definition of Wikipedia
Harlan Ellison (1986)
|Born||Harlan Jay Ellison
May 27, 1934
|Pen name||Cordwainer Bird
|Genres||Speculative fiction, Science fiction, Fantasy, Crime, Mystery, Horror, film and television criticism, essayist|
|Literary movement||New Wave|
|Notable work(s)||Dangerous Visions (Editor)
A Boy and His Dog
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
"Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman
Harlan Jay Ellison (born May 27, 1934) is an American writer. His principal genre is speculative fiction.
His published works include over 1,700 short stories, novellas, screenplays, teleplays, essays, a wide range of criticism covering literature, film, television, and print media. He was editor and anthologist for two ground-breaking science fiction anthologies, Dangerous Visions and Again, Dangerous Visions. Ellison has won numerous awards including multiple Hugos, Nebulas and Edgars.
Ellison was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 27, 1934. His Jewish-American family subsequently moved to Painesville, Ohio, but returned to Cleveland in 1949, following his father's death. As a child, he had a brief career performing in minstrel shows. He frequently ran away from home, taking an array of odd jobs—including, by age 18, "tuna fisherman off the coast of Galveston, itinerant crop-picker down in New Orleans, hired gun for a wealthy neurotic, nitroglycerine truck driver in North Carolina, short order cook, cab driver, lithographer, book salesman, floorwalker in a department store, door-to-door brush salesman, and as a youngster, an actor in several productions at the Cleveland Play House".
Ellison attended Ohio State University for 18 months (1951–53) before being expelled. He has said that the expulsion was a result of his hitting a professor who had denigrated his writing ability, and that over the next 40-odd years he had sent that professor a copy of every story he published.
During the early 1950s he sold a story to EC Comics. Ellison moved to New York City in 1955 to pursue a writing career, primarily in science fiction. Over the next two years, he published more than 100 short stories and articles. He married Charlotte Stein in 1956 but they divorced four years later. He said of the marriage, "four years of hell as sustained as the whine of a generator."
In 1957, Ellison decided to write about youth gangs. To research the issue, he joined a street gang in the Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York area, under the name "Cheech Beldone". His subsequent writings on the subject include the novel, Web of the City/Rumble, and the collection, The Deadly Streets, and also compose part of his memoir, Memos from Purgatory.
Ellison was drafted into the United States Army, serving from 1957 to 1959. In 1960, he returned to New York, living at 95 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. Moving to Chicago, Ellison wrote for William Hamling's Rogue magazine. As a book editor at Hamling's Regency Books, Hamling published novels and anthologies by writers such as B. Traven, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Bloch and Philip José Farmer, Clarence Cooper Jr and Ellison.
In the late 1950s, Ellison wrote a number of erotic stories, such as "God Bless the Ugly Virgin" and "Tramp", which were later reprinted in Los Angeles-based girlie magazines. That was his first use of the pseudonym Cordwainer Bird. He used the name in July and August 1957, in two journals, each of which had accepted two of his stories. In each journal, one story was published under the name Harlan Ellison, and the other under Cordwainer Bird. Later, as discussed in the Controversy section below, he used the pseudonym when he disagreed with the use or editing of his work.
In 1960, Ellison married Billie Joyce Sanders, his second wife, but they divorced in 1963.
Ellison moved to California in 1962, and subsequently began to sell his writing to Hollywood. He wrote the screenplay for The Oscar, starring Stephen Boyd and Elke Sommer. Ellison also sold scripts to many television shows: The Flying Nun, Burke's Law, Route 66, The Outer Limits, Star Trek, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Cimarron Strip and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
During the late 1960s, Ellison wrote a column about television for the Los Angeles Free Press. Titled "The Glass Teat", the column addressed political and social issues and their portrayal on television at the time. The columns were gathered into two collections, The Glass Teat and The Other Glass Teat.
Also in 1966, he married his third wife, Lory Patrick. The marriage lasted only seven weeks.
In 1966, in an article that Esquire magazine would later name as the best magazine piece ever written, the journalist Gay Talese wrote about the goings-on around the enigmatic Frank Sinatra. The article, entitled "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold", briefly describes a clash between the young Harlan Ellison and Frank Sinatra, when the crooner took exception to Ellison's boots during a billiards game. Talese is quoted as saying of the incident, "Sinatra probably forgot about it at once, but Ellison will remember it all his life."
