I met Harlan Ellison once at a SF convention in the 1980’s (a story for another time) and he was an extraordinary character who would engage you in conversation if he thought what you had to say was worth listening to. I’m glad to say he did so with me and we had a chat which ended up with him swapping a signed copy of The Glass Teat (one of my favourite books) for my Marvelman badge, which I hope he still has. Sadly I no longer have a signed copy of the book as that was lost in time but I did manage to get myself a rare British copy in Ebay around a decade ago.
Ellison was still a fearsome person but he did sometimes talk bollocks, but it was always entertaining bollocks, or much of the time he says vastly important things about creators and writing that needs to be said and listened to. Sometimes this even reaches the mainstream media as opposed to just the SF ghetto.
Ellison’s message of paying writers for their work and respecting them is important as ever in a age when journalists are being asked to work for free to provide ‘content’ , and writers are generally not as regarded as well as they should be.
Sadly, Harlan Ellison had a stroke at the weekend and although friends are reporting him to be recovering, the stroke has left him paralysed down one side. I only wish him well and I treasure his writing for what’s it’s given me over the years as The Glass Teat is one of the main reasons I write my half-arsed reviews and stuff on this blog and Ellsion has given me masses of entertainment as well as educating me over the years. I look forward to him giving me loads more and wish him well.