There are those among us who are warm and cuddly. The huggers, the fruit-basket buyers. The nurturers. Others are quiet and timid and kind, but solid as a rock. And still others who shake their fists at the cosmos and say “Hey universe! I’m here and there’s nothing you can do about it!” before giving the universe a list of ways it could improve itself to be more like the person doing the fist-shaking. The SF legend Harlan Ellison certainly falls into that last group. And if you’re not crazy about his brand of wit and wisdom, best stop now. Because, bugf#ck, a completion of Ellison’s best quips has just been released. And we’re going b#gfuck for it. A small sample of a few Harlan’s best lines is below the cut.
Released last month from Edgeworks Abbey and Spectrum Fantastic Art, bugf#ck: The Worthless Wit & Wisdom of Harlan Ellison® is a collection of quotations not just from Ellison in conversation, but also some lifted from his stories too. In this way, the book serves both as a primer to the whirlwind that is Harlan Ellison, but also as greatest hits collection for anyone who is already a fan. The danger of a quote book is that it may paint an inaccurate picture of the person from which the material comes. But it’s Ellison we’re talking about, so this isn’t a problem. Further, some of the selections reveal a little more of a humble Ellison than you might expect. Five samples below:
“The problem with being a pain in the ass is that you never quite know who’s trying to get to you.”
“I hate being wrong, but I love it when I’m set straight.”
“My second most stunning epiphany is that, as it turns out, I am a rather petty little man. I’m still working on festering grudges from 1953.”
“For me a hot time is Hydrox cookies and a book.”
“You can live in your dreams, but only if you are worthy of them.”
The book is pocket-sized and contains loads of quips like these, but also the sources from which they derive and a slew of interesting anecdotes. I guarantee you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and probably be offended. And you thought Sh*t My Dad Says was funny.
Ryan Britt is the staff writer for Tor.com and constantly fantasizes about having Harlan Ellison, Woody Allen, and Larry David all over for drinks at his apartment.