People in Need
Hey Guys --
I'm sure you've all seen the devastation from Oklahoma. Sitting in my comfortable home in Southern California I can only relate and ask myself: how would I feel if it were an earthquake here instead? How much help would WE need?
There is a video that if you can watch without tearing up your soul is harder than mine.
Actor John Barrowman has set up a fund to help this particular victim of the tornadoes. She is too old to have much to fall back on, yet looks to have a good life she needs to resume.
Donations can be made at: http://www.gofundme.com/31p4es
And if you'd like to spread the wealth a little further abroad, consider the American Red Cross. http://www.redcross.org/
Who ever heard of a fast shadow? Aren't shadows supposed to loom?
VOR, you just made the case against libraries--stellar. They offer free information--eww, run, so scary!
Some information should be free, some should not. Access to information is what make thinking Americans.
We need to kill the suds of the brainwash.
Sharing good news
My wife's aunt Pamela, a globe-trotting, marathon-biking, tech-savvy force of nature, to the disbelief of all when it was announced, got married last weekend, and there is a baby expected! We're all very happy for her, she's due for some good news. Since 2001, she's lost both only sisters (Kat's mother and aunt), a niece with CP (Kat's only sister), her father, and she's been caring for her mother, now in her mid eighties, with all the good and bad memory days that entails. Her husband is from Scotland and his parents, his brother, several aunts and uncles, and a few friends all flew in for the service. My wife's side of the family is Mexican, therefore it was a Catholic ceremony, and as hubby Steven was not a cathol, they had to take what I call Catholic Re-Education Classes at a retreat, so they could get married in St. Joseph's in Corpus Christi.
It was a sight to behold. I'm pretty sure this small east-side barrio church had never before seen the like of a squadron of men in kilts, metal sporrans and Prince Charlie Jackets standing at the alter of their church, listening to a heavily accented Castillian do a Latin service in both English and Spanish.
There was a small reception, and a second one will be held in Scotland at a later date, after baby is ready to go. It was a very nice night, and no one got too maudlin or too drunk. (I know, there's always one wag who will say, "Well then, it wasn't a proper wedding!") But it was a blast, toasts and fetes, dancing and Scotch. And I'm telling you now, until you've seen a sixty year old man in full Highland Dress doing the 'chicken dance' with a couple of girls half the years shy of their quinceanera, you really haven't lived fully.
Maria- Congratulations on going back to school. I'm sorry it's been a long, slog, but there's nothing bad about education, at any time. Good for you, and muchas good luck.
Barber~ I've been following your weight loss blog (with mixed emotions) and I just wanted to say congratulations! Been thinking it's about time to steer toward that road myself. Your writing is perfect: specific, detailed and understandable. Ever think about writing copy? *insert evil grin here* My best to Cris, whatever the nature of the concern.
Le~ I had an moving experience with nature as well, recently. I stepped out onto the patio about sunrise and below on the greensward that runs parallel to a small forest, I saw a doe and four kid deer, walking and eating, laying around. The sound of the door made them look up, and startled two squirrels who scampered through them into the woods and a couple of blue jays flew off to the treetops. I felt like I had just stepped into SNOW WHITE. I flittered my hands and hit the first notes of A Smile And A Song, but they didn't seem interested.
I know, I know
HE: I was in a hurry -- something NO man...or Shadow -- should be in when posting amongst this crowd. So, I know, I know...
You may now poke fun at me for missing the whimsy in YOUR reply. Or, more preferably, just ignore my ill-conceived attempt at, well...knowing what drollery mirths in the heart of man.
Alex Krislov's Magical Expanded Reading Time
I may be wrong, but I believe Alex K. was just being whimsical -- wishing for more time to read, since he has more than a plateful but not quite enough time to sit in one place and enjoy all eight courses as quickly as he'd like.
Hoping this finds you in good humor,
TONY HEALEY: Yeah, sure, send it along, if you know the HERC address. But make sure you enclose the proper wherewithal to get it to me, and to repackage and return it to you, without my having to bestir myself. I don't mind signing stuff for loyal readers--this is not, pointedly, a window of opportunity for others to pile on--I am adamant about maintaining the borders between lagniappe and imposition.
