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Harlan Ellison Net Worth

# Fact 1 Stephen King, in “Danse Macabre” describes the scene in the pitching sessions for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) where an executive kept rejecting ideas, saying “No, we’ve got to think big!” Harlan tired of this and said: “How about this? The Enterprise travels light years out of the galaxy, breaks through the wall of the Universe, and there in front of them is the massive face of God. How’s that?” The executive fidgeted for a moment then said “No, that’s still not big enough. We need an idea that’s big.” Harlan said “Screw this. I’m a writer. I don’t know what the hell you are.”. 2 In Dreams with Sharp Teeth (2008), he describes how he visited a TV recording session for one of his scripts where the actress, who he claims was “shtupping someone”, kept mispronouncing “Camus” as “Came-us”. Harlan caused a scene, shouting that “Everyone’ll think I’m an idiot”. The director asked who Harlan was and when told he was the writer said “What’s he doing here?”. Harlan left and the mistake was never corrected. 3 In Dreams with Sharp Teeth (2008), he claims that a set designer working from the Script of Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever (1967) misread the word “runes” as “ruins” and took something away from his vision. 4 Neil Gaiman once visited him at his home and was asked to distract an editor who was there to pick up a story while Ellison finished writing it. 5 Two of his most well-regarded stories “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman”, and “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” were each written the night before their deadlines. 6 (1994-1999) Creative consultant for the television series, Babylon 5 (1994). 7 An outspoken supporter of Human Rights organizations. 8 When he first took a writing course, his teacher told him he was terrible and should give up writing. When he became successful, he sent the teacher a copy of every good review his work ever got. 9 Ellison was named Grand Master at the 2006 Nebula Awards ceremony in Tempe, Arizona. The Nebulas are given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which Ellison helped found in 1965 and which he has publicly derided as parochial, unprofessional, ignorant and irrelevant. [See Quotes, below]. 10 He has won 22 awards for writing, more than almost any other living writer. 11 While in the U.S. Army, his sergeant called him The Author because Ellison could usually be found behind a typewriter. 12 Prefers to be called a “fantasist” rather than a “Sci-Fi Writer”. 13 When J. Michael Straczynski was a struggling young writer, he telephoned Harlan Ellison for advice. Ellison replied, “The reason your stories are being rejected is because you’re writing crap. Stop writing crap!”. 14 Had his own name registered as a trademark in 2005. 15 When asked by J. Michael Straczynski what role he wanted to play in the production of Babylon 5 (1994) Ellison replied, “I want to be the mad dog of continuity enforcement who bites people on the leg.”. 16 When he was 20, he researched an inner-city gang by joining them for ten weeks. He published his account of having joined them (“the Gang”), along with his experience of being arrested and jailed for one day (“the Tombs”), as the book “Memos from Purgatory”. 17 His father was a dentist. 18 In a magazine interview, he stated that the two fictional characters he closely identifies with are Zorro and Jiminy Cricket. 19 Richard Dreyfuss based his character of Elliot Garfield in The Goodbye Girl (1977) on Ellison, a good friend of his. 20 His novella, “A boy and his dog,” won the 1969 Nebula Award. 21 Guest of Honor at PghLANGE science-fiction convention (Pittsburgh, 17-19 July 1970). 22 Interviewers and fans ask questions about his work at the risk of being on the receiving end of a barrage of vicious insults regarding the impertinence of the question and the intelligence of the questioner. 23 Following a lawsuit, his name was added to the credits of the movie The Terminator (1984). He claimed that the time travel and indestructible robot components in the movie were ripped off by James Cameron and never credited to him. Cameron, in turn, denies having ever been influenced by Ellison’s work. However, Cameron’s producers said that if he would lose the lawsuit, he himself would be responsible for the financial losses, giving Cameron no other choice than to begrudgingly settle the case out of court. 24 In his book “Stalking the Nightmare”, he recounts an incident that led to his being fired from Walt Disney Productions on his first day of work. At lunch in the studio commissary, he jokingly told fellow writers that they should “do a Disney porn flick”, and proceeded to act out parts in the voices of various Disney characters, unaware that animation head Roy Edward Disney and other studio chiefs were sitting nearby. Ellison claims that when he returned to his office, he found a termination letter on his desk, and his name on his parking space had been painted over. 25 He was a conceptual consultant for the television show Babylon 5 (1994), helping out his friend, the show’s creator, J. Michael Straczynski. His cameos on Babylon 5 (1994) include two episodes where his voice was used and a brief on-screen appearance as a “Psi Cop”. 26 He used to be a spokesperson for Geo Metro automobiles, billed as a “noted futurist”. 27 Graduated from Cleveland’s East High School. 28 An outspoken gun control advocate, he is responsible for the removal of B-B gun ads from DC Comics. According to a convention transcript printed in The Comics Journal, on a Friday he made a phone call to DC publisher Jeanette Kahn, suggesting that such ads were inappropriate for children. She called him back before the weekend was out assuring him that there would never be another B-B gun ad in a DC comic. In the same transcript, when prompted by Marvel Comics executive Stan Lee (also an advocate of gun control), Ellison admits that growing up with these ads didn’t do him any harm. 29 He won one of his many Hugo Awards and one of his four Writer’s Guild awards for best teleplay for Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever (1967). 30 Ellison’s pseudonym “Cordwainer Bird” is reserved for works where he considers that the producers have so tampered with the integrity of his original story that he wants the whole world to know it. Hence, if you see something credited to “Cordwainer Bird”, you know that Ellison is so angry at his treatment that he’s going to force the producers to publicly acknowledge the fact (via the credits) that he considers them rather worse than fools. It is also a reference to the great science-fiction writer Cordwainer Smith. “Cordwainer Smith”, in turn, was the pseudonym of Dr. Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger (1913-1966), a professor of Asiatic politics, expert on psychological warfare, and advisor to President Kennedy. 31 Cordwainer Bird means “one who makes shoes for birds”. 32 He is famous for his hot temper and outspoken nature, which has led to more then his share of high-profile feuds. The most famous of them was with Star Trek (1966) creator Gene Roddenberry, who had Ellison’s famous television script (Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever (1967)) heavily rewritten to fit with Roddenberry’s more utopian ideas of the future. Roddenberry would not allow him to put his pseudonym “Cordwainer Bird” on the project. To add insult to injury, for the rest of his life Roddenberry took credit for having “saved” the story, which is consistently ranked as the best of the series by critics and fans and as one of TV’s 100 greatest moments by “TV Guide” (July 1, 1995).

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