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Old 07-06-2011, 05:41 PM
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Harlan Ellison Books from Publishing 180

Just found on JMS's Facebook page:

Quote:
Fans of J. Michael Straczynski:
Here's some important breaking news regarding a new book by Harlan Ellison and which involves Babylon 5, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits and how to write science fiction if you really want to be a professional. The news appears below this message.
Quote:
Fans of J. Michael Straczynski:
I don’t have to tell you who Harlan Ellison is, or that he wrote some of the most seminal episodes of science fiction television in the history of the form. His scripts for The Outer Limits, Star Trek, Twilight Zone and others have won countless awards and are considered landmarks of the genre.

A while back, I got wind of a top-secret project being developed by Publishing 180, the company that publishes the Babylon 5 script books, involving Harlan’s scripts for these series. (Important note: I do not own any part of P180 nor do I receive any financial remuneration of any kind from this project. My involvement here is strictly as a fan and admirer.) I now hold in my hand a preliminary copy of that book, and I wanted to give everyone a heads-up because folks, this is a doozy.

The book, entitled BRAIN MOVIES, contains Harlan’s scripts for “Soldier,” and “Demon With a Glass Hand” from THE OUTER LIMITS, “Paladin of the Lost Hour” and “Crazy as a Soup Sandwich” from the TWILIGHT ZONE, “Memo from Purgatory” from ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, “The Face of Helen Bournouw” and Harlan’s near-legendary manifesto on how to write good science fiction, written exclusively for incoming writers on BABYLON 5. (The scripts for Paladin and Demon received the prestigious Writers Guild Award.)

In many cases, the book contains both the script and the treatment for the script, something almost never seen outside the studio. Most amazing of all, the book contains not just the shooting script for Harlan’s HITCHCOCK episode, it contains an earlier draft filled with his handwritten annotations and changes.

When an episode is broadcast, you don’t get to see the writer’s mind at work, don’t have the opportunity to experience the moment he decided to make a line of dialogue or a scene go thisway instead of thatway, how a turn of phrase was altered in just the right way at the last moment, you see only the end product. By including the draft with the handwritten annotations, you can see the creative process being enacted right before your eyes. The opportunity to see inside the writer’s mind is unspeakably rare.

Best of all, these are not re-typeset versions of the script, they are painstakingly scanned reproductions of the ORIGINAL SCRIPTS, exactly as they were written.

And for the budding science fiction writers out there, what better than having Harlan Ellison break down in his manifesto how to write effectively in the genre, how to avoid various kinds of traps and make your writing better?

The value of this book to up-and-coming writers, academics, collectors, fans, and just plain folks who love science fiction television is inestimable. This isn’t just a book of scripts, it’s an important piece of history.

When I heard that Harlan was going to include the B5 manifesto (entitled “A Terrifying List of Things Not to Do When Writing For Babylon 5”), I offered to write an introduction to the volume, entitled “Touching Magic.” That introduction is now also in the book.
Last, and maybe coolest of all, because of the presence of B5 material, they are doing a limited number of books that are DUAL AUTOGRAPHED by both myself and Harlan. With only one prior exception, this is the ONLY time that Harlan and I have autographed something together, and never before for a published book. Once those signed editions are gone...they’re gone.

Because Publishing 180 is a boutique publisher, they do not generally release information on its upcoming titles until right before publication. But this volume is so important, so extraordinary, that I asked if I could give the B5 fans out there, and the fans of Harlan Ellison who are also in that group, a heads-up on this event. This way we reduce the risk of missing the chance to get one of the double-signed editions.

The book will go on sale in a couple of weeks – I think it’s somewhere around the 20th and those already on the B5 mailing list will get the announcement automatically – but I’ll be sure to post the info here the second it goes online. If you want to be sure not to miss it, a signup page will be up soon at www.harlanbooks.com
I've never seen a Harlan Ellison script. Really looking forward to this!

ETA: Just so folks know, if you're on the B5 mailing list, you'll automatically get the announcement for this book.

Jan
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Last edited by Jan; 07-06-2011 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:28 AM
lotjx lotjx is offline
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I was hoping for the Star Trek City on the Edge of Forever Script. That original script was said to be highly controversial to the point the Trek guys had to rewrite it. Yet, Harlan ended up winning the Emmy for it much to the surprise of the Trek people in attendance. I guess some screen writer rules allowed him to win. I will see what the prices are for the dual autograph and possibly pick it up. So far, the Crusade books have been awesome to read.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:56 AM
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Harlan wrote an entire book about the 'City' script and it included the original script which won the award. I'm not certain this is it, but check out:

http://www.amazon.com/City-Edge-Fore...0046860&sr=8-1

There'll be both the dual autograph and a non-autographed version of 'Brain Movies' so you won't be left out if you can't pick up the limited edition one.

Jan
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
Harlan wrote an entire book about the 'City' script and it included the original script which won the award. I'm not certain this is it, but check out:

http://www.amazon.com/City-Edge-Fore...0046860&sr=8-1

There'll be both the dual autograph and a non-autographed version of 'Brain Movies' so you won't be left out if you can't pick up the limited edition one.

Jan
Any idea on pricing?
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:36 AM
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Any idea on pricing?
I haven't heard yet. I think the website should be up soon but I think that's just going to be for the sign-up at first but it may have pricing.