Cheerily, Yr. pal, Harlan
The Information Must Be Free Idiots
Here's another argument against the Information Must Be Free Idiots who think just about Anything and Everything should be free and available on the internet:
Apparently hundreds of thousands of instructions on how to make the plastic, impossible-to-detect-via-X-ray, handguns have been downloaded around the world. Even in countries which have worked hard to institute controls over such things -- and in countries where terrorists hide out. All courtesy of University of Texas law student Cody Wilson, who, in the article above, says he has rededicated himself to making an even better version.
If I were to send you my copy of APPROACHING OBLIVION (my favourite of your anthologies) would it be possible to have it signed?
Of all your stories, "One Life, Furnished In Early Poverty," in particular, has had the most effect on me. It is truly beautiful writing and I revisit it often.
MARK GOLDBERG: Good call. Alan and I have been slightly-more-than-good acquaintances for decades. Circumstance has never lobbied to the avantage of Moore'n'Me working together but, unlike my nearly-thirty-year friendship with Neil Gaiman, Alan and I haven't cut trail that often to plumb our camaraderie more deeply. Yet I continue being constantly enamoured of his sagacity and the broad depth of his erudition...so, good call.
ALEX KRISLOV: A phrase that is unknown to me: what exactly IS
"magical expanded reading time" and what's it got to do with my work? Inquiring minds want to know.
MIKE DORAN (and Steve Lewis, Michael Shonk, and all the wannabe-
gumshoes at Mystery*File): Not yet. It's coming. But as the anecdote already appears as a long moment on the 2nd disc of the film about my life, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH, during the pizza lunch conversation with Neil Gaiman, I sorta have to gear up to tell it again. But I'll try to do it for you with much more specificity and detail than has festooned all the dozens of times I've run this mythology in years and books past. It's coming; be patient.
ALL: I had an inordinately lovely day, a couple of days ago, culminating in several telecon entwinings with the glorious Michael Whelan and my (at long last) purchasing of his fabulous cover painting for CUTTER'S WORLD that adorns BRAIN MOVIES 3. It will hang alongside the Corbens, Dillons, Finlays, Boks, Cartiers, Barclay Shaws, Kent Bashes, Sterankos, Baumans, John K. Snyder IIIs, a James Gurney, several Dario Campaniles, et al,
that honor the many walls and ceilings of The Lost Aztec Temple of Mars, here, Ellison Wonderland. Wait long enough, and the ripe pomegranate falls into your hands. I am chuft.
Yr. Pal, Harlan
New HERC arrived in Cleveland
Susan, thanks for the new HERC mailing! Too much good news, though. I got the Beaumont collection (with Harlan's intro to "The Howling Man") today as part of a three-book set. I'm off to the BEA next week, where I'll be buried in galleys. And I'm getting the new Brain Movies books. Any chance of the next HERC mailing including a special capsule of magical expanded reading time?
Our Genial Host has often expressed admiration for Frederic Prokosch's novel THE SEVEN WHO FLED. I found an interesting article about Prokosch here -
Harlan & Alan Moore
I recently re-organized my entire book collection and faced a dilemma. There were 1.5 shelves of Harlan material and I wanted to fill the shelves as much as possible. So I started thinking about which author would not look out of place sitting next to Harlan? Neil Gaiman? Nah, he has a full shelf of his own. Lovecraft or Stephen King? Same problem as Neil, too much of their stuff to fit into a half shelf. Then it hit me, Alan Moore. The more I thought about it the more those two seemed like a natural pairing: works that defy genre, excellent speakers, and passionate defenders of author's rights.
Harlan, I am curious, have you ever had any interactions with Alan Moore? I thought it might be possible, as you both are close friends of Neil Gaiman
Just in case I don't have access to a computer on THE day...
Here's an early Happy Birthday wish, Harlan! May the next 79 be as productive as the first 79!
A boy and his blu-ray.
You baseball fans need to chill the fuck out:
We have a lack of class in our world.
Harry O sounds really dirty.
A Boy And His Dog Blu-Ray
Mention of the release of the Blu-Ray of "A BOY AND HIS DOG" (including a conversation between Harlan and L.Q. Jones which I can't wait to hear/see/experience):
Remember the Literary Snob That Went After King?
ATC posted the article awhile back. To sum up briefly, Dwight Allen took after King with the proverbial hatchet, decrying his success when such "good" novelists (insert name-dropping here of your choice) never see fame. Basically, it was a rehash of every argument made against King when he won the 2003 Contribution to American Letters.
