Harlan Ellison (1934-2018): The Smartest, Cleverest, Wittiest Audience He Knew


The subtitle of this post came from one of Ellison’s many quotes:

I usually say I write for the smartest, cleverest, wittiest audience I know, and that’s me.”

A lot of things could be said about Harlan Ellison, and I said a few of them in an earlier post. But, whether he’s hated or revered, the man won’t soon be forgotten. He never pandered to the lowest common denominator or dumbed down his work. He was known to go to war with fellow writers, major television networks and corporations with equal ferocity. He was opinionated and prolific. A sinner who had a strong moral code. A saint who rejected the tenets of religion.

He was One-of-a-Kind, which is simultaneously a sad fact and a blessing.

And now this man, this writer, this cultural icon, is dead at the age of 84.

My nerd press credentials would be revoked if I failed to point out that Ellison was 4 years older than Superman, and both came from Cleveland, Ohio.

Goodbye, Mr. Ellison, and thanks for all you’ve left behind.

Let’s end this on another Ellison quote that seems appropriate today:

Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.”

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