Pixel Scroll 5/27/24 Pixel Yourself On A Scroll By A Tickbox

(1) WAYWARD WORMHOLE Signups are being taken for the Rambo Academy Wayward Wormhole – New Mexico 2024. Full details at the link.

The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers is pleased to announce the second annual Wayward Wormhole, this time in New Mexico. Join us for the short story workshop to study with Arley Sorg and Minister Faust, or the novel workshop with Donald Maass, C.C. Finlay, and Cat Rambo.

Both intensive workshops will be hosted at the Painted Pony ranch in Rodeo, New Mexico. The short story workshop runs November 4-12, 2024, and the novel workshop runs November 15 through 24, 2024.

(2) EARLY ENTRY ON THE 2024 BUSINESS MEETING AGENDA. Linda Deneroff, Alexia Hebel, Kevin Standlee, and Kevin Black have submitted to the Glasgow 2024 Business Meeting an amendment to the WSFS Constitution to restore “supporting” and “attending” to replace “WSFS Membership” and “Attending Supplement”.

Short Title: The Way We Were

Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution by striking out and inserting the following:

Moved: To replace WSFS Membership with Supporting Membership wherever it appears in the Constitution, and to replace Attending Supplement with Attending Membership, including all similar variations of the words (e.g., WSFS Memberships, WSFS members, attending supplement) to their grammatically correct replacements.

Proposed by: Linda Deneroff, Alexia Hebel, Kevin Standlee, and Kevin Black

Commentary: Since both terms involved the word “Membership” there has been a lot of confusion among people purchasing memberships who do not understand why they have to purchase a “second” membership, or why they have to buy a “WSFS membership” in the first place. Under the original terminology, the price of an attending membership was inclusive of the support price.

Any reimbursement restrictions could still remain in place, with the price of the supporting portion of the attending membership deducted from any refund.

(3) IF IT’S NOT MADE IN MIDDLE-EARTH, IT’S CRAP! “Why Do Dwarves Sound Scottish and Elves Sound Like Royalty?” While Atlas Obscura  tries to say Tolkien had a lot to do with it, their evidence shows it’s not his books but the filmmakers who adapted them that are the greatest influence.

…Of course the original readers couldn’t hear what Tolkien’s creatures sounded like, but the intense focus he placed on developing their languages gave people a pretty good idea. “Tolkien was a philologist,” says Olsen.“This is what he did. He studied language and the history of language and the changing of language over time.”

Tolkien would create languages first, then write cultures and histories to speak them, often taking inspiration from the sound of an existing language. In the case of the ever-present Elvish languages in his works, Tolkien took inspiration from Finnish and Welsh. As the race of men and hobbits got their language from the elves in Tolkien’s universe, their language was portrayed as similarly Euro-centric in flavor.

For the dwarves, who were meant to have evolved from an entirely separate lineage, he took inspiration from Semitic languages for their speech, resulting in dwarven place names like Khazad-dûm and Moria….

… However, the dwarves of the Lord of the Rings movies don’t speak with an Israeli accent, and the elves of Warcraft don’t have a Finnish inflection. This comes down to the differences between how Tolkien portrayed his fantasy races and how he imagined they should talk, and the readers’ interpretation….

(4) KEEP THEM SEQUELS ROLLIN’. “Alien? Mission: Impossible? Toy Story? What is the greatest movie franchise ever?” The Guardian’s staff stake their claims. Here’s Jesse Hassenger’s pick.


There are a lot of movie series that made it through four or five entries as an unusual rotating showcase for different directors before giving in to the temptation to re-hire past successes. I still love the Alien and Mission: Impossible movies dearly, but they’ve also made me extra-grateful for the rare franchise that has managed to never repeat a director or major (human) cast member. I’m talking – for now – about the Predator movies, the B-movie little siblings to the classier, weirder, more thought-provoking A-list Alien. Only one is bad – the second Alien vs Predator match-up, nonsensically subtitled Requiem. All of the rest, where various badass aliens hunt various opponents (including Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Danny Glover, Olivia Munn, the xenomorph and Adrien Brody, among others) for sport, filter their premise through a different vision of monster-movie splendor. On one level, you always know what you’ll get: clicky noises, gory deaths, those triangle laser-sight things. Yet the specifics have plenty of wiggle room: should they be scary, funny or nasty? Action, horror or sci-fi? It’s a throwback to when movie franchises knew their place as fun programmers, rather than tentpole sagas. Alas, Dan Trachtenberg is about to become the first Predator director to return to the series. He did a great job with the entertaining Prey; it’s just a shame for the series to lose its constant one-and-done churn. For now, I’ll continue to savor those no-nonsense weirdos with the ugly mandibles and over-elaborate armor, and their accidental compatibility with B-movie auteurism. Jesse Hassenger

(5) THAT 70’S ART. This link assembles many examples of “Space Bar” themed examples of “70s Sci-Fi Art”. (And from later, too).

