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Guest Name
Harlan Ellison
Guest Occupation
Guest Biography

HARLAN ELLISON has been called “one of the great living American short story writers” by the Washington Post; and the Los Angeles Times said, “It’s long past time for Harlan Ellison to be awarded the title: 20th Century Lewis Carroll.”

In a career spanning more than 40 years, he has won more awards for the 75 books he has written or edited, the more than 1700 stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns, the two dozen teleplays and a dozen motion pictures he has created, than any other living fantasist.  He has won the Hugo award 8½ times, the Nebula award three times, the Bram Stoker award, presented by the Horror Writers Association, six times (including The Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996), the Edgar Allan Poe award of the Mystery Writers of America twice, the Georges Méliès fantasy film award twice, two Audie Awards (for the best in audio recordings), and was awarded the Silver Pen for Journalism by P.E.N., the international writer’s union (this prestigious accolade was presented for his columns in the L.A. Weekly, titled “An Edge in My Voice,” in defense of the First Amendment).  After writing the columns for only 29 weeks, he beat out candidates from the L.A. Times, the N.Y. Times, and the Washington Post.  He was presented with the first Living Legend award by the International Horror Critics at the 1995 World Horror Convention.  He is also the only author in Hollywood ever to win the Writers Guild of America award for Most Outstanding teleplay (solo work) four times, most recently for “Paladin of the Lost Hour” his Twilight Zone episode that was Danny Kaye’s final role, in 1987.  In March (1998), the National Women’s Committee of Brandeis University honored him with their 1998 Words, Wit & Wisdom award.

He has drawn attention to the art of writing by performing the remarkable feat of actually creating and writing and completing stories in the windows of bookstores (in Paris, London, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans and elsewhere) in full view of large audiences; stories that have gone on to win major awards and literary prizes.  To gain background for his first novel, dealing with juvenile delinquency, he went under an assumed name and ran with a kid gang in Brooklyn’s dangerous Red Hook section for ten weeks.  He has covered and written about civil rights marches, riots, antiwar demonstrations and other scenes of civil unrest.  His two books of TV essays, THE GLASS TEAT and THE OTHER GLASS TEAT, have sold millions of copies and are currently being taught in media classes in more than 200 American Universities.

Ellison has traveled with rock groups such as The Rolling Stones, and his novel of the scene, SPIDER KISS, is called by music critic Greil Marcus “…the finest novel about the world of rock in the past quarter century.”

In a 1980 landmark lawsuit he sued and beat ABC-TV and Paramount Pictures for $337,000 when they plagiarized a television series he had created.  This was the famous Brillo/Future Cop case.

Among his most recognized works, translated into more than 40 languages and selling in the millions of copies, are DEATHBIRD STORIES, STRANGE WINE, APPROACHING OBLIVION, I HAVE NO MOUTH & I MUST SCREAM, WEB OF THE CITY, LOVE AIN’T NOTHING BUT SEX MISSPELLED, ELLISON WONDERLAND, MEMOS FROM PURGATORY, ALL THE LIES THAT ARE MY LIFE, SHATTERDAY, and STALKING THE NIGHTMARE; and as creative intelligence and editor of the all-time bestselling DANGEROUS VISIONS anthologies and MEDEA: HARLAN’S WORLD, he has been awarded two Special Hugos and the prestigious Milford Award for lifetime Achievement in Editing.

His latest publications include: THE ESSENTIAL ELLISON (Nemo Press, 1987; Morpheus International, 1991), an enormous 1,000+ page, thirty-five year retrospective of his work (this year, THE ESSENTIAL ELLISON has been expanded to reflect a fifty-year career in writing); ANGRY CANDY (Houghton Mifflin, 1988), winner of the 1989 World fantasy award for best Short Story Collection and listed in the ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA ANNUAL as one of the major works of American Literature for 1988; HARLAN ELLISON’S WATCHING (Underwood–Miller, 1988) a compilation of 20 years of film criticism; THE HARLAN ELLISON HORNBOOK (Penzler Books & Mirage Press, 1990); HARLAN ELLISON’S MOVIE (Mirage Press, 1990); DREAMS WITH SHARP TEETH (Book-of-the-Month Club, 1991); MEFISTO IN ONYX (Mark V. Ziesing, 1993); MIND FIELDS (Morpheus, 1994) with Polish artist Jacek Yerka; I, ROBOT: THE ILLUSTRATED SCREENPLAY (based on Isaac Asimov’s story-cycle; Warner Books, 1994); THE CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER screenplay (Borderlands Press, 1995, and White Wolf, 1996); SLIPPAGE (Mark V. Ziesing, Houghton Mifflin, 1997); and the coffee table edition of “REPENT, HARLEQUIN!” SAID THE TICKTOCKMAN (Underwood Books, 1997) with paintings, rendered by Rick Berry.

May (1996) saw the publication, by White Wolf Publishing, of EDGEWORKS: The Collected Ellison (Vol. #1).  This first of a series of 20 volumes of the collected fiction, essays, teleplays and columns contains the books AN EDGE IN MY VOICE and OVER THE EDGE, with completely revised, updated and expanded manuscripts…the variorum texts!  November (1996) saw the publication of the second EDGEWORKS omnibus, containing the books SPIDER KISS and STALKING THE NIGHTMARE.  In rapid succession White Wolf Publishing also released volumes 3 and 4 of the EDGEWORKS series.

