Eyewitnesses to Ellison’s Recovery

Many friends of Harlan Ellison visited him in the hospital on October 13 and say he’s faring well after his recent stroke.

Harlan Ellison and Josh Olson at Cinefamily in 2011.

Harlan Ellison and Josh Olson at Cinefamily in 2011.

Josh Olson told The Harlan Ellison Facebook Fanclub:

I just got back from the hospital. Harlan was in fine form, and being visited by Mark Evanier, Alan Brennert, David Gerrold and Kim and Kanye. A damn fine group of folks.

I mentioned that all over the interwebs, people were wishing him well, and offering to send him prayers and good wishes, and he suggested that instead of that, they all go to http://www.harlanellisonbooks.com and buy some of his fucking books.

Patton Oswalt’s ears were still echoing Ellison’s farewell:

“I gotta go do some physical therapy on my stupid fucking arm.” — actual quote from when I spoke to Harlan Ellison earlier. He’ll be fine.

Harlan Ellison and Patton Oswalt in 2013. Photo by John King Tarpinian.

Harlan Ellison and Patton Oswalt in 2013. Photo by John King Tarpinian.

Mark Evanier tweeted:

Visited Harlan Ellison at the hospital after his minor stroke. More energy and wit than most folks who haven’t had a stroke.

And Evanier blogged Alan Brennert’s Facebook account of their visit:

So today my pal Mark Evanier and I went to see my old friend and colleague Harlan Ellison, who is recovering from a stroke he suffered last week. This was without a doubt the cheeriest, often laugh-out-loud funniest, hospital visit I’ve ever paid. Harlan’s right arm and leg may be paralyzed, but his mind and wit definitely are not. He kept answering the phone, “Hello, Just This Side of Death, how can I help you?” and continued in his futile attempts to explain who Vera Hruba Ralston was to the very efficient, very nice, very young doctors and nurses caring for him.

Mark and I showed up as Harlan was finishing his physical therapy, and we were soon joined by David Gerrold and Josh Olson and his wife Nancy Himmel. There was much more comedy, but we’ll be releasing the entire session on CD and iTunes as Harlan: Live From the Stroke Ward on the Edgeworks label. No, I made that up, but we could have. It was great to see Harlan in such fine form after what could have been such a debilitating injury.

Dennis C. saw Ellison the previous day, October 12, and left these encouraging observations at Ellison’s forum:

His mind is as sharp as ever, his speech is fine, his energy is volcanic as always. He’s going to have physical therapy for those limbs not currently in total control. But Harlan has a will of titanium so I do not doubt that he will win this battle.

I just want everyone to know that he’s our Harlan. No change. Mind moving at FTL speed. He out-talked us for an hour and entertained us with stories, even though we were the ones supposed to be entertaining him. It was a good visit.

The mainstream media also has started to cover this story – at least its more sf savvy members, like Douglas Perry of The Oregonian who ran Dennis C.’s quote and followed up with a personal insight.

This is exactly what anyone who knows Ellison would expect from him. He’s one of the last of a unique American breed: the larger-than-life writer — from Ernest Hemingway to Norman Mailer — who believed it was part of his job to live a big, civically engaged, adventure-filled life. How else could he write big, civically engaged, adventure-filled stories?

9 thoughts on “Eyewitnesses to Ellison’s Recovery

  1. Good news. I’m still awaiting…….no not LAST DANGEROUS VISIONS, but his promised still in the works ego biography. (I got to that punchline afore someone else did). I did just buy his recent book of movie critcism. Even if I really don’t like buying $40.00 paperbacks…

  2. Maybe we should start making plans for hiring a medium as co-editor (ghost editor?) for an edition of “Posthumous Dangerous Visions”, since self promotion and accepting praise and accolades from his many suckups and sycophants seems to be taking up so much of his time in this life that it appears that he will only be able to find time to keep his promises to so many writers only in the next one.

  3. Seeing how obsessed you are about this, please don’t hesitate to precede him into the afterlife and inform the Creator of your exacting requirements.

  4. Mike, wow! That’s the sharpest-without-profanity cut-down I’ve seen in years!

    Lines like this are why you’ve won the Best Fan Writer Hugo.

  5. I don’t know who it was that taught me you don’t need profanity. Not Harlan, obviously.

  6. Mike, it was a very Dorothy Parker line.

    I can’t wait for Harlan to get out of the hospital so that he can play the role of Sheridan Whiteside in his own production of The Man Who Came to Dinner.

  7. You don’t know me I don’t know you. You are one hell of a writer (but of course you know that). Hope you have a few functional year yet & when your time comes its swift & clean. Your the most likely writer whose e3merged from the SF field (yes I KNOW you don’t write science fiction!!) to outlast the 21 century

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