Ellison was hired as a writer for Walt Disney Studios, but was fired on his first day after being overheard by Roy O. Disney in the studio commissary joking about making a pornographic animated film featuring Disney characters. He recounted this incident in his book Stalking the Nightmare, as part 3 of an essay titled "The 3 Most Important Things in Life". At a talk at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Ellison stated he was walking the halls of Disney and was bored, until he found a screwdriver, at which time he walked throughout the facility tightening every screw he saw until he was confronted in the basement. His termination came later that day.
Ellison continued to publish short fiction and nonfiction pieces in various publications, including some of his best known stories. "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" (1965) is a celebration of civil disobedience against repressive authority. "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream" (1967) is an allegory of Hell, where five humans are tormented by an all-knowing computer throughout eternity. The story was the basis of a 1995 computer game, with Ellison participating in the game's design and providing the voice of the god-computer AM. "A Boy and His Dog" examines the nature of friendship and love in a violent, post-apocalyptic world. It was made into the 1975 film of the same name, starring Don Johnson.
He also edited the influential science fiction anthology Dangerous Visions (1967), which collected stories commissioned by Ellison, accompanied by his commentary-laden biographical sketches of the authors. He challenged the authors to write stories at the edge of the genre. Many of the stories went beyond the traditional boundaries of science fiction pioneered by respected old school editors such as John W. Campbell, Jr. As an editor, Ellison was influenced and inspired by experimentation in the popular literature of the time, such as the beats. A sequel, Again Dangerous Visions, was published in 1972. A third volume, The Last Dangerous Visions, has been repeatedly postponed (see Controversy).
In 1976, Ellison married his fourth wife, Lori Horowitz. He was 41 and she was 19. He said of the marriage, "I was desperately in love with her, but it was a stupid marriage on my part." They were divorced after eight months.
Ellison served as creative consultant to the science fiction TV series The Twilight Zone (1980s version) and Babylon 5. As a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), he has voice-over credits for shows including The Pirates of Dark Water, Mother Goose and Grimm, Space Cases, Phantom 2040, and Babylon 5, as well as making an onscreen appearance in the Babylon 5 episode "The Face of the Enemy".
Ellison has commented on a great many movies and television programs (see The Glass Teat and The Other Glass Teat for television criticism and commentary; see Harlan Ellison's Watching for movie criticism and commentary), both negatively and positively.
On September 7, 1986, Ellison married Susan Toth (his fifth and current wife), whom he had met in Scotland the year before.
For two years, beginning in 1986, Ellison took over as host of the Friday-night radio program, Hour 25 on Pacifica Radio station KPFK-FM, Los Angeles, after the death of Mike Hodel, the show's founder and original host. Ellison had been a frequent and favorite guest on the long-running program. In one episode, he brought in his typewriter and proceeded to write a new short story live on the air (he titled the story "Hitler Painted Roses"). Hour 25 also served as the inspiration for his story, "The Hour That Stretches".
Ellison's 1992 short story "The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore" was selected for inclusion in the 1993 edition of The Best American Short Stories.
Ellison has provided vocal narration to numerous audiobooks, both of his own writing and others. Ellison has helped narrate books by authors such as Orson Scott Card, Arthur C. Clarke, Jack Williamson and Terry Pratchett.
He had his own name trademarked in 2005, registered by The Kilimanjaro Corporation, which Ellison owns, and under which all his work is copyrighted.
Ellison has on occasion used the pseudonym Cordwainer Bird to alert members of the public to situations in which he feels his creative contribution to a project has been mangled beyond repair by others, typically Hollywood producers or studios (see also Alan Smithee). The first such work to which he signed the name was "The Price of Doom," an episode of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (though it was misspelled as Cord Wainer Bird in the credits). An episode of Burke's Law ("Who Killed Alex Debbs?") credited to Ellison contains a character given this name.
