Monday, May 30, 2016

What you need to know about the iconoclastic Harlan Ellison

Author, author: What you need to know about the iconoclastic Harlan Ellison


Don Coffin said...

He also shows up in a couple of stories by Issaac Asimov (same name, and I'm blanking on it...).

S.B. said...

Harlan Ellison is a great author. A true, honest person. And a champion for civil rights, and more.

More Ellison facts and bits:

- A great book by Ben Bova has an Ellison character (in all but name), and it a good read. Funny stuff. Ellison is clearly the face on one of the paperback editions on the cover - that is THE STARCROSSED by Bova.

- The dog in the film version of "A BOY AND..." is also from the TV show, Brady Bunch.

- Ellison did write essays and state he was working at Disney, but briefly;
he created a voice and mocked Minnie Mouse and commented on characters not drawn to 'show the pudenda' or some similar remark, and he was overheard by an exec. Then Ellison was let go/fired.

- An interview in a magazine had stories in filming TERMINATOR and the director went on the admit he knew of plots from some old Outer Limits episodes. Ellison was told of the article, and it led to litigation, the video copies of the film (THE TERMINATOR) were created to have a story credit by Ellison (though perhaps not on the later issues or it was said not on the DVD release).

- Roddenberry did not create a draft for "CITY ON THE EDGE..." (Ellison mentioned this and said if there was a draft by Gene, he proclaimed 'Roddenberry can't write for sour owl poop.') The draft that was used was said to be from Dorothy Fontana (writer D.C. Fontana).

Bill Crider said...

I have the edition of THE STARCROSSED with the likeness of Ellison on the cover. I believe it might've been reprinted with another face substituted. I believe the story was based on Ellison's experiences with writing THE STARLOST, an abortive TV series.

S.B. said...

There was actually the paperback you mention here, and the hardcover, and all three versions are completely different art - the black cover is the one that clearly has a likeness of Ellison.

At least a portion of this is mentioned in DANSE MACABRE from Stephen King, on the STARLOST series and how Ellison finally demanded that they use only the name 'Cordwainer Bird' and some of the events seem to inspire chapters of Starcrossed; hard to tell if some of the story was then fabricated or Bova created the rest, but it was still a book I liked finding years back.