J. Michael Straczynski has given Facebook readers an update about the accomplishments of the Harlan and Susan Ellison Foundation.
An initial round of improvements has been made to the Ellison house:
1) The first stage of improvements/repairs to the house has been completed in preparation for becoming a Memorial Library. This includes: structural repairs for leaks and other issues, installation of a state-of-the-art security system with cameras and a bunch of other wonderfulnesses, building a new back wall and reinforcing the property to keep the house from sliding downhill, and landscaping to create an area looking out over the valley for talks and other events. Stage Two will include repairing/renovating the Lost Aztec Temple of Mars, making other large repairs, putting in safety measures for folks visiting the library, and setting up audio and video systems to run during visits.
The October auction of items from Ellison’s collections has brought in enough income to put the Foundation on a solid footing:
2) This and other work for the Foundation, can now be paid for by funds earned by the recent Heritage Auction, which total approximately one million dollars. This ensures that the Foundation will be solvent and viable well into the foreseeable future.
An Ellison assistant continues to help and receive her full salary:
3) Even before this, back when I first came on as Executor, we informed Sharon, Harlan’s assistant for nearly 40 years. who was crucial to Susan coping with his passing, and is now helping with the Foundation and looking after the house, that she would continue to receive her full salary in perpetuity for the rest of her life.
The Foundation has filed as a California nonprofit corporation and is in good standing:
4) The Harlan and Susan Ellison Foundation is now a certified nonprofit corporation, which ensures that the company will be run according to all the state, local and federal rules and regulations governing such nonprofits long after I’ve gone to dust.
Commercial development of Ellison’s properties for the media, publishing plans for The Last Dangerous Visions and its predecessors, as well as a new collection of his greatest stories, are all in train:
5) Several of Harlan’s properties are now in active development for TV and film. More on this as and when I can discuss it.
6) In order to build up to the release of The Last Dangerous Visions as a major publishing Event, Blackstone Publishing will be releasing all of the DV books in sequence, starting with the original DV in Fall ’23, Again Dangerous Visions Spring 24, and TLDV Fall ’24.
7) A major publisher (holding off on the name pending a formal announcement by the company) recently won the rights to publish Harlan Ellison’s Greatest Hits in a fierce auction between several companies. The book presents 17 of Harlan’s most famous, award-winning stories that span his career. It will be published as a mass-market paperback, audio, kindle, and a collector’s edition illustrated hardcover, setting the stage for a deal to reprint all of Harlan’s prior collections.
Best of all, the book will be distributed through the company’s Classics line, which puts it in the same historical category as books by Kurt Vonnegut, Philip Roth, and other authors who have earned a place in American literature. This means it have a significant presence in bookstores, libraries and universities, will be covered by the mainstream press, and that it will be given the critical attention his work deserves.