Ellison Added to SF Hall of Fame

For Harlan Ellison it never rains but it pours. Lucky for him it’s raining honors this week.

He learned from the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle that he’ll be inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame this June.

His editor at IDW greeted him with the news that his hardcover graphic book Phoenix Without Ashes entered the New York Times Bestseller List at #6 in its first week of publication – Harlan’s first-ever appearance on that list.

And the Encyclopaedia Britannica has created an entry about him. According to Harlan, “I am right next to Ralph Ellison, just following Ellis Island. What a wonderful thing.” Call it a story of requited love. Harlan has been irresistibly attracted to the encyclopedia since he was a kid.

When he accepted the 1970 Forry Award Harlan told those of us at the banquet about his times as a young fan in Cleveland. Harlan joined the first local sf club (Andre Norton was also a member). He started collecting. Then… “I went into the phase I called ‘liberating’ volumes from my high school library. I stole the first 23 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. They never suspected a thing. But then I got greedy, and they finally caught me when I tried to stuff both the Index and the World Gazetteer under my jacket…” So now the circle has closed in a way his high school librarian would not have predicted. It’s a well-deserved accolade.

Locus reports that the full list of 2011 inductees to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame includes Ellison, Vincent Di Fate, Moebius, and Gardner Dozois.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame was founded in 1996 by the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society (KCSFFS) in conjunction with the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. Four individuals are added each year, chosen on the basis of their continued excellence and long-time contribution to the science fiction field.

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6 thoughts on “Ellison Added to SF Hall of Fame

  1. They could just induct everybody into the Hall of Fame at once and get it over with… adding new writers only as they make names for themselves.

    I wonder what’s in the SF Hall of Fame, besides those strange portraits. In the Hockey Hall of Fame there are worn goalie pads, sticks used by beloved players, photos covering nearly 90 years of history, and even the Stanley Cup. There should be at least one Hugo at the SF Hall of Fame… anybody willing to donate one who has some to spare?

  2. @Taral: And don’t you wonder how Harlan Ellison was kept out of the Hall of Fame until its 15th year of existence? You may not follow that quaint ball-and-bat game we call the American Pastime, but this is like leaving Babe Ruth or Walter Johnson out of Cooperstown…

  3. I never really thought of Seattle as S.F. City, USA either. Surely New York or LA? But I guess Seattle was where Bill Gates wanted his donation money spent. : )

  4. Taral-

    In addition to the plaques (which each inductee also receives), there are four computer terminals which provide biographies, bibliographies, and filmographies of each of the inductees as appropriate. It is a very nice exhibit.

    The Hall of Fame is house in the Science Fiction Museum, which does have Hugos and fanzines, manuscripts and props. It isn’t a Bill gates project, but rather a Paul Allen project and is housed in the same Gehry-designed building as the Experience Music Project.

    I’ve been there twice and have been generally underwhelmed with the SFM. It has several neat artifacts and the HOF is the high point, but for the most part it is just a collection of artifacts, they don’t try to tell a story with them (something the EMP does much better).

    The building also has an oral history room, which is shared between both the EMP and SFM and includes videos of authors, editors, fans, artists, etc. talking about a variety of topics. With the HOF, really the best part of the SFM.

  5. I’ve been by that building, but not in it, thanks to Seattle’s public transit. I only knew it as a music museum, so it wasn’t on my list of priorities as a tourist.

    I only guessed Bill Gates because its not uncommon for things to be built wherever the money to build it is.

    For instance, Toronto has a shoe museum. A Hungarian shoe-maker fled Communism and settled here, bringing his expertise with him. He set up shop, his business grew, and eventually he bacame very rich. He is one of the retail giants in the country, now — Bata Shoes. In gatitude he built a museum here and bestowed his shoe collection on it. But there’s no special link between Toronto and shoes otherwise…

  6. Paul Allen was one of the earliest Microsoft people who cashed out equally early. He was Bill Gates’ partner and financed a good chunk of SpaceShipOne which won the X-Prize for being the first private, non-government spaceship.

    In the universe next door, Allen and Gates are a couple of middle-aged fans attending Norwescon having moved to Seattle after Gates graduated from Harvard and doing something which left him reasonably well-off, but not the richest or second-richest man in the world, depending on which year you look.

    In the one next to that, the Altair Basic they wrote on the plane trip crashed, and they got stranded in Albuquerque where they got whatever tech jobs they could find and go to Bubonicon.

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