Ellison served as Creative Consultant on the revival of the CBS-TV series The Twilight Zone until late November of 1985, at which time he resigned (to considerable media attention) due to network censorship of a script dealing with racism that he had written and was in the process of directing.  From 1993 until 1998 and the end of the series, Ellison also served as Conceptual Consultant on the popular syndicated hit series Babylon 5.  Recently, Ellison adapted his short story “The Face of Helene Bournouw” for a Showtime cable series. 

“The Human Operators” (based on a short story co-written with A.E. van Vogt), aired early in 1999 as part of the Outer Limits series.

Also a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Ellison has voiceover credits on many shows including Pirates of Darkwater, Mother Goose & Grimm, Space Cases, Phantom 2040, The Sci-Fi Channel and Babylon 5 (in the episode titled “Ceremonies of Light and Dark” Harlan plays the Voice of the B5 computer, and in the episode “Day of the Dead” you can hear him as “Zooty”).  Ellison’s first TV appearance as a fictional character was also on Babylon 5 in the episode “The Face of the Enemy.”  He played a Psi-Cop opposite Walter Koenig as “Bester.”  His latest acting role was as the mysterious “Grifter” in the series Psi Factor.  Mr. Ellison has also done many Spoken Word recordings (most recently for Audio Literature’s series of recordings; including Mr. Ellison’s short story collection MIDNIGHT IN THE SUNKEN CATHEDRAL) and has received Grammy nominations for his recordings.  For six years, he was the weekly commentator on The USA Network’s Sci-Fi Buzz show.  He continued in the role of weekly commentator for Galaxy Online with his on-screen series Working Without A Net®.

On 30 April 1999, Mr. Ellison won two Audie Awards (presented by the Audio Publishers Association to honor the best in audio recordings) in the categories of Solo Narration, Male, for reading Ben Bova’s CITY OF DARKNESS (published by Dove Audio) and Multi-Voiced Presentation, as part of an all-star cast reading THE TITANIC DISASTER HEARINGS: THE OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE 1912 SENATORIAL INVESTIGATION by Tom Kuntz (published by Dove Audio). 

Ellison won a Bram Stoker award for his collection of stories THE VOICE FROM THE EDGE (Volume 1).  A follow-up collection titled, MIDNIGHT IN THE SUNKEN CATHEDRAL, is currently available.  

Mr. Ellison worked as a consultant and host for the radio series 2000X, a series of 26 one-hour dramatized radio adaptations of famous SF stories for The Hollywood Theater of the Ear.  The series was broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR) in 2000 & 2001.  Ellison’s classic story “Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” was included as part of this significant series, starring Robin Williams, with the author in the role of Narrator. Harlan Ellison was awarded the Ray Bradbury Award For Drama Series: For Program Host & Creative Consultant: NPR Presentation of 2000X. 

Harlan Ellison can be heard as the voice of the insane god-computer AM in the CD-ROM computer game, the bestselling I HAVE NO MOUTH, AND I MUST SCREAM.  Though Mr. Ellison doesn’t even own a computer, he has amazed the world of electronic entertainment by creating and implementing a cutting edge “ethical scenario” that one reviewer lauded as “…a game that challenges both intelligence and wisdom, and in this longtime gameplayer’s experience, it stands practically alone in the gaming landscape.” Ellison reprised his role as the voice of the evil computer AM in the broadcast adaptation of I HAVE NO MOUTH, AND I MUST SCREAM for the BBC radio series Chillers.

In 1990, Ellison was honored by P.E.N. for his continuing commitment to artistic freedom and the battle against censorship.  He lives with his wife, Susan, inside the Lost Aztec Temple of Mars, in Los Angeles.

Harlan Ellison’s 1992 novelette “The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore” was selected from more than 6,000 short stories published in the U.S. for inclusion in the 1993 edition of THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES.

After three years in production, January 1995 saw the debut of Ellison’s own ongoing, monthly comic book from Dark Horse called HARLAN ELLISON’S DREAM CORRIDOR.  In its first year of publication the graphic narrative magazine garnered such overwhelming and unanimous rave reviews—and the original stories Ellison wrote for each issue won so many awards—that in August of 1996 the magazine was re-launched in book-style format, with more pages, as HARLAN ELLISON’S DREAM CORRIDOR QUARTERLY.

“Chatting with Anubis,” an original short story written especially for HARLAN ELLISON’S DREAM CORRIDOR #4, won The Deathrealm Award for The Best Short Fiction of 1995 and the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction which was given out by The Horror Writers Association in June 1996.  At the same awards ceremony, Harlan Ellison was also given The Lifetime Achievement Award.  His latest collection, SLIPPAGE, won the 1998 Locus Poll Award as Best Story Collection.

On 22 June 1998, Ellison’s career reached a dizzying summit when he became the answer to a clue in the Double Jeopardy round of that evening’s broadcast of the television game show, Jeopardy.

He is a frequent guest on ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. 

In January 2001, Mr. Ellison signed to develop his award-winning Outer Limits script, DEMON WITH A GLASS HAND, for Miramax’s Dimension Films as a theatrical feature.  He is working with director David Twohy whose previous credits include: THE ARRIVAL, PITCH BLACK, G.I. JANE, and THE FUGITIVE.  Other Ellison works currently in the pipeline for film and TV include: “Along the Scenic Route,” optioned by Paramount Pictures.

Mr. Ellison’s first Young Adult collection, TROUBLEMAKERS: STORIES BY HARLAN ELLISON, was released in November 2001.

And as Tom Snyder said on the CBS Late, Late Show: “An amazing talent; meeting him is an incredible experience.”