WorldCon 2018 Report: Day Three — In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison

18 Aug

Harlan Ellison thrived on controversy, and left his mark on the professional and fannish sides of the community, for better and for worse. Join friends of Harlan in remembering this cantankerous, strange figure who even in death evokes strong feelings.

Panel: Tom Whitmore, Robert Silverberg, David Gerrold, Chris M. Barkley, Nat Segaloff, Christine Valada

First of all, nearly all of us were surprised that this session was held in a standard-sized room. There must have been a reason why it wasn’t held in the large hall where the Spider Robinson GoH interview was held. It was standing-room only, and many people were turned away. (A lot of people, I suspect, came to the room for the previous session — I have no idea what it was — to ensure that they got a seat, as only about a dozen seats opened up when that session ended. Whoever was on the panel on the previous session probably got a much larger crowd than they expected.)

The session was a wonderful and just barely melancholy mix of remembrances and stories about Harlan, his work, his life, and his impact on others. It was clear that no one believed him to be a saint, not unworthy of criticism, but this was neither the time nor place to dwell on either of those aspects of this influential writer’s life.

As with the Spider Robinson GoH interview, I took no notes. However, if you want to listen to the session, David Gerrold (with the permission of the other panelists) has posted it here..

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