Talk:Harlan Ellison/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Fleisher Suit

Why is there no mention of the suit against Ellison/Groth by Fleisher?

I've got the Comics Journal issue that was published right after that suit ended, with lots of info (though filtered through that publication's strong biases). Maybe I'll get it out over the weekend and take a stab at giving an account here. *Dan T.* 15:19, 9 December 2005 (UTC)
The Fleischer suit is covered briefly and appropriately in the articles on Gary Groth and The Comics Journal. If anyone feels a need to add a link to those articles in a basic statement that it took place, they should do so. However, given the nature of this article on HE and the responses to it, I wouldn't recommend anything beyond that. Any lengthier comment would likely only incite further controversey, edit wars and unnecessary argument. Lisapollison 06:21, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Just *whose* site is a wasteland full of crap?

Given Ellison's opinion of Wikipedia expressed in the above rant, it was interesting to stumble upon this (aptly-titled) page in his own site:

What the Hell?

It's apparently "fed" by some sort of guestbook script where anybody can post stuff, unmoderated, and he doesn't seem to have made the slightest effort to clean out the voluminous heap of spam that has come in through that route. At present, it's got so much malformatted crud that the bottom part of the page is showing up in raw HTML code without rendering, probably due to some oddball code that's been inserted somewhere along the way. *Dan T.* 22:20, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

HE doesn't do his site - a volunteer does it. When I looked at it, it was still full of spam but no raw code like you described. WCFrancis 00:45, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Maybe it's browser-dependent; the raw code still shows up for me (in the Mozilla suite). *Dan T.* 00:54, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I'm using Safari right now. So it probably is.
I checked with Firefox 1.5 for OS-X and it is indeed showing what you describe. Safari just stopped at the point that began. WCFrancis 03:56, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Oh, and it quite clearly says "Anyway, add your guess as to what Harlan is doing here and it will be posted here on this page." (Emphasis added.) It does not claim to be factual or informative. Or an encyclopedia. WCFrancis 00:58, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
Then I suppose the "guesses" of what Harlan is doing here include "texas holdem" and "viagra"... didn't know he was into that sort of thing... :-) But if the page was a wiki, then his friends and fans could help out by weeding out the junk. *Dan T.* 03:57, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
If it was a wiki instead of just a script I would have cleaned it up. As it is, all I could do was email the webmaster. WCFrancis 04:15, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

What Volumes?

For whoever noted that there was a three-volume edition of Dangerous Visions and a two-volume edition of Again, Dangerous Visions (or whoever can answer me this)--What do you mean by this, and if so, where could I get it? Please reply on my talk page, at WAS. Thanks, WAS 23:42, 11 December 2005 (UTC).

Cameron acknowledged Ellison's influence on his movies?

Can anyone provide a source for this? Sounds apocryphal to me. I'll remove it but reinstate it when a source is provided. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

How about IMDB trivia for The Terminator? [1]Quote follows:

"Science fiction author Harlan Ellison sued Cameron, claiming that the film was plagiarized from the two "The Outer Limits" (1963) episodes that Ellison wrote, namely "Soldier" and "Demon With a Glass Hand". The concept of "Skynet" could also have been borrowed from an Ellison short story called "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream". The suit was settled out of court and newer prints of the film acknowledge Ellison."

I have also read that James Cameron admitted the similarities on a talk show, but do not currently have a source for that. Anyone help? wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 16:29, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Check out this Cameron bio, which gives info that appears verifiable that interview for Starlog was source of Cameron's admission of similarities to "a couple of Outer Limits episodes.". wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 17:48, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Ellison, Lester del Rey & L. Ron Hubbard

I've heard a story via Harlan Ellison, you can hear him recount it on an conversation between Robin Williams and Ellison, that it was Lester del Rey who suggested to L. Ron Hubbard he create his own religion after he overheard at a party Hubbard complaining about perpetual financial problems no matter how much he worked and no matter how much material he sold - of course there have been other stories floating around that it was Robert A. Heinlein or Issac Asimov who bet/dared him to do it - so has anybody heard or read any other sources for this story? LamontCranston 22:04, 24 January 2006

Quote: "Heinlein had told Hubbard in conversations in Philadelphia during World War II that a religion could successfully front anything in the U.S." - from -- Cimon avaro; on a pogostick. 09:00, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

What is This?

I was just reading this article when I came across the following sentence at the end of the section 'Controversy.'

