Harlan Ellison News: 1997 Archive




HE wins breach of contract suit
On Monday October 6th in the Bankrupcy Court for the District of California, Central, Courtroom 301, the Honorable Kathleen Thompson Lax awarded an additional 72,000 dollars to Harlan due to breach of contract by Heimdale Film Corporation. Heimdale produced the original Terminator, directed by James Cameron. HE sued Heimdale due to likenesses to his short story "Soldier" and comments by Mr. Cameron that the movie was based on that story, and was awarded an initial 72,000 dollars in this successful suit. By a 1985 agreement with HE, Heimdale placed an acknowledgement to Harlan's works at the end of the movie. In 1991, when the film switched distributors, someone (rumored to be James Cameron himself) went into the telecine bay and pulled the credit. Subsequent releases of the movie on video and TV did not contain the acknowledgement.

Harlan asks that this information be disseminated as widely as possible.



Harlan needs a copy of the 2nd SFBC edition of I, ROBOT: THE ILLUSTRATED SCREENPLAY. If you have any information, please contact me at webmaster@harlanellison.com. Here's the request in his own words...


We keep exhaustive chronological records of publication date of all my appearances in print. And copies of all those books and magazines, arranged by date for Leslie Swigart's bibliography.

But frequently, a foreign publisher or even an American house will issue something of mine...and not send me the copies required by our contract. Then, we have to go scrambling--usually via innocent attendees at my autographing sessions, who find me trying to wrest some ratty old book club edition away from them--just so we can maintain an error-free record. It also helps when I need to trace royalty statements, to see if we're being stiffed.

Well, the hardest to obtain are usually the subsequent printings of SCIENCE FICTION BOOK CLUB editions. And we now discover that we're missing a second printing of the SFBC hardcover edition of I, ROBOT.

First printing of the SF Book Club edition was 17 January 1995. We have that one. But there was a second printing in November of 1995. The book went out of print on 7 March 1997. There are no copies of that second printing left in the warehouses of SFBC. So I'm turning to anyone out there who can help us. We need a copy of that second printing. We need it ASAP.

The problem is this: the Book Club, which used to be an arm of Doubleday, no longer owns its own printing presses, and now has its books printed in several venues. That means the code letters that appeared--for more than 30 years--in the gutter of pages at the back of the books...no longer exists. So we cannot ascertain in what ways THE SECOND PRINTING DIFFERES FROM THE FIRST in sufficient clarity to differentiate. We have the 1st, but we don't know how to tell you what visual differences would identify a 2nd. All we can know for sure is that anyone who ordered and received a copy of I, THE ROBOT: THE ILLUSTRATED SCREENPLAY from the Science Fiction Book Club between, say, November 1, 1995 and March 7, 1997 PROBABLY got a 2nd printing. That seems a rational assumption.

So. If you got a copy between those two dates, and you want to help me out, I will substitute either a FIRST EDITION SFBC edition, or some other hard-to-get out of print Ellison title as a thank you for the relinquishment of your 2nd printing. And since that SFBC edition isn't valuable to anyone but me, at the moment, you will come out of the exchange smelling like a rose.

A suggestion. Check your bankbook records. If you wrote the check, or used the credit card or in some other way maintained a record--no matter how vague--that indicates you got your book between the dates noted above, please let us know by way of this website and our friend Rick Wyatt. Give him your phone number and I'll give you a call and try to go over the cover and interior points of our respective editions, to see if you've got a winner. That ought to save you any postage.

Please, no clowns who think it'd be cool to get me to call them. Let's keep this strictly business. I haven't the time to screw around with idiot jokers. You know who you are.

So. Send name, address, and phone number--I might want to just drop you a line--and get them to Rick at this website...and maybe we can be of assistance to each other. Thank you in advance.


