Harlan Ellison

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Harlan Ellison

Postby Alex DeLarge on Thu Dec 13, 2007 10:40 pm

I've been meaning to read something of his for a while but his books are a little hard to find, but I'm asking for some books for Christmas(let my loved ones do all the hard searching) and I was wondering if somene could recommend one to me. I have heard that hes great and I know he's greatly admired by people like Werner Herzog so thats what caught my interest. This thread could be used as a general discussion of him and his work or whatever.
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Postby Maui on Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:00 pm

I've heard of him but haven't read any of his stuff.

I always go to Amazon, search an author, check their books, average reviewer ratings and that usually gives me a good idea of whether the book is worthwhile.

Perhaps others here can help you out too.
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Postby DennisMM on Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:17 am

Hi, Alex. My name is Dennis and here is a really poor photograph of my Harlan Ellison books (and a few magazines with uncollected material)>

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The place to start with Ellison is The Essential Ellison: A 50-Year Retrospective. This sampler includes major works of fictions as well as Ellison's always interesting film and book reviews and excerpts from his social activism essays. I prefer the 35-year retrospective first edition, but 50 is easier to find.

Beyond that, look into the classic short story collections: Deathbird Storeis, Love Ain't Nothing But Sex Misspelled, Stalking the Nightmare, Strange Wine. These are filled with fantastic stories. When that's done, look into the nonfictions, especially An Edge in My Voice, The Harlan Ellison Hornbook and Sleepless Nights in the Procrustean Bed.
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Postby Keepcoolbutcare on Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:21 am

Sweet, I was hoping you, of all Zoners, would answer young Mr. DeLarge's query.

why do you prefer the 35-year Dennis?

never knew about either set, so thanks for that.
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Postby The Vicar on Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:05 am

Shatterday is Ellison's finest work, IMHO.
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Postby Fawst on Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:19 pm

I played I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream. Does that count? :) I started to read the story, it was included in the game's strategy guide, but I gave up. Only because I was young and too into playing the game.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:45 pm

Kutulhu wrote:Read Dangerous Visions I...and then maybe II.

Then read The Glass Teat

DennisMM wrote:Alex said he wants to read Harlan Ellison. While the two Dangerous Visions collections are classics, Harlan's introductory material and essays for those books are not classic work or representative of Ellison's oeuvre . Neither would most people, especially a younger reader, take away all that much by reading Ellison's views of American TV circa 1969. Both Glass Teat books are brilliant, some of the best writing on television I've ever read, but they are not a good introduction to the man's work. Also, they're not fiction, and it is by his fiction that Ellison is most known. He is a great essayist, one of the best living American essayists IMO, but he is first and foremost a writer of short stories.

Although The Essential Ellison does not contain any material from DV or GT, it does contain a thousand pages of work Ellison and his editor considered a representative overview of the best of his fiction and nonfiction from the early '50s to the late '80s.

Alex, if you want to read some of the finest stories Ellison has written rather than a mix of fiction and nonfiction, try to find the compilation volume Dreams With Sharp Teeth," which was published by the Quality Paperback Book Club in 1991. This is an omnibus of [i]I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Deathbird Stories and Shatterday and is as good an introduction to the short stories as I think you can find.
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Postby DennisMM on Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:58 pm

Keepcoolbutcare wrote:why do you prefer the 35-year Dennis?


It makes me sad to say this, kc, but I prefer the 35-year because IMO more than a few of the roughly fifteen additions to the book aren't all that great. They are representative, but Ellison's work declined in both quantity and often quality (IMO) as his health began to worsen. There's some very important work in the second edition, including "Paladin of the Lost Hour," the essay "Xenogenesis" and one great story that, while hardly classic, is as funny a piece of prose fiction I've ever read, "Prince Myshkin, and Hold the Relish." (It's especially funny when Ellison reads it.)