"Ellison has been known to kick puppies and throw rocks at old people."

Now, I'm still new to Wikipedia, but I'm *pretty* sure that isn't supposed to be there. As far as I can tell, this appears to have been added by someone at IP at 05:14, 3 February 2006. - Square pear 21:13, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

You have discovered one of the reasons Harlan considers Wikipedia to be pustulent (see above) or [2]. It is called vandalism. Since those who control Wikipedia insist on allowing anyone to edit almost anything, with no accountability, they depend on people like you or me to correct this kind of abuse. Vandals can be blocked but if they have a shared IP address this is useless. So there are no consequences.

Also see:

wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 17:30, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
Of course, if we didn't insist on allowing anyone to edit almost anything, then people like you and Square pear wouldn't be able to fix vandalism or other errors either. It's a tradeoff. Fortunately, all but the most dedicated vandals tend to quickly get bored of banging their heads against Wikipedia since it's easier to fix vandalism than it is to do it in the first place. Bryan 19:37, 20 February 2006 (UTC)
I was refering to the practice of allowing anyone to edit anonymously, with the resulting lack of accountability. I would have no problem with being required to log in in order to edit (some wiki sites have that limitation); but I do have a problem with allowing anyone to edit without being logged in and accountable. Vandals do get bored and wander off, but all the time I wasted on vandalism watch convinced me that for every 9 that do that 10 or more appear. (This is not a real statistic but just a gut feeling that there is no way to keep up.) The good side of this is that there is the potential for more and more users willing to fight those with lies and made up facts, not to mention the purveyors of pointless filth and nonsense. Without some means of having accountability, there is always the potential for mischief, libel and slander in stealth vandalism entries. wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 04:02, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
Actually, if you log in to edit then you're even more "anonymous" than if you don't. If you don't log in then your IP address is recorded permanently and publically, whereas if you do log in all that's known is your username (which doesn't have to be your real name, like I use, but can be any old string of text you can think of). As a prime example of this, see John Seigenthaler Sr. Wikipedia biography controversy - if Brian Chase had logged in with some random username to make his edit he would never have been identified. "Accountability" is not enhanced simply by requiring people to log in, you'd also need to have some way of ensuring people logged in with their real names. Bryan 04:53, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Comic books

I recall that Ellison was involved in writing some episodes of the Avengers and Hulk comics from the early 1970s. Shouldn't that be mentioned ?

-- Beardo 07:46, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

see and

The story "Hero of the Day" in the Incredible Hulk #286 was also inspired by The Soldier.

-- Chris411 04:47, 1 October 2006 (UTC)


Hugo awards

It says he has won eight and half times - but ten items are listed. How ? -- Beardo 07:51, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

He has won 81/2 Hugos for works he has actually written (or had a hand in writing, i. e. the story for the movie of A Boy and His Dog). He was given two special awards as editor of DV and A,DV, so these are not normally included in the final tally. Sir Rhosis 21:01, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Doctor Who-related quote...

Accordingly, in 1979, he hath written up an introduction concerning the British cult show Doctor Who that has been printed quite a few times in Pinnacle novelisations of the series. Therein, he reflects that at the World Science Fiction Convention's lecture platform he states:

"Star Wars is adolescent nonsense; Close Encounters is obscurantist drivel;
Star Trek can turn your brains to puree of bat guano;
and the greatest science fiction series of all time is Doctor Who!
And I'll take you all on, one-by-one or all in a bunch to back it up!"
According to Angmering, Harlan subsequently claimed that he didn't actually write it after-all..
Is the latter true or false? DrWho42 03:32, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Angmering might be able to provide a source. wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 17:49, 11 September 2006 (UTC)


Can we get a photo of Ellison here? Willerror 22:58, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Harlan trademarked!?

I just got the latest Locus today and in it they refer several times to Harlan Ellison® -- what the devil is this all about? Hayford Peirce 01:43, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

  • The phrase "Harlan Ellison" is a US Trademark, Registration #2655948, registered on 2002-12-03, for Good and Services "Printed matter, namely, books and magazine columns ...", "The name Harlan Ellison identifies a living individual whose consent is of record." -- Seth Finkelstein 16:35, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Should that be stated in the article, and shouldn't the article use "Harlan Ellison®"? Bubba73 (talk), 03:12, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
No, the fact that he's trademarked his name doesn't seem to be significant enough to mention. And although he might prefer that we use the ® symbol, we are in no way required to. --ABehrens (talk) 21:22, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Here is a section from the Whovian discussion page

Harlan Ellison is definitely a fan... Here I quote him, the highly critical science-fictioneer:

Whilst on the lecture platform of the World Science Fiction Convention in 1979...

