Sunday, December 11, 2011

Harlan Ellison vs. Mediocrity: Part Three

I continue to get the occasional emails or queries in mid-conversation: “Have you heard from Harlan?” “So what’s with Harlan?” “Is it true that Harlan…?”

As if I’m my brother’s keeper. Which I guess I am.

But I prefer to leave all things Harlan for him to announce. He certainly has the outlets, between Rabbit Hole and his website. Besides, most of what the two of us discuss is fairly private.

I can tell you that when we spoke last week, Harlan was energized by his current projects and events. He talked about his “strong third act.”

So. Act Three:

“Possibly (he said, jocularly) the last chance to see Harlan alive performing his death defying life-story in the flesh.” Thus reads the flier I received on Friday inviting me to “An Evening with Harlan Ellison (Redux),” a reprise on his “public interview and rampant racontourage” at the Cinefamily Theatre last November, a sold-out event emcee’d by writer Josh Olson (another swell guy). The event, which any of you can attend, too—for the price of a ticket—is January 19, 2012, at 7:30pm at The Cinefamily Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036; phone: 323-655-2510.

Act Three also includes a number of book releases and revamps. The one I look forward to most is BUGF#CK: THE USELESS WIT & WISDOM OF HARLAN ELLISON (Spectrum Books and Edgeworks Abbey, $10), 123 pages of Harlan quotes which, if you’ve ever spoken with Harlan or read him or heard him speak, promises to be priceless. Mencken had nothing on my brother.

It doesn’t appear that YR. PAL HARLAN, the book of Harlan’s web posts and e-letters that I edited a few years ago, will be coming out any time soon. But, as with all things Harlan, we never say never.

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