Ellison Signing in San Diego
HE will be signing copies of EDGEWORKS #2 at Mysterious
Galaxy, 3904 Convoy Street, #107, San Diego, CA 92111 on Sunday, November
17th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Those who buy 2 of the 3 new books, or
buy 1 book and pay $5.00, will get a ticket to hear Harlan read a story
after the signing..
Harlan sill also briefly appear at Loscon on Sunday, December 1st at
12 noon at the Burbank Airport Hilton & Towers for one signing and
a Babylon 5 panel with creator J. Michael Straczynski.
Call (818) 752-9656 for details.
Books and Tapes out in Stores! EDGEWORKS #2, from
White Wolf, is out in force now. Early reports from web page visitors
say that this book, while not perfect, contains far fewer typos than
#1. The book is also supposed to be absolutely gorgeous - it contains
the rock novel Spider Kiss and the excellent story collection
Stalking the Nightmare.
HE's reading of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
is also out from Dove Audio, in a 6-hour regular $19.95 version and
a 1-hour children's edition at $6.95. I've listened to a good bit of
it and it is a first-rate reading, complete with all the great accents
and impeccable diction HE is known for.
Finally, Harlan has mended! He bought a hospital treadmill and works
it every day, and his doctor recently gave him an echocardiogram and
reported his heartworks to be without flaw. He is now working furiously
to catch up on all the work he's missed.
IHMNAIMS Voted one of Best 150 Games by CGW
Computer Gaming World's
15th anniversary issue in November features the top 150 games of all
time. Cyberdream's I
Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, created with Harlan's input,
guidance and, voice (and based on his famous short story of the same
name), was amongst the top 150. It was the only Cyberdreams game to
make the cut, and was touted as one of the best sleepers ever and as
having one of the 15 most rewarding endings. HE doesn't think he'll
ever do another computer game, but it's nice to see he did one right.
Ellison Webderland featured at the Sci-Fi Con
Webderland will have its own booth at the Sci-Fi Channel's Sci-Fi Con.
The Sci-Fi Con, an online convention (point your browsers to http://www.scifi.com/scifi.con)
running October 31st through November 3rd, will have a special Harlan
Ellison booth, under the name "ellison", with some stuff you
won't see on Webderland (at least quite yet!). Check it out!
Harlan Signing Books at LA WorldCon
Mark Ziesing, publisher of the upcoming limited edition of Ellison's
new collection Slippage, reports that HE will be signing
special bookplates for the new book this Saturday (Aug 31). Harlan will
be in the autograph area from noon until 2 signing at Ziesing's behest,
and will also be signing the new White Wolf books.
HE given Burroughs Bibliophiles award
This weekend at their annual meeting, the Edgar Rice Burroughs society
gave Harlan their annual Bibliophiles award. Harlan helped save 200
acres of watershed land (chronicled elsewhere in this newspage) from
developers, the very land where Burroughs used to ride and hike and
the inspiration for much of his work. Ellison also campaigned for a
park to be commissioned for Burroughs in the area.
Harlan has also answered a couple of questions posed on Usenet concerning
his intelligence and his right to have his unfinished work destroyed
after his death. You can read his answers on my new Harlan's
Harlan will be signing the trade paperback edition (with the
greatly expanded intro) of THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER
at: Dangerous Visions, 13563 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks CA on August
25th, 1996 (Sunday) from 2-4 pm. Here's the kicker - if you can't make
it, just call the store and reserve a copy - they do mail order! Call
to confirm, (818) 986-6963. Be sure and mention you heard about the
offer on Webderland, maybe they'll give me a T-shirt.
The first Dream Corridor Quarterly is out in stores this weekend.
You'll notice a kind reference to this web site on the back cover. The
comic book, now in a new format, features Ellison works brought to life
by talented artists, fantastic cover art, and a new story by HE each
I've been hard at work for you! I've typed in Peter David's original
and follow-up articles on the Friends
of Ellison, from Comic Buyers Guide. I've also been lucky enough
to get ahold of a 4700-word excerpt from
Harlan's introduction to the second volume in White Wolf's EDGEWORKS
series. Thank heavens I didn't have to type this sucker in -
Dana Buckelew, the series' copy editor, was good enough to e-mail me
a copy I could mangle and html-ize.
Book Signing July 13th at BORDERS, Thousand Oaks, CA
Harlan Ellison will appear at BORDERS books on Saturday, July 13th from
2:00 to 4:00 pm to sign copies of EDGEWORKS Volume 1.
