Friday, 20 July 2018

Remembering Harlan Ellison (Dave's Weekly Update #244)

Hi,  Everybody!

Heeeeeere's Dave:

Donate here, if you're amicable.

I met Harlan at a convention in Madison, WI, where he was appearing with Peter David and Neil Gaiman as the Three High-Verbals. I bought his script for I, Robot, and his story collection Angry Candy. As I was getting ready to hand over my money, his wife Susan asked if I wanted a copy of Hemispheres, the United airlines in-flight magazine, saying, "it's the last one." I said sure, and handed over my money. 

When I got up to Mr. Ellison to have him sign my books, he asked if I wanted the magazine signed too. I looked perplexed, and said "yeah. I guess?" 

He gave me a look.

I can't describe it, but it was like the look you'd give a cat that hacked up a hairball on the table during Thanksgiving dinner. But not as nice.

He turned to Susan and asked if I had paid for the magazine.

She said yes, I had.

I offered "they told me it was the last one."

Mr Ellison asked me if I knew what it was the last one of?

I said, "no."

Patiently, as if talking to a small child (or the village idiot,) He said that it was an in-flight magazine that contained a short story he had written that was very good and that I'd probably like it. 

I said, "oh." and thanked him.

The story is called Incognita, Inc., and it is VERY good, and I REALLY liked it.

Next Time: Man. Aardvarks. Seriously, this time...


Tony Dunlop said...

OK, that does it. I haven't read any Ellison in years, but I'm going on vacation next week, and before I do I'm going to the library and checking out a book of his short stories that I haven't read.

Maybe two.

Thanks for the push, guys!

Gary Boyarski said...

Great story Dave! It's always a pleasure to hear you reminisce about the past. I'm sure we would all love to here more tales in future Weekly Updates. Change it to "Story time with Uncle Dave". We'll all tune in.

I did something similar when a good friend of mine mentioned having fond memories of Daredevil #3. Not being privy to the ways of dealing in old comic book back issues, he always assumed that re-acquiring a copy was beyond his reach financially. I took it upon myself to find him a presentable reader copy, relatively cheap.

The look on his face when I presented it to him was worth more than the cost of the book. Deep down inside we are all still kids, comic book geeks, more so than others. I'm sure Harlan had the same look when he opened that package.

David Birdsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ibis said...

I met H.E. when I was 14 at a convention in Cleveland. He signed my copy of Vic and Blood and said, "Don't read this stuff, kid, it will turn your mind to shit."