It seems Clifford Meth’s new position at IDW is already yielding fruit: a new prose collection of Harlan Ellison’s writing entitled Yr. Pal, Harlan is due for spring of 2008 from IDW.

IDW Publishing is proud to announce its intention to publish Harlan Ellison’s Yr. Pal, Harlan, which is scheduled for release in May, 2008. Yr. Pal, Harlan collects more than a decade of the Grand Master’s selected digital letters and postings from Ellison Webderland (, Ellison’s official home on the Internet.

“Harlan Ellison is one of the greatest writers of the last half century,” said Clifford Meth, IDW’s EVP of Editorial. “While he is recognized internationally as a master storyteller spanning multiple genres, his essays have also received the highest accolades and awards. We felt it was high time that someone collected Harlan’s digital letters, which reveal another 313 equally entertaining and controversial sides of this important world author.”

Yr. Pal, Harlan will contain more than 80,000 words of original, never-before-published Ellison material: Ellison on courtesy; Ellison on Star Trek; Ellison on the Horrors of the Internet; Ellison on the First Amendment; Ellison on Television and Film; Ellison on Everything. He just won’t shut up, and apparently cannot be contained.

“For five decades, legions of readers have been enlightened, inspired and outraged by the unique voice that is Harlan Ellison,” said Meth. “As one of those readers, I guarantee this collection will more than entertain those legions… it will be a new favorite.”

Ellison’s response to this hyperbole: “It’s an okay book, I suppose. Better than a poke in the eye with a flaming ingot.”


  1. Last time I checked, the First Amendment only prohibits the federal legislature from making laws that establish religion or prohibit free exercise of religion, laws that infringe the freedom of speech, infringe the freedom of the press, limit the right to assemble peaceably, or limit the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    I see nothing in there that prohibits individuals from suing over defamation or anydamnthing else.

    As Ibsen once said, “to live is to war with trolls”, and occasionally the courts are a necessary evil.

  2. Ironic that for someone who doesn’t like the Internet, the only new material he can come up with after a decade is a book of his Internet blog postings, that others collected for him.

    Yawn. It will sell about 50 copies, to people on his blog hoping they are mentioned.

  3. Thousands of Ellison fans (perhaps tens of thousands) buy everything he writes. Jim, are you really as stupid as you look?

  4. Why the hell would I buy a book of internet postings when I can just look them up for free? Has Ellison lost his mind?

  5. Okay, I’ll sell it, or try to, and I’ll read it, and maybe buy it. Why not read it for free online? The same reason I don’t read comicstrips for free on microfilm: it’s tedious, not all of it is worth the trouble, and a book has more permanence than the internet. (anybody archiving the fantagraphics posts before they get deleted to comply with the court settlement?)
    Now, will IDW please collect the various comicbook and illustrated stories of Mr. Ellison? 3D version of Repent Harlequin, anyone? Chocolate Alphabet?

  6. Steven

    The First Amendment doesn’t protect your right to libel people. If you spend ten minutes reading what the man says, you’ll see he has no problem accepting the harshest criticism. It’s outright lies that bother him. I think that’s reasonable.

    I think it’s particularly interesting that all these years later, Ellison still elicits such passion in people. His fans love him, and his enemies (and it’s they who’ve declared themselves such) still gnash their teeth at his every doing.

    It must be frustrating having such a powerful hatred for someone whose personal and professional accomplishments will always dwarf your own.

    Harlan Ellison will be regarded as one of the giants of science fiction long after we’re all dust, and he will always stand as someone who lived life on his own very rich terms. It’s amazing how much hatred that can cause in little people. I suspect they all know Harlan’s sitting back and laughing, and that probably drives them even crazier.

  7. I wish I’d said that…

    The only thing Ellison’s enemies are known for is being Ellison’s enemies. But his friends will crawl through glass for him. And his WORK (and the attention it continues to receive) speaks for itself.

    Harlan should not pay attention to any of this. He knows his true value. And if he forgets, history should remind him.

  8. “Harlan Ellison will be regarded as one of the giants of science fiction long after we’re all dust…”
    Not if the best he can come up with is something as utterly pointless as this book.
    Personally, I came to the conclusion a while ago that Harlan Ellison is just a talented hack with a nack for self promotion, at this point it appears that any talent and ability he had is no longer there and he has become a hack with friend is high places.

  9. No one,

    “Not if the best he can come up with is something as utterly pointless as this book.”

    What a silly thing to say. The jury is not still out on Ellison. His best work may have already come out, and if so, he ranks among the finest writers working. The personal conclusions arrived at by a no name sniper on the internet are irrelevant and laughable. Literary critics who don’t snipe from the shadows have already had their say, and that say carries far more weight than yours, you silly person.

    Ellison is Ellison. You are – literally, in this case – no one. Both of you have to live with that. I suspect Ellison’s task is much easier.

  10. Alas, Ali Baba–you beat me to it again…

    History has already marked Ellison as one of the most important writers of multiple genres; certainly one of a handful of most-influential science fiction authors EVER. Internet grafiti artists (who are likely on Gary Groth’s payroll or minimally poisoned by his hate-lust for Mr. Ellison) cannot impact or in any way take away from this great writer’s achievements…

    As for the new book, I can’t wait to get it.

  11. For the record it was not Harlan’s idea to do this book. It was actually a labour of love initialy compiled/edited by Barney Dannelke and offered for publication with Harlan’s approval. As to why it needed to be a book … Harlan’s commentaries have long been as entertaining and insightful as his fiction. If you like his work, why not have a uniform way have reading these essays?