Harlan Ellison Dead at 84

Discussion in 'Star Trek - The Original & Animated Series' started by Sir Rhosis, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That was a fun read. :)

    As an aside, a while before Phil Farmer passed away, I negotiated with him and purchased his original copy of the Star Trek Writer's Guide that had been sent to him by Gene Roddenberry. Phil was a very cordial gentleman. He talked about having worked for a little while on a Trek story idea that he had, but that he had never fully fleshed it out. There were a couple of notes and a sketch or two on his guide. My impression was that his story was going to be something to do with intelligent plants. I sold the guide to another fan a while back, but it's preserved and in good hands. :techman:
     
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  2. Trekfan12

    Trekfan12 Captain Captain

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    It was sad to hear about Harlan Ellison's death. may he RIP. I have the ST 2018 calendar and I thought it was ironic that when I turned the calendar to July it had a scene from "City On the Edge of Forever"
     
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  3. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Admiral

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    Ellison's piece on The Empite Strikes Back game was titled "Rolling Dat Ole Debbil Electronic Stone". I can't seem to find it online anywhere.
     
  4. alensatemybuick1

    alensatemybuick1 Captain Captain

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    Precisely the author's desire.

    Ellison' Sysiphus analogy, that for many video games there is no way to win them, misses the whole point of the no-win scenario. The rebels cannot successfully defend The Hoth base, as it is destined to fall. Same thing goes for Sega's ST:WOK based Strategic Operations Simulator for example - the object is merely to stay alive as long as possible. There is fun to be derived from that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  5. Ssosmcin

    Ssosmcin Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah Harlan: the Angry Young Man/Grumpy Old Man of SF, whose talents transcended genre. While he despised the end results of the majority of his work adapted to TV, a few here and there met with his approval. For him, I would enjoy a posthumous viewing of The Outer Limits episode "Demon With a Glass Hand." But really, what he would actually want is for me to turn of the TV and just LIVE. Open my mind to legit fiction, get my face out of Star Trek, go experience life and absorb as many experiences as I could, write them down and create something new. While it's too late for me to join a carnival, I will at least keep the TV off and return to my creative endeavors.
     
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  6. JonnyQuest037

    JonnyQuest037 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I really doubt that the makers of the ESB game put that much thought into it. Playing until you ultimately lost was just how video games were done back then. It's not like that structure was unique to the ESB game.
     
  7. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    According to the link from a few posts upthread, he would want you to leave the tv ON and watch copious amounts of Dr Who. :lol:
     
  8. alensatemybuick1

    alensatemybuick1 Captain Captain

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    That's why I said "for many video games..."

    But that said, how exactly would you "win" the ESB game, if everyone who saw the movie knows how that scenario plays out?

    The Star Wars vector arcade game from about the same time allowed you to blow up the Death Star over and over again, making it harder to do so each time.
     
  9. Elder Knight

    Elder Knight Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just what the heck are the things the guy on the book cover is holding?
     
  10. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My take on it is that Harlan is holding bread in one hand and beef in the other.

    Literature is like breaking bread together. And the beef represents 'meaty' stories without the 'cheese'.

    :shrug:

    Or, instead of bread, that is cheese and he is offering a choice: Do you want the good stuff, or the crap? :D
     
  11. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I had that for the Atari 2600. I never even came close to beating it. With practice, I could usually get into level 5. With luck, I could get into level 6. I topped out at 6-4. There were just too damn many Klingons to deal with at that point.

    Don't think I didn't enjoy the challenge. :)
     
  12. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My take, having never seen or heard of this book before in my life and only having this picture of the cover to go on:

    The book is called Ellison Wonderland, a takeoff of the title Alice In Wonderland, a story in which mushrooms play a part. In the picture there are mushrooms behind Harlan. The foremost one has pieces cut out of it. It looks like Harlan is holding the pieces that were cut out. They are mushroom pieces.
     
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  13. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Makes sense. I got the play on words with the title, but it has been so long since I read Alice that I forgot about the mushrooms. Plus, I didn't see the ones at the left in the background until I looked more closely just now. :techman:
     
  14. Jan

    Jan Commodore Commodore

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    ...is insane. --JMS
    For anybody attending San Diego Comic-Con, there will be a celebration of Harlan and his work on Sunday, July 22 from 3:00 - 4:30 PM:
     
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  15. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Admiral

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    This link may not always work, but I read "Rolling Dat Ole Debbil Electronic Stone" and his Postscript here on Google Books (link).

    I love Ellison but like any mere mortal he sometimes missed the target. His Sisyphean metaphor fails to recognize that a level in a videogame is analogous to—amongst other things—a puzzle: you finish one and move on to the next. There's no end. It's just another activity. There's a sense he wants you to only do things which are good for you and while that's a noble enough idea I suspect even he didn't always heed it. Playing 1982 videogames is not so dissimilar from a hundred other Sisyphean activities people routinely engage in. His crusty juvenoia is amusing and his brilliance on display as he seizes on a near perfect metaphor even as he's slightly missing the point.
     
  16. TrickyDickie

    TrickyDickie Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To neutralize a Walker requires 48 hits....:wtf:
     
  17. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Admiral

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    "That armor's too strong for blasters!"
     
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  18. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It could be done in one if you hit the right spot.
     
  19. Poltargyst

    Poltargyst Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just read the review, thanks for the link. So Harlan doesn't like video games because you never accomplish anything from playing? You shouldn't ever do anything unless you can say you accomplished something at the end? Doing something just because it's fun is a no no? I wonder if I was privy to Harlan's life if I could find evidence of him taking part in leisure activities that didn't end with him accomplishing anything of lasting value.

    I don't mean to be some great defender of playing video games. I hardly play video games at all anymore, and I do think kids play too much nowadays. It's just that he seems to be saying that doing something just because it's fun is wrong somehow.
     
  20. Maurice

    Maurice Snagglepussed Admiral

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    That's pretty much what the whole 2nd paragraph of my post said.