Amazing Facts About Harlan Ellison and Niacin
The short stories of Harlan Ellison are clever, bold, and dashing, erring on the side of juvenile rather than impenetrable. I think that -- while occasionally dated and smug -- they are (for the most part) keen.

Moreover, the man is everywhere these days. He's even got a new documentary out about him called "Dreams With Sharp Teeth" that was filmed by the people who did "Grizzly Man," a movie about a man being mauled to death by bears. Nearly everyone I know has startling and revelatory anecdotes about how Harlan Ellison has personally affected their lives, whether through offering advice, soliciting them for sex, or squarely hitting them in their jaw.

To familiarize you with this man of legend, I have compiled a list of startling facts about him that will cause you to examine your own "writer's life" and consider how you are doing.

I have omitted most of the racy personal anecdotes from this list (there are thousands), and have instead only included facts which are of indisputable public record. Please enjoy them. They are of a true nature.

I have also included facts about niacin for balance. I have not included facts about BOTH niacin and Harlan Ellison, although I am sure there are quite a few that are salacious and ironic.



-- Harlan was the Guest of Honor at the 1978 WorldCon in Phoenix, Arizona. However, he refused to spend any money in a state that hadn't ratified the Equal Rights Amendment, and slept in an RV rather than the hotel.

-- Harlan Ellison made the "Fantagraphics"-owned "Comics Journal" famous with a feud over whether or not he was complimenting Michael Fleisher's run on The Spectre by calling it "bugfuck" insane. Fleisher sued both Gary Groth and Harlan Ellison and it turned into a BIG FUCKING DEAL on the internet that you can research and read about if you are so inclined.

-- Niacin is one of the B vitamins, and is used for DNA repair and to aid calcium absorption in the body.

-- Harlan Ellison once flew to New York from L.A. for the expressed purpose of punching out this guy named Charles Platt, because the guy had unsuccessfully hit on his girlfriend DECADES BEFORE. Ellison punched him out, and Platt did not sue, because his lawyer told him that Ellison was not famous enough.

-- Ellison has won the Hugo Award eight times, the Nebula four times, and the Edgar award twice. He is concentrating his power, it seems, and may one day win the National Book Award before he dies.

-- For his first novel, Ellison went undercover in a youth fighting and yelling gang in Red Hook, Brooklyn for ten weeks, surviving to write about juvenile delinquency from the INSIDE OUT.

-- Ellison toured with the Rolling Stones, and wrote a book about it called "Spider Kiss."

-- Harlan Ellison did voiceover work for the animated children's shows "Pirates of Darkwater" and "Mother Goose & Grimm." He is listed as being "additional voices."

-- Ellison wrote the Hugo Award winning short story "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" in one night and claims to have made precious few changes to the original draft. He did, however, do a self-portrait for a mousepad that was packaged with the computer game version of the story. Yet...


-- A deficiency of niacin results in the disease called "pellagra." Pellegra was a common ailment in the 19th century, and -- if untreated -- led to diarrhea, dementia, dermatitis, and death.

-- According to Ellison, he worked for Disney for precisely one day. In the lunch room, he did an impromptu rendition of your favorite Disney characters engaged in illicit and inter-species sex acts. It was so good that Roy Disney (who overheard him) achieved erection for the first time ever and had Mr. Ellison fired on the spot out of confusion and dismay.

-- Harlan Ellison has written one episode of "The Flying Nun" called "You Can't Get There From Here." The show was about a nun who could fly.

-- As a child, Ellison had a brief career performing in minstrel shows, and one of his first jobs was as a dynamite truck driver in North Carolina.

-- A child once broke Mr. Ellison's window with a baseball on accident. Ellison grabbed the nearest sharp object -- one of his Hugo Award trophies -- and ran out to his front yard to hold the award against the child's throat and demand an apology. The child looked at Ellison with tears in his eyes, and Ellison's fingers began to slip. The statue fell from his hands and shattered on the driveway. The child ran home to his parents, and Ellison wondered what it all meant, and why did it always have to be this way.

-- Niacin is found in whole grain foods such as brown rice and brown bread. It is also added to enriched flour to keep America healthy and strong.

-- Harlan Ellison has had vaginal coitus with over 700 different women, and received oral sexual favors from over 2000. His favorite position is unknown, and while there is broad speculation, no one really wants to know.

-- One time, when Frank Sinatra and Harlan Ellison were playing pool, Frank Sinatra freaked out about Harlan Ellison's clothes, and kicked him out of the club they were both enjoying. Sinatra told the manager of the club: "I don't want anybody in here without coats and ties." The anecdote was chronicled in the magazine article "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," by Gay Talese, called the "best magazine piece ever written" by Esquire magazine.

-- Harlan Ellison sued James Cameron and won, after James Cameron admitted liking his stuff and being inspired by it. Now the credits of "The Terminator" say "Acknowledgment to the works of Harlan Ellison" at the end.

-- Other good sources of niacin include mushrooms, peanuts, and shellfish. If it is brown, it probably has niacin in it.

-- Harlan Ellison once wrote an entire short story live on the air at KPFK-FM in Los Angeles. The story is called "Hitler Painted Roses."

-- Ellison ghostwrote Lenny Bruce's column for the porn magazine "Rogue."

-- Ellison called "Back to the Future" a "piece of shit" in print, but then changed his mind after seeing the sequels. He is not made of stone and frequently changes his mind about trivial matters regarding speculative fiction.

-- Harlan Ellison has written 300 novels and over 15,000 short stories, many of which have never been published, and some of which were completely accidental.

-- Harlan Ellison proposed an offer of marriage to Dr. Stephen Future's sister seven separate times in the course of one year, and broke each of them off at the last minute in a shocking turnaround. The final time was just a phone call. He asked her to marry him, and then simply hung up while laughing. She said "yes," but it turned out Mr. Ellison was already married to his fifth wife, Susan.

-- Ellison was once a spokesperson for the Geo Metro, a car that no one has ever owned.

-- Pregnant women and nursing mothers need more niacin in their diets than men and women who are neither pregnant nor nursing.

-- Ellison's advice to any struggling young writer, ala Rilke, is to "stop writing crap."

-- Harlan Ellison does not believe in God, and he really does believe that some people are better than others. According to Ellison, this made his appearance on the Merv Griffin show difficult.

-- His name ITSELF is a registered trademark.

-- He does not like the word "sci-fi" and it is generally in his contract that he does not consent to interviews if the word "sci-fi" is used. The word was used once in a television interview, and he walked off of the set, never to be seen again by the desperate and illiterate hosts. He says the word "sci-fi" is an ugly and cold-cobbled neologism that sounds like crickets fucking.

-- Ellison does not smoke or drink, and has never used drugs in his entire life.

-- Harlan Ellison lives in a mansion filled with toys, books, and comics in California. The sprawling house has rat-like warrens that in some cases must be crawled through to be transversed.

-- Ellison is 5 feet 4 inches tall, which is shorter than most adult males.

-- Most people today get plenty of niacin in their diets, but it never hurts to take a supplement. More than 35 mg of niacin a day is NOT recommended unless prescribed by a doctor to treat high cholesterol levels.


Posted by miracle on Mon, 14 Apr 2008 17:24:26 -0400 -- permanent link

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