Tom Snyder Show rescheduled to 09/24
Harlan's appearance on THE LATE, LATE SHOW w/ Tom Snyder was bumped due to scheduling problems on the show associated with the massive coverage of Princess Diana's death and funeral. Harlan will instead appear on the 24th of September. The show airs on CBS, check your local listings for time.

Sean Doorly (sdoorly@aol.com), Senior Producer of The Book Report on AOL, reports that Harlan Ellison will be their author guest on Wednesday, September 17th. The interview will take place at 8:00 PM Eastern. The Book Report can be reached on AOL using keyword TBR, those without AOL access can wait for a transcript here on Webderland a few days later.


This is a big news day, folks, be sure and read on down to the next pretty blue line!

The Harlan Ellison / SLIPPAGE West Coast Tour

Saturday, August 23rd, 2:00-5:00pm: Signing at DANGEROUS VISIONS bookstore, 13563 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.  (818) 986-6963

Monday, September 8th: Appearing on THE LATE, LATE SHOW w/ Tom Snyder on CBS.  Check your local listings for time.

Tuesday, September 11th, 7:00-8:30pm: Signing and Reading at BOOK SOUP, 8818 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA.  (312) 659-3110.

Saturday, September 13th: Appearing on WEST COAST LIVE radio show with Sedge Thompson, KQED Radio, San Francisco (and carried by NPR).  The show will be taped on this date - check your local listings for airdate.

Sunday, September 14th, 2:00-4:00pm: Signing at DARK CARNIVAL, 3086 Claremont Avenue, Berkely, CA 94705.  (510) 595-7637

Monday, September 15th, 6:30-8:30pm: Signing and Reading at THE BOOKSMITH, 1644 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117. (415) 863-8688.  The store will issue another HE trading card for this event.  Also check out the detailed information from The Booksmith at the end of this tour listing

Monday, September 22nd, 7:30-9:00pm: Signing and Q&A Session at WARWICK'S BOOKSTORE, 7812 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA.  (619) 454-0347

Mid-to-Late September: Appearing on BETWEEN THE LINES on PBS Television.  Not seen in LA area, check your local listings for date and area.   We do know it's shown in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

(1) Please confirm times & dates with the stores.
(2) The first 100 customers who buy $30.00 or more of Ellison books will be given a full color EDGEWORKS bookplate.  This is only while stocks last.
(3) Many of the bookstores offer mail order, so if you can't attend one of the signings, just give them a call.
(4) If you would like to be kept up-to-date on any further signings and TV appearances, just send a self-addressed stamped envelope marked SLIPPAGE TOUR and if the HERC adds any further signings they'll let you know.  Send to the HERC address from Webderland's Contact page.

Details on THE BOOKSMITH appearance
This came my way via read@booksmith.com:  

Harlan Ellison will be returning to The Booksmith in San Francisco for a reading & booksigning on September 15th at 6:30 pm

Back in 1994, Ellison spent a day at The Booksmith writing in our store window. Prompted by comedian Robin Williams, Ellison spent his time here alternately being inspired, writing, and talking with customers. At the end of the day, Ellison read his newly completed story, "The Byte that Bites" (now called "Keyboard"), before an enthuiastic audience numbering in the hundreds. Ellison's new book, Slippage, contains the short story he wrote at our store in 1994.

The Booksmith has set up a special Ellison page highlighting the new and out-of-print books and spoken word recordings available by Ellison. The page is located at http://www.booksmith.com/cosmikdebris/ellison.html.

Autographed copies (available at no extra charge) of any of the books listed on that page may be ordered prior to Ellison's appearance. Any orders placed prior to September 15th will receive two Harlan Ellison trading cards created exclusively by The Booksmith. And as an added bonus, the first 100 customers - including internet customers - who buy $30.00 or more of Ellison's books/cassettes/compact discs/comic books will also receive a signed, limited printing bookplate.