In any event, thought this might be an interesting read to you all:
The Deadly Streets and Gentleman Junkie (Subterranean Press)
They were “late” to reach my hands because my original shipment was left at my door by the post-person when I wasn’t home and was subsequently stolen. I then wrote a polite email to Subterranean Press and explained what had happened, and they sent me replacement copies right away!
Anyway, I love these beautiful books. The glossy dust jackets have cream/ivory-colored backgrounds, over which are graced the striking, bold Expressionistic, woodcut-like illustration by Leo and Diane Dillon. The books are elegantly bound in cloth, in the same cream/ivory color of the dust jackets, and that fully wraps around the spines and continues on to the other side. Over the spines are the titles and the name of our much-loved and revered Writer in shiny green letters. The gorgeous, textured endpapers are also green. Very elegant editions (more beautiful, in my opinion, than Subterranean Press’s expanded edition of DEATHBIRD STORIES)—I love them so much!
Yes, everybody knows Mr. Ellison’s address. I remember back in 1985, standing in awe of at all those first editions in the glass case at Dangerous Visions Bookstore, and thinking aloud to my friend (who is now an English professor, and who taught Harlan Ellison in his classes this past year) who was with me at the time, “Wonder where he lives.” Another customer, who was nearby, overheard me and blurted out Mr. Ellison’s address. He just said it such a matter-of-fact tone as if it were common knowledge like saying “1600 Pennsylvania Ave.” or “10 Downing Street.” His number was still listed in the phone book back then, and I even spoke to The Man twice on the phone back then, and he was gracious and unfailingly polite both times. (I looked his number up online the other day, and I see it is still the same number; the only thing that has changed is the area code.)
I had a great three days off in majestic Big Sur. I stayed in a cabin, which I used as a base for my day hikes up and down that spectacular coastline—trails along bluffs over the sea, trails 2000-feet up steep canyons and ridges and miles into the back country, trails down to hidden beaches and coves. I loved seeing the chaparral, lupine, and poppies. Also got see a few gray brush rabbits and even a couple of deer. Saw a bobcat, too, close to sunset.
My cabin had a kitchen, and I brought along some vegan supplies for cooking. Also got to do some grilling outside. I marinated a huge Portobello mushroom over the fire pit, and enjoyed it on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato slices, caramelized onions, and a little Dijon mustard. For the side dish, I made a quinoa salad.
This is such a beautiful, moving quote:
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones.
Most people are never going to die because they
are never going to be born. The potential people
who could have been here in my place but who will
in fact never see the light of day outnumber the
sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts
include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater
than Newton. We know this because the set of possible
people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set
of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds
it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.”
--Richard Dawkins, UNWEAVING THE RAINBOW
The people at Zen Pencils made a lovely poster (link below) with illustrations to go with the quote, and I ordered it and plan to frame and put up to help remind me that…
“To live at all is miracle enough.”
–Mervyn Peake, THE GLASSBLOWER
This is a great 19-minute documentary called OVERVIEW (link below). It contains some amazing, sublime footage of earth as viewed from space that I have never seen before…footage taken from the Apollo missions to much more recent ones from the Space Shuttle Missions and the International Space Station. We see the earth from the astronauts’s perspective—images like the flickers from lightning …the lights of the world’s great cities dotting the terrestrial expanse below. There is also delicate line that separates the blue atmosphere with the black vacuum of space, how it all seems like this protective but very fragile bubble this “spaceship earth” (Buckminster Fuller).
The astronauts remarked how this privileged vantage point they had made it seem like we’re – all the peoples of the earth – are in this together. I am reminded of that 80s Twilight Zone episode called “A Small Talent for War,” with that great twist ending. The takeaway message I got from that episode is that all nations should work diligently together as if the survival of the human species depended on it…because it does….
OVERVIEW film (19 minutes):
I just came across a great performance of this classical guitar piece —the Bach-inspired Preludio from the Suite Antigua by Guido Santorsola. (But the most beautiful performance of this piece I have heard was by Carlos Barbosa-Lima.) Such lovely arpeggios, and the open chords allow for some great cross-stringing sound effects….
