Harlan Ellison News: 1995 Archive




Not-very Special Short News Update:
Harlan will be appearing in a biography of Stan Lee on A&E (that's a cable channel in case you didn't know) on December 26th. Check your local listings for time.

The following is a copy of a post I put out on a jillion Usenet newsgroups:


Author Harlan Ellison and local conservationists have recently rescued Oak Forest Canyon in Sherman Oaks, CA from developers.

Buckley High School purchased the land south of the school and has offered it to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in exchange for an oak grove near the school.

Harlan Ellison, who has fought back developers in the area for years, would like to create a 24-acre park in Sherman Oaks canyon dedicated to the memory of Edgar Rice Burroughs. ERB is said to have frequented the little canyon, riding on horseback and picnicking there. The area is also the inspiration for Tarzana.

Now, this is where you come in - this park simply won't happen without your help. Harlan, along with naturalist Arnold Newman, are seeking small donations, $5 to $10, to help build a docent's station at the top of Oak Forest Canyon. The station would include panels illustrating the paleontological history of Fossil Ridge and a small museum of Edgar Rice Burrough's work.

If enough money is raised, Ellison would also like to erect a life-size statue of Burroughs in the park on a black-marble pedestal, with another of Tarzan alongside. Ellison also says all of "ERBdom", the world's Edgar Rice Burroughs bibliophiles, would picnic on the property next May during their upcoming every-five-years gathering.

If you've got a little money left after Christmas shopping, or perhaps received a little in your stocking, whatever you could give could make a big difference in making this park happen. And if you're still looking for that perfect gift, or you've got the post-Xmas blues, what better way to show your love or perk yourself up than doing something for the planet and helping remember an author who has been a joy and inspiration to several generations?


The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy has set up as trust account for private donations to help create the Edgar Rice Burroughs Memorial Park. To contribue, send a check to the ERB Memorial Fund at:

Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority
2600 Franklin Canyon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Also, please download a copy of this notice and distribute it widely, anywhere you don't see it, to help spread the word about this important project. Thank you!

sources: Harlan Ellison, LA Times (December 11).


Special News Update: Appearances in LA, San Francisco
(taken nearly whole from a PR announcement)

Harlan will be making personal appearances at at Tower stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco signing copies of the "No Mouth" CD-ROM game.

His Los Angeles appearance is Wednesday December 13 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Tower Video Store at 8801 Sunset Blvd. (store number 310/657-7300); that's not the big CD store but the smaller store on the south side of Sunset. The San Francisco appearance takes place Thursday December 14 from 6 - 8 p.m. at 3205 20th Avenue, 2nd Floor (store number 415-681-2001). E! Channel has threatened to cover the L.A. appearance so fans, stalkers, etc. who turn up MAY BE ON TV!

HE will also be doing a live radio interview to promote the Tower appearances. The interview will take place at 7:45 a.m. Thursday Dec. 14 on KITS FM (Live 105) with Alex Bennett.


This is one of those long-ass updates, so hang on tight.

"Ah'm not QUITE dead yet!":
Rumors on the Webderland comments page notwithstanding, Harlan is not dead or even coughing up blood. HE says he is perfectly healthy and that this has happened to him about 25 times in his life, most recently when the author Hal Ellson died. PLEASE don't wake up Harlan or his wife to ask if he's dead. He's not.

Pending Publications:
Quite a few rumors have floated about as to problems with upcoming Ellison publications ranging from delays to impending doom. Allow me to address each separately:

The City on the Edge of Forever
The limited edition of this book IS out from Borderlands Press, and several people report receiving their copies. The trade edition has NOT been cancelled, although Borderlands will not be producing it. Harlan took away Borderland's right to publish the trade edition, and is now in negotiation with a major hardcover house in New York. The trade edition should come out within a few months. HE will not go into the reasons why because he does not want to say negative things about Borderlands, but does say that they have been basically rewriting what happened and that Borderlands "made it impossible for me to permit them to do the trade edition". Harlan also brought up the possibility that the trade edition will contain an expanded introduction.

Publication of Slippage has not been cancelled. Rumors to this nature probably come from a notice in Publisher's Weekly, also reported on Ellison's web page, that the book was pulled by HE in order to add some 30,000 words of new stories. The book is coming along and should be out in the first part of 1996 in a limited edition from Mark V. Ziesing Books. Houghton-Mifflin has NOT cancelled the trade edition and will still produce it shortly after the limited edition. Members of the Harlan Ellison Recording Collection will, as usual, be sent a flyer announcing the publication of the limited edition and members will be able to order the book from the HERC at a discount.