BORDERS is located at 125 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA
91380. Their phone number is (805) 497-8159.
Note: If you can't attend, you can order a personally signed copy
through the store via the above address or phone number.
Harlan Answers Your Questions!
Harlan asked we not send cards after his heart attack, but instead
send a donation, however small, to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
That's great, but what is the address?
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund can be reached at 1-800-998-2533,
or donations can be mailed to:
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
Susan Alston, Director
P.O. Box 693
Northampton, MA 01061
Fax: (413) 582-9046
You can also visit their web page.
HE urges people to send their disposable income immediately! Make checks
out to "Comic Book Legal Defense Fund".
Just what the heck is Jokes Without Punchlines,
which I see on your book list?
JWP was a small chapbook done by White Wolf last year at the ABA convention
in Chicago. It contained 2 stories and an essay, all of which will appear
in Slippage, Ellison's new collection due out this
Why aren't the pages in EDGEWORKS right-adjusted?
They aren't supposed to be! Right-adjusting usually requires kerning,
or scrunching together characters and whitespace so each line fits neatly.
Harlan fought for "deckle-edging" to be used in his new book.
It is considered an artful way to print a book and has been used in
thousands of books in the past - at least that's what Harlan said in
a message that left my answering machine melted and smoking.
What's going on with the Dream Corridor comic?
The comic moved to a paperback quarterly format this year. Diana Schultz
is now acting as Harlan's liason at Dark Horse Comics - she used to
be at First Comics and was the editor-in-chief at Dark Horse until she
quit to pursue projects including the Dream Corridor series.
Harlan has been working closely with Diana and the first book in the
new format is due out in August.
Does Harlan get something extra from orders to the HERC (Harlan
Ellison Recording Collection)? Should we order from there?
Yes, by all means. The HERC only sells out-of-print items (in addition
to their sterling collection of spoken-word recordings) and Harlan would
certainly rather you put your hard-earned dollars in his
pocket as opposed to that of a used or antiquarian book dealer. HE heartily
recommends you join the HERC today so you
can get on the list for recordings, books, and special deals the HERC
sometimes offers in conjunction with the publishers of new material.
Harlan to appear on Tom Snyder Show Tuesday, July 2nd
HE will be on Tom Snyder's show after David Letterman on CBS this Tuesday
evening. The show will air live at 9:30 pm Pacific Time, 12:30 AM (just
after midnight) Eastern. The rest of you, do the math. Tom and Harlan
are old friends so this promises to be a great show!
Old News, but Good News: Harlan is a Sir!
At a Command Investiture held in Greeley, Colorado on Saturday, October
15, 1994, Harlan Ellison was invested and decorated as a Knight of the
Holy Sepulchre in The Religious and Military Order of Knights of the
Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in recognition of his international reputation
as a writer and futurist. The Investiture was granted personally by
the Sovereign Grand Master, His Excellency Baron Worley of Christy.
The Religous and Military Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre is
a traditional Order of Chivalry and lists among its Knights royalty,
nobility, bishops, priests, ministers, retired members of the Armed
Forces, educators and scholars, award-winning novelists and writers,
business people, and men and women who have otherwise achieved in various
fields and careers. The Order elevates to the Knightly class persons
who have made sustained and outstanding contribution to mankind.
Both men and women are eligible for knightly elevation and honor in
the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. The title follows the European (not
British) custom, either "The Right Honorable Chevalier" or
"The Right Honorable Dame." Therefore, Ellison's title is
The Right Honorable Chevalier Harlan Ellison. His wife holds the title
Also made Knights of the Holy Sepulchre at the same Investiture were
the Rt. Hon. Chev. Devendra P. Varma (the world's premier scholar of
Gothic literature) and the Rt. Hon. Dame Connie Willis, one of America's
leading science fiction writers.
"Chatting with Anubis" wins Bram Stoker, HE receives
Life Acheivement Award
New YorkHarlan Ellison served as toastmaster for the Horror Writers
of America's annual awards banquet June 8. At that banquet, HE was awarded
the HWA's highest honor, the Bram Stoker award for Life Acheivement.
Ellison's short story "Chatting with Anubis" was also award
the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a short story.