The Booksmith
1644 Haight Street (between Clayton & Cole)
San Francisco, California 94117
(800) 493-7323 -- phone
(415) 863-8688
(415) 863-2540 -- fax

email: read@booksmith.com

Harlan and White Wolf have released a semi-official order for the upcoming books in the Edgeworks Series.  You can read the list on Webderland's New Releases Page.  Harlan also notes that while the second volume in each series is scheduled for November they may convert this to October so they can try to go to a three-volumes-a-year pace.  This pace is impossible to meet at this time, but keep your fingers crossed for the near future!  Also of note - the EDGEWORKS series should be appearing in trade paperbacks soon, probably in the latter part of 1998. 

For EDGEWORKS #4, featuring Love Ain't Nothing But Sex Misspelled and The Beast That Shouted Love At the Heart of the World, Harlan has pulled 4 pieces which are appearing in other EDGEWORKS volumes and has inserted two never-before-collected pieces, a short story Passport and a teleplay based on the story Ormond Always Pays His Bills.  As always, Harlan will write a completely new introduction for the volume. 

HE'S "Top 10,000" SF Books
In response to a Webderland visitor's request for "HE'S Top Ten Favorite Sci-Fi Books", Harlan came up with what he calls the Beginning of Harlan Ellison's Top 10,000 Books of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.  HE loathes "Top Ten" lists, but regardless this is what he came up with (not in any particular order aside from the first two which should be given special notice):

ANYTHING by Gerald Kersh
ANYTHING by Kate Wilhelm

Doctor Rat by William Kotzwinkle
The Far Arena by Richard Ben Sapir
Thorns by Robert Silverburg
The Time Stream by John Taine
Fade by Robert Cormier
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley
The Mountain Made of Light, Fire and Ice, and The Summit (trilogy) by Edward Myers
Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
The Green Mile by Stephen King
The Humanoids by Jack Williamson
The Long Afternoon of Earth by Brian Aldiss

As a bonus, here is also the list of Foreign Authors Harlan mentioned as notable on the Sci-Fi Buzz:
Sven Christer Swahn: Sweden - The Island Through the Gate, Twilight Visitors
Bertil Martensson: Sweden - not translated into English
Luisa Valenzuela: Argentina - Clara, Open Door, The Lizard's Tail
Köbo Abé: Japan - The Box Man, Inter Ice Age 4
Terry Dowling: Australia - Blue Tyson
Russell Blackburn: Australia - War Crimes, Bliss
Lucy Sussex, Sean McMullen, Russell Blackburn, and Leigh Ann Fromme: Australia

Ron Trout (ice9@trader.com) informs me that Polaris Press in Latvia will soon be issuing an authorized 3-volume set of Ellison's work, translated into Russian by Andrei Novikov.  This is noteworthy as previously there was only one work of Harlan's in Russian and that was a poorly-translated pirate publication.

Dr. Mark E. Chase (cgn@glassnews.com), editor of Collector Glass News, says that the Harlan Ellison story will not appear in the magazine until the next issue in September.  Those who have already paid for the current issue will receive it along with a note that they will receive the story when available.  For more information, call (412) 946-2838 or surf to http://www.glassnews.com .

Just in case you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, I'll let you know that the television show Babylon 5, the love-child of good HE friend Joe Straczynski, has been renewed for a fifth and final season.  Harlan is Creative Consultant on the show and recently appeared in a brief cameo as a PsiCop in the episode "The Face of the Enemy".

michaelc@digidoc.com has seen the movie version of Harlan's A Boy and His Dog available on DVD via Lumivision for from $19.95 to $29.95.  The movie is in wide-screen format and includes original and reissue theatrical trailers and liner notes from an interview with LQ Jones and Harlan.   The product number is Lumivision DVD1197.

People keep asking me what the hell this book is.  Well, White Wolf put out a small promotional chapbook by this name at an ABA convention in Chicago.  There are only three pieces in it: The Cheese Stands Alone, Sensible City, and How to Make Life Interesting.  Only 400 copies were printed.


