Problem Solved

Perhaps you spent the weekend agonizing over what to give an immortal science fiction writer on his 80th birthday? May is just around the corner, when young Harlan Ellison will be immolating a cake with that many candles. And it’s not easy to pick a gift for a man who says “I have ten of everything I want.”

Of course, it’s precisely at these moments which beggar the imagination that we expect the geniuses of science fiction to fill the void. And Harlan has come through.

He told readers of his Forum

Boy, am I gonna make this EASY for you.

I have ten of everything I want. I don’t need, or WANT, your goodhearted, heartfelt, appreciative, wandering “gee, wouldn’t Harlan like this…” re-gift SWEET BIRTHDAY GIFT that I will either immediately toss, or stuff into an already-bursting-seams cubby.

Here’s what I want…if you are so obsessively driven to ignore the above…and absolutely MUST MUST MUST show your love or your hate or your cleverness or your imbecile internet twittwerflux need to respond…

I am besotted with hunger for, love of, and admiration for…


Netsuke are miniature sculptured toggles invented in 17th-century Japan to secure a pouch or small basket attached by cord to a sash.  They were most popular during the Edo period in Japan, around 1615-1868. They can command high prices. (See examples here.)

Harlan has three – not more because they are so expensive.  He spent half his annual income to buy one of them.

So. If you will not heed my gardyloo… then spend your asses off, and buy me one or more netsukes that will send your exchequer spiraling into the abyss.

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