(6) JOHNNY WACTOR (1986-2024). Best known for his work in daytime TV, Johnny Wactor was reportedly killed by thieves on May 25. The New York Times’ summary shows he also had roles in several genre series.

Johnny Wactor, an actor best known for his role in “General Hospital,” was shot and killed on Saturday, reports said, amid what his family described as an attempted theft of a catalytic converter in Los Angeles.

Ms. Wactor said her son thought his car was being towed at first, and when he approached the person to ask, the person “looked up, he was wearing a mask, and opened fire.”

Mr. Wactor … also appeared in episodes of “Westworld,” “The OA” and “Station 19.”


[Written by Paul Weimer.]

May 27, 1934 Harlan Ellison. (Died 2018.)

By Paul Weimer. Or, even though he has passed away, he still might sue me from beyond the grave, so Harlan Ellison® .

My reading of Harlan Ellison® was benefited to me thanks to my older brother, whom I have mentioned earlier in this space was mainly responsible for me to get into science fiction and fantasy, and his bookshelf were my early steps into the genre. As it so happened, he had a fair number of the extant Harlan Ellison®  short story collections. So very early on in my SFF reading, I did come across “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream” “Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes” and other SFF stories of his. At that early age, I found few SFF short story writers that could match him.

Harlan Ellison at the ABA convention; Larry and Marilyn Niven behind him: Photo by and (c) Andrew Porter.

And I learned, thanks to the collections my brother had, that Harlan Ellison®   wrote far more than SFF short stories. I’m not even talking about his movie or television scripts.  Ellison is the first SFF author who I read non-SFF work by. I read The Glass Teat and The Other Glass Teat. I read and reread his criticism of television and cinema and began to understand the wide range of his talent. When I discovered he wrote mimetic short stories, and horror short stories as well, there was a point that I wondered what Ellison didn’t excel at as a writer in the short form.

My favorite Harlan Ellison®  is not “Mouth” because I think that is just too easy an answer. I have a fondness for the sadness of “Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes” and the tragic fate of the protagonist. “Jeffty is Five” breaks my heart every time I read it. “The Whimper of Whipped Dogs” moved me, even though I was too young to know it was a take on the Kitty Genovese murder.

I will reach more deeply and go with “Paladin”, which I saw first as the Twilight Zone episode “Paladin of the Lost Hour” and then later read the Hugo winning novelette. It’s a poignant story, with some of the sadness and gray veil that you find in some of Ellison’s work.  It’s as if Harlan Ellison® is grabbing me by the collar and shouting. “Feel something, you coward. Feel something!”.  The anger of raging against the dying of the light and being angry when people shoulder-shrug, give up, and shuffle along?  I may not have ever met Harlan Jay Ellison®, but I think Paladin helps you feel just how powerful, angry, and potent a writer he was. Love him or hate him, his work could not and would not be ignored.  

I think there are definite periods and waves of Harlan Ellison® ‘s work. And like another sui generis artist, David Bowie, you probably will find a wave or period of Harlan Ellison® that you will like best. Not all of his oeuvre worked for me, there is a definite band I like, and a narrower (but not narrow) band that I really like. This may be the consequence of his extensive oeuvre and constant ability to change and try and write new things, or rewrite old things in a new way. Restless, Angry, Raging. Potent. 

 I loved his cameo on Babylon 5 which he served as a creative consultant and wrote an episode “A View from The Gallery”.  (Which may mean that we have  Harlan Ellison®  to thank for Lower Decks, which is to Star Trek that this episode is to the rest of Babylon 5.) 

That, my friends, is the work of Harlan Ellison® 

Harlan Ellison in 2014 at Creation event in Las Vegas.


(9) ANOTHER HARLAN TRIBUTE. Janis Ian marked Harlan Ellison’s 90th with this tribute on Facebook.

In my life, there have been very few colleagues who viscerally understand having been an “enfant terrible”. Even fewer that lived up to their promise. And even fewer who continued to be brave, and bold, fearlessly speaking out despite the consequences.

