Harlan Ellison passed away in his sleep. 1934- 2018
Ha was a creator of short stories, anthologies, TV scripts and comic books. He won Hugo and Nebula Awards. He wrote one of my favorite Star Trek episodes of all time, "The City on the Edge of Forever."
There will be other people on the net running down his accomplishments. He is after all one of the greatest writers of speculative and science fiction. I want to share my memory of meeting him.
As I became more settled in my professional career, I started to travel in different circles and get invited to places and parties where I could meet people whose work I enjoyed, admired and respected in my youth.
Unable to speak in the presence of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Surprised that Mark Hamill is speaking to me.( He is much shorter than me.) Saying something stupid to Steranko and later being able to redeem myself. Other times I was able to compose myself and have an intelligent conversation.
I'm not trying to name drop; only explaining my different reactions to meeting people as I move into new circles. I have to save my Larry Niven story for later.
I'm at San Diego Comic-Con where I met a producer of Pinky and the Brain long after it went off the air. After chopping it up for a while, he said he was meeting someone for lunch and invited me to join them. I've had very few jaw dropping moments in my life. This was one of them as he introduced me to Harlan Ellison. The fan boy in me was barely containable. 'I need to handle myself in a professional manner.' We ate lunch and talked. Harlan did most of the talking. Thank goodness! I was spared from saying something that would embarrass me.
He has a reputation for being abrasive and I could see the truth in that rep. We had an enjoyable lunch as that side of him didn't come out. He was very respectful to me. I found him to be a smart, down to earth, "Get off my lawn, you kids." type of guy.
Remember... Just Create!