Monday, September 18, 2006

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.


At 9:07 AM, Blogger Warren Bluhm said...

Spectacular stuff! Thanks for the link.

At 11:56 PM, Anonymous GreginOz said...

Isaw him at a Sci-Fi do in Sydney in late 80s, early 90s. Part of his schtick was he sat down in the lobby for a cupla hours each day of the convention and slammed out a new short story! He told the story of being harrassed by some big black dude and karate kicked (he is short but IS a black belt)him into an elevator, unfortunately the elevator was under repair and the guy fell a floor and broke his leg! I reckon Dangerous Visions I & II were awesome and his story "I have no mouth but I must scream" I will always remember.

At 7:33 AM, Blogger Wally Conger said...

Harlan was doing the story-a-day bit regularly in the 1970s -- a couple of times in the window of the Change of Hobbit bookstore in Los Angeles.


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