One of the most incisive and compelling observers of the human condition, Harlan Ellison passed away in his sleep last week at age 84. Everyone who ever met him has a Harlan story, to the point that being in his presence was usually referred to as “witnessing the ‘Harlan Live’ show,” and we here at the Junk Shop are no exceptions. Here are a few.
At the Mount San Antonio College Writer’s Day in Walnut, California in 1974, Harlan Ellison read aloud his new story “Knox” to a packed auditorium. He saw today coming. He’d been late, as always; to entertain us while we waited, the literature department chairman had, with great relish, himself begun reading Harlan’s earlier story, “Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman.”Before the chairman finished, word came that our guests had arrived: Harlan, and Ray Bradbury — who never learned to drive, even after half a lifetime writing about Tomorrow; Harlan chauffeured Ray from Cheviot Hills, so both were late. They were put onstage together as chastisement. Harlan went first. And hit all of us right between the eyes.
My friend Thom Moore died on Saturday at the age of 74. He was a brilliant musician and songwriter, and his work held a special place in my heart. So I’m going to talk about him and share some of his tunes with you.
We lost one of the great American mystery writers last night.
When I think of good comics, I think of Len Wein. The mark he left on comics is immense. Anytime in the last 30 years when I heard that Len Wein was writing a comic, I automatically picked it up. It was just a no-brainer.
We lost one of the greats today.
We regret to inform you of the sad news that Sam Glanzman has passed away. Our condolences to his wife and family from the Atomic Junk Shop.