Today is the birthday of my late friend Harlan Ellison. A writer who completely understood what it was like for me at the age of 15, when “Society’s Child” became a hit. Unable to connect with most of my peers because of the experiences I was having, unable to much time with those I could connect with, who were always 5 to 10 years older and usually on the road.

Harlan understood better than most that Fame hadn’t changed me, it had changed the people around me. And he understood the impossibility of living up to the expectations placed on me because of my innate talent and ability.

He could be an unbelievable pain in the rear. He could be absolutely impossible. He could be rude and obnoxious and he did not suffer fools. God help you if you annoyed him. But to me, he was unfailingly courteous, generous, kind, and giving. I miss him more than I can say, and I regret the years I did not know him.

(10) APPLAUSE FOR BRENNAN. Rich Horton reviews “Cold-Forged Flame, and Lightning in the Blood, by Marie Brennan” at Strange at Ecbatan.

Marie Brennan has been publishing short SF and Fantasy (mostly Fantasy, I think) for a couple of decades, after winning the Asimov’s Undergraduate Award back in 2003. (That’s an award which spurred some excellent careers over time — writers like Rich Larson, Marissa Lingen, Eric Choi, and Seth Dickinson are also among the past winners.)…

…The two books [Cold-Forged Flame, and Lightning in the Blood] concern Ree, whom we meet “coming into existence” as Cold-Forged Flame opens. She has no idea of her name, only a dim sense of her abilities (she is a warrior, for one thing) and of her character (suspicious, prickly) — but also aware that she is bound to do what the nine people who have summoned her ask. After some debate, she learns what these people want: she must go and bring back a vial of blood from the cauldron of the Lhian. And, in exchange, they offer her her freedom — and, but only after the fact, what knowledge they have of her … history. To tell too much in advance would harm her, they suggest….

(11) SAM I AM. Knowing that a fan’s brain is never sufficiently stuffed with trivia about Tolkien, CBR.com brings us “The Lord the Rings’ Samwise Gamgee’s Real World Inspiration, Explained”.

…In Appendix C of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien explained the in-universe origin of the surname Gamgee. It came from the family’s ancestral village of Gamwich, which meant “game village” in the language of the hobbits. Over time, the name Gamwich evolved into Gamidge and later to Gamgee. This was one of many examples of the great amount of thought and effort that went into even the tiniest worldbuilding details of The Lord of the Rings. However, this backstory was a retroactive explanation that Tolkien came up with long after settling on the name Sam Gamgee for his story’s deuteragonist. The real-world basis for Sam’s surname was more unusual, and its origins predated Tolkien’s conception of Middle-earth.

Gamgee is a real — albeit uncommon — surname. In fact, in 1956, a man named Sam Gamgee wrote a letter to Tolkien after learning that a character in The Lord of the Rings shared his name. Tolkien was surprised and delighted by this coincidence. Since the real Sam had not read the novel for himself, Tolkien assured him that the fictional Sam was “a most heroic character, now widely beloved by many readers” and offered to send him a copy of the book. In Tolkien’s response, he also explained the reason that he chose to use the name. It was a long story that began with a famous surgeon: Dr. Joseph Sampson Gamgee.

Born in 1828, Joseph Gamgee made major strides in the field of aseptic surgery, the practice of ensuring that a doctor’s hands and tools remain sanitary during medical procedures….

(12) WOLFE PACK ON LOCATION. Black Gate has Bob Byrne’s newest installment of “Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone”: “Welcome to Kanawha Spa – The Wolfe Pack 2024 Greenbrier Weekend”. He joined the Wolfe Pack for a descent on the West Virginia resort featured in Too Many Cooks.

…Trish [Parker] is the resident Greenbrier historian. She is also a Wolfe fan! She gave a really cool presentation that talked about the Greenbrier, the logistics of of other locations (Barry Tolman was NOT going to make that court session he was pressing to be at), and other related information.

I loved it! It was really neat. Especially as she knew the story. I really enjoyed it. She took a couple questions and got a healthy round of applause.

Intelligence Guided by Experience – A question I heard more than once over the weekend was, “Did Rex Stout stay here before he wrote the book?” While the thought seemed to be, ‘Probably, as he knew the place pretty well.’ it’s unknown. The records from that early have been lost over the years. No proof he had been to the Greenbrier….