However, there's also good but not great work that Ellisonians have embraced because structurally and thematically it resembles some of his classic work of the sixties and seventies. Notable are "With Virgil Oddum at the East Pole," "Mefisto in Onyx" and especially "The Function of Dream Sleep," which Ellison in the late '80s all but trumpeted as his greatest work in many years. And, of course, more than a few items were added because in bringing the book back into print it seemed necessary to include a wide swath of newer material, as the 15-year-gap constituted nearly a third of Ellison's career.

It's also damned pricey, but in this world of used books and trade paperbacks (I try to buy Ellison in hardcover) it can be had for a good deal less than even Amazon asked for it six years ago.

What the fuck - maybe I'll finally get it myself.
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Postby thomasgaffney on Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:49 pm

Everybody play nice now..... This IS the book forum
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Postby The Vicar on Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:08 pm

thomasgaffney wrote:Everybody play nice now..... This IS the book forum


I cannot believe what you're suggesting.
Why, the idea!










What are you suggesting anyway?

Cause I have no idea.
They're just books.
Nothing bad ever happened from reading a book.......
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Postby Maui on Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:45 pm

DennisMM wrote:Hi, Alex. My name is Dennis and here is a really poor photograph of my Harlan Ellison books (and a few magazines with uncollected material)>

Image

The place to start with Ellison is The Essential Ellison: A 50-Year Retrospective. This sampler includes major works of fictions as well as Ellison's always interesting film and book reviews and excerpts from his social activism. I prefer the 35-year retrospective first edition, but 50 is easier to find.

Beyond that, start with the classic short story collections: Deathbird Storeis, Love Ain't Nothing But Sex Misspelled, Stalking the Nightmare, Strange Wine. These are filled fantastic stories. When that's done, look into the nonfictions, especially An Edge in My Voice, The Harlan Ellison Hornbook and Sleepless Nights in the Procrustean Bed.


That's an impressive collection Dennis, for just 1 author.
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Postby bluebottle on Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:37 am

Maui wrote:That's an impressive collection Dennis, for just 1 author.


It's even more impressive because Ellison's books are difficult to come by.
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Postby Maui on Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:42 am

Bluebottle wrote:
Maui wrote:That's an impressive collection Dennis, for just 1 author.


It's even more impressive because Ellison's books are difficult to come by.


Blue, is that you? Where you been, eh?
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Postby thomasgaffney on Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:34 am

thomasgaffney wrote:Everybody play nice now..... This IS the book forum


What the fuck do you people not understand about "play nice". This goes for ELDERS as well as n00bs.....

EDIT - The offending posts have been deleted.
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Postby bluebottle on Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:51 am

Maui wrote:
Bluebottle wrote:
Maui wrote:That's an impressive collection Dennis, for just 1 author.


It's even more impressive because Ellison's books are difficult to come by.


Blue, is that you? Where you been, eh?


Working... Are you coming home to Canada for christmas?

oh, just to keep this on topic... A nice little piece by Ellison on PAYING WRITERS.
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Postby Maui on Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:23 am

Bluebottle wrote:
Maui wrote:
Bluebottle wrote:
Maui wrote:That's an impressive collection Dennis, for just 1 author.


It's even more impressive because Ellison's books are difficult to come by.


Blue, is that you? Where you been, eh?


Working... Are you coming home to Canada for christmas?

oh, just to keep this on topic... A nice little piece by Ellison on PAYING WRITERS.


No...it's too expensive to fly this time of year. I always head up in the summer.

Oh, and how about that Ellison... :)
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Postby DennisMM on Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:08 am

Bluebottle wrote:
Maui wrote:That's an impressive collection Dennis, for just 1 author.


It's even more impressive because Ellison's books are difficult to come by.


One reason Ellison's books are hard to find is that he does not allow his work to be remaindered and shoved onto the bargain books displays in B. Dalton and Barnes & Noble. Normally he insists on having buy-back rights on all returned, undamaged copies. He then gives these away or sells them through the Ellison Webderland site that fan Rick Wyatt maintains. So you're unlikely to see the most recent Ellison book on the shelves of an ordinary book store once it's gone past its "prime."