The "Cordwainer Bird" moniker is a tribute to fellow SF writer Paul M. A. Linebarger, better known by his pen name, Cordwainer Smith. The origin of the word "cordwainer" is shoemaker (from working with cordovan leather for shoes). The term used by Linebarger was meant to imply the industriousness of the pulp author. Ellison has said, in interviews and in his writing, that his version of the pseudonym was meant to mean "a shoemaker for birds". Since he has used the pseudonym mainly for works he wants to distance himself from, it may be understood to mean that "this work is for the birds" or that it is of as much use as shoes to a bird. Stephen King once said he thought that it meant that Ellison was giving people who mangled his work a literary version of "the bird[disambiguation needed ]" (given credence by Ellison himself in his own essay titled "Somehow, I Don't Think We're in Kansas, Toto", describing his experience with the Starlost television series).
The Bird moniker has since become a character in one of Ellison's own stories, not without some prompting. In his book Strange Wine, Ellison explains the origins of the Bird and goes on to state that Philip Jose Farmer wrote Cordwainer into the Wold Newton family the latter writer had developed. The thought of such a whimsical object lesson being related to such lights as Doc Savage, the Shadow, Tarzan, and all the other pulp heroes prompted Ellison to play with the concept, resulting in The New York Review of Bird, in which an annoyed Bird uncovers the darker secrets of the New York Literary Establishment before beginning a pulpish slaughter of same.
Other pseudonyms Ellison has used during his career include Jay Charby, Sley Harson, Ellis Hart, John Magnus, Paul Merchant, Pat Roeder and Jay Solo.
Ellison has a reputation for being abrasive and argumentative. He has generally agreed with this assessment, and a dust jacket from one of Ellison's books described him as "possibly the most contentious person on Earth". Ellison has filed numerous grievance filings and lawsuit attempts that have been characterized as both justifiable and frivolous. His friend Isaac Asimov noted "Harlan uses his gifts for colorful and variegated invective on those who irritate him — intrusive fans, obdurate editors, callous publishers, offensive strangers." Another friend, writer Robert Bloch, spoke at a roast for Ellison, saying that other people take infinite pains; "Harlan gives them."
In 1969, Ellison was Guest of Honor at Texas A&M University's first science fiction convention, Aggiecon, where he reportedly referred to the university's Corps of Cadets as "...America's next generation of Nazis...", inspired in part by the continuing Vietnam War. Although the university was no longer solely a military school (from 1965), the studentry was predominantly made up of cadet members. Between Ellison's anti-military remarks and a food-fight that broke out in the ballroom of the hotel where the gathering was held (although according to Ellison in 2000, the food-fight actually started in a Denny's because the staff disappeared and they could not get their check), the school's administration almost refused to approve the science fiction convention the next year, and no guest of honor was invited for the next two Aggiecons. However, Ellison was subsequently invited back as Guest of Honor for Aggiecon V (1974) and Aggiecon XXXI (2000).
The screenplay for his projected television series The Starlost was also given a Writers Guild Award, though the actual series, produced in 1973-74, was so altered by the producers that Ellison had his name removed from the credits and replaced with the pseudonym "Cordwainer Bird" (see above).
Ellison has repeatedly criticized how Star Trek creator and producer Gene Roddenberry (and others) rewrote his original script for the episode "The City on the Edge of Forever". Ellison's original work included a subplot involving drug dealing aboard the Enterprise and other elements that Roddenberry rejected. Despite his objections, he kept his own name on the result instead of using his "Cordwainer Bird" nom-de-plume (see "Pseudonyms", above). Ellison's original script was eventually reprinted in the 1976 collection Six Science Fiction Plays, edited by Roger Elwood. In 1995 White Wolf Publishing released Harlan Ellison's The City on the Edge of Forever, a book that included the original script, several story treatments, and a long introductory essay by Ellison explaining his position on what he called a "fatally inept treatment". Both versions won prestigious awards.
|Wikinews has related news: Harlan Ellison sues CBS-Paramount, WGA over Star Trek royalties|
On March 13, 2009, Ellison sued CBS Paramount Television, seeking payment of 25% of net receipts from merchandising, publishing, and other income from the episode since 1967; the suit also names the Writers Guild of America for allegedly failing to act on Ellison's behalf. On October 23, 2009, Variety magazine reported that a settlement had been reached.
The Last Dangerous Visions (TLDV), the third volume of Ellison's anthology series, has become science fiction's most famous unpublished book. It was originally announced for publication in 1973, but as of 2012[update] had not been published. Nearly 150 writers (many now dead) submitted works for the volume. In 1993 Ellison threatened to sue New England Science Fiction Association (NESFA) for publishing "Himself in Anachron", a short story written by Cordwainer Smith and sold to Ellison for the book by his widow, but later reached an amicable settlement.