[Thanks to Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, Rob Jackson, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Steven French, Teddy Harvia, Kathy Sullivan, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]

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26 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/27/24 Pixel Yourself On A Scroll By A Tickbox

  1. Something witty!

    Sorry, Cider said that after subjecting her to a bath, I had to say something witty. Currently engaged with downloading Kickstarter rewards.

  2. Many oldfen have a “Harlan story”, here’s mine- at the Nebula Awards/Locus Awards weekend in 2004, I was in a line at a now closed local bookstore-Seattle Barnes & Noble downtown near the con site, waiting to get my books by McDevitt and Ellison signed. Ellison was holding forth on a brag, about his very expensive gold pen. I had the temerity to ask how expensive the ink was, and LEFT quickly. I remember Jack laughing as I left.

  3. David Dorais: My earliest “Harlan story” comes from around 1969. I had seen an ad for Dick Geis’ Science Fiction Review in a prozine, which fostered my ambition to get contributions from real pro writers for my own fanzine. It implied they had all kinds of ideas and opinions they wanted to put in front of the public – which was true enough – so I naively offered them space for this purpose in my publication. I checked the LA phone books and located addresses for Harlan Ellison and Ray Bradbury. They actually answered, with brief, encouraging notes turning down my offer. They weren’t intended as contributions, obviously, yet it seemed a pity to waste them. So I began printing these in a department titled “Rejection Slips”, where the tables were turned and writers rejected a magazine.

    Harlan promptly responded with another – surprisingly patient – note which essentially said, don’t do that again. So I didn’t.

    Later on when I saw how ferocious Harlan could be when he was annoyed, I looked back on that experience and was impressed that he had chosen the best tone to get the result he wanted, and hadn’t just hurled thunderbolts on general principle.

  4. (2) Thanks so much. Now I have to attend another business meeting, so I can vote HELL, YES.
    (4) How about “none”? Hey, you just posted a link the other day to what’shername the witch, talking about sequels.
    Birthday: Harlan. I miss him. I really met him once, at a con in 1976 that lasted for one year, in NYC. Harlan had held forth in the afternoon, but had more, and we all wanted more, so the con let him go on again, after Silverbob. Who, of course, ran about 20 min over. I wound up waiting outside the door, and chatting with him, and that is a lovely memory. I can’t remember what we spoke about but he clearly considered me acceptable company. Someone who never gave up on the world, trying to demand that damn it, stop killing all the good possibilities.

  5. Birthday: I was at a con where Harlan appeared and read the prequel to “A Boy and His Dog”. He was an excellent reader!

  6. I first met Harlan in 1970, when he was Guest of Honor at PgHlange in Pittsburgh. This was my first convention, and I took copies of Don Keller’s and my fanzine PHANTASMICOM 3 with me. Some fan who had been hassling Harlan through the mail was planning to attend, and Harlan’s plan for his GoH speech was to eviscerate this guy while explaining why he didn’t like fandom. The fan did not show up, necessitating a change to Harlan’s speech. I had given Harlan a copy of my fanzine early in the con, and in its pages I had reviewed his PARTNERS IN WONDER. I had liked some stories more than others, and had reviewed each one individually.

    Harlan took the stage, gave some introductory remarks, then talked about having problems with fans. “Where’s Jeff Smith?” he asked, peering around. “THERE he is! He gave me this fanzine in which he reviews my new book. Why should I have to put up with this stuff?” He then proceeded to read aloud a heavily edited version of what I had written, omitting all the positive comments and emphasizing all the negative ones, throwing in many quite funny asides. Everyone was in hysterics as he eviscerated this poor fanzine writer. I was trying to hide under my seat, while at the same time laughing myself at how funny the speech was.

    The next time he saw me, he apologized, saying he didn’t feel he could bring out his big guns on someone who didn’t show up. I didn’t feel he should have brought out even his little guns on someone who had just written a fair review, but I accepted his apology. Like most everyone else, I had times I got along with him and times I didn’t over the years, but I’d have to say my experiences with him were generally positive.

    I had a cassette tape of the speech for a long time, given me by Hank Davis, but I somehow lost track of it.

  7. As much as I enjoy some of his writing, I tend to prefer his non-fiction. Looking at
    my shelves I don’t have any of his stories but I do have “Watching”, “Sleepless Nights…” and “An Edge in My Voice”.
    I need to reread them.
    I may not have agreed with all his movie reviews but sometimes reading his take helped clear up why I didn’t like some of them.

