The Hubris of Harlan


The Shakespeare of science fiction, Harlan Ellison had the nerve to state that television programming held the possibility of educating and uplifting humanity.  He bemoaned the state of stupid TV and most pointedly Star Trek — the ‘trekkie’ phenomenon and mediocre plotting on the TV series.

A brilliant writer, his one time teleplay he wrote for the series, “The City on the Edge of Forever,” a time travel story involving Captain Kirk falling in love with Edith Keeler, a woman from the 1930s, was rewritten and rewritten by studio hacks taking the heart and soul from the story which completely infuriated Harlan.  Not one to take the slashing of his story lightly he declared,

“I’ve never seen more than a pittance from “The City on the Edge of Forever,” while every thug and studio putz and semiliterate bandwagon jumper and merchandiser has grown fat as a maggot in a corpse off what I created…”¹

After 50 years of television ‘programming’ Harlan Ellison’s words are more relevant today than ever.  Especially after Harlan’s nemesis, Gene Roddenberry admitted “…that television has incredible power.”  And that the “Ultimate power in this world, as you know, has always been one simple thing: the control and manipulation of minds.”

1. Harlan Ellison, “The City on the Edge of Forever,” The Original Teleplay, in The Harlan Ellison Collection, Open Road Integrated Media, (Kindle Edition).

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I’m Back

Dipping my toe into the blogging sea I once again dive into these endless waters.   Where was I?  Swimming in another ocean, named my novel.  Well, it’s done.  And I’ve been to New York City looking for an agent to represent my work.  The writer’s conference was hosted by the International Women’s Writers Guild.    This conference was one of the least expensive I could find that offered individul meetings with agents.  If  you have recently perused the cost of writer’s conferences you know then, fellow writer, they can be very expensive.  

So what is my novel about? I can’t spill the beans just yet.  Somehow it takes the power out of the whole project if I describe it in a blog post.   But I will say that it has been quite an adventure of time and space.  And he research has been consuming.  I travelled back to Elizabethan England and had to learn Early Modern English.  Yes, the kind that is spoken in Shakespeare.  Just enough to give a taste, not overwhelm the reader, because that would boggle the mind and slow the story.   Then there was the science itself.  I relied on David Bohm’s theories of the universe to explain time travel and why this could be possible.  Quite simply,  Bohm states that the universe is a dynamic hologram. 



No science fiction in the story, but some of the characters speak of the possiblity of time travel because of these theories.  I also immersed myself in psychology and psychological theories, because this is an important part of the story.  And the symbolism.  Should I even get started on the symbolism?  Probably not. 

Why would I go through all this trouble?  Because I was inspired, lit on fire with a passion I wanted to share with you, my one day reader.  So you too can be inspired.   And be transported to another time and another place and wonder about reality.  And Shakespeare! 

I’ll let you know when it’s published.  And of course share with you the journey along the way.  Because I’m back.

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