British science fiction author Christopher Priest criticised Ellison's editorial practices in an article entitled "The Book on the Edge of Forever", later expanded into a book. Priest documented a half-dozen unfulfilled promises by Ellison to publish TLDV within a year of the statement. Priest claims he submitted a story at Ellison's request which Ellison retained for several months until Priest withdrew the story and demanded that Ellison return the manuscript. Ellison was incensed by "Book on the Edge of Forever" and has, personally or by proxy, threatened Priest on numerous occasions since its publication. Ellison has a record of fulfilling obligations in other instances (though sometimes, as with Harlan Ellison's Hornbook for Mirage Press, several decades after the contract was signed), including to writers whose stories he solicited.
Shortly after the release of Star Wars (1977), Ben Roberts contacted Ellison to develop a script based on Isaac Asimov's I, Robot short story collection for Warner Brothers. In a meeting with studio head Robert Shapiro, Ellison concluded that Shapiro was commenting on the script without having read it, and accused him of having the "intellectual capacity of an artichoke". Shortly afterwards, Ellison was dropped from the project. Without Ellison, the film came to a dead end, because subsequent scripts were unsatisfactory to potential directors. After a change in studio heads, Warner allowed Ellison's script to be serialized in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and published in book form. The 2004 film I, Robot, starring Will Smith, has no connection to Ellison's script.
Ellison's iconic short story about "AM", a global AI (Artificial Intelligence) which unleashed its fury on humanity by extinguishing all human life down to a handful of trapped victims wandering in its world-spanning interstices, and subject of its mordant whims and inventive, Old Testament-like torments, has been turned into an adventure video game in 1995, and was purchased by a Hollywood studio for adaptation to the screen, but no script had been written as of 2012[update].
In the 1980s, Ellison allegedly publicly assaulted author and critic Charles Platt at the Nebula Awards banquet. Platt did not pursue legal action against Ellison, and the two men later signed a "non-aggression pact", promising never to discuss the incident again nor to have any contact with one another. Platt claims that Ellison has often publicly boasted about the incident.
On September 20, 2006, Ellison sued Fantagraphics, a comic book publisher, claiming they had defamed him in their book Comics As Art (We told you so). The book recounts the history of Fantagraphics and discussed a lawsuit that resulted from a 1980 Ellison interview with Fantagraphics' industry news magazine, The Comics Journal. In this interview Ellison referred to comic book writer Michael Fleisher, calling him "bugfuck" and "derange-o". Fleisher lost his libel suit against Ellison and Fantagraphics on December 9, 1986.
Ellison, after reading unpublished drafts of the book on Fantagraphics's website, believed that he had been defamed by several anecdotes related to this incident. He sued in the Superior Court for the State of California, in Santa Monica. Fantagraphics attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed. In their motion to dismiss, Fantagraphics argued that the statements were both their personal opinions and generally believed to be true anecdotes. On February 12, 2007, the presiding judge ruled against Fantagraphics' anti-SLAPP motion for dismissal. On June 29, 2007, Ellison claimed that the litigation had been resolved pending Fantagraphics' removal of all references to the case from their website. No money or apologies changed hands in the settlement as posted on August 17, 2007.
On August 26, 2006, during the 64th World Science Fiction Convention, Ellison touched award-winning novelist Connie Willis' breast while on stage at the Hugo Awards ceremony. Ellen Datlow described this as "a schtick of Harlan acting like a baby". Patrick Nielsen Hayden described this as "pathetic and nasty and sad and most of us didn't want to watch it".
Ellison responded three days later, writing, "I was unaware of any problem proceeding from my intendedly-childlike grabbing of Connie Willis's left breast, as she was exhorting me to behave." He also posted that "I'm glad, at last, to have transcended your expectations. I stand naked and defenseless before your absolutely correct chiding." On August 31 he posted: "Would you be slightly less self-righteous and chiding if I told you there was NO grab…there was NO grope…there was NO fondle...there was the slightest touch. A shtick, a gag between friends, absolutely NO sexual content. How about it, Mark: after playing straight man to Connie's very frequently demeaning public jackanapery toward me—including treating me with considerable disrespect at the Grand Master Awards Weekend, where she put a chair down in front of her lectern as Master of Ceremonies, and made me sit there like a naughty child throughout her long 'roast' of my life and career—for more than 25 years, without once complaining, whaddaya think, Mark, am I even a leetle bit entitled to think that Connie likes to play, and geez ain't it sad that as long as SHE sets the rules for play, and I'm the village idiot, she's cool … but gawd forbid I change the rules and play MY way for a change …", and complained that Willis had not called him to discuss the matter.