Preludio from Suite Antigua by Guido Santorsola:
So There Too
Thank you for those tidbits concerning Lynn Cartwright. I must say that I was always impressed by whomever's choice it was in "A League of Their Own" to use an older actress and merely dub Geena Davis' voice over her instead of applying the usual unconvincing old age make up we've all seen a thousand times before. Way more effective and (surprisingly) believable. I'm not familiar with Ms Carwright's other work, RIPCORD withstanding, but I thought she did a good job as old Geena. Ironically, if the producers of RIPCORD had availed themselves of that very same "Looping" process, none of us would ever have any idea that Camus was ever mispronounced.
And so it goes.
A small request to Susan: please take me off the HERC mailing list and save yourselves some stamp money, as my mailing address is going to be changing again in two months. Or less, depending on how things go at work.
Why the change? Like it or not (and trust me, I don't like it, not one bit), at the age of 42, I'm going back to college--not necessarily for the education, but more for the prospect of living like a civilized human being for a while rather than a homeless one. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill is something that I turned out to be eligible for, but I got knee-deep into registrations at several different institutions before finding out that I could not pursue any areas of general/useful interest (namely, archival work, which I've been doing here in Hollywood at my job for the past several years). Only one institution would take me in light of my below-3.0 GPA (from '92, for fuck's sake) and without the GRE (I never got past Intermediate Algebra, and abysmal test scores would be a definite result--the absurdity, of course, is that nothing in my classes would ever involve higher maths). I'll spare you the long story about the other institutions and the strings that were attached, but let's just say that you'd think the lesser and more desperate colleges in this country would jump at the chance to put aside arbitrary, self-important policies in favor of easy government money.
Anyway, it's now back to my old university in the frozen wastelands of the upper Midwest, to pursue a Master's degree in English--this by default, as I'm "conditionally accepted" and need to get a B or above in order to continue a higher education. The search for a decent winter coat has already begun. Oh, boy.
I can't help but comment on Leo Gordon, who wasn't far behind Our Host in interesting backgrounds for a TV writer (and actor - something else they both shared).
Gordon played mean thugs in most of his screen appearances, and it was from experience: he'd done hard time in San Quentin for armed robbery in the years after his WWII Army discharge. He got out of prison, went to drama school on his GI Bill, and wound up in Hollywood with several good roles and a ton of writing credits over the course of his career. (Gordon wrote at least a season's worth of Jack Webb's police series ADAM-12, mostly under Stephen Cannell's supervision - and funnily enough, virtually all of those scripts had a part for a big mean guy. He got the role about one time in five.)
Thanks to Josh Olson, and a note to Harlan and Susan
MR. OLSON: Thanks for your input (regarding "Harry O"), as well.
The DVDs are winging their way to me as I type.
HARLAN & SUSAN: Don't know if you two have watched "The Newsroom" which was created by Aaron Sorkin (and, along with "The West Wing", has become one of my favorite "fantasy" shows -- if ONLY Presidents and their administrations, and News Anchors, Producers, etc., WOULD take such stands), but...if you haven't you should. Not only because of the excellent writing (Sorkin, Redford, Rice, etc.) and acting (Jeff Daniels, Alison Pill, Olivia Munn, John Galager, Dev Patel, Jane Fonda, etc.), but because one of the fine actors -- Emily Mortimer -- looks like she could be first cousin to Susan. The resemblance is striking!
(Just noticed that Patton Oswalt will be in the second season, another reason to check out the show).
Cheers from Oz
Dorman (who is patiently waiting for his copies of BRAIN MOVIES 3 & 4)
I was recently informed that for every person who posts here there are 20 lurkers. Bless my soul, but you're a quiet bunch. I wish my 20 would chime in just once just to say hi. But I do understand there are reasons for such silences. It's all good.
But HELLO anyway.
Lynn Cartwright was older Dottie? Not bad. Six feet tall. Well, I stand corrected on that one. By the way my post was not meant as a swipe, but a little soupcon prior Harlan's reply, if he gave one.
Sea Hunt was my favorite show when I was a kid. I swam better underwater than on the surface for years because I wanted to be Mike Nelson. Ziv TV did come up with some good shows.
Thank you, Harlan. I got it. New launch date 5/24. Should reach you in 2 days.
BTW, I meant the Wells Fargo Express not Santa Fe!
Post a New Message or see previous ones in the Comments ArchiveReturn to the Harlan Ellison Home Page