In the 1980s I was fortunate enough to live in a city - Des Moines, Iowa, of all places - with one of the best specialty book stores in the country. Ivor Rogers, a Tolkien scholar, SF historian and high-ranked senior-league fencer, owned Time Machine Books and Games. He specialized in SF, fantasy and horror, and he had material on his shelves you'd have been lucky to find in a large city and some items you'd be lucky to find today even on alibris or abebooks. I picked up more than a few used copies of Pyramid's mid-'70s reissues and a nice variety of book club hardcovers (from the days when book clubs included writers like Ellison rather than Mitch Albom). Ivor always stocked the new titles from well-known genre writers, so I was able to keep current.

I also scoured more than a few convention tables to find rarer items, and every once in a while we got an odd surprise, as when Run for the Stars was reissued as a paperback in the '90s, published for the first time in a standalone edition rather than as a flip-book with another author's work on the back.

And sometimes a real treat came along. I'll share another lousy photo here. My truly cheapass digital camera isn't doing very well. Image

Sometime in '86 or '87, I guess, an aspiring SF writer/filmmaker named Ken Busanmas came to me and said he wanted to show me something very cool. What he showed me was a xerox of the revised, final, dated (8/29/64, two days before my second birthday) shooting script of "Demon With a Glass Hand," Ellison's second Outer Limits episode. I freaked. Obviously copied and recopied and copied yet again, the pages were covered with dust marks and lines from scratches on the copier glass. But it was the real deal, and Ken let me make yet another copy of it. I put it in a nice binder for storage.

In '88, I believe, friends and I trekked to Chicago for the ComiCon, where Ellison appeared as a guest. Catching him at a quiet moment, I asked him to sign the script.

"This is stolen, you know," he said. He reminded me that he got no money when scripts circulated illegally. You want me to sign something that was ripped off from the studio and thus from me.

I told Ellison that to my knowledge the copy had passed hand-to-hand on loan, for copy but not for sale, shared only because of the love of the work. He looked skeptical but nodded and signed the cover sheet that I slid from the binder.

Ellison is not always an easy man to admire. His temper, his arrogance and his occasional sexism have rankled me from time to time. But I'll always remember his small kindness, that turn to his mouth and the look in his eye that said, okay, you seem like a good kid. I'll let you get away with this - once.
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Postby Alex DeLarge on Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:20 pm

Alright guys thanks for the reccomendations, I think Ill try and grab Dreams with Sharp Teeth or the 50 year retrospective.

I found this:http://www.creatvdiff.com/harlan_ellison.php while I was trying to find out some more about him. Most of you guys have probably already heard of it but it has some cool stuff: him reading some stories, trailers and other things.
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Postby Ribbons on Thu Apr 10, 2008 1:53 am

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Postby dablunt89 on Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:53 am

Hey Delarge, check out Angry Candy too (I hope it is still in print) some great short stories. He is without a doubt one of my favorite writers. I tried to find some of his stuff at borders but their 'fantasy' section was too stuffed with Halo and Warcraft novels to shelve the real stuff.
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Re: Harlan Ellison

Postby jymbaby on Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:02 pm

It was pretty cool to see a thread dedicated to Harlan Ellison. He was a very influential author, at least to me with Dangerous Visions it taught me how to create stories out of everyday events. & The Glass Teat how to analyze what the TV is showing me.
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Re: Harlan Ellison Vs. The World

Postby TheButcher on Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:30 pm

From IGN:
Lawsuit Filed Against In Time - Novelist Harlan Ellison sues to block the film's release.


From /film:
Harlan Ellison Suing New Regency, Claims ‘In Time’ Rips Off His Short Story

Angie Han wrote:Sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison is suing New Regency over Andrew Niccol‘s In Time, claiming that the film is a ripoff of his story “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman.” Ellison has a reputation for being lawsuit-happy — in the past, he’s successfully sued to get a credit on The Terminator after claiming the movie was based on episodes of Outer Limits that he had written, and has also had brushes with AOL and ABC.

Niccol’s sci-fi thriller unfolds in a dystopian future in which people stop aging at 25, at which point they perish unless they can afford to buy more time. Justin Timberlake stars as Will Salas, who’s forced to go on the run when he’s falsely accused of murder.

