Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Favour for Harlan

Harlan called this evening. “I need a small favor,” he said.

“Does it require a cattle prod or a midget?” I asked.

“Nothing like that.”

“Good. I had to go into hiding for seventeen months after the last small favor,” I said, “and I still haven’t picked all the burrs out of my hind quarters.”

“This one’s easy,” said H. “My book Ellison Wonderland is being brought back again by another publisher. The book first came out in 1962 but it follows me around. I’ve already written a 25,000-word foreword for the damn thing—it’s like a novella. And Straczynski did the afterword, which is an interview with me. But I got to thinking there’s something in that interview you did with me years ago—your ‘Tough questions for Tough Jews.’ Can I have that? I’d like to use it as a caesura.”

“That’s the favor?”

“You’ll keep your copyrights and I’ll get you a copy of the book.”

“Sold,” I said. “Now I’ve got one. I was cleaning out my closet and found a handful of comic books that you wrote. Can I send them to you to sign?”

“Sure,” said Harlan.  “Send them. You fucking ghoul.”

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