"Star Wars is adolescent nonsense; Close Encounters is obscurantist drivel; Star Trek can turn your brains to puree of bat guano; and the greatest science fiction series of all time is Doctor Who! And I'll take you all on, one-by-one or all in a bunch to back it up!" DrWho42 10:33, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, Ellison also wrote the introduction to Pinnacle's US imprints of the Target novelisations, so he should definitely join the list. Martpol 09:34, 17 April 2006 (UTC) Indeed.. That's whereto I got my quote. (= Anyways, he admits to hating television and a lot of its "science-fiction" save for this fine exception in the space-time wash.DrWho42 13:01, 17 April 2006 (UTC) Hasn't be subsequently claimed not to have actually written that introduction? Angmering 17:56, 24 April 2006 (UTC

Then that needs to be properly cited from the book. Simply refering to a talk page discussion is not citing a source. CovenantD 01:03, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Eh, who was using Doctor Who fandom as a source? I was asking about the quote myself since it seem'd that it may not have been Harlan who wrote the intro. DrWho42 03:43, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

"Harlan Ellison Hates Wikipedia" meme

This meme is going around. Mathiastck 18:34, 1 September 2006 (UTC) apparently it leads right back to this page, right were I was going to ask about it :) Mathiastck 18:34, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Reference Gone

Citation provided for apology regarding Hugo Ceremony incident is no longer available online. (Ref 5) wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 17:31, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Just scroll down, it's there...


If the incident in which Ellison is said to have declared there were no women in Mensa is too rumor-licious I will delete it. I do have a source and the full text of the email. It sure as hell sounds like early Ellison, before his consciousness-raising in the early 70s by a group of Canadian feminists (described in The Other Glass Teat). Basically, the woman who wrote to me told me that Ellison was to speak at a fan-organized sf convention, Science Fiction Convention Northwest. I wish she'd given me a date for this incident -- I can write to her and ask for more details. He tried to push his way to the head of the line to sign into the hotel. Told by a woman ahead of him in line to wait his turn, he threatened to have the woman "thrown out of the con", then flashed his Mensa card and began talking about his high IQ, she revealed she had a high IQ also and said she was considering quitting Mensa since he was in it; his reply? "You can't be a Mensa member. You're just a woman!" There's more, but I won't go on. My point in citing this at all is to show that Ellison has shown himself capable of radically changing his views. --Bluejay Young 11:38, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

"Personal correspondence with anonymous convention organizer, August 18, 2000" just doesn't sound like a valid source to me. Without any more details, it just amounts to your saying "Trust me on this," and even if it were to be expanded with more details about who this was and what she said to you, it still wouldn't be a verifiable source, such as a book or article. *Dan T.* 11:52, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Assault on Connie Willis at Hugo awards

Hi, Moralesnyc. Can you explain what your problem is with the current version of this section of the page? You and I are both at the three-revert limit for this page for today, so we may as well discuss it here. Yonmei 00:29, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

I'll add my two cents here: what is currently under that heading is misleading. When dealing with something of this nature, you know how reactionary people can get. If you want to tell the whole story, then tell the whole story. I noticed that some of the other things that Ellen Datlow talked about were left out. Try and be fair to everyone involved, hmm?
Oh, and if something like this is going to be included, why not include other things that he has done as well? Otherwise, this page looks like something from People magazine and not up to the high standards that I'd imagine Wikipedia is used to. 03:10, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
I have noticed how reactionary some people get when discussing Ellison's assault on Willis - many try to argue that his groping her in that ugly way was not important. That is reactionary, yes. There are links to both Ellen Datlow and Patrick Nielsen Hayden's full statements after witnessing Ellison's assault on Willis, where PNH makes the point that this kind of behavior from male "stars" in science-fiction fandom used to be regarded as semi-acceptable, and fandom has moved on - it no longer is.
On being Fair and Neutral: we have a responsibility to the readers. We have a responsibility to ourselves. We also have a responsibility to the author. The current section is unfair; I notice in the quote from E. Datlow it doesn't include the other important thing she says, that it wasn't sexual assault (and what she thought it was and its lack of importance). Also, what of Connie Willis? Have you contacted her and seen how she feels about it? One shouldn't feel obligated to say, using their personal feelings, that this incident was a certain way--they should go right to the source and respect their authority on the subject instead of putting in one's own ideas (and perhaps a sense of revenge/chastisement). Wikipedia is not for that. There are other sites that are better suited for that kind of activism. I view the event as none of my business. People have to learn to discern that, to be able to put aside their own feelings and go with what is for the good (especially avoiding *deciding* for Connie Willis and Harlan Ellison what happened and what should be done). I know what its like to feel powerless, to see a situation and feel angry and such at it, but I have to learn to separate those feelings from what happened and what is good. Its difficult, but worth it.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'other things that he has done'. Do you feel that there are significant events missing from his biography? Yonmei 08:07, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