"Chatting" was simultaneously published in Harlan Ellison's
Dream Corrider #4 and LORE #1. The story was one
of four finalists for short fiction (the HWA presents awards for novels,
first novels, story collections, short fiction, long fiction, and non-fiction
each year). Lawrence Watt-Evans, president of the HWA, said before the
awards "The competion this year was exceptional. We've rarely seen
so many first rate stories on the preliminary ballot. The finalists
were chosen from literally hundreds of recommended works."
The Bram Stoker Award (commonly referred to as the "Usher"
house), named after the author of the classic Dracula--the
model for so much of modern horror--is a whimiscal statuette of a haunted
house and was devised by Ellison himself. The HWA was formed in 1987
through the efforts of author Dean Koontz and servers as a support network
fo those working in the field and a means of educating the public about
the horror genre.
The HWA can be contacted via e-mail as email@example.com,
and the HWA web page is at http://www.horror.org/HWA.
Ziesing Books accepting advance orders for Slippage
Mark V. Ziesing is working on the limited edition of Slippage,
as reported here in May. He hopes to have the books ready in September
and expects it to go for around $75. Houghton-Mifflin will be producing
a less-robust trade edition sometime after the limited edition. Mark
V. Zieising Books is accepting advance orders (no money yet, please)
for the book now.
Contact Mark as 103633.2555@CompuServe.com
or firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit his web site at http://www.bigchair.com/zieising
and order your copy today!
Mark V. Zieising, Bookseller, Phone/Fax (916) 474-1580, Snail-Mail
P.O. Box 76, Shingletown, CA 96088
There is NOT a tape available of HE's appearance at the Cartoon Art
Museum, as erroneously reported here in March. Sorry.
Ellison Webderland was recently awarded the 3-Star Site Award from Magellan
and something called the "ICP Award" from The
Limited Edition of Slippage Complete
Harlan completed the finishing touches to his first collection of new
short stories since Angry Candy today. The trade edition
of Slippage, as reported here, was turned into Houghton-Mifflin
in late March, and the limited edition -- with additional material not
found in the trade edition -- was just delivered to Mark Ziesing.
The Ziesing edition features a 5,000-word introduction entitled The
Fault in My Lines, a spectacular cover by Jill Bauman, and design
by Arnie Fenner. It should be going to press soon -- more updates on
release dates will be forthcoming.
Ellison Health Update
This is just a quick note to those of you wondering how Harlan's doin'.
I spoke with him late last week and his heart (and more importantly
the pipes around it) is doing great. His left leg (you know, the one
they took over 2 feet of vein out of) is not draining well due to the
missing plumbing, and it's swollen due to the resultant accumulation
of fluid. He's lost almost 15 pounds, and of course is still in a lot
of pain: every time he laughed or coughed I could feel the spike burying
itself in his chest. But his spirits were fantastic and his voice every
bit as vibrant as ever. He's dodged far grimmer spectres and it appears
this particular dark angel has already faded to dust and dreams.
In fact, HE is doing so well he still plans on attending the
Chicago ComicCon (forgive me if there's an extra c in there),
although all bets are off concerning appearances before then.
Special Note: Harlan wanted to make sure I passed on his sincere
thanks to all of you for your messages. I think our outpouring was enough
to pierce even his gruff and irascible exterior. He was really moved
and I thank all of you for helping me make a difference.
In other news, I hear from several faithful Webderland visitors that
the new White Wolf Edgeworks volume is out
in stores. I've been looking for it but the stores here in Atlanta (where
White Wolf is headquartered) still have it on order! Susan has sent
me a copy of the dust jacket, and I think it's a gorgeous piece of work.
Harass your local bookstore until they order fifty copies...
Ellison Back in the Proverbial Saddle
As reported by me in various places on the Internet:
HARLAN ELLISON ALIVE AND WELL AND UP TO HIS ASS IN DIET BOOKS
In a conversation Monday evening April 22nd, celebrated author Harlan
Ellison was spirited and garrulous as ever, though a little winded,
after recovering from a quadruple-bypass operation Sunday April 14th.
Ellison began experiencing chest pains Wednesday April 10th which continued
to worsen until Friday evening, when they became so bad he had his wife
Susan rush him to the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai hospital. Ellison's
surgery was scheduled for Monday, but Harlan demanded it be performed
Sunday when his condition became unbearable. Dr. Ron Karlsberg operated
to perform angioplasty and it was discovered that Ellison's arteries
were severely blocked in four places. It was decided that the multiple
blockages ruled out angioplasty and a decision was made to perform a
bypass operation instead.
