September 12th, 2008

Whale fluke

"It isn't hard to separate Person from Work if there is mutual respect."

Harlan Ellison (gee, I should have a "Harlan" tag) had cause to chime in on the Unca Harlan message board about a rumor related to him and Laurell K. Hamilton, both of whom have stories in the zombie short story collection The Living Dead:
- Friday, September 12 2008 11:26:46

Dear Pam: I must hasten to disabuse you of a misconception. Not only have I NEVER made Laurell Hamilton cry, I think she is a very very nice woman, and I commend her success. I am not a fan of vampire stories. Literarily-speaking, I think it has been--for decades--a Spent Force, now bereft of virtually all but aficionado interest. The genre is popular as hell, but it leaves me cold. That's just me: I have a few personal favorite vampire stories, but all of them are at least a decade or three old...I haven't paid any attention to that sub-genre in years'n'years, purposely. But please mark this: it has nothing to do with Laurell or her work. I have no dog in that hunt, so I would never say anything that might make her smile OR cry; I am witless on the subject.

The one time Laurell and I had more than a passing hiya, kiddo, a wave, and a smile, was when we were on the same panel at some convention or other, quite a while ago, and I said pretty much what I just reiterated. Laurell wasn't over-the-top in love with my comments, naturally; I mean, after all, it IS her metier; but the exchange between us was absolutely affable, she was uncommonly charming and gracious and forgiving of my opinion, and ever since we have exchanged pleasantries and notes on a number of occasions.

Laurell K. Hamilton, thus, is peaches in my book. I have many auctorial friends whose work is not my banquet, but it isn't hard to separate Person from Work if there is mutual respect.

So, no, I never made Laurell cry, and hope never to do so.

Somebody might want to copy the above and send it where it'll hit Laurell's attention. I'd appreciate that, on just the off-chance that what Pam had heard is a "Chinese Whispers" recurrence.

Yr. Pal, Harlan
Harlan was responding to Crossland's comment "Harlan, I heard a rumor you once caused LKH to weep. The thought made me smile."

9/28/08 Addition: Laurell K. Hamilton confirmed it: yep, Harlan DID NOT make me cry.