People can often categorized in two different groups. Cat lovers, dog lovers. Sports fans, non-sports lovers. Liberal, Conservative. Drinkers, non-drinkers.

Within the world of fantasy/horror/science fiction readers, you can draw a distinct line between those that love Harlan Ellison and those that despise him.

Oh, I've met people who do not have extreme views on the man, but for the most part people really, really like Harlan and his work, or they really, really hate him.

Count me in the former group.

I remember the first time I encountered the work of Harlan Ellison. It was in an anthology that I got from the school library. I must have been in the seventh or eighth grade. I don't remember the title of the anthology, or who edited it, but the name Roger Elwood is nagging the back of my mind. He may or may not have been the editor. I do know that it was a hardcover and it had a yellowish cover.

I remember that I liked all of the stories in the book. I also cannot remember a thing about any of them, or who the writers were. With one exception. There was a story by Harlan Ellison called Silent in Gehenna in the anthology. I loved it and I thought that it was easily the best piece in the book. I never forget the name.

Later, I bought as many of those cool Pyramid Books editions of Ellison books that were coming out in the 70's. You know, the ones with those groovy Leo and Diane Dillon covers? I liked it all: The science fiction, the essays, the juvie books from the 50's, all of it. I've always been a fan and I always will be a fan.

A s years went by, I began encountering people who not only hated the work of Harlan Ellison, they hated the man behind it. I can almost understand that, because this is a case where it is almost impossible to separate the work from the man. Harlan is probably more famous for his notorious and controversial public speaking than for his work as a writer. He's is acerbic, offensive, outspoken, and insulting. He's also hilarious and more of often than not, right about the things he says.

You hear stories all the time. I've heard dozens of people say that Harlan offended them. I've heard dozens of people say that Harlan took the time to help them.

I have a book suggestion for those that, like myself, consider Harlan Ellison to be a great man. Its title is a word that Harlan is credited for creating: BUGFUCK. Bugf#ck: The Worthless Wit and Wisdom of Harlan Ellison is a beautiful little book that is published by Spectrum Fantastic Art. It's a lovely, elegant little thing, only about 5"x4", and it is filled with explosive quotes from Harlan Ellison. This book is a hardcover, with a beautiful dust jacket and a nicely sewn binding. Don't ask me for technical details about the paper or anything, because I know nothing of such things.

With a cover price under ten bucks, Bugf#ck: The Worthless Wit and Wisdom of Harlan Ellison will make an ideal holiday gift. Forget buying socks or other crap that people either don't need or can buy for themselves. This book will put a huge smile on any Harlan Ellison fan's face. Just don't screw up and accidentally get it for any of his enemies. They'd likely go bugfuck on you.

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