In a five hour surgery, Dr. Robert Macekass with the Thoracic and Cardiovascular
unit at Cedars-Sinai used 27 1/2 inches of vein from Ellison's left
leg (running from ankle to groin) to perform a quadruple-bypass operation,
bypassing the blockages in 4 places. The operation was a success and
Ellison awoke in the CICU unit the next day.
As Harlan reports, he spent Monday and Tuesday in delirium, unable to
move, read, watch TV, or even cough due to doctors having "cracked
my chest like a walnut shell". Despite great pain and feelings
of panic and helplessness, Harlan remained conscious for much of these
two days. He was placed on a nutritive IV after being unable to ingest
fluids and becoming anemic and was moved into a monitored room in the
cardiac care unit on Wednesday April 17th.
After the move Harlan's condition improved and his anemia lessened.
He was released from the hospital Friday morning. He is now resting
as comfortably as one might hope in the care of his wife Susan and is
back under the care of his regular physician, John David Romm.
Harlan reported Monday that he has received more than 600 phone calls
and faxes, and despite his wishes to the contrary his house has been
filled with so many flowers "it smells like an Algerian whorehouse".
The Ellisons wish to reiterate that they are doing fine and please don't
call or send a card and for God's sake please don't send flowers. A
URL has been set up on Ellison's web site on the Internet for people
to send a brief Get-Well message. The Get-Well board is at http://harlanellison.com/getwell/comments.htm
and will remain up until Monday April 29th when the collected comments
will be faxed to the Ellisons.
That's the end of the clip: for you faithful Webderland denizens,
I will also report that Susan damn near had to pry the phone out of
Harlan's hand to spare his strength and that he has received my first
batch of get-well messages amongst his mountain of faxes and thanks
you all. He also reports that his operation was performed Sunday by
Dr. Macekass because his original surgeon (who he named, but I won't)
was vacationing in Tahoe.
Update on Harlan's Condition
You can all breathe a little easier now. Harlan is out of intensive
care and off the heart monitor even, and aside from being moved about
a bit everything is going fantastic. Susan reports that they are going
to have to postpone all the the planned stops on Harlan's west coast
book-signing tour except for the signing at BORDERS (125 W. Thousand
Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91380 805-497-8159), which will still
be July 13th 2:00-4:00 pm.
Of course, Harlan being slowed down a little has not prevented the book
from coming out (I am talking about White Wolf's Edgeworks Vol.
I) and the book should be in stores Right Now or Real Soon Now.
I don't have a firm date on when Harlan is expected back from the hospital,
but it should be very soon. I will let you know more as soon as I get
the word. I am also sending the first batch of Get-Well messages off
In other news, we've found all but the 3rd, 5th, and 7th editions (yes,
all the prime numbers, go figure) of the Sci-Fi Book Club edition of
Dangerous Visions (see the 04/07 news entry). Thank you
very much for all your responses.
Harlan recovering from quadruple-bypass
Harlan suffered what his wife Susan thinks was a heart attack Friday
evening. He was rushed to Cedar-Sinai Hospital where a quadruple-bypass
operation was performed Sunday afternoon April 14th.
As of this afternoon HE was recovering well and was expected home possibly
as early as next Saturday. Please do not call the Ellisons or the hospital
- I will let you know via the comments board or here as soon as I hear
If you want to send Harlan a message, I have set up a
comments board for you to leave your get well wishes on.
When HE gets back from the hospital I will print it out and fax it to
This weekend I will have the full details on Harlan's west coast
book-signing tour for the White Wolf Edgeworks Volume I.
The first stop will be May 18th so you will have plenty of time to check
your calendar beforehand!
Ellisons looking for Sony Betamax VCRs
SONY BETAMAX VCR MODEL SL-2300
Harlan and Susan have their entire movie collection on Betamax (the
superior standard to VHS which was squashed by evil corporations, but
that's another story). Anyway, to fix a current problem and to have
a source of replacements parts they are looking to buy some Betamax
The Ellisons have the 1983 model but that model or any succeeding year
models should have the parts they need. The offer for these machines
is $25 plus postage and handling. All machines should be in good condition.
If this price is out of line, please let me know.
If you have one of these, and would like to help, please send your phone
number to me (email@example.com), or write the Ellisons at:
The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection
P.O. Box 55548
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-0548
Follow-up on request for Sci-Fi Book Club DVs
I now have exact information as to which printings the Ellisons need.