Ellison alleged that James Cameron's film The Terminator drew from material from Ellison's "Soldier" and "Demon with a Glass Hand" episodes of The Outer Limits. Hemdale, the production company and the distributor Orion Pictures, settled out of court for an undisclosed sum, and added a credit to the film which acknowledged the work of Ellison. Cameron objected to this acknowledgement, and has since labeled Ellison's claim a "nuisance suit".
On April 24, 2000, Ellison sued Stephen Robertson for posting four stories to the newsgroup "alt.binaries.e-book" without authorization. The other defendants were AOL and RemarQ, internet service providers who owned servers hosting the newsgroup. Ellison alleged that they had failed to halt copyright infringement in accordance with the "Notice and Takedown Procedure" outlined in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Robertson and RemarQ first settled with Ellison, and then AOL likewise settled with Ellison in June 2004, under conditions that were not made public. Since those settlements Ellison has initiated legal action and/or takedown notices against more than 240 people who have allegedly distributed his writings on the Internet, saying, "If you put your hand in my pocket, you’ll drag back six inches of bloody stump".
A lawsuit involving the film In Time, which Ellison contended plagiarizes his short story "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman" was withdrawn after Ellison viewed the film. As part of the agreement to dismiss his lawsuit, Ellison has also agreed that each party will bear its own attorney fees.
Note: the White Wolf Edgeworks Series was originally scheduled to consist of 31 titles reprinted over the course of 20 omnibus volumes. Although an ISBN was created for Edgeworks. 5 (1998), which was to contain both Glass Teat books, this title never appeared. The series is noted for its numerous typographical errors.
See also The Starlost#1: Phoenix without Ashes (1975), the novelization by Edward Bryant of the teleplay for the pilot episode of The Starlost, which includes a lengthy afterword by Ellison describing what happened during production of the series.
Since the publication of the author's last collection of previously uncollected stories, Slippage (1997), Ellison has published the following works of fiction:
Several stories have been adapted and collected into comic book stories for Dark Horse Comics. They can be found in two volumes. Each issue of the comic included a new original story based on the cover.
On the May 30, 2008 broadcast of the PRI radio program Studio 360, Ellison announced that he had signed with a "major publisher" to produce his memoirs. The tentative title is Working Without A Net. In the television show Babylon 5, for which Ellison worked as a creative consultant, in the year 2258 the fictional character Susan Ivanova is once seen reading, and laughing to, a book titled Working Without A Net, written by Harlan Ellison (TKO).
Currently the print-on-demand publisher Edgeworks Abbey/E-Reads publishes 32 titles of Ellison's, which are available through Barnes & Noble's online store, as well as the online stores of the publisher and also Amazon.
I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream was included in American Fantastic Tales, volume II (from the 1940s to now), edited by Peter Straub and published by the prestigious Library of America in 2009. The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century edited by Tony Hillerman and Otto Penzler (Houghton Mifflin, 2000) included Ellison's "The Whimper of Whipped Dogs."
In October 2010, a special collection was issued by MadCon, a convention in Wisconsin at which Ellison was the guest of honor. The hardcover book is entitled, Unrepentant: A Celebration of the Writings of Harlan Ellison (Garcia Publishing Services, 2010). In addition to including "How Interesting: A Tiny Man", Ellison's newest short story (previously published in "Realms of Fantasy" magazine), it also included "'Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktock Man", "Some Frightening Films of the Forties" (a never before reprinted essay), an illustrated bibliography of Ellison's fiction books by Tim Richmond, an article by Robert T. and Frank Garcia on Ellisons television work, an appreciation/essay by Dark Horse Comics publisher Michael Richardson, an article about Deep Shag's audio recordings of Ellison speaking engagements by Michael Reed, a 6-page B&W gallery of covers by Leo and Diane Dillon, a two-page Neil Gaiman-drawn cartoon and an official biography.
