Skip to comments.Harlan Ellison turns 80 today
Posted on 05/27/2014 10:57:16 AM PDT by EveningStar
The great writer Harlan Ellison turns 80 today.
Ellison has won eight Hugo Awards, a shared award for the screenplay of A Boy and his Dog that he counts as "half an Hugo" and two special awards from annual World SF Conventions; four Nebula Awards of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA); five Bram Stoker Awards of the Horror Writers Association (HWA); two Edgar Awards of the Mystery Writers of America; two World Fantasy Award from annual conventions; and two Georges Méliès fantasy film awards. -- Wikipedia
Ellison is known primarily to television viewers as the author of two episodes of The Outer Limits (original series) -- Demon with a Glass Hand, and Soldier. He is also the author of The City on the Edge of Forever episode of the original Star Trek series. The episode was heavily rewritten by others. He was also creative consultant for the 1980s version of The Twilight Zone, and Babylon 5
He is also known for threatening to sue the producers and distributor of The Terminator because he felt that the story was based on his Soldier episode. He recieved an out of court settlement. (video)
Ellison is known for his colorful personality, as evidenced by this video clip (PROFANITY ALERT!): Harlan Ellison -- Pay the Writer
Weird guy, but great SF writer.
I should say “weird when compared to people who aren’t great writers.”
A complete maniac. Anyhow, heres an interview with Isaac Asimov, Gene Wolfe and Harlan Ellison, from 1982.
Gene Wolfe rules.
Warning, a little bit of off-colour vocabulary is utilized.
Unfortunately that video has been zapped. :(
A great screen name! Wish I'd thought of it!
was also personally fired by Walt Disney (Elison suggested an adult themed cartoon back when animation was only for children)
That should do it. My first thought was Ellison must not have received additional royalties or something...
I believe he was fired by Roy Disney.
Harlan was overheard discussing involving Mickey Mouse in a pornographic situation; the discussion took place in the Disney studio cafeteria.
Ellison was fired when he returned to his desk after lunch.
Thank you. :)
Happy birthday to a talented writer.
Harlan better not mellow out in his old age, we won’t live long if he mellows out as hell may think it is safe to take him....
Harlon = Harlan.
In 1995, Ellison published the original version of this teleplay. I remember seeing it in a mall bookstore, with a photo of Harlan posing with Shatner and Nimoy (both in costume) on the cover. The introduction was vintage, ranting, profane Ellison.
I glanced through it and noticed some of the changes, but given that it was a prime-time series, I totally understand why portions were rewritten. It's probably the most highly-acclaimed episode of the entire Star Trek franchise, yet Ellison has been bitter about it for decades. Stereotypical artist - so gifted, but "not quite normal".
I would read his 'F*** Christmas' essay every December as a reminder to friends and relatives of where they could shove their phony holiday cheer. Saturnalia? Not interested.
Thanks for the peace and quiet, Harlan.
I have that book and have read it. I agree that for the most part the changes were justified.
If you look at the Wikipedia article on “The City on the Edge of Forever” you will find summaries of the original treatments.
It is easy to spot the Ellison books in my bookcase...they are the ones with the broken spines, creases and dog-eared covers.
Ahhhhhh.....A BOY AND HIS DOG.....the newly divorced man’s favorite movie.
Ellison at his best...
Met him once andd have his autograph Arrogant @asshole.
That’s part of his charm.
When I was about 18, I went to a science-fiction bookstore in Berkeley, Calif., to attend a book signing by Harlan Ellison. I had a couple of well-thumbed paperback collections for Ellison to sign, and was totally unprepared for the long line of fans, many of them bearing 10 or 15 pristinely preserved hardcover books. The college-age woman in front of me had just such a pile, but was carrying something else too. When she got to the front of the line, she cleared her throat and thrust something toward Ellison. "Mr. Ellison, I wrote a story and you're in it," she said. "You're an elf!"http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1985978/posts
As Erik Nelson, director of "Dreams With Sharp Teeth," a film about Ellison that just premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival, observed when I told him the story, that woman was enough of an Ellison fan to want to include him in her literary universe -- but not enough of one to understand just how little he would be interested. Along with the other people in line, I cringed and cowered, expecting a nuclear outburst. Ellison went on signing her books, lifting his eyes from the page only to declare in a level voice, "I don't want to read your ****ing story."
He was short as I recall, probably did not like being an elf.
The two most common elements in the Universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity.
Seriously, it’s considered low class to do what this lady did. And people frequently do this.
I remember an article he wrote about writing for Star Trek and how William Shatner came over to his home on a motorcycle and spilling it on his driveway leaving a mark that he still sees.
He said Shatner was counting the number of lines he had in the script compared to the other actors which made Ellison very mad.
I read that same article. Line counting was common back then with some actors. They wanted to have the most lines. Ellison believes Shatner was upset because Nimoy had more lines than Shatner did. Considering Shatner’s ego, that might well be true.
> An outspoken gun control advocate, he is responsible for the removal of B-B gun ads from DC Comics. According to a convention transcript printed in The Comics Journal, on a Friday he made a phone call to DC publisher Jeanette Kahn, suggesting that such ads were inappropriate for children. She called him back before the weekend was out assuring him that there would never be another B-B gun ad in a DC comic. In the same transcript, when prompted by Marvel Comics executive Stan Lee (also an advocate of gun control), Ellison admits that growing up with these ads didn’t do him any harm.
I have read much of his stuff. Yes he has talent. Yes, he used it in pretty destructive ways. He has plenty of hatred for western society, perhaps just everyone, in his books.
I would not say that I am a fan.
He’s a pretty big defender of the best of western culture. He hates mediocrity.
Flaming libtard but a great writer. I still enjoy reading his “Glass Teat” TV columns from the 70’s, lib bias and all. If Ellison were as opinionated a conservative as he is a lib, he and his writings would be banned by the libtard Taliban.
You think he was bitter about that, ask him about what the writers did with "A Boy & His Dog!" Or ask him what he used to think about "She Hulk" in comics (yes, it's been a very long time since I've seen him or spoken to him in person).
He's repeatedly, publicly said that he will never read any work done that was submitted to him, unsolicited. Besides being far too busy, it would open him up to law suits for "stealing" the work from others.
You're right, "The Glass Teat" collections were VERY entertaining (he reminds me of a more opinionated, self centered, and "potty mouth" version of Camille Paglia.) In his collections of short stories, I often enjoyed his introductions more than the stories themselves. Mark
Highly opinionated, but but he can also be extremely charming and nice. Harlan does NOT suffer fools lightly.
While he’s best known as a writer, my introduction to his work was actually with him as an editor, through his “Dangerous Visions” anthologies. I feel that he is one of the best “Speculative Fiction” editors around.
I rarely agree with Ellison’s opinions on politics, but I credit him with introducing me to a great number of writers that I probably never would have “found” on my own, in particular, Piers Anthony, with his short story, “In The Barn.”
Haven’t seen the first book, but I found a copy of “The other Glass Teat” in a discount bin years ago, without knowing that it was a follow up book (not exactly a sequel) or that it was just a bunch of columns. It was a fun read — and at the time, columns were all I had time to read at a stretch.
Now theres a working title right there. Call the publisher...