Harlan was originally scheduled to make an appearance at WorldCon in San Antonio, Texas. HE was appearing from 12-2 pm on Sunday, August 31st to speak and sign, and was also bringing copies of SLIPPAGE and EDGEWORKS 3. Due to problems related to his being scheduled for multiple panel sessions without volunteering or being asked, and then scheduled for more even after he explained once that he didn't have time to do them, Harlan has decided not to attend the convention.

The following is a list of Harlan Ellison's scheduled appearances over the next six weeks:

Dangerous Visions Bookstore, Sherman Oaks, CA - signing SLIPPAGE.

Appearing on the Late Late show with Tom Snyder (check local listings)

Appearing on POLITICALLY INCORRECT, ABC (again, check local listings)

Signing at Book Soup in Hollywood, CA

Appearing on West Coast Live radio show with Sedge Thompson

Signing and reading at Booksmith in San Francisco


Missing your copy of the Paladin of the Last Hour CD?
Due to the delays forced on the Ellison's in getting Harlan's recording of his classic short story Paladin of the Last Hour onto compact disk, many of the folks who originally ordered the CD cannot be found. If you think you may be one of these people, please check the list at http://harlanellison.com/text/paladin.txt and e-mail webmaster@harlanellison.com with your correct information.

Politcally Incorrect Appearance Transcript
If you missed Harlan's appearance on Bill Maher's tv talk show Politically Incorrect May 21st, you're in luck. Here is a transcript of that show for your reading pleasure.

EDGEWORKS Release Schedule
A lot of folks have been asking me when the next volume in White Wolf's Edgeworks series, reprinting major works by Ellison in high-quality hardback format, is coming out. The basic plan is to produce two volumes a year with Jill Bauman doing the artwork on the odd-numbered books and John K. Snyder III the even-numbered, but there are no formal plans as to WHICH books and the schedule isn't set in stone.

I did talk to Harlan about this and he gave me this list. He wanted me to be absolutely clear that all scheduled volumes and books are extremely tentative and subject to change.

Tentative Books appearing through Edgeworks 6:
1: Over the Edge, An Edge in My Voice (OUT)
2: Spider Kiss, Stalking the Nightmare (OUT)
3: The Harlan Ellison Hornbook, Harlan Ellison's Movie (Spring '97)
4: The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World, Love Ain't Nothin' But Sex Misspelled (Fall '97)
5: No Doors No Windows, Shatterday
6: Strange Wine, The Deadly Streets

Remaining Books to appear in the series, in no particular order:
Dangerous Visions
Again, Dangerous Visions
I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream
From the Land of Fear
Harlan Ellison's Watching
Medea: Harlan's World
Gentleman Junkie
Paingod and Other Delusions
Ellison Wonderland
The Glass Teat and The Other Glass Teat (together in one volume)
Web of the City
Memos from Purgatory
Partners in Wonder
The Starlost (Phoenix Without Ashes)

Original HE short story to appear in Glass News
Yes, you heard it right. Dr. Mark E. Chase, editor of Collector Glass News, informs me that Harlan is writing an original short story for the publication's next issue. Harlan is a glass collector and is a longtime reader of the magazine. Dr. Chase says the newsletter has limited distribution so this will be a limited release of some new work.

To reserve your copy in advance, contact Dr. Chase (cgn@glassnews.com), call (412) 946-2838 or fax (412) 946-9012. You can also visit the publication's website at http://www.glassnews.com.


I Have No Mouth computer game wins industry award
The computer adventure game "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream", published by Cyberdreams and based on the short story of the same name, received a Spotlite Award in the category Best Adaptation of Linear Media from the Computer Game Developers' Association. The award was given at the Spotlite Award Ceremony during the Computer Game Developers' Conference Monday, April 28, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dave Mullich of Cyberdreams accepted the award, which was up against games based on the Alien Trilogy, the Diehard Trilogy, Arthur C. Clarke's RAMA, and R.L. Stines "Goosebumps" series.

