Harlan Ellison is one of the best writers working today and one of my top five personal favorites. He’s written short stories, novellas, a handful of novels, for television, the movies, and criticism. Whenever he publishes a book of stories, you get almost as much new material as previously published(long introductions and bits between each story). Never boring, he will make you think, may make you mad, and reading his stories is never an easy experience. But definitely worth the effort.
Ellison has a long history of putting his work first, refusing to sell out for top dollar. It has probably cost him a lot of money over the years, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.He even has a pseudonym to let people know if he’s not happy with what’s been done to his work: Cordwainer Bird.
He doesn’t suffer fools easily either, one of his favorite sayings being, “Everyone is NOT entitled to their own opinion! Everyone is entitled to their own INFORMED opinion!” The wording may not be exact, but it’s close.
Below is a trailer for a documentary made about the man.
He still writes with a manual typewriter, which he’s most comfortable doing. People have cracked on him about that. I don’t know why. He has turned out some wonderful work in his life and been rewarded with innumerable awards(Hugos, Nebulas, Edgars, Writer’s Guild Awards, the list goes on and on). If he’s comfortable doing that, more power to the man.
I’m working on an omnibus of his stories now, DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH, that I may do as a forgotten book sometime. I read a story or two between books, so it may take awhile. There are forty-two gems in this book, which is three previous separate volumes.