I was sad to hear of Harlan Ellison’s passing today. Here’s an obituary from the AP (via the NYT) and another one from the Chicago Tribune. (I haven’t seen an official NYT obituary yet.)
I loved Harlan Ellison’s stuff when I was younger. I distinctly remember reading “I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream” when I was way too young to read something like that. And buying a hardcover of Shatterday from the Science Fiction Book Club. (I really liked “Jeffty is Five” from that one.) And buying Dangerous Visions at a used book store in Cranford. And of course everyone loves his Star Trek episode, The City on the Edge of Forever. He was really one of my favorite SF authors when I was a teenager.
I haven’t read much of anything by him lately though. I picked up a copy of the 1000+ page doorstop The Essential Ellison: A 50-Year Retrospective back in 2000, but have barely put a dent in it. It’s too big and heavy to carry around, so it mostly just sits on the shelf. I occasionally grab it and read a story, but it’s been a while. (I wish they’d publish a Kindle version.)
Best quote from the AP obituary:
When a publisher broke a contract by allowing a cigarette ad in one of Ellison’s books, the writer mailed him dozens of bricks and, finally, a ripe, dead gopher.
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