Harlan Ellison does not surf the net.
You won't find him out here in cyberspace, staring goggle-eyed at one
of the many pages which were apparently designed by a team of color-blind
dyslexics; or spending ten minutes downloading an MPEG movie that fills
an eighth of his display for three seconds; or running a WebCrawler
search on "Ernest Hemingway" which yields two Muriel Hemingway
sites and a promo page for the movie Ernest Goes to Camp 2.
This page is not an homage or a tribute or a shrine for me. It is a necessity. Having looked for Ellison information out there on the net, and having found precious little of it, I realized SOMEONE needed to do it, and I figured it might as well be someone who has no ulterior motive and who respects the man rather than worships him. Over the years the site has grown nearly beyond my ability to manage it and has become the official Harlan Ellison website, but I started off with a pretty basic idea.
The first purpose I set out with was to give those who know Harlan's work some pretty pictures to look at, some access to resources they normally would find only with time and/or difficulty, and a place to add their own comments and visions. The second purpose was to give those who have never read his work and are interested or even random web-surfers an introduction and a recommendation. To that end, let me add my personal testimonial:
Harlan Ellison is, in my opinion and that of many others, one of the finest writers of the last fifty years. He has written over 1700 stories, novels, essays, and or columns, and I'll invite you to look over what of that I have online at http://harlanellison.com/iwrite and http://harlanellison.com/elliword.htm. It is my opinion that anyone who can make it through the works on the former page without being moved to laughter, reflection, or tears simply does not possess the capacity to be moved.
I'm not going to try to convince you of this. I'm not going to make up your mind for you. I'm only going to ask that you look at this website and the work it contains, and that you consider giving Harlan a chance when you are done.
I won't gain anything from your taking that chance, and I won't gain anything by your visit to this web page aside from a certain sense of satisfaction. I've been offered many opportunities to profit from this site and turned them all down. I am never going to hit you up for a donation, or try to sell you anything, or send you solicitory e-mail. I have a single page on the site with Amazon ordering information, due purely to popular demand (I'm not going to be one of those webmasters that liberally sprinkles Amazon links throughout his site), and the couple of bucks a month the Amazon link brings in go to getting more stuff online. In short, this ain't no scam.
Let me also assure you that I am not one of those L. Ron Hubbard-style fanaticoids who will tell you reading Harlan Ellison will result in cosmic awareness, an end to ingrown toenails, or the ability to quit smoking with no stress or weight-gain. I don't consider myself a "fan" of Ellison, and I'm not going to make a newsletter or sell buttons and bumper stickers. I do this merely because reading the man's work has given me one hell of a lot of enjoyment and enlightenment over the years (in fact, make that TWO hells), and since I can't cure the common cold or discover a way to make plankton eat pollution the least I can do is try to turn a few others onto that same experience.
Give Harlan a chance. You won't regret it.
August 1995 (revised July 1998)
harlanellison.com is maintained by Rick Wyatt - firstname.lastname@example.org