People made such a big deal about this that I---long after the episode---had to investigate for myself. Let me state, for others like myself who will be slow to hear of the incident, not keeping their thumbs on the thready pulse of modern SF, you didn't miss much. I found video of the incident on Google and had to watch it twice to even see the offending "grope." Seriously, it was so unobtrusive I missed it the first time, Ms. Willis didn't respond to it and she laughed afterward. I don't know what lead up the event, but she was treating Ellison like a misbehaving child (perhaps with reason), and he responded by escalating his behavior. At worst, I think it was one of those spur-of-the-moment bad choices on Ellison's part; it was a far cry from rape, as some websites have tried to contend, and I would feign call it assault, except perhaps in the strictest legal sense. Would I do something like that? No. Was it tasteful? No. Was it surprising coming from Ellison? Not particularly.


Boy and His Dog

The article said 'both the story and the film have been called sexist', but the source linked does not say that at all:

The story is, to my mind, somewhat different from the film; no one in the story is totally sympathetic or totally evil, and in particular the events surrounding the two main characters’ escape from the story’s underground society—he’s an intruder and she’s a native, but both are misfits—are such as to preclude choosing one character as morally better than another. The story’s point seems to be that both the societies, above ground and under ground, are rotten. Furthemore, the story is told from the male character’s point of view, a technique that admits both his relative ignorance of the other people in the tale-and-his natural bias in favor of himself. Films do not have a narrator, and what is seen through the subjective point of view in the story becomes the objective truth of the film.

So... I'm changing it. It seems out of place in the biography, anyway.

Writer infobox

I put in a Template:Infobox Writer at the beginning of the article. Gaheris 00:36, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

Sexual Assault

Is it even appropriate to include an unsupported allegation of a sexual assault -- esp. one that is clearly identified as likely being an urban legend?

Jkp1187 11:33, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

It would not be appropriate if it were a story that someone else told of Harlan Ellison - indeed, it would potentially be libellous. But, as you will see if you check the references, the "unsupported allegation" is made by Harlan Ellison against himself: he published the story as a factual anecdote in 1978, with two other stories that he also asserts are factual anecdotes. Yonmei 12:10, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Can we have a citation for those articles? Jkp1187 16:33, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Yonmei 19:08, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
To what source are you referring? Jkp1187 22:32, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
The one I linked to just above in References, which is the first source linked to from the section entitled Self-incriminating account of sexual assault in 1962. The actual name of the source in the References list is 1. Ellison, Harlan. The 3 Most Important Things in Life. If you click on the link and scroll down a little way to the first section, titled 1. SEX, you will find it's a self-incriminating account of a sexual assault that Ellison says he committed in 1962.
Sorry I wasn't clear at the start: I'm afraid I assumed you would be able to click on the links available in the article. They all seem to work at my end.Yonmei 23:48, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Good enough for government work! Jkp1187 02:57, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

This anecdote can be found in "Stalking the Nightmare," by Harlan Ellison. I doubt that it's true, but if one reads the whole thing you'll find that the alleged female involved was coming on like the Killdozer, and had asked Ellison only moments before to hit her in order to sexually excite her. I'd have to say tying her to a piano was the lesser of two evils. cneron***

I agree that the anecdote reads like a misogynistic fantasy that Ellison probably dreamed up after the woman threw him out of the house. Nevertheless, Ellison tells it as a factual anecdote about himself, so as it stands, it is a story of a sexual assault he says he committed. Yonmei 13:52, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

If you say it with authority, does that make it so? cneron***

Harlan Ellison says it with authority: it's his anecdote that he himself claims to be factual.Yonmei 23:04, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Getting down to cases, exactly what's sexual about tying someone up and then leaving? cneron***

Is it your argument that this ought simply to be referred to as an assault? I disagree: the assault took place in a sexual context. Ellison deliberately turned a consensual sexual encounter into a nonconsensual assault. What do you feel is appropriate terminology for such a crime? Sexual assault is broadly defined and I think Ellison's behaviour would fall within it.Yonmei 23:04, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

There was no sexual assault. There was no assault. At worst, it was a bad practical joke. Harlan, himself, describe this as the ... single kinkiest sexual encounter I ever had. It is hardly a self-incriminating account of sexual assault. Someone made a real bad judgement call here, bordering on vandalism.

