Sunday, May 07, 2006

Not Yet Assimilated

I got home from the Nebula Awards ceremony almost an hour ago, at 2 AM on the dot. I need time to assimilate and process what I saw and heard and said and did, and to sleep before I go pick up Eva and Kevin for church in the morning. For now I'll just say that it went pretty much as I hoped and expected, and it was totally worth it. My only regret was that I forgot to ask Harlan to let me take one good photo before I left. I meant to; I forgot. He has that effect on me.

There are Harlan Ellison stories and Harlan Ellison stories. The ones for which Harlan was honered with a Grand Master Award tonight are the words-on-paper stories that he wrote, that nobody else could have written. But the other definition, stories about Harlan Ellison, was very much in evidence today. As author-toastmaster Connie Willis rattled off her names for her personal treasury of Harlan Ellison ancedotes, such as "The Parking Lot Story" and "The Thanksgiving Story," I realized that my experiences with the man over the years are more the norm than the exception, at least among people who enjoy being around him. I have my own treasury of Harlan Ellison stories, only a few of which I've told online in the past.

I'll tell some more tomorrow.

And in case you've never heard of the guy, and wonder what the fuss is about, here's a brief introduction. Harlan Ellison is the screenwriter who wrote the original version of the very best episode of the original Star Trek, "The City of the Edge of Forever." He wrote for the 1980s version of The Twilight Zone, and was a creative consultant on Babylon 5. He's been a tv critic of sorts, and a semi-journalist on the subject of teen gangs in the 1950s. But his main claim to fame is his short stories, many of which have won awards. I discovered those stories in high school, just as I was starting to get serious about my own writing.
The movie A Boy and His Dog was based on one of Harlan's stories.

I have a lot more to say, but it's 3:15 AM and I'm tired. I will probably even put off my Jace Letters installment until tomorrow afternoon. That's how tired I am.

Catch ya in 11 hours or so, after church. Meanwhile, good night!

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Paul said...

I first encountered Ellison in a box of used books I got from my uncle's new wife almost thirty years ago. She was cleaning out her townhouse prior to moving in with my uncle, and the books belonged to her ex-husband. One of those books was the Science Fiction Hall Of Fame, which had stories in it by Alfred Bester, Robert Heinlein, and Lester Del Rey. Another was Nebula Award Stories Number Five, which contained the story A Boy And His Dog. It was probably my first introduction to fiction dealing with adult themes. As a pre-teen, I was fascinated.

julie said...

I have a Harlan story or two as well. We brought him to our college campus one year. Some stories I don't feel comfortable telling online, but I might drop you one or two in e-mail. Vintage Harlan.

DesLily said...

as you already know.. "stories" are ment to be told!! looking forward to more on Harlan!

Carly said...

"City On The Edge Of Foever" has always been my favorite episode, followed closely by "The Trouble With Tribbles." Cool you got to go to that. Looking forward to hearing more about it.