Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Harlan Ellison's first typewriter

The man, the legend, the one and only Harlan Ellison is auctioning off his very first typewriter. To most of you, I need say no more, as you will be frothing at the mouth and demanding a link to the website. You may go there, right now.

To the rest of you, an explanation is in order. Harlan Ellison is a writer. Here he is, in the textbook "writer holding chin" pose, with the typewriter itself:

The word "writer" is inadequate here, the man conjures up universes and experiences like no other, taking you on wild journeys to places you can scarcely comprehend, every word he writes is hammered directly on to your soul with a typewriter ribbon made from the skins of orphans. He's written a LOT of stories. I mean, a LOT. He's won eight and a half Hugo Awards, three Nebula Awards, five Bram Stoker Awards, two Edgar Awards, and tons of other awards, including a few that haven't been invented yet. He's written for TV, on Star Trek, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, The Man From UNCLE, The Outer Limits, and many more. He lives in the Lost Aztec Temple of Mars, a house ripped directly from M.C. Escher's mind and flung screaming into the real world. He's travelled with the Rolling Stones, marched with Martin Luther King, and could probably take you in a fight, despite being a 76 year old geezer who has had quadruple bypass surgery. He's pretty fucking amazing, is what I'm saying.

You can read a couple of his stories and essays here, check out interviews with him here, order books direct from his website here, or get electronic versions here. Try "Dreams With Sharp Teeth", or "Shatterday", or "Slippage", if you're not sure where to start, and go from there.

Harlan Ellison writes on a typewriter. Always has, always will. He doesn't need autocorrect or delete or any of that wimpy nonsense, computer keyboards aren't strong enough to withstand his words. So auctioning off his *very first* typewriter is a big deal. If you know and love his work, then you'll definitely want to get hold of the very machine on which some of his stories were written.

If you're in the market for a piece of literary history, then run, don't walk, over to this website here, and warm up your bidding fingers. You know it makes sense.