By comparison, Ellison’s tale is set in a world where punctuality rules everything — tardiness and time-wasting are criminal offenses punishable by having those minutes deducted from their lives. The action centers around a figure called the Harlequin who rebels by disrupting the schedule that his society has set.

Ellison is arguing that the two works are clearly similar, as they’re both set in a “dystopian corporate future in which everyone is allotted a specific amount of time to live” and involve an authority called the “Timekeeper” who enforces the limits on people’s lives. Other overlaps that Ellison points out include “the manipulation of time an individual can live, the type of death experienced by those whose time runs out, rebellion by story protagonists, and so forth,” writes The Hollywood Reporter. (More details can be found on the actual suit, which has been published here.) Ellison further references a piece by critic Richard Roeper in which he writes that In Time “is based on a brilliant story by the great Harlan Ellison.”

The suit demands that the film’s release be stopped, and all copies of the footage destroyed. According to Ellison, In Time “degrades” the “value and marketability” of possible feature film adaptation of “Repent Harlequin!” that has been in the works since late last year.

I’ve neither seen the movie nor read the story, so I’m in no position to form an educated opinion on the case. Based on what I’ve read so far, though, I’m skeptical of Ellison’s case. The two works definitely have a few things in common, but it’s a big leap from “sorta similar” to “blatant ripoff.” None of the ideas he accuses In Time of ripping off sound so unique they could’ve only come from Ellison. (“Protagonist rebels against the system in the hopes of destroying it” is the basis of, what, 80% of sci-fi thrillers out there?) In order to win his case, Ellison will have to prove that In Time has substantial similarities to “Repent Harlequin!” Since copyright law covers “expression and not ideas,” he’ll have to get a lot more specific.

Discuss: Have you read “Repent Harlequin”? Do you think Ellison has a point?

[Additional source: Vulture]
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Re: Harlan Ellison Vs. The World

Postby tapehead on Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:49 pm

I was looking at the trailer on yoututbe last week - there are similarities to what I recall of Ellison's novel - movie looks a little stupid as though it would struggle under the weight of it's premise. The tone and style seem totally different.

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Re: Harlan Ellison

Postby Bloo on Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:53 pm

God I love that cranky old bastard
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Re: Harlan Ellison

Postby DennisMM on Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:46 pm

It sounds like Ellison is reaching waaay waaay high on this one. The demand that the release be canceled and the footage destroyed is clearly ridiculous. I suspect he's really interested in enough money to cover court costs, garner him a nice profit and allow his name to be placed in the movie's credits.

I also love that cranky old bastard, but I think he's starting to lose it.
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Re: Harlan Ellison vs William Dozier's Batman

Postby TheButcher on Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:26 am

Harlan Ellison to Publish Unmade 'Batman' Screenplay
"The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face," a script Ellison pitched in 1966, will finally see the light of day in a new anthology of the author's television scripts.
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Re: Harlan Ellison

Postby TheButcher on Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:08 pm

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Re: Harlan Ellison

Postby TheButcher on Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:29 pm

Harlan Ellison's original Star Trek episode comes to life in new comic
You may have read scifi author Harlan Ellison's original teleplay for the classic Star Trek episode "City of the Edge of Forever," but you've never seen it. That changes in June, when IDW releases a 5-part comic miniseries based on the original, unedited script, supervised by Ellison himself.
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Re: Harlan Ellison

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:52 pm

'The Outer Limits' Movie Eyed by MGM, Scott Derrickson (Exclusive)
The movie will be based on the classic episode "Demon With a Glass Hand" written by Harlan Ellison.
Borys Kit wrote:Scott Derrickson, the writer-director who just signed on to helm Doctor Strange, is tackling another storied genre property.

Derrickson is reuniting with his Sinister co-scribe C. Robert Cargill to write the big-screen take of the cult classic 1960s sci-fi TV series The Outer Limits.

MGM is behind the project, which will be produced by Mark Victor via his Mark Victor Production.