Harlan to appear on Politically Incorrect 05/21
Harlan will appear on Bill Maher's TV show Politically Incorrect on Wednesday, May 21st. Maher's other guests will be motivational guru Tony Robbins, comedian Harry Anderson, and right-wing idealogue Heather Higgins (who will no doubt piss HE off greatly). Check your local listings for channel and time.


Slippage is out!
Mark Ziesing (10633.2555@compuserve.com) has the limited edition of Slippage out and shipping. If you haven't ordered your copy yet, call Mark at (916) 474-1580, e-mail him at the above address, or check out his web site at http://www.bigchair.com/ziesing.

Play based on HE's work in production
Robert Armin has produced a new play, Stalking the Nightmare, based on the works of Harlan Ellison. There will be a staged reading of the play at 7 PM on Monday Evening, May 5th at Primary Stages, 354 West 45th Street, NY, NY. Anyone interested in attending (seating is very limited!) should call (212) 582-0241. For more information, check out the play's web page at http://www.NYDirector.com/Ellison.

Visitor Contributions
schufan@bu.edu passed on some information about a book called Ultimate Werewolf, a 1991 Byron Preiss Visual Publications offering. The book features (of course) HE's Adrift off the Islets of Langerhans (I'll spare you the exact coordinates) and also a 6-page introduction, Crying 'Wolf!', by HE.

Luann Brown (cicada@mindspring.com) informs me that there are actually 2 Dove Audio recordings of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea read by HE. The first, ISBN 0-7871-0976-2, is the full 6-hour version. The other, ISBN 0-7871-0977-0, is a special one-hour version for kids. If you order the tapes, make sure you get the right one!

Kevin Lauderdale (kx1@smi.stanford.edu) has this to offer:
The latest (Spring 1997) Levenger catalog ("Tools for serious readers" i.e.$300 fountain pens and $550 chairs) features the work of H.E. On page 26,next to their Unfolding Writing Box (unfolds to hold stationary, stamps, pens, etc. - a real steal at only $89.95), is a copy of THE ESSENTIALELLISON. Ellison is in good company, displayed next to Harrison Kiney's JAMES THURBER: HIS LIFE AND TIMES and Robert Eisner's TRAVELERS TO AN ANTIQUE LAND. Neither of the latter are science fiction, but both are quite good books.


Harlan Comments on Heaven's Gate
If you picked up this week's issue of Newsweek (the special on the Rancho Santa Fe cult mass suicide), you'll find a commentary by Harlan on page 49. Harlan presented his original non-watered-down version of this commentary on the Sci-Fi Channel's Sci-Fi Buzz last night. He also sent a copy of the commentary to Webderland!

Read Harlan's Commentary on the Heaven's Gate cultists

"Harlan's Watching" renewed on Sci-Fi Buzz
HE has been picked up for another 20 commentaries on the Sci-Fi Channel's Sci-Fi Buzz. You can find the latest transcript on The Dominion, the Sci-Fi Channel's Website, in their Buzzwords section. Webderland also has an Archive of past Buzzwords for your viewing pleasure. Harlan also informs Webderland he will be appearing on the channel's Sci-Fi Vortex in late April (possibly the 24th) with Herb Solow and J. Michael Straczynski.


Babylon 5 and a Fifth Season
special report from Tony Isabella (tonyisa@ohio.net) Reports have been circulating on the Internet that there will be no fifth season of Babylon 5. I just spoke to Harlan and he asked me to pass along the following to all interested parties: No decision has been reached on the fifth season of Babylon 5. There might be one, they might not be one. However, a very groggy Harlan opined at the Motor City Con that there might not be a fifth season and his admittedly rash speculation instantly became fact to those who heard the remark and started spreading it all over the Internet.