Jan
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by lotjx View Post
That original script was said to be highly controversial to the point the Trek guys had to rewrite it. Yet, Harlan ended up winning the Emmy for it much to the surprise of the Trek people in attendance. I guess some screen writer rules allowed him to win.
The award he won is the Writers' Guild Award.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
Just found on JMS's Facebook page:




I've never seen a Harlan Ellison script. Really looking forward to this!

ETA: Just so folks know, if you're on the B5 mailing list, you'll automatically get the announcement for this book.

Jan

EXCELLENT! TWILIGHT ZONE ôPaladin of the Lost Hourö is one of my all-time favorite Twilight Zone episodes. You're sure that people on the B5 mailing list will be notified when Harlan's book becomes available, Jan?
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:33 AM
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As of a minute ago, http://www.cafepress.com/HarlanEllison is essentially a blank page with no sign-up capability on it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:53 PM
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The website should be up some time in the next week.

For those wondering, the folks already on the B5Books mailing list will receive the mailing when Brain Movies is available.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoshN View Post
ôPaladin of the Lost Hourö is one of my all-time favorite Twilight Zone episodes.
The version of the script in Brain Movies has the original ending that Harlan's Twilight Zone colleagues (including Farscape creator Rockne S. O'Bannon) convinced him to change before the episode was produced.

This ending only appeared in the initial publication of the short story in the 1985 Universe 15 anthology the summer before the episode aired. All subsequent printings of the short story have used the revised ending.
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
Harlan wrote an entire book about the 'City' script and it included the original script which won the award. I'm not certain this is it, but check out:

http://www.amazon.com/City-Edge-Fore...0046860&sr=8-1
Jan, this is indeed the book. It contains IIRC Harlan an essay, a couple of treatments, his teleplay, and a forward by D.C. Fontana.
There was also an earlier hardcover and paperback edition from White Wolf books (with a great cover photo.)
http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Cit...reference_book)

And if you're an Ellison completist, his script was first published in Six Science Fiction Plays edited by Roger Elwood.
http://www.amazon.com/Science-Fictio.../dp/0671487663
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:35 PM
Joe Nazzaro Joe Nazzaro is offline
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I just found this in my archives and thought I would put it up here. Some years back, I asked Ellison about his reasons for putting out a Star Trek book and this is what he said. Bear in mind (and this is very important, because I don't want anybody to get the wrong idea) , that I think he was talking about the ORIGINAL limited edition and not the mass market edition that came out later on. In light of what he said about that book, I couldn't be happier that he's working with good people on the new project, who will put some money in his pocket.

Joe: LetÆs finish by talking about the Star Trek book. If youÆre so much against the merchandising of the show, why put out yet another book?
Harlan: Because I got tired of being bad-mouthed after 30 years. Everybody associated with Star Trek takes credit for my show, whether itÆs the director or Shatner or Roddenberry; everybody. IÆm the imbecile, I wasnÆt smart enough to write it well, but they saved my ass and produced this wonderful show that everybody loves and is universally considered the best episode, but I had nothing to do with it (When you write that, I hope you will get the proper ironic tone). I just got fed up after 30 years of putting up with this crap, I got talked into doing the book by a publisher who needed the book for his own reasons, and I said fine, I would think about doing it, that I had not wanted to do it, I had resisted it for a quarter of a century, and then publisher proceeded to announce it before I was even ready to write it, and got in fourteen thousand dollars worth of advance orders and then dunned me for four years that I was a bum because I wasnÆt giving him the book that I had promised him. I said, æI never promised to do it,Æ and to date, I have not seen one cent on that book. In fact, I have to sue the publisher at the moment to get him to pay me. He sold 1,000 copies of this book at $75 a shot, and he owes me a considerable amount of money and has never paid me. I have not seen a penny of the book.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:02 PM
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Thanks for posting that, Joe. And I'm sure that if I were Harlan, I'd feel the same way about wanting to get his point across.

Jan
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:18 PM
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Thanks for the background on that limited edition of City on the Edge of Forever, Joe. That explains why the same publisher only managed two volumes of their "Complete Ellison" hardback reissues (the first of two doomed attempts, the second of which came from the same folks who did the trade paperback of City a little later).

As ever, I'm awed by the wealth of information preserved in your superlative archives.

Jason
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:11 PM
Joe Nazzaro Joe Nazzaro is offline
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Jason, if you're talking about the White Wolf Edgeworks editions, I think there were actually four: #1 Over the Edge/An Edge in My voice, #2 Spider Kiss/Stalking the Nightmare, #3 The Harlan Ellison Hornbook/Harlan Ellison's Movie and #4 Love Ain't Nothing But Sex Misspelled/The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World. But yes, I share your desire for a complete set of Ellison books. Those old Ace paperbacks from the early eighties are damn near impossible to find and it breaks my heart that there is an entire generation of SF readers that have not been exposed to his work. By the way Jason, as you know, I've probably done two or three thousand interviews by now, but Harlan Ellison is the only one that really terrified me as a journalist. I thought if I said even one stupid thing, he would eat me alive, but my experiences with him have been wonderful- even if my knowledge of Yiddish words was sorely lacking.
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