The irrepressible Harlan Ellison
The first time I ever heard Harlan Ellison speak was at L.A.Con I (aka the 1972 World Science Fiction Convention). Harlan was 38. I was an impressionable 18. Harlan, author of three of my favorite stories of all time ("A Boy and His Dog," "The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World," and "Along the Scenic Route") and one of the greatest collections of essays ever published, The Harlan Ellison Hornbook, was four-lettered, outrageous, and politically incorrect in an era before political incorrectness officially existed.
Last month, I saw Ellison speak a second time, at L.A.Con IV (aka the 2006 Worldcon). Harlan was 72. I was...well, you do the math. Harlan’s still four-lettered, politically incorrect, and yes, he did grab Connie Willis’ boob at the Hugo Awards ceremony. (So what? You wanna make somethin’ of it?) Anyway, Harlan more than once announced that L.A.Con IV would be his final convention appearance. A real shame. But here’s a free, downloadable MP3 of his “one-man show” on Saturday afternoon, August 26, at Worldcon.
WARNING: There’s something in this hour-long lecture that will offend you. I guarantee it. But you should have a good time nonetheless.