You can tell if your books is the right printing by checking a code
number at the bottom of a particular page. Sometimes the code is tucked
in the inside margin. The printings the Ellisons are looking for are
2nd Printing, look for Code 47 K on page 539
3rd Printing, look for Code 24 P on page 539
4th Printing, look for Code 08 R on page 539
5th Printing, look for Code 34 R on page 539
6th Printing, look for Code R44 on page 544
7th Printing, look for Code I 10 on page 543
8th Printing, look for Code X37 on page 544
9th Printing - no printing code but the number 01179 appears on the
bottom right corner of the back side of the dust jacket.
Additionally, the number 1179 appears at the bottom of the back dust
jacket flap from 3rd through 7th printing. On the 8th printing, the
number 1179 appears on the bottom right corner of the back side of the
Harlan and Susan wish to pass along their thanks for the many offers
that have come in. Susan says there is no "secret agenda"
for wanting these books, it's just they never got these printings for
their library. There are a lot of the book club editions out and they
really are not worth much money, but it is difficult to track down so
You are free to discuss recompensation with Susan or Harlan, but Susan
does mention that if you don't want to let go of your only copy of DV
she will give you a signed/personalized copy of the English trade paperback
so you can still have a DANGEROUS VISIONS in your library.
If your book matches one of the printings above, please contact the
Ellisons by sending your phone number to my e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org,
or by sending a letter to:
The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection
P.O. Box 55548
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-0548
Sorry for the delay on the news update - the server Webderland lives
on had some problems which, among other things, nuked the comments board
AGAIN, and I didn't feel like losing a news entry to boot. Things appear
better now, so here goes:
The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection
What Harlan's Been Up To:
Harlan reports that his new book Slippage has been handed
to Houghton-Mifflin. He's not promising anything, but I'd expect to
see the trade edition out in six months. HE is currently working on
additional material for the Mark V. Ziesing limited edition, and says
the limited edition will be superior to the trade edition by far.
Dream Corridor in progress:
The first quarterly edition of this comic, now in book format, should
hit the stands in July and will be 64 pages long. The original story
for this edition is called The Lingering Scent of Wood Smoke.
HWA Banquet June 8: Harlan will be toastmaster at the Horror
Writer's of America Banquet Saturday Night, June 8th at the Hotel Warwick
in New York City. There will be an HWA-only pre-conference party the
preceding Friday night and a conference all day Saturday at which HE
will be chairing a couple of panels. Oh, HE is on the ballot for a couple
of awards as well.
What Else Harlan's Been Up To:
HE did his first major spoken-word recording of another's work last
week, doing the 4-5 hour abridged version of Jules Verne's 20,000
Leagues Under the Sea for Dove Audio.
Harlan will be on jury duty starting March 26th.
An interview with Mr. Ellison appears in the April Issue of Details
magazine (the one with Marky Mark on the cover). It's easy to find -
it's a two-pager split by a giant fifteen-pound Camel cigarettes ad.
HE mentions he hasn't seen one red cent from the publication of The
City on the Edge of Forever.
Stuff HE is Looking For (help him out!): Harlan is
looking for the following:
(1) Copies of the Collier/Nucleus trade paperback of Deathbird
Stories. Specifically, HE needs 2 copies each of the 2nd and
3rd printing (look at the indicia page).
(2) Copies of Dangerous Visions in the Sci-Fi Book Club
If you've got one of these, contact Harlan via this web site (or send
email to me, email@example.com)
or write the HERC at this address:
P.O. Box 55548
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-0548
HE Answers Your Most Burning Questions:
Transcripts of the Cartoon Art Museum Appearance:
Harlan reports the museum has no transcripts, but DOES have video cassettes
of the event available. Contact Paola Muggia at the Cartoon Art Museum
for more information.
HE has not yet seen 12 Monkeys, but says Terry Gilliam
is a friend and he plans on seeing it the second he has time free to
do so. Harlan also doesn't think his Adrift Off the Islets of Langerhans
(I forget the latitude and longitude) would make a good movie due to
the complicated transitions and internal dialogue.
GERALD KERSH is Harlan's all-time, hands-down favorite
writer. HE also highly recommends the work of many Latin American writers:
Mario Vargas Llosa, Luisa Valenzuela, Jorge Amado, Jose Donoso, and
(of course) Jorge Luis Borges. Finally, HE really likes the work of
Minette Walters, including The Scold's Bridled, The
Ice House, and The Dark Room.
