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Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Harlan Ellison/Sam Moskowitz Letter

From LW Currey

Ellison, Harlan. TYPED LETTER SIGNED (TLS). 1 page, dated 3 November [19]68, to "Dear Sam" [Moskowitz], signed "Harlan Ellison." On Ellison's 3484 Coy Drive, Sherman Oaks letterhead. Ellison chafes Moskowitz sarcastically for not sending him a copy of the 30th anniversary issue of the fanzine DIFFERENT, in which he apparently issued a manifesto critical of Ellison and certain trends he disliked in science fiction. He reminds Moskowitz that they've known each other 17 years, then predicts that Moskowitz's cause is doomed and "can only aid and abet the revolution in speculative fiction.... The louder you squeal, the quicker the changes will be wrought." Ellison goes on to castigate him for misquoting him and offers to give him as many "inflammatory" quotes as he likes if he just asks for them directly. "In short, what I'm saying, Sam my man, is this: you want a Holy War? Then get it on, baby, get it on." Ellison was "...the most controversial and among the finest of those writers associated with sf whose careers began in the 1950s. He was born and raised in Ohio, attending Ohio State University for 18 months before being asked to leave, one of the reasons for his dismissal being rudeness to a creative-writing professor who told him he had no talent." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, p. 376. Two faint creases where folded for mailing, 7 mm closed tear in right margin, else fine. (#100282)

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