Thank you for your comments.
I read through various BDSM-related pages in wiki before making this entry, and found that in all instances, even in countries where consensual BDSM is legal, the key point is consent. The woman in Ellison's story did not consent to be left tied up, naked, and alone, and Ellison does not claim that she did: he asserts that he left there like that against her will. Assault seemed to be the best word to cover that situation, and Sexual assault as it had begun (though it had not ended) as a consensual sexual encounter.
Can you link to a site that makes the argument that tying someone up (naked or not) and leaving them alone so that they cannot free themselves is not assault? Or else an admission by Ellison that this story is not true, or is incomplete (that in fact he untied her, rather than walking off and leaving her)?
If you can think of a better way to describe the crime that Ellison says he committed (it makes no difference to the gravity of the offense that Ellison himself seems not to have thought of it as a crime) then please make your edits to the page. You might want to create an account. Yonmei 20:19, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm not here to prove your fallacious argument for you. If you need more research, then by all means please do make an effort to prove your assertions, but don't expect me to bring to the table your proof of something that does not exist.

Legally you cannot have battery without assault; you cannot have assault with consent. And where lays Harlan's intent for sexual assault? In his story, he ties the woman to the surrounding living room furniture with her consent after she demanded that he hit her. She was clearly a danger to herself and others, and this was his way of extricating himself from the situation and is really an account on how Harlan avoided committing assault. How does this spin for you into a story about sexual assault?

Also, you cannot eat your cake and have it too. For you to claim it was a self-incriminating act, you must not substitute Harlan's lack of contrition for your self-righteous opinion. He must admit to sexual assault, which he most certainly does not (no matter how grave you believe the situation to be) , before anyone can say what he did is self-incriminating!

Are you sure this account is not just a story touted as true, as often fiction writers are want to do? After all, this story SCENES FROM THE REAL WORLD: I, THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE appeared in a collection of fiction from STALKING THE NIGHTMARE copyright © 1982 The Kilimanjaro Corporation. Let me read you something from the dusk jacket of that book: ".... For the first time the author has embodied his belief that 'fantasy and reality have switched places in our time' by including four essays he calls SCENES FROM THE REAL WORLD...."

... Fantasy and reality have switched places?

Then there is this quote from Stephen King foreword from the same book: ".... one can almost see 'The 3 Most Important Things in Life' as a stand-up comedy routine (it's a job, by the way, that Harlan knows, having done it for a while in his flaming youth)...."

If we cannot be sure the events even took place from a likely work of fiction, then how can you accuse the author of anything? The onus is on you to prove the events actually did happen, and not create a work of fiction of your own in the process.

On the basis of simple doubt alone, your arguments are moot, and I now believe the entire entry should be removed.

Thank you for your comments. Yonmei 07:54, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

The references are from a work of fiction that is related as a humorous anecdote. This is no evidence beyond choosing the first person and retelling in the first person that Harlan claims this story is true. He may have chose the first person to give it the stand-up comedy feel King refers to. You can't take things at face value. As such I dispute the sources as a "confession." There is no evidence that this is a sexual assault. This was published almost 30 years ago. If it was viewed at the time of publication as a confession to a sexual assault or at any point after, then you should be able find evidence that the police investigated. Everything that happens in the story is consensual, until he leaves. I dispute that it is sexual assault, and the references don't establish that it is. I dispute that it is similar to the urban legend. The source itself contradicts the assertion that is similar stating "The earliest known printed reference to this legend is Paul Smith's 1986 Book of Nastier Legends." The legend involves an accident involving bondage play, not a prank. I dispute it is similar to the urban legend. Lastly and most importantly there is no evidence this was a controversy before it was posted here. It should be obvious that for inclusion in the controversies section there should be some evidence in the sources that it was considered controversial. This has been in print for almost 30 years. Who found it controversial and when and was the outcry of encyclopedic significance? I see no evidence of any controversy that wasn't invented by improperly including it here. Gripdamage

Controversies: "Jelly Beans" and "Racism"

Both of these anecdotes were posted without sources in the Controversies section.