HE does not, I repeat not hate Kansas or any city therein,
Texas or any city therein, and in fact is on pretty good terms with
most cities - even including Billings, Montana. Also, Harlan is not,
I repeat not banned from any college campus anywhere.
Even College Station. His response when I asked about this one was "Is
this fucking stupid piece of mythology still floating around?".
I have received a couple of bad reports about the Virtual Bookshop (found
on my links page) involving lost money and credit-card fraud. Let the
surfer beware. Finally, I received a note from Susan Ellison yesterday
about a couple of rare books collectors may be interested in. Details
can be found on my want-ads page.
I will have some pretty major news from Harlan online by this weekend.
Until then, may I present:
JT's Notes on Harlan's Appearance at the Cartoon Art Museum
(Ed Note: Harlan made a special appearence to benefit the museum
at 6 pm on Friday, March 1st)
I skipped out of work early Friday so I could swing a sweet seat in
the city for Harlan's rave. It was well worth it. I was fourth in line
so when they called out my name I said "Monty I'll take what's
behind curtain number two!". Par for the course, I scored a birdie
for early attendance and a front row seat in the bonus round. This little
soiree was better planned than the CD-ROM gig and the Big H showed up
on time and in his own words "rare form".
When HE walked on, the crowd was ready. Mr. Ellison entered to a rousing
thunder of applause, doffed his coat and struck true.
Harlan wasted not a jot of time before diving in feet first with his
acerbic banter. His opening dialogue lambasted Pat B. and his citadel
appearance - then turned more personal.
Harlan, never the shy one in a crowd, invited the evening's stragglers
to drag a chair up front and take a seat near the podium. Since the
fan blowing in the back was so loud, Harlan didn't want anyone to miss
his invective. When no one took him seriously, he spent five minutes
haranguing the unseen back of the room until a small herd trampled forward
and began grazing near the podium.
On the ride up in the elevator to this gig, HE shared the cabin with
two tiny-teeny boppers. One of which was traipsing around all duded
up in a duster. Those of us in the ken, know that Harlan is particularly
partial to dusters and he made his usual Quantro comment to the kids.
Well, stun me with a Louisville slugger, `cause those kids just looked
at Brother Harlan with blank, uncomprehending eyes, mouths agape and
waited in the heavy silence for the elevator doors to slide open so
they could make their escape from this unsightly old gargoyle, babbling,
bituminous blather. No elevator before or after was ever so locked down
as Stalag 17 more than that one while they waited for the bell. Fortunately,
at the break, the duster lad came forward and braving HE's acerbic wit
did ask where the reference came from. As always HE's bark was much
worse than his bite for those who admit ignorance and want to look for
the philosophers light.
Then he shared with us his usual request that if somehow, during the
evenings diatribe, if he managed not to offend everyone at least once,
would they raise their hand and let him know so he could savage them
properly. No PC crap here. Later he discussed in detail how he was one
of the few last remaining soldiers in the war to offend those that needed
to be offended and that people greatest weakness was their silly idea
that everyone has to get along.
Anyway, Harlan in dialogue free fall was sub-referencing faster than
Dennis Miller and tail-ended into his pet peeve with writing for others.
The challenge of being true to your talent when a majority of the reading
public is a bunch of ignorant, knuckle dragging, TV gawking, attentionless,
tree dwelling savages that don't have the basic education to meet your
writing tete a tete. HE highlighted this point with recap of a question
asked by a Stonybrook college graduate student during another speaking
engagement, who asked the Big H just who was this Dachau person he had
mentioned briefly before.
Not quite incensed yet, HE went on to describe other monumental feats
of human stupidity. One was a supposedly current and true story concerning
the Olympic planning committee here in the good old U.S. of A. which
I can't repeat due to my incredulity.
Ravening now, Harlan proceeded to cover the spectrum in spittle with
terse yet witty rejoinders for anything that had peeked his quixotic
interest in the past couple of weeks. He poked fun at SF 'cause he was
from LA. He let us in on the fact that you can't reach him from 3:30
to 5:00 weekdays because HE's watching cartoons, in particular Tiny
Toons and Animaniacs. He shared with us his earthquake ordeal - where
when it struck, he was in the non-fiction wing of his house/library
and why couldn't he have been near one of those flighty, unmentionable
writers books. I mean who wants to get hit in the head with a 1500 page
recap of the history of American socio-economic policies in the 1900's
when then can get biffed with a book by Danielle Steel or Edith Krantz.