Harlan Ellison's Dream Corridor
Dream Corridor has NOT been cancelled. The comic book will begin publication in an expanded 64-page quarterly squareback book edition. This decision was made in order to get the publication into more bookstores in response to Harlan's name-recognition and the latest problems in the comics market. The last issue of Dream Corridor was Issue Five (with the red cover with the Roc on it). Issue Six will not be re-solicited but instead will be folded into the first quarterly issue, which should come out in March/April of 1996.

Other News:
The Comedy Channel no longer carries tapes of Harlan's appearance on "Politically Incorrect". Harlan suggests that if enough people call them (at 1-800-4-COMEDY), maybe they WILL start carrying it again.

The latest issue of the magazine Gauntlet has an article on Christopher Priest and his polemic The Book on the Edge of Forever. Check it out.


Needed: Reviews of HE's computer game:
The new computer game, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream is out now on CD-ROM, and flying off the shelves. A lot of reviews are appearing in various computer magazines, and Harlan would like to keep a copy of these magazines. However, HE does not have the time to go to the local Babbages' and Electronics Boutiques and scavenge the racks for that one rag he missed. So if anyone runs across a review, please send a copy of the magazine to the address for the Harlan Ellison Recording Collection listed at the end of this post. They are desperately needed for Harlan's bibliography.
Note: do NOT xerox or cut out the articles. Harlan needs the whole magazine, and your costs will be reimbursed.

Essay on HE's first day in kindergarten sought:
Harlan once wrote an essay describing the traumatic events surrounding his first say in kindergarten, and he's looking for it. He needs it to finish a book introduction and if anyone can help him locate it, he would be most appreciative.

Does anyone know Alexander Blumke?
In 1993, just before the earthquake, a guy in Switzerland named Alexander Blumke wrote HE and wanted to publish a pamphlet version of "Repent Harlequin, said the TickTockMan", but that he had written a new ending to it. This gentelman had read the end of the story where the TickTockMan goes "MrmeeMrmeeMrmee" and decided that the TickTockMan was a robot, and wrote this new ending based on it. Despite Harlan's speaking to him and asking him to PLEASE NOT do this, apparently Mr. Blumke went ahead with it. Harlan called him back September 12th of 1993 in Switzerland and told him again he denied his right to publish the story. Mr. Blumke was supposed to send the Ellisons a letter specifying he agreed to this, and the Ellisons never received this letter. The story may be associated with something called 1999: The Year of Fun. If anyone out there knows Alexander Blumke, or knows anything about this story or pamphlet, or has seen it, please advise Harlan of this!

Other stuff wanted:
Harlan is seeking several foreign magazines, including an issue of the French magazine Galaxie which has one of his stories in it (possibly "Pennies Off a Dead Man's Eyes") and an Italian version of the graphic novel Vic and Blood. Also lost in an earthquake were some dinosaur collector plates from the Smithsonian. I will have full details on these magazines and the plates in the near future, but if you know about any of them it wouldn't hurt to jump the gun a little...

Harlan can be reached snail mail via his personal mail-order hours, the Harlan Ellison Recording Collection (or the HERC). The HERC can be reached at the following address:

The Harlan Ellison Recording Collection
P.O. Box 55548
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-0548

If you don't feel like waiting on the U.S. Postal Service, you can send e-mail to me, Rick Wyatt, as webmaster@harlanellison.com, or contact me through this site in various ways (figure it out, eh?)

This is a compilation of a few of the questions that have appeared in my e-mail or the Webderland web page. Even though Harlan says that "Most of these questions are asked by people coming late to the party", he was gracious enough to give one last shot at them.

If I missed you, please let me know.

Is Harlan ever going to write a sequel to "A Boy and His Dog"?
Harlan doesn't write sequels, not as a rule, but EVER. However, "A Boy and His Dog" is only part of a novel. The graphic novel Vic and Blood contains three stories: "Eggsucker", "A Boy and His Dog", and "Run, Spot Run". These stories represent the first three chapters of a book entitled Blood's a Rover. The book title is a pun based on a quotation from A.E. Houseman's A Shropshire Lad.

Blood's a Rover is a long novel, around 100,000 words, and HE has been writing it for 15 years. The final section, called "Blood's a Rover", was written as a teleplay for a two-hour movie some years ago, but the movie was never read. Harlan says "I'll finish it when I get fucking well around it".

In "Repent Harlequin", Harlan mentions Dick Bong (Ace of Aces) and Shipwreck Kelly. Who is Dick Bong? Who is Shipwreck Kelly?
HE's response is this: "That is why the universe created encyclopedias and books of references. What you do is, you go and LOOK UP these two people!". Harlan offers the following clues: Shipwreck Kelly was a huge popular figure in the 1920's, and HE suggests looking in a book on popular culture or the Encyclopedia Brittanica. For Dick Bong, look in any book on WWII flying Aces.