My feeling is that the "jelly bean" incident is mere gossip, though if the assault is proven from a published source, it can be included. But without any sources I don't think it's appropriate for this page: it qualifies as an anecdote rather than data. Also, it would need to be edited to make it encyclopedic rather than gossip-columny. Yonmei 09:57, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

The racism incident, if it can be documented (a link to the original interview or some published account of it, etc) would seem valid to include on the page. Yonmei 09:57, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

The "Jelly Bean" Incident

In the 1980's, Ellison had vehemently made a demand of his fans, during some of his lectures while on the fan convention circuit, that they cease and desist in harassing him with regards to the source of the Harlequin's endless supply of jelly beans. During one particular convention, shortly after one of his lectures, Ellison reportedly became smitten with an unnamed female fan who, by all accounts, was "a stunning, well-endowed blonde" who happened to be ~2" shorter than Ellison. He pursued the woman around the convention floor, and after some effort managed to persuade her that the stories of Harlan Ellison being a "tempermental monster" were grossly exaggerated. They were a pair briefly during the convention, but due to a gag played on Ellison by several fans and a few of the merchandise dealers, the pairing was sundered in a very explosive manner. While one dealer and a fan had distracted Harlan with a ruse of having him verify that two signed copies of one of his books were in fact legitimate, another fan handed the woman a bag of jelly beans, instructing her that she should give Ellison the bag as a "token of her admiration", as these were Ellison's favorite candy.

According to all accounts, when the woman unsuspectingly handed Ellison the bag, Ellison became violently enraged. Screaming loudly, he vulgarily chastised the woman, and in what was arguably an act of assault forcibly slapped the bag upwards from the woman's grasp, sending jelly beans arcing across the convention hall in all directions. Ellison then reportedly stormed off through the crowds that had gathered, shoving attendees out of the way, and by one account punched a security guard in the stomach as he left the hall. The woman, clearly shocked and almost hysterical in grief from the verbal and physical assault, reportedly was escorted to her room by one of the convention officials, and was never seen for the rest of the convention.

Note that while many SF authors, including Ray Bradbury, Issac Asimov, and even Arthur C. Clarke have confirmed and even retold the story on occasion, both Ellison and some of his staunchest supporters - including Tom Galloway - have vehemently denied the incident took place, and in recent years Ellison refuses to discuss the matter, much less any issues regarding jelly beans.


In 1984, Ellison was misquoted as having made racist remarks regarding all non-caucasian minorities. According to transcripts of the interview where he made the statements, he was quoted as saying he was not bigoted, and that he hated everybody, including "niggers, chinks, honkeys, wops, dagos, spicks, wetbacks, gooks, nips, slants, crackers and junglebunnies." The two journalists who misquoted Ellison later apologized for having left out the caucasian-specific epithets in their report, but Ellison still drew criticism for having made the statement in the first place.

Satire, obviously, is becoming harder and harder for people to recognize. wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 16:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Parodies and Pastisches of Ellison

In the late Seventies or early 80s, I read a short story, I think in one of the monthly SF magazines. I don't remember anything about it other than that the author included a number of prominent SF writers in transparent disguise. Ellison was featured as "Ellen Harlanson". If this jogs anyone else's memory, please post it! Thanks. The Sanity Inspector 17:57, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I always wondered if David Gerrold's "When H.A.R.L.I.E. was One" was at least a nod to Ellison. Last I recall, Gerrold was a friend of Ellison, and the timing is about right - it came out in Ellison's heyday of the 1970's.

Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn Mccrumb is a novel about a contentious writer at a convention, but I don't think it's a parody of Ellison. Ellson can't be the only convention terror, and the rest of the handling feels different from what I know of Ellison through his author's notes. TaoPhoenix 10:31, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Pointless reference to Sexual Behavior in 1962

Removed the following which had no place and no reason to be in an ENCYCLOPEDIA article and which could be taken as a personal attack:

Account of kinky sexual liaison in 1962
In 1978 Harlan Ellison recounted as if telling a factual story[1] how in 1962 he had ended a consensual sexual encounter, after tying his partner in the living-room of her parents' house so that she was naked and unable to move or release herself, by leaving her there to be discovered by her parents. The veracity of his own account cannot be determined; it resembles a common urban legend[2].