  8. 3) “…dwarven place names like Khazad-dûm and Moria….” Er, Moria is a Sindarin place name and means ‘dark pit.

    ” the elves of Warcraft don’t have a Finnish inflection.” No idea what Warcraft has to do with anything, but the elves of middle earth speak Sindarin, which was influenced by Welsh, not Finnish.

  9. (2) I was confused, and will be glad if the original terminology is restored.

    (11) If I recall correctly, Tolkien did also write that he lived for years afterwards in dread of getting a letter from a “S. Gollum”

    (7) I never encountered Harlan in person. My two strongest Harlan-related memories are his fierce essay “Xenogenesis” and his letter to Locus calming the waters (!) after the Gene Wolfe/Odyssey workshop kerfuffle.

  10. (2) A reminder that I (with others) have submitted a new version of Popular Ratification: a proposal to replace the current two-year ratification of changes to the WSFS constitution with a system that submits proposals that pass the Business Meeting to a vote of the entire membership of the following Worldcon. You can see the full proposal as well as commentary explanations at the link in the DreamWidth post I referenced above.

  11. Thanks for the business meeting agenda item. I don’t know whose brilliant idea it was to make supporting into WSF membership but it was confusing and off putting. You can do the same thing with memberships by using normal words such as supporting and attending. I always knew that if I was supporting, I could vote, not go to the convention but at least vote on Hugos and other awards and the bid.
    I plan on attending the business meeting and you will see my hearty YES

  12. I met Harlan Ellison at my first Worldcon, 1966’s Tricon in Cleveland, Ohio. He was kind and patient with this teenager. My most extensive experiences with Harlan, though, were at the 1983 Australian Natcon in Sydney, at which he was the GoH and I was the DUFF delegate. From dancing at the Costume Ball and demanding songs from Thriller, to his blunt completion of a speech I fumbled during the banquet, to a post-convention outing to a Greek restaurant where Harlan first heard the music of Zamfir, to the next weekend’s expedition to Hanging Rock for a picnic (near Melbourne), there was lots of excitement.

  13. 2) As a long time non-attending WSFS member, I like the new terminology. The phrase “supporting member” is still sometimes used to imply that non-attending members aren’t “real” WSFS members and that we shouldn’t have the rights we do. (Incidentally I am one of the co-signers of the Popular Ratification proposal Kevin reminds us about in his comment.)

  14. Thanks for including my Wolfe Pack visit to the Greenbrier. I appreciate it! Next week it will be the Nero Wolfe toast I gave there, and a new intro I wrote for my Wolfe ‘Stay at Home’ Pandemic series, which was given out to attendees.

  15. I first met Harlan at the 1966 WesterCon, where he brought a screener for a new TV show called “Star Trek.” He climbed up on top of the hotel roof and leaned over and kicked the louvres on the vents in the room’s walls shut, so he could show the screener in darkness. Broke several of them, as I recall.

    Next time was at TriCon, where he read “I have No Mouth…,” which he’d just finished writing, to a bunch of us rapt NY fans. Later that day he seconded our bid for the 1967 Worldcon for NYC.

  16. I’ve read a reasonable amount of Harlan Ellison’s fiction, but the writing of his that really sang to me was his nonfiction, specifically the reviews/essays about TV and movies as collected in Harlan Ellison’s Watching and the two Glass Teat books. If nothing else, he convinced me to reconsider my opinion of Return to Oz.

  17. 2) I think that if we keep on calling it a “WSFS membership” it’s a very bad look to not allow possessors of such to participate actively in WSFS governance, meaning the Worldcon business meeting. “Supporting membership” has very different connotations. Change needs to be made one direction or the other.

  18. PJEvans – you do know that Harlan did stand-up in the fifties for a while? He had real serious training as a reader. The one-shot con I met him at, what he read in the evening was what became the introduction to his short story collection of I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. The room was dead silent, except for three or four of us (yes, that includes me), softly crying.

  19. KevinS: I was talking about requiring Business Meetings to be hybrid – the whole vote to change memberships, I was there, but Bill Roper COULD NOT BE, because he could not leave his dealer’s table, so he couldn’t vote against it.

    This is far better. If you’re going to be at Glasgow, I would like to buy you a drink, for this, and for what happened about the Hugo voting after China. If not, hope to see you in Seattle (or at a con before that).