Harlan also says "this is an exact example of why this infobahn information explosion crap is such bullshit. Here are two names this person wants to know, and instead of looking them up, he asks US! This is what is called Stupidity. This really gets me angry, because the same people who are talking about how much information they can get over the Internet are the same people who would not bestir their lazy asses to walk over to the library and look in the Encyclopedia!".

I heard [insert any current work] has been cancelled. Is this true? Does Harlan know about this?
It's probably not true, and if it were, Harlan would probably know. Various rumors have floated about lately as to the demise of several of Harlan's most recent works, and none of them contain more than a shard of truth. Harlan is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to his work, and has been known to take back a book to add more material he feels necessary, or to correct errors or typos. Naturally when this happens publication will be delayed, and distributors may cancel their orders until the book actually comes OUT.

News as to the most recently reported status of various to-be-published books or works-in-progress can be found on the World Wide Web at http://harlanellison.com/ellinews.htm. These news items will occaisionally be cross-posted to appropriate (depending upon your opinion) Usenet groups as well.

Does Harlan read Usenet? Does he look at web pages?
No. HE has no computer, no modem, and no desire to surf. End of story.


Babylon 5 Fans Take Note: Beginning with the Episode airing on or around February 15th (depending upon your area), the voice of the Babylon 5 computer will change - to that of HE. The episode will be named Ceremonies of Light and Dark. From this episode on, the computer should speak in the dulcet tones of Unca Harlan.

The cluebook for the computer game I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream has already sold 7500 copies and will soon be in its second printing. Harlan wrote the character biographies for the cluebook in addition to the material previously reported here on 10/11/95 (keep reading, trust me, it's there). Over 40,000 copies of the game are now in stores everywhere. Bring your VISA card and buy out your local Babbage's today!

The biggest news on the Net, IMNERHO, is the addition of a new Ellison Site, The Islets of Langerhans, to the World Wide Web. Islets is the lovechild of one Michael Zuzel, who has spent the last three months writing a brief description of every Ellison tome he knows of. The descriptions include historical perspective and critical commentary, and do a good job of introducing people to Ellison's variety of works. The site also includes a biography of Ellison and pictures of a ton of book covers. Since it fills a critical gap in Webderland, expect to see it cross-linked on here in many places soon.

A few people on the Usenet newsgroup alt.fan.harlan-ellison report getting their copies of The City on the Edge of Forever in the mail, and Bill Bullman of Darkest Heart Books reports that he has them in as well.


Mefisto in Onyx Film: The film rights to the novella Mefisto in Onyx (trade edition December 1993 Mark V. Ziesing Books) were originally bought by MGM last year. MGM didn't do anything with the film for a year so the rights reverted to Harlan around April-May 1995. After a period of negotiation with the usual suspects (including Francis Ford Coppola), the rights have just been bought by Miramx in partnership with the actor Samuel L. Jackson. HE will be doing the screenplay, and Jackson will be playing the part of Rudy Pairis.

What Harlan's Reading: Harlan has lately been reading a graphic novel from Paradox Press (a sub-imprint of DC Comics) called Green Candles. The graphic novel, in three small paperbacks, is a historical piece by Tom DeHaven (who wrote Funny Papers. Harlan is also heavy into Smoke, by Donald Westlake, which he describes as Donald's take on the invisible man story.

I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream - The Computer Game: Harlan says the game is getting tremendous response. The Oct 20th Issue of Entertainment Weekly (Multimedia section, p. 70) gives the game a B+, and has this to say:

Veteran Author Harlan Ellison makes a sure-footed leap here, turning his 1967 Hugo Award-Winning short story in to a role-playing interactive CD-ROM [...] The artfully-animated characters engage in more a morality play than a "Game of Dripping Guts" as the computer describes it, so the adult content warning on the packaging is merely precautionary.

Newsweek is supposed to be doing a story on the game, and HE has been interviewed endlessly lately by magazines such as PC Novice, Details, and Computer Player. The game, from Cyberdreams, will hit the stores just any second now (Wait! Did you hear something?).

Book News: City on the Edge of Forever shipped last Thursday, and should be showing up by next week. The White Wolf reprints are still rolling along, with the first release in April/May of 1996 still on schedule. Slippage is almost done, with only a few additions remaining.

Quote: Harlan on personal questions: "I don't mind people asking them, if I don't want to tell them I'm perfectly content to tell them to piss off"

........aaaaaaand that's our show for today.


This is an interim update...I will have a full news entry on 10/28.

The City on the Edge of Forever shipped this week from Borderlands, so if you're still waiting to call your book dealer you'd better get on the stick.

Harlan got the Italian book Catastrofi! he was looking for from someone who saw it on the Internet, so thanks, whoever you are...

