearl Foundation auction sold well, and I've autographed the item, and sent it along to a not-unexpected-but-legendary buyer, all insured and copacetic; I'm now more than 20,000 words into the new introduction to the 7th edition of ELLISON WONDERLAND coming from Peter Crowther's PS Publishing; and on and on and on, as Kurt used to say.
Susan is under the weather--make that "under the weather"--but not seriously. If she'd stop smiling and saying she's fine, I could dragoon her into going to more Wizards for third and fourth opinions, but she is Who She Is, and I can do little more than continue to nag, nuhdz, cozzen, kvetch and cajole her. I'm on it, gang.
Alex Krislov: again, yet again, once more, my heart goes out to you at your loss.
Other than that (and it's the tip of Everest, as similarly as YOUR real regular lives), have yourselves a jaunty weekend. Try
to ignore the incessant barbarian assaults of BUY!!BUY!!BUY!! emanating from every point of your awareness, and when you need bad taste jollity and humor that sloshes well over purple prose into the ultraviolet, c'mon back and we'll chitchat.
Yr. Pal, Harlan
I will always be on your side. I don't need religion to tell me whothe good people are. You are one of the best IMNOH.
RIP MR. MANDELA
The world lost a truly towering figure. As always, expecting his death doesn't make the actual fact of it easier to bear. I agree with Robert N on "he belongs to the ages;" if it was good enough for Mr. Lincoln... Here's the rest of what the President said:
"At his trial in 1964, Nelson Mandela closed his statement from the dock saying, “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
And Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal, and he made it real. He achieved more than could be expected of any man. Today, he has gone home. And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages.
Through his fierce dignity and unbending will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of others, Madiba transformed South Africa -- and moved all of us. His journey from a prisoner to a President embodied the promise that human beings -- and countries -- can change for the better. His commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who jailed him set an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. And the fact that he did it all with grace and good humor, and an ability to acknowledge his own imperfections, only makes the man that much more remarkable. As he once said, “I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
I am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration from Nelson Mandela's life. My very first political action, the first thing I ever did that involved an issue or a policy or politics, was a protest against apartheid. I studied his words and his writings. The day that he was released from prison gave me a sense of what human beings can do when they’re guided by their hopes and not by their fears. And like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set, and so long as I live I will do what I can to learn from him.
To Graça Machel and his family, Michelle and I extend our deepest sympathy and gratitude for sharing this extraordinary man with us. His life’s work meant long days away from those who loved him the most. And I only hope that the time spent with him these last few weeks brought peace and comfort to his family.
To the people of South Africa, we draw strength from the example of renewal, and reconciliation, and resilience that you made real. A free South Africa at peace with itself -- that’s an example to the world, and that’s Madiba’s legacy to the nation he loved.
We will not likely see the likes of Nelson Mandela again. So it falls to us as best we can to forward the example that he set: to make decisions guided not by hate, but by love; to never discount the difference that one person can make; to strive for a future that is worthy of his sacrifice.
For now, let us pause and give thanks for the fact that Nelson Mandela lived -- a man who took history in his hands, and bent the arc of the moral universe toward justice. May God Bless his memory and keep him in peace."
My best to all the other diners who've faced recent losses or set-backs. Keep the faith. Keep plugging. You are not alone.
Harlan, Steve Barber, Smodell 1995 (Shagin) and Diane Bartels:
Thank all of you very much. That's about all I can say. But your good will is HUGELY appreciated.
Roger, sorry to hear of your fall. Hope you are all better soon.
Cindy, sorry you were ill, and glad you are recovering.
Lori, I wanted you on my side. It gets lonely here on the believing side.
My sincere condolences on all the passings, personal and public.
Obama, of course, was quoting Secretary of War Edwin Stanton's words on the death of Lincoln. Comparing Mandela to Lincoln is entirely appropriate, so "Now he belongs to the ages" is as brief and eloquent a statement for an American president to make upon hearing of the death of South Africa's Lincoln as can be imagined. Anyone have a better six words?
Sometimes, you need eloquence, or just something from the gut
NOTE: this is not a party political broadcast nor does it in any way imply that I like, don't like, or am ambivalent about President Obama.
But for goodness' sake, couldn't he, or the people at the White House, have come up with something more than "He belongs to the ages" when Nelson Mandela dies? CLANG. Holy shit that's bad. Hackneyed, awful, an unbelievably boilerplate thing to say by any America president when one of the greatest figures of the 20th century dies. Unfathomable.
JEFF R.: Keep the good memories close, that's all we can do.
Jeff R -- I cannot fathom...do not WANT to fathom...your grief. I know what losing Cris would mean to me. You have my most heartfelt thoughts and wishes. As Harlan noted, they are small consolations, but they are there.
Roger G -- Please, please, please take care. I spent good portion of last week following my rapidly aging father up the stairs for fear of just such a happenstance. Get this handled.
Harlan, Mary -- Condolences on another loss. These are the moments to appreciate those who are gone, and moreso those still with us.
Crap day in the Pavilion.
Living in the mountains, and still on my feet. The waters under the earth keep this country going. There are some who know what is happening in the world. They wait for aliens to come back and rescue us from the evil doers.
Old story, Yes, I do remember Bellfontaine. One of my neighbors went to school with Doc's son.
We have got to hang in there just to annoy the fools who can't read.
Bad moment to pipe up, but I have been asked a direct question.
The July date is flat-out wrong. However, it turns out HER HUSBAND'S HANDS AND OTHER STORIES --
-- which I realized too goddammned late should have been called HER HUSBAND'S HANDS AND OTHER EXTREMITIES --
-- God DAMN the wisdom of the stairwell --
is *not* out yet, not in stores and not at online sellers.
Publisher Sean Wallace is still investigating the nature of the delay, which appears to have been at the printer or distributor. Who knows? The bottom line is that the book has been delayed, by a period that may be days or weeks, for reasons not yet accounted for. Worst envisioned scenario: no later than January.
This happens, alas. I once found out on publication day that a certain book was being retained in the warehouse for legal reasons, and might or might not come out (it eventually did, a couple of months later); I once found out that a book was being reissued in a matter of weeks, that I had no idea about. It's a freaking pain in the ass. But the book will be out, and it will have the dumbfounding David Gerrold intro, and it will have Harlan's laudatory quote in a prominent place. My only real irritation is that if it is delayed much longer, let alone January, it will of a certainty miss those year's-end roundups, while retaining an official publication date that will prevent it from getting the same kind of coverage in 2014; to which the only possible response is an enamel-grinding "Ah, well."
It's still a kickass book. As you'll see. Before too long, I hope.
GENTLE TOUCH ON THE SHOULDER FOR JEFF R.
It is puny attempt at succor, but when you wistfully remember Dear Shadows, remember us here, and come have a moment's chat. It is puny, it is small, but maybe it'll soften things by a minim.
Yr. Pal, Harlan
Paul Mantee gone. Damn...
I love'd him in Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Love the film, though my wife looks at me strangely when I put it on.
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