Many Sequart readers are fans of the work of the science fiction master Harlan Ellison. Many also know that last week Ellison suffered a major stroke, paralyzing his right arm and leg. For those concerned about his condition and recovery, fellow Star Trek writer (and sometimes Sequart contributor) David Gerrold posted several updates on his Facebook page, saying that Ellison “punched the Angel of Death in the face,” and that his mind is still very active. Gerrold visited Ellison in the hospital on Monday with some friends and found him in great spirits, doing physical therapy, speaking very clearly (in fact talking a blue streak) and clearly unaffected mentally by the stroke. Ellison and Gerrold’s conversation about language led to a classic Star Trek joke: “The difference between Klingon and Yiddish is that Klingon has vowels.”
Gerrold and Ellison both contributed important episodes of the Original Series, and Ellison’s work has recently been brought back to the spotlight with a very beautiful and elegant comic book adaptation of his original teleplay of “City on the Edge of Forever”, the final issue of which will be issued soon. Ellison was pictured with the comics creators looking older than in his heyday (he is 80, after all) but still very irascible and very much the Turk he was in the 1960s, when he waved a script in Gene Roddenberry’s face angrily.
I’m sure all of us at Sequart wish Mr Ellison a speedy recovery, and we’re glad to hear it wasn’t worse.