Harlan said that his home is built five feet above bedrock so it jumped
in the air during the earthquake instead of shaking. Ofcourse the quake
'jump' turned everything inside the house on its ear including HE. A
dubius distinction if you ask me. Getting tossed down the stairs sucks
either way. Harlan related his dreams of a house with secret passages,
darkly lit interiors and more rooms than breasts at a Raiderette convention
and how he now lives his childhood fantasies. HE's big on toys. HE says
success begins with lots of toys. HE also told us the story of the Edith
Krantz horror dinner and why he hates her with every last fiber of his
underdog soul. He told us a bit of his short lived career in the Armed
Services and his first of his many court-marshals. Never convicted he
conceded. He kissed his wife a number of times and regaled us all again
with why HE and computers don't mix. Internal stack error. Right level
of technology for the job. He mentioned in passing the internet.
Then we took a break and Harlan came back and read two stories to the
group. The first is currently unpublished and will be included in Slippage.
Which was turned over to the Publisher on Thursday by HE. The second
was the story from issue number five of Dream Corridors. Both were physically
awesome to hear him speak. His stories read well, but when a gifted
author such as Harlan reads his own stories, a new volume is given to
the works and they come across so much more clearly.
There is a good story behind the Slippage story, but it should be in
the introduction to the story so I will let you encounter it yourself
when the book comes out this spring.
Total, he spoke for about three hours. Yes, he still has that disease
which makes him permanently tired, but when it comes to doing what he
loves, he still has more energy than ten super-ordinary men.
I got some information from White Wolf on their new Edgeworks compilation,
the first volume of which is coming out in May. There was so much info
that I decided to create a whole new web page for it.
Click here to see the White Wolf info
HE Evening at the S.F. Cartoon Art Museum March 1st
This special event will be held at the Cartoon Art Museum at 814 Mission
St. in San Fransisco from 6 to 8 pm Friday, March 1, 1996. Tickets are
$15 per person for non-members and only $7.50 for members. Refreshments
will be served. For more information, call 415-CAR-TOON.
Note: This is a benefit appearance - all proceeds go to the Cartoon
A brief note from Chris Hudak:
Thought you folks might be interested in a piece on Ellison I did for
Blender, a CD-ROM magazine. The piece is fun because, of course, Ellison
spends a good amount of time railing against the very technology the
interview is presented with. I only wish to Cthulhu that the magazine
had left in the video bit where Harlan grabbed the camera by the lens
and berated the cameraman, telling him to "hold the fucking camera
still," which I personally thought was gold, but apparently the
editor felt differently. Oh well.
Also, check out the April issue (which means it comes out in March---magazines
ARE the work of the devil) of DETAILS, which will feature a RADICALLY
SHORTENED--no hint of my irritation is meant to be apparent here--Q&A
A Special Report on Ellison's recent activities
(Courtesy Brett Harrison of the Land Down Under)
"Other than that, there's not much news.", you say.
About 100 Australians just had the pleasure of Harlan's company in Sydney
on the weekend of January 6-7, at the Powerhouse Museum (That's Sydney,
Australia, not Sydney, Ohio, you cultural indigents!) for a small Science
Fiction Writer's Convention.
It was organised by friends of Harlan's here in Australia, primarily
artist Nick Stathopolous and author Terry Dowling. Kerry Dougherty,
a longtime SF fan and activist who works at the museum, arranged the
venue & made sure that things ran smoothly.
The other speakers/guests were Terry Dowling, US author Jack Dann and
Dr Janeen Webb.
It was a blast!
This is HE's second visit to Australia (the first was for Syncon in
Sydney in '83), and unfortunately seemed to be a short one - work commitments
and the rigours of travel seem to be forcing him back within a few days.
It was promoted as:
The program highlights included:
* Dangerous Visions (HE discusses his work)
* Ellison Reads Ellison (Harlan reads from as-yet unpublished stories)
* The Glass Teat (HE discusses his film & TV criticism)
* The Illustrated Ellison (HE, with Nick Stathopolous, focuses on his
comics & book art)
* More Dangerous Visions (ask Harlan anything - but watch out!)
* The Unknown Ellison (unrealised projects)
Well, at least that's what was *meant* to happen. What really happened
was much, much better!
With the exception of the art segment & the readings, Harlan flamboyantly
discarded the program, & turned every segment into a Q & A session.