In March 2011, Subterranean Press released an expanded edition of Deathbird Stories featuring new introductory material, new afterwords and three additional stories (the never-before-collected "From A to Z, in the Sarsaparilla Alphabet", together with "Scartaris, June 28th", and "The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore").
In November 2011, EdgworksAbbey (Ellison's personal publishing arm) and Spectrum Fantastic, published a pocket-sized gift book entitled Bugf#ck: The Useless Wit & Wisdom of Harlan Ellison. It contains quotes on writing, sex, politics, love and war, as well as pertinent excerpts from his short stories, and a handful of personal photographs of the author. In December 2011, Edgworks Abbey (in association Publishing 180 and CafePress) began publishing original collections and retrospectives in two different series: the Brain Movies series (which contain teleplays from Ellison's award-winning career as a screenwriter) and the Harlan 101 series (which contain reprints, and original, unpublished stories and essays, and serve as an introduction to Ellison's writings). December 5, 2011 saw the simultaneous publication of four books: Brain Movies: Volume One, Brain Movies: Volume Two, Harlan 101: Encountering Ellison, and Harlan 101: The Sound of a Scythe and Three Brilliant Novellas. The books can be found at HarlanBooks.com
In May of 2012, Kicks Books (at nortonrecords.com) published Pulling a Train, the first of two reprints of early writings by Ellison, originally published in pulp magazines and in paperbacks for the crime fiction market. Simultaneously, the editor for Publishing 101 announced another round of Harlan Ellison/Edgework Abbey books will be printed within the next six months, and the publisher of "Deep Shag" Records announced that "On the Road With Ellison, Volume Six" was just released.
On Thursday, April 19, 2007, Dreams with Sharp Teeth, a film by the producers of Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man, received its first public screening at the Writers Guild Theatre in Los Angeles. This documentary, a profile of Ellison and his work, was released on DVD by New Video Group on May 26, 2009.
Ellison has won the Hugo Award eight and a half times; the Nebula Award four times, along with a Grandmaster Nebula Award (basically a lifetime achievement award); the Bram Stoker Award, presented by the Horror Writers Association, five times (including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996); the Edgar Award of the Mystery Writers of America twice; the World Fantasy Award twice (the second time for Lifetime achievement); and the Georges Méliès fantasy film award twice.
As of 2011, Ellison is the only author to have won the Nebula Award three times for the short story. A fourth Nebula was awarded in the novella category.
He was awarded the Silver Pen for Journalism by International PEN, the international writers' union. In 1990, Ellison was honored by International PEN for continuing commitment to artistic freedom and the battle against censorship. In 1998, he was awarded the "Defender of Liberty" award by the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
In March 1998, the National Women's Committee of Brandeis University honored him with their 1998 Words, Wit, Wisdom award. In 1990, Ellison was honored by International PEN for continuing commitment to artistic freedom and the battle against censorship.
Ellison was named 2002's winner of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal's "Distinguished Skeptic Award", in recognition of his contributions to science and critical thinking. Ellison was presented with the award at the Skeptics Convention in Burbank, California, June 22, 2002.
In December 2009, Ellison was nominated for a Grammy award in the category Best Spoken Word Album For Children for his reading of Through the Looking-Glass And What Alice Found There for Blackstone Audio, Inc. This was his second Grammy nomination, the first coming in the late 1970s, for a self-produced reading (released via the Harlan Ellison Record Collection) of "Jeffty is Five."
In the 1970s, artist and cartoonist Gordon Carleton wrote and drew a scripted slide show called "City on the Edge of Whatever," which was a spoof of "The City on the Edge of Forever". Occasionally performed at Star Trek conventions, it featured an irate writer named "Arlan Hellison" who screamed at his producers, "Art defilers! Script assassins!"
At Stephen King's request, Ellison provided a description of himself and his writing in Danse Macabre. "My work is foursquare for chaos. I spend my life personally, and my work professionally, keeping the soup boiling. Gadfly is what they call you when you are no longer dangerous; I much prefer troublemaker, malcontent, desperado. I see myself as a combination of Zorro and Jiminy Cricket. My stories go out from here and raise hell. From time to time some denigrater or critic with umbrage will say of my work, `He only wrote that to shock.' I smile and nod. Precisely."
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