That last part was funny -- shades of the famous "seven word sentence with seven different meanings". And you can call me "Justin" if you want to -- I've certainly been called worse -- but Mr. Sluyter might have a problem with that one.
Tom Wolfe Can't Write Fiction For Sour Owl Poop
NASON: It was either John Updike OR Norman Mailer that reviewed A MAN IN FULL. John Irving simply defended the reviewer's viewpoint (on a talk show, I believe) and pointed out (in a contentious way, in the manner of, say Harlan Ellison)that he found Tom Wolfe to be lacking in style and ability.
For my part, I agree with Irving: as a creator of fiction, Wolfe can't write for sour owl poop. His nonfiction books, THE RIGHT STUFF, and THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST are brilliant pieces of "first person", Truman Capote/Hunter Thompson-inspired pieces of "journalism" (which is to say they mix pop history with "you were there" -- whether they are first person narrative or not -- style writing). But, to borrow from Celtic-linked relatives on the other side of "the pond", abominations like I AM CHARLOTTE SIMMONS, BACK TO BLOOD, BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES and, yes, A MAN IN FULL, are "shite". Unfortunately, his knack for cobbling above-average "pop" nonfiction has circled the drains of late, as well, since "The Kingdom of Speech" and "Hooking Up" were laughable, at best.
And, let's face it, the funniest "comic" novelist have always -- and still are -- liberal, or at least moderate...
John Kennedy Toole
Garrison Keillor (got a late start in novels)
...to name a few from the post WWII generation and the boomer generation as well. And, like Simon, I read THE NIX by Nathan Hill and I would definitely include him in a list of younger
novelists who fit the "liberal" and funny labels:
Brady Udall (moderate, at least)
And so on.
Christopher Buckley is only funny to those who think William Buckley was clever (and funny) -- the latter was neither, bordering on racist and homophobic most of the time.
Cheers from oz,
This kind of baffled me...
The impression this year has been that Kmart has been limping along on its last legs, having failed to find success after buying out Sears over a decade ago. They're dropping down to only 1,200 stores, and with failing companies, this usually means they're not going to do anything new... except for Pontiac, who produced some really good-looking cars during their last few years (shame they didn't start doing that ten years earlier). But I was looking up my book's title--I'm getting desperate for reviews and feedback, plus I do regular checks to see if some torrent scum stole this book, too--and I came across it listed on an expired Kmart page. In other words, it's not on the active site, but Google did get a screen cap of it. What's weird is that I published it through CreateSpace, which is an Amazon print-on-demand company. So now I'm wondering if this was some glitch in the Kmart ordering system (maybe someone thought CS was a real publisher?), or is Amazon expanding out and touching Kmart for business now? Imagine the revolution in marketing for independent books, if such a thing happened.
Anyway, even as temporary as the listing appears to be, there's still that '70s part of me that grew up with Kmart that says, "Cool, I'm on a Kmart page!"
Thanks to those who helped
The trade edition of "A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison" (NESFA Press) has gone off to the printer for a July 20 (give or take) street date. It will be available from Amazon, B&N, and other traditional sources at a cover price of $35. I want to thank everyone who was kind enough to contact me with corrections for those errors that made it past the editors, proofreaders, and me. If they arrived in time, we put them into the new printing, and any that arrived after deadline will make it into future printings. I especially want to thank those who left comments about the book on this site. Clearly Harlan and Susan have a number of people who care deeply about them and I am proud to have been allowed to walk among you.
Wolfe & Young
SIMON: I assume your subject heading was a reference to Tom Wolfe's essay, "My Three Stooges," his response to John Updike, Norman Mailer, and John Irving, who negatively reviewed his novel A MAN IN FULL.
It's so happens that I'm currently reading Wolfe most recent novel, BACK TO BLOOD, set in South Florida, where I just celebrated my dad's 90th birthday. The book is hilarious. Is there a better comic novelist rioting in America today, with the possible exception of Christopher Buckley? And why are the conservative novelists the funny ones these days?
My understanding is that Sean Young was on track to being a major movie star in the 1980s when she was cast as Vicki Vale in Tim Burton's 1989 BATMAN. Apparently she injured her arm shortly before production began and had to be replaced by Kim Basinger. To this day showing Young believes that she lost the momentum at that point in her career and never got it back. She foolishly insisted on lobbying for the role of Catwoman in BATMAN RETURNS, going so far as to show up in Burton's Warner Bros. office wearing a handmade Catwoman costume and insisting she be considered for the part. It seems that security had to escort the lady out of the studio comma and Michelle Pfeiffer got the plum role. She began to develop a reputation for unstable behavior after James Woods broke off a relationship with her and she stalked him, but to no avail. Eventually she reached that "certain age" at which actresses are no longer considered suitable for leading lady roles in our sexist culture. The opportunity for major stardom had come and passed. But that hasn't stopped Sean Young from steadily working on stage and in film -- she has parts in no less than seven films coming out this year, and another seven are in the pipeline. Our esteemed host has said that the difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional keeps at it, year after year. That's just what Sean Young has done. You have to give her credit for that.
My four Scr**ges
That title, by the way, was paraphrased from an essay by a "scribe" -- I use the term loosely -- highly revered by the conservative mindset, so I couldn't resist. And when one considers historical accuracy, four would've been the correct number, not three.
