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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Harlan Ellison turns down hometown prize

There must be some red faces in Cleveland, Ohio. A local scion, world-famous science fiction writer, critic, and editor Harlan Ellison, 75, was finally recognized for a lifetime achievement award -- even though some of the panel had never heard of him before.

It was then that the series of blunders commenced. First, he was informed that he was expected to pay all the expenses of bringing himself and his wife from their home in California to the ceremony. This was closely followed by a printed e-mail (Ellison -- amazingly for a professional predictor of an exciting, if fictional, future -- does not subscribe to the internet), which arrived by regular post to inform him that his acceptance speech was limited to three minutes. A phone call to explain this, from the Cleveland Arts Prize Executive Director, was punctuated with a startling question -- did Ellison know anyone in Cleveland who might pay to have an advertisement in the events program?

Ellison -- who is also famously prickly and apt to Take a Strong Stand -- turned down the prize.
Was he right to do so?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I think he was behaving like royalty. Pompous and self-important.

The reality is that he was simply an author who wrote some short stories that was voted more awards by the fandom than others in the sixties and seventies.