Also changed subtitle that may have been legally actionable and was undoubtedly a personal attack. It was put up 22 November 2006, reverted 28 November 2006, and has been there until now. Look for this abuse to return soon.

wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 01:45, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

The US Federal government's definition of sexual assault includes "inappropriate touching" (see [3]) Ellison's sexual assault on Willis at the Hugo Awards is thoroughly documented to an unusual extent for any encyclopedia: to use correct terminology for an event that is completely verifiable is certainly not actionable.
The first of the 'Three Most Important Things' anecdote was retitled by an anon editor who objected to having Ellison's self-described behavior referred to as 'sexual assault'. I put it back in because it is sourced as well as any of the other controversies and is certainly notable: Ellison not only published the anecdote he told, but is reported to have recounted it several times at conventions. Yonmei 08:20, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Provided it is from a reliable sourced (it is) and we make it clear it's veracity is uncertain (we do) there are only two other issues. Is it sufficiently noteable (appears to be but can't say for sure) and is it documented as controversial (no clear info on this)? The fact that you and I may think it is controversial is irrelevant if it isn't documented as controversial. Given it's noteability, there might be merit to include it somewhere else if it isn't documented as controversial but not in the controversies section Nil Einne 12:30, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Will try to find documentation of controversy: what controversy I'm aware of occurred exclusively in fandom, which tends not to be documented up to Wikipedia standards. Yonmei 18:40, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
deleted portion had nothing to do with Connie Willis incident. It was the quoted section from his essay. Pointless, with a title that amounts to a personal attack. It came back. It has been removed again. Please do not turn this into an edit war, but consider why you feel the need to hate Mr. Ellison and to continual find ways to attack him in an encyclopedia.wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 19:04, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
Please remember: assume good faith. Accusations that wiki editors include information in biographies based on personal animosity towards the subject, is hardly an assumption of good faith. This anecdote is directly sourced to Ellison: it may or may not to be true, but not only did he repeat it at several conventions, he also published it under his own name as something he had done. It is therefore quite literally a self-incriminating account of a sexual assault Ellison carried out, or said he did, in 1962. The argument has been made that this is "not controversial", and therefore ought to be under a different section: I cannot, however, see any good reason to remove it altogether: though as you will see other anecdotes that are not sourced have been removed. Yonmei 02:40, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I can still see no reason that this incident should even be in an "encyclopedia", even a self-labeled one. Use of the inflammatory label "sexual assault" appears to meet standard of personal attack, and if it cannot be supported in its legal meaning, it is actionable.
I also do not see why that particular terminology is so important when there are other terms that would not look like personal attack could easily be substituted. The insistance on the use of the term assault is my reason for not being able to assume good faith. (Aside: "assume good faith" is a principle to allow discussion regarding editorial choices, not to allow anyone to put anything in just because they are acting in "good faith".)
I still contend that, regardless of terminology, inclusion is pointless and creates an interruption to the flow of the article, which is already choppy and in need of a true editor.
Note also that I predicted this edit skirmish would happen. wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 18:16, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Removed as pointless today. It broke up flow of article and had no point or other reason to be here.wcf Facts are stubborn. Comments? 20:04, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Harlan Ellison - blackface minstrel performer?

The category blackface minstrel performer was just added to the page, and when I queried the editor who added it, he helpfully pointed out that there's a line in the biography:

"As a child, he had a brief career performing in minstrel shows."

Does "minstrel shows" here mean "blackface minstrel shows"? If yes, I think the page should be amended: I didn't get it, and wondered why the category had been added at all. Yonmei 08:05, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

The category description says "This category is for performers for whom blackface acts or minstrel shows made up a significant portion of their careers." Does Harlan Ellison really qualify? I think not, myself, and am going to be bold and remove the category. If his childhood career as a minstrel singer was really that significant, someone who knows more about this aspect of Ellisod's youth than I do can restore it. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 05:37, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Other parody/pastiche

There was a Black Widowers story written after Asimov's death in EQMM (it appears to be "The Last Story" by Charles Ardai) involving a series of anthologies _Far Visions_, _Farther Visions_, and the unpublished _Farthest Visions_. I can't find my copy to give the name of the Ellison analog, however. 00:54, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Ellison, Harlan. "The 3 Most Important Things in Life" (HTML). Retrieved 2006-09-20. 
  2. ^ "" (HTML). Retrieved 2006-09-20.