Alex, your interpretation of what I wrote comes across as the equivalent of the "I know it when I see it" quote by Justice Stewart, waaaay back when, adjudicating on "pornography". Or, perhaps, one of the blind men in the room, running his hands over one part of an elephant, and then saying, "it's a snake", or a tree trunk, etc.
Dear "Besides": I'm certain my short comment made no connection between the state of Young's mental health and the appearance of Trump as POTUS. Find another bridge.
Jacob J. Spiderman III, Esq. , Not sure why you need to bring up the election -- I didn't; I just mentioned the idiocy of supporting someone like Trump for President of the United States -- but since ya did: surely you've read about the three million vote difference, the inadequacy of the electoral college system in modern times and, most importantly -- I would think, for any truly patriotic American -- the fact that the RUSSIANS actually influenced the 2016 Presidential election. You've read about all of that, haven't you?
Kenneth Stevens, your conclusion -- much like that of the blind men and "Besides" -- would have to have been pulled out of thin air. Unless -- heaven forfend! -- you believe success is only attainable in Hollywood? Or that those in the MENSA society are only just above average IQ? Say it ain't so, Joe! Er, Ken.
I guess we can't blame that one on Tommy Westphall.
Sad to report that Stephen Furst has passed away...
Without a doubt you are the very first person ever to put forth the theory that Hollywood is secretly controlled by the Mensans.
And yet we have the 2016 Democratic candidate for POTUS as a pure and simple loser to a semi-literate game show host with bad hair. And that with all of her supposed intelligence and experience AND with the super-being trillion megawatt brains of her hordes of truly enlightened supporters behind her.
Sean Young was considered a nutter well before Mr. Drumpf went into politics. Go fish.
Sean Young's politics ...
It is, for me, very difficult to comprehend the mindset of some of the people out there. In a sentence, it runs: "I cannot believe a woman voted for the candidate of her choice rather than for the candidate I think she should have voted for."
In three words
Robert Nason, you explained, in three words, Alan's query about why Sean Young hasn't been more successful: She supported Trump.
Which means she probably voted for Trump. Which also means she's one of less intelligent beings on the American Continent.
To succeed, one has to be talented, lucky and at least smarter than average -- definitely NOT below average.
Teller of tales
at the heart
in need of nothing
Sean Young a page on Facebook which I occasionally look at. She now goes under the name Mary Sean Young, the name she was born with. I find it amusing that her many followers are baffled by her staunch support of Trump, whom she has vigorously supported from the day he announced his candidacy. It drives most of her fans crazy. Take a look at her Facebook page sometime and enjoy the fireworks.
When you're strange...
Alan, you are one strrrrange potato, my friend.
But, yeah, Sean Young rocked it in "Blade Runner". If you have
to be a one hit wonder, may as well be in the best.
Just saw Sean Young doin' okay.
Have not seen or heard about her in so long,still making movies,very small studio projects,she can do no wrong after Blade Runner and Dune,wish others felt that.
I hope all of you have a Great weekend & Most of all I hope Harlan & Susan are doing good
re: Harlan's intro
Tony, I appreciate your help very much. Have a wonderful day.
Tim Lowe - re the intro
That would be "The Waves in Rio," Harlan's intro to THE BEAST THAT SHOUTED LOVE AT THE HEART OF THE WORLD.
Bests to all here.
Searching for an Ellison intro
All of my Ellison books are still packed from a move, but I am trying to remember which book has the introduction where he talks about being in Rio and being alone; how, like the waves, he has travelled all this distance just to be alone.
Can anyone help?
Thanks in advance.
Had to just shutdown all the bullshit fed from the Teat...
Watched a movie called Citizen Ruth,I laughed through all of it,to think there are people suffering those issues,not just Laura Derns character but the right to life folks,crazed to victory,but Laura really is quite good,remember the film with Cage,Wild at Heart.
For those of you who may not have seen it, here's a delightful clip of William Shatner and Joan Collins reminiscing about "The City on the Edge of Forever," which Shatner considers the best episode of STAR TREK. (It would have been fascinating if the two of them had discussed what they thought of Harlan's original teleplay.)
Harlan's (non)presence ...
A while back (about two decades), a fan of Robert Heinlein's posted one of the most satisfactory explanations for "The Number of the Beast."
Here's the link -- http://www.heinleinsociety.org/rah/numberbeast.html
The reason I provide the link is that I think Harlan's absence could be for a reason similar to the explanation given by Heinlein's fan all those years ago. Harlan is working, and like all great writers -- and that isn't me trying to suck up; you read "Paladin" without choking up, even though you've read it a dozen times -- that's exhausting, effort-filled work. Whether you're 20 or 80, a day of writing (or even a day doing all the peripheral work that is needed to get a day of writing done) burns through a lot of your energy.
I continue to think fond thoughts, I continue to dip in and out of the books, and that's all there is to it. I have met Harlan only twice, and both times, it was simply in a one-in-a-line fashion. But he has the good manners of the Old School. If he was just going to ignore us, he'd tell us to get the hell out of the house first (but he'd do it with some style).
We are all lucky to have the opportunity that is this site.
My thanks to our gracious host
Harlan's essays and fiction have been my wise and stalwart companions for decades, especially during the shittiest of times. He has never been other than kind and incredibly generous with me and whether he ever stops back in here or not, he has already given me far more than I can repay
Thanks Unca Harlan.