Harlan being Harlan, this meant that each 1-hour segment accomodated
only 2-3 questions, each one kicking HE off into anecdote after anecdote.
One segment consisted almost entirely of Harlan reading from Leigh Blackmore's
just-published chapbook about him (and Terry and Jack), pointing out
ALL the mistakes and omissions, and telling the stories behind the publishing
of each and every one! Poor Leigh! If he ever hears Harlan inciting
a crowd to chant "...pick up the phone and call me!!" (to
get his facts right) again, I think he'll have a nervous breakdown.
Eager Australian ears heard:
- How Harlan was a staff writer for Disney (for 4 hours!)
- How he gained a free membership of the nightclub "The Daisy"
(and won $1000 off Aaron Spelling as a result)
- How, in The Daisy, a drunken Frank Sinatra attempted to bully him
- and lost!
- How everyone was amazed that Harlan was still alive the next day.
- The sad tale behind the "City on the Edge of Forever" book.
- How good Babylon 5 is. (Many Bab 5 fans were made that day, I can
- How Harlan writes from titles or illustrations that appeal to him.
- How to write a script that will "play" (don't ask for further
details - this is a secret!)
- Tales of Dave Stevens, Jim Steranko, Frank Miller and other artists.
- What a photocopier can do for your art collection. (another secret)
- Why Stephen King won't talk to him any more. (Harlan has integrity)
- Why he REALLY did the CD-ROM Game, "I Have No Mouth, and I Must
Scream" and will never do another.
- How unresponsive Australian audiences are. "I love playing to
a crowd with rigor mortis." (ouch!)
Hey, we warmed up to each other after a while. Once Harlan realised
that we weren't going to mob him, he stepped down from the stage, and
did all his talks from the front and sides of the audience. "I
will come down and mix with the common weal!", HE declared. And
In short, Harlan was his usual fascinating self, regaling the audience
with his anecdotes and wit. He was concerned at first because we weren't
laughing uproariously at his every witticism, but had evidently forgotten
what Australian audiences are like, particularly in small numbers. We
want to concentrate, and listen to the man himself, not everyone else
clapping and laughing all the time (as some of us have experienced at
those sterile, commercial cons in the US - ugh!).
[Additionally, the man talked so fast, and with the American accent,
unfamiliar US cultural references and so on, many of us HAD to concentrate
100% just to keep up with him!)
However, WE loosened up, HE adjusted a bit, and a good time was had
The theatre in the adjoining room was busy both days, showing Babylon
5 episodes, and productions of Harlan's scripts, including:
Demon with a Glass Hand (Outer Limits)
Gramma (Twilight Zone)
Paladin of the Lost Hour (Twilight Zone)
Plus an interview from "The Late Show" (we do get that here
- but who would want to watch it, normally?) ...and, in a rare treat
for Aussies, some of Harlan's segments off "Sci-Fi Buzz".
Intermittently, there were book signings - the books being sold by Harlan's
charming wife, Susan. (A really truly nice lady - hey, even if she is
a Pom. [English] ) And of course, Harlan shamelessly plugging "his
wares" (as he called them) throughout.
The really nice thing was that, inbetween, anyone with the intestinal
fortitude could just go up and talk to the man. Try doing that at a
large US-style convention!
The dinner Saturday night was at a rather dubious Chinese restaurant
in Sydney's Chinatown. The restaurant was crowded, service was a little
slow, and Harlan and Susan left after 20 minutes, Harlan loudly declaring
that he "wouldn't wait 2 hours for a Chinese meal". He ate
elsewhere and returned briefly later. Another "Ellison story"!
A fantastic time was had by all - for many Australian fans, this was
a major event in their lives.
I saw Harlan in Australia in 1983, flying up from Tasmania (no, I'm
not kidding - look at a map!) for the experience. Harlan commented at
the end of the 1996 con that people had told him that he "was better
this time - whatever that means". Hey, I know what it means - and
if Harlan will pick up the phone and call me, I'll tell him!
"Not much news?" Depends on where you're living!
Just in case you didn't know, The City on the Edge of Forever
is out in a limited edition from Borderlands Press. It'll set you back
about seventy-five smackers, though. The book is available by calling
1-800-528-3310 or contacting:
P.O. Box 146
Brooklandville, MD 21022
Also, Harlan is going to be a guest at this years Chicago Comicon (June
21st-23rd at the Rosemont Convention center). Other than that, there's
not much news. Sorry, it happens.