Finally, Rob Vaughn tells me the following concerning my 10/11 note about I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream being the correct title for the short story and computer game and I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream being the correct title for the book: The Pyramid Books paperback, second edition 1972, mistakenly has "Mouth And I" on the spine and title page, and the seventh edition 1977 has corrected this but placed "Mouth And I" on the "Books by H.E." page. I am happy to report, however, that (no doubt thanks to ceaseless toil, vigilance, and the everlasting Grace of many Gods) the Ace paperback edition got everything dead solid perfect. You can all now breath a heavy sigh of relief.


This is a long one - stay with me, folks

Slippage, Harlan's first collection of new stories since the 1988 Angry Candy, will be coming out before the end of the year, "God willing and the creek don't rise". The first edition will be a limited boxed edition from Mark W. Ziesing Books, who gave you the wonderful Frank Miller-illustrated Mefisto in Onyx. The limited edition will feature, in Harlan's words, a "fuckin' SPECTACULAR" cover by Jill Bauman. The book was pulled by Harlan in the fall to add 30,000 new words including some of the stories which have appeared in the Dream Corridor comic book. In all there will be more than 100,000 previously uncollected words. The trade edition of Slippage from Houghton-Mifflin will come out soon after, once again depending upon the water level of that creek.

The new essay in the upcoming White Wolf volume containing Over the Edge is XENOgenesis, not EXOgenesis. Oops. In addition, The City on the Edge of Forever, from Borderlands Press, has been printed by Thomson-Shore in Dexter, Michigan. It is now in the process of being folded and gathered, and should be in your hands by the middle of November instead of October due to minor production glitches.

The computer game I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, from Cyberdreams, will have a simultaneous hintbook publication (from Prima, written by Mel Odom). It will contain the entire original short story, a memoir from Ellison describing how the story was written, and a new 1600 word cluebook introduction specially written by Harlan for this ancillary publication. HE also performs on the computer game as the voice of the nigh-omnipotent computer AM, and wrote the lion's share of the game dialogue, including the entire opening sequence. An interesting bit of trivia: the computer game and short story are correctly titled I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, while the collection which first contained the short story is correctly titled I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream.

Issue six of the Dark Horse comic book Harlan Ellison's Dream Corridor will be out soon, with a new story entitled Goodbye to All of That based on the Kent Bash cover painting. The original Dream Corridor Special from January of this year has been re-issued with an interview with Harlan included and both parts of "Midnight in the Sunken Cathedral" as one entity.

Rough Beasts, a collection of some of Harlan's earlier (and I mean earlier) work, will be coming out in the next few months as a chapbook from Roadkill Press. Chances are you'll have a hard time getting one of these very limited editions...but you can try getting in touch with Doug and Tomi Lewis at the Little Book Shop of Horrors, 10380 Ralston Rd, Arvada, CO 80004.

Harlan has recovered nicely from cataract surgery on his right eye on Monday, October 2nd, and will possibly be able to dispense with the glasses he's worn since age 3, after having surgery on the OTHER eye (the left one, ya know) in three to six months.

I will have full information on mail-ordering Harlan's books and recordings on a new page by this Sunday (October 15th).


Okay, I receive last week a packet in the mail from the Harlan Ellison Recording Collection with all sorts of goodies, including books you can order and some groovy information on upcoming projects including an list of every last book included in the White Wolf deal. I sent in a hardcopy of the page to them and am waiting for approval on my proposed changes. They should get the hardcopy Any Day Now.

Meanwhile my main computer is still out of commission, leaving me scannerless, photoshopless, clip-artless and saved-emails-and-net-searches-less. I managed to get in a new Rant, and that's about it. I promise by the weekend after the upcoming one to have significant amounts of New Schtuff for you to peruse.

Oh, and the guy who sent me All That Stuff: I won't name you to protect your innocence, but thanks...more than you'll ever know.


Here, as promised, is the scoop on the White Wolf thingie. White Wolf (yes, the company that does Vampire and Werewolf) has the rights to 31 of Harlan's books and will start re-releasing them in the spring of 1996 (April or thereabouts). The first few books will each contain two volumes. The first to be published will be the essay collection An Edge in My Voice and the story collection Over the Edge.

Of special interest in this book will be the 18,000 word essay Xenogenesis, which is about some of the extreme things fans have done to authors. Over the Edge will have 30,000 words pulled of stories which were later re-published in other works, but will have 38,000 new words of stories added.

Harlan also has been re-signed by the Sci-Fi Channel (and how he LOVES that name) to provide 10-20 pieces of commentary for the next season of Sci-Fi Buzz. Those of you lucky enough to get the SFC send me a tape or something. Hell, I can't even get Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast, and it's MADE here in Atlanta! And while you're at it, send me a copy of Harlan's appearance on Politically Incorrect, I hear it's a hoot.


I have it from the horse's mouth that the original version of The City on the Edge of Forever was just turned in for publication with a new 18,000 word introduction. I will try to have some news soon about the deal with White Wolf to put like eleventy-jillion of Harlan's books back in print.

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