27 July, 2009

Harlan Ellison

Have managed to avoid reading much of anything he's written until now. Just finished the graphic novel, Vic and Blood, as he claims that's the way he wanted it. I was at first confused by the scene after the "cumup", and then I just became very saddened that he wrote the book the way he did. Or novella. Or short stories. Or whatever. But after all the self-righteous "it's not misogynist" and "it's not misanthropist" or "I didn't intend it to be that way," it was. Maybe he didn't intend it to be that way because he didn't understand what those terms meant.

In the end, the reader is left brutalized. For 1969, the same year Easy Rider made a stir and LSD was really starting to gain ground, the story is unimaginably harsh. That he wrote it for his dog is, to me, rather horrifying.

I simply don't know what to make of the author who is purported to be such a prolific and intelligent author. And that's not because I'm a complete luddite who doesn't understand literature. I think I just don't like the man. For comparison, I didn't like Haldeman's Forever War; but I understood where he was coming from, I read the book, and got what he was saying. But I didn't think, man, this Haldeman guy is a dick. With Ellison, I'm frankly not sure what to think, but it's not real positive at the moment. I've got time to reflect, and I think next on my list are Richard K Morgan's fantasy book and a very, very old DAW pressing of a CJ Cherryh book (used book stores make my heart so happy).

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