Outer Limits was an influential anthology sci-fi and horror show that ran on ABC from 1963 to 1965. Like The Twilight Zone, the other famous anthology series from that era, the show had a well-known opening with a narrator telling viewers, “There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission….”

Joseph Stefano, Robert Towne and Harlan Ellison were among the writers who penned scripts for the show, which enjoyed a revival in the later 1990s on Showtime and the Sci-Fi Channel.

Derrickson is a longtime fan of the show (he has said in the past he prefers it over Twilight Zone) and he and Cargill will actually focus on one episode in particular: Demon With a Glass Hand, which was written by Ellison.

The duo will be tackling time travel, alien invasion and genetic manipulation in adapting the episode, which focused on a man with no memory beyond the last 10 days and a computerized hand who discovers he is from the future. The man is being hunted by an alien race who see him as key to their survival but he soon discovers a more complex and terrifying truth.

MGM’s Motion Picture Group president Jonathan Glickman and exec vp production Adam Rosenberg will oversee the project for the studio.

Derrickson will work on the script while he preps Doctor Strange for Marvel. The latter project just welcomed writer Jon Spaihts to pen its script.

Derrickson co-wrote and directed the upcoming Screen Gems supernatural thriller Deliver Us From Evil, which opens July 2 and stars Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez and Olivia Munn.

He also wrote, along with Cargill, Sinister 2, the sequel to the hit 2012 horror movie that was one of the most profitable movies the year it was released. While he directed Sinister, he is not tackling those duties for Sinister 2, which is in pre-production, but will join the ranks of producers along with Jason Blum.
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Re: Harlan Ellison vs William Dozier's Batman

Postby TheButcher on Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:18 am

TheButcher wrote:Harlan Ellison to Publish Unmade 'Batman' Screenplay
"The Two-Way Crimes of Two-Face," a script Ellison pitched in 1966, will finally see the light of day in a new anthology of the author's television scripts.

CBR:
READING LIST: HARLAN ELLISON'S GREATEST (COMIC BOOK) HITS
Alex Dueben wrote:Harlan Ellison has written short stories, essays, teleplays, screenplays and books, but though he's repeatedly talked about how influential the medium was for him as a boy, he has scripted relatively few comics. His enthusiasm and interest in the medium has never waned, however, and he's taken time to praise the work of many books and creators over the years -- in between winning almost every science fiction, fantasy, mystery, horror and screenwriting award possible, that is.

This week saw the rare comic book publication of an Ellison story with the release of DC Comics' "Batman '66: The Lost Episode." When the Adam West-starring series was on the air in the mid-'60s, Ellison wrote an outline for an episode that would have introduced Two-Face to the hit show's rogues gallery. The episode was never produced, but nearly 50 years later, the story has been brought to life in a comic scripted by Len Wein and penciled by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. That Garcia-Lopez is drawing the book is fitting, considering that five years ago the legendary artist penciled a "Batman Confidential" story arc which introduced the character King Tut from the TV show into the DCU.

In celebration of Ellison's latest contribution to comics, we're taking a look back at his previous forays into the medium. While the following list does not include every comic Ellison worked on or appeared in, it does represent what is arguably his most significant and best remembered four-color work, though unfortunately not all of them remain in print.

Ellison suffered a stroke recently and his fans all hope he has a speedy recovery. And when he feels back to old self again -- we can't wait for the next story he'll write.
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Re: Harlan Ellison

Postby TheButcher on Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:47 pm

SPOILERS
Harlan Ellison: Deathbird Stories
David Loftus wrote:ADRIFT JUST OFF THE ISLETS OF LANGERHANS: LATITUDE 38° 54' N, LONGITUDE 77° 00' 13 " W

This story has one of the all-time great Ellison titles, along with “ ‘Repent, Harlequin,’ Said the Ticktockman,” “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream,” and “I See A Man Sitting On a Chair, And the Chair Is Biting His Leg” -- except that I dare anybody to recite this one accurately from memory. Like those other provocative titles, this one describes the action of the story fairly pointedly, but at the same time it doesn’t offer you a clue in advance as to what it’s about.
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