We just heard from Josh Olsen that the legendary Harlan Ellison has suffered a stroke:
My dearest of dear friends Harlan Ellison had a stroke last week. A lot of people are asking, so here’s the deal - He’s comfortable, and resting in hospital. If one was going to have a stroke, this was the one to have.
I was with him the day before yesterday when the specialist who checks verbal and memory impact was there, and it was like an SNL skit. She’s checking for slurring and loss of memory, and he’s being quintessential Harlan - talking a mile a minute, and throwing out more obscure references per minute than anyone can possibly keep up with. (He did, at one point, forget the name of an actor with a wooden leg who played a supporting part on one of his favorite radio shows back in the forties, but last time I talked to him, he couldn’t remember the name of the key grip on Passage To Marseilles, so it's probably safe to say that’s nothing to worry about. )
I can’t say he’s fine, because he’s had a stroke... but he’s as well as well can be under the circumstances, and had all of the nurses laughing. And he complained a lot. So, you know... Harlan.
If you’re the type who prays, it’s probably not worth it, because he doesn’t believe in that shit. That said, it will annoy him, so go ahead. He’s resting and cantankerous, and completely Harlan.We wish Harlan the absolute best and a very speedy recovery - and huge thanks for allowing us to use his wonderful introduction to our new edition of Arthur Byron Cover's Autumn Angels.