  20. One of my Harlan stories:
    Long, long ago i’m running his autograph line at one of the early I-Cons on L. I. and i’m aware of his reputation. We set up a table and chairs for him in one ‘corner’ of the Lecture Center at SUNY Stony Brook. Leaving actual line control to well trained minions, i step back and watch him do his thing with each and every fan. Recognizing that he’s done this gig many times before and probably has a routine, i started timing how long he takes with each person, extrapolate based on the time we have left, and place myself at the end of the line representing a “Hard Stop”.
    The line snakes forward and i have to apologize to a quite few late-comers, but his pace and timing is consistent, for which i am grateful.
    At 59:59 he signs the last book, glances over at Susan and loudly announces “We’re Done!” At that moment he looks up, sees me, and i reply “Yes, Sir. You’re Done!”. He smiles, stands up, and starts gathering his bags for the next event. I think that was when i’d proved myself competent in his eyes, and from then on HE always treated me well whenever i was his Guest Liaison.

    A much greater understanding of Harlan can be gained by reading “A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison” Nat Segaloff (NESFA Press)

    Someday i’ll tell you the story of the time i ate his dinner.
    (Susan said it was OK!)

  21. I’m not old enough to have read Harlan Ellison’s most famous work when it was actually new, and I get that separating the art from the artist works for some people…but what I most associate with Ellison is his sexually assaulting Connie Willis onstage at the Hugos (I was backstage), his defending convicted child molester Ed Kramer and aggressively attacking people who supported his victims, and his getting cute about not-quite-using the n-word (we know what “NWA” stands for…) while attacking yet another author, and his aggressive non-apology apologies for this kind of behavior.

    So it’s a little disturbing to watch people be all like “let’s trade funny Harlan stories!”, because what he’s famous for to younger folks is not actually all that funny. It feels a lot like giving great artists (and I acknowledge the greatness here) and/or celebrities a pass because they’re great and/or famous. Weren’t we supposed to be moving on from the whole “boys will be boys” thing?

  22. @Susan–

    So it’s a little disturbing to watch people be all like “let’s trade funny Harlan stories!”, because what he’s famous for to younger folks is not actually all that funny. It feels a lot like giving great artists (and I acknowledge the greatness here) and/or celebrities a pass because they’re great and/or famous. Weren’t we supposed to be moving on from the whole “boys will be boys” thing?

    There’s the clear, straightforward principle, and there’s the messy reality of real people. Those of us old enough to have met Harlan–Harlan was all the things you say, and he was also someone who could be funny and kind and generous, a good writer, and a good editor. Even for people of my generation and older, it depends on which Harlan you met. I saw him being kind and generous–and I saw him being a prickly, combative jerk, and incredibly misogynistic. I avoided direct interactions with him, because the most innocent and friendly question or comment could hit him wrong, and then watch out.

    What he did on stage with Connie Willis didn’t come out of nowhere, but neither to all the funny, affectionate stories about him.

    And also, Harlan is safely six years dead. He can’t hurt anyone anymore. I saw people pull back from him after the Connie Willis incident. It was just too much even for many who liked him. But he’s dead. Those who experienced the good side of Harlan want to remember the friend they valued, not the absolute jerk he could be with other people. And there’s no longer any fear that he’ll be encouraged to think it’ll be okay if he grabs a woman’s breast in a situation where she feels she can’t bring her heel down on his foot, again.

    I will repeat my mantra: Nobody is just one thing. Harlan in particular was a mess, and a confusing mess.

  23. @Lis,
    I’ve no idea what he was like in person or as a friend; I think the only time I ever saw him in person was when he practically knocked me over bouncing down the stairs backstage after assaulting Connie. I get that lots of people liked him, and he was funny, and he was nice to lots of people, at least off and on. I get that reality is messy. I get that he’s dead.

    I still find it disturbing.

    Am I really the only one who feels a certain dissonance in the whole “but he was [intermittently] such a nice guy!” attitude?

  24. Susan: Why would you think you are the only one? Literally every time his name appears here one or more people bring up how he treated Connie Willis.

  25. And I’m not implying they shouldn’t do it.

    However, I had several decades of experiences with him before that happened, both good and bad, and occasionally the bad was even my fault. And I wouldn’t want to forget the actual writing. As bad as the Connie Willis episode was, I’m not in that place of marking him “F” for life and never talking about him again.

    I’m probably going to write about my experiences this year. I didn’t try to do it when he died because it’s about me, and wasn’t suitable as an obituary. But maybe now.

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