So Harlan Ellison is dead. I don’t really know what to say about it, except this: the only thing I know about him offhand is that he is – was – a sexual predator, and he wrote some short stories that people liked.
That’s it. That’s his whole legacy for me. By all accounts, he was a pretty good sci-fi writer, but as far as I’m concerned he was an edge-lord before edge-lords were an Internet thing, and a complete arsehole. An entitled white male, writing about white male angst, who was arrogant and entitled.
There is no such thing as separating the art from the artist, for me. Art is personal. It can be political, or not, but it’s always personal first. And the one thing I know about Harlan Ellison is that he groped another author, on-stage, at the Hugo Awards. He grabbed Connie Willis’ breast in front of a huge audience of his peers. That is all I need to know about the content and quality of his person; I need no further evidence to completely dismiss him and his art, no matter how good anyone else thinks it is.
Goodbye, Harlan Ellison. I’m still not going to read your stuff.