1. No decision has been reached on the fifth season of Babylon 5.

2. As soon as a decision is reached, it will be announced. Yea or nay. You'll hear about it.

3. Harlan is an imbecile for having made the comment. That's his own words, kids. I'd be a little kinder myself, but then I saw the guy work his little (but still attractive) butt off at the convention, giving over six hours of readings and Q&A sessions, and signing for six to eight hours every day of the three-day convention. I know how groggy he was near the end of each day.

Please pass the word that there is still hope for a fifth season of Babylon 5. That's something we'd all like to see. Thanks, guys.

Book Signing in Portland Harlan will read one of his short stories and sign his most recently published books on Friday, March 28th at 7:30pm at Powell's City of Books in Portland, OR. To confirm or get more information call (503) 228-4651. Powell's is located at 1005 West Burnside in Portland.

HE at I-CON XVI We'd like to mention once again that Harlan, as co-winner of the 1997 Gallun Award, will be appearing at I-CON XVI April 4-6 at Stony Brook University, NY. Other guests will include the Julius Schwartz of Superman fame (the other Gallun award winner), J. Michael Straczynski (creator of Babylon 5), and Joe Haldeman. For more info check out www.iconsf.org, write ICON Science Fiction, Inc., PO Box 550, Stony Brook, NY 11790-0550, call (516) 632-6045 or fax (516) 632-6355.


Special Exclusive to WebderlandYou heard it here first! Harlan will be making his first ever on-camera appearance on an upcoming segment of Babylon 5. He appears as an extra and says exactly one line. You'll have to watch religiously, though, HE refused to divulge the name of the episode in which he will appear.

SLIPPAGE goes to press!
HE's long-awaited short story collection Slippage has finished final proofs and has just been shipped to the printer, Donnely. The limited edition from Mark Zeising should be out in about 4 weeks.

Harlan's next project is to head to Dark Horse and work on the next 2 issues of the Dream Corridor comic. HE says he has been running "the Red Queen's race" getting caught back up with this and other projects after his heart attack last April.

Convention Appearances
Harlan will be the Writer Guest of Honor at Cosmic Con '97, running February 15th and 16th at Buchanan High School, corner of Peach/Teague in Clovis, California. Contact Bruce Hightower at (209) 325-7729 for more details.

Harlan will also be appearing with his Babylon 5 buddy J. Michael Straczynski at I-CON XVI, April 4-6 in Stony Brook, NY. Harlan will be co-recipient of the 1997 Gallun Award along with Julius Schwartz of Superman comics fame. Check out I-CON's web page at http://www.iconsf.org for more details.

VIBE Magazine Appearance
Harlan appears in the February 1997 edition of VIBE magazine with an article entitled Race: The Final Frontier concerning the issue of race on the original Star Trek television show.

Other miscellania
Harlan reports that his listing in the St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers contains missing information and numerous inaccuracies, and should not be trusted. As an example, the guide lists him as single since the late 1960s, a claim that anyone who has met his lovely wife Susan would find strange.

Harlan has recently appeared on both Politically Incorrect and Tom Snyder, with viewers of the shows reporting HE in rare form.

HE's health continues to improve. In fact, Harlan's doctor has reviewed the results of a recent echocardiogram and pronounced his heartworks to be without fault.

Harlan has mentioned several times in the past that you should all support the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Well, lo and behold, they have a web site. Check it out at http://www.insv.com/cbldf.

Finally, Bill Kelly (bkellyawp@aol.com) informs me:
From September to December the Museum of Television & Radio in Manhattan ran a retrospective of Buster Keaton on television called "Return of the Man in the Porkpie Hat". Many of the weeks were screens of assembled footage of guest appearances, cameos and television ads. The compilation "FADE OUT 1963-1966", which ran from Oct. 22-Nov. 3, included a four minute clip from "Who Killed One Half of Glory Lee?", an Ellison scripted episode of BURKE'S LAW. The compilation is available for private screenings at the Manhattan branch of the museum and I believe it is also available at the Los Angeles branch.

HarlanEllison.com is under new management. Thank you to Rick Wyatt for his many years of dutiful stewardship of this site.