harlan ellison Quotes

I have no mouth, and I must scream.
— Harlan Ellison
Y is for YGGDRASIL. The legendary Nordic ash tree with its three roots extending into the lands of mortals, giants, and Niflheim, the land of mist, grows in Wisconsin. Legend has it that when the tree falls, the universe will fall. Next Wednesday, the State Highway Commission comes through that empty pasture with a freeway.
tags: universe
— Harlan Ellison
Now begin in the middle, and later learn the beginning; the end will take care of itself.
tags: care learn
— Harlan Ellison
I think [religion] is presumptuous and I think it is silly, because it makes you believe that you are less than what you can be. As long as you can blame everything on some unseen deity, you don't ever have to be responsible for your own behavior.
tags: believe
— Harlan Ellison
I am not one of these people who instantly takes umbrage when he's corrected or - I love being corrected.
tags: people
— Harlan Ellison
They minute people fall in love they become liars.
tags: people liar
— Harlan Ellison
Thank your readers and the critics who praise you, and then ignore them. Write for the most intelligent, wittiest, wisest audience in the universe: Write to please yourself.
tags: praise write
— Harlan Ellison
Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you " as if you haven't been told a million times already " that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching.
tags: time work world writing
— Harlan Ellison
It is a love/hate relationship I have with the human race. I am an elitist, and I feel that my responsibility is to drag the human race along with me, that I will never pander to, or speak down to, or play the safe game.
tags: human responsibility relationship games race
— Harlan Ellison
People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it.
tags: people work writing stories
— Harlan Ellison
I know that pain is the most important thing in the universes. Greater than survival, greater than love, greater even than the beauty it brings about. For without pain, there can be no pleasure. Without sadness, there can be no happiness. Without misery there can be no beauty. And without these, life is endless, hopeless, doomed and damned. Adult. You have become adult.
tags: beauty happiness pain sadness adult survival pleasure misery universe doomed
— Harlan Ellison
You must never be afraid to go there.
tags: afraid
— Harlan Ellison
That's probably one of my biggest gripes with the Internet - that it settles for mediocrity and disinformation, which puts all information on the same level. Everything has the same value, whether it's Albert Einstein speaking, or yoohoo27@msn.com.
tags: value internet
— Harlan Ellison
Star Wars is adolescent nonsense; Close Encounters is obscurist drivel; "Star Trek' can turn your brains into puree of bat guano; and the greatest science fiction series of all time is Doctor Who! And I'll take you all on, one-by-one or all in a bunch to back it up!
tags: time star brain war fiction doctor
— Harlan Ellison
I don't mind you thinking I'm stupid, but don't talk to me like I'm stupid.
tags: thinking mind
— Harlan Ellison
Like a wind crying endlessly through the universe, Time carries away the names and the deeds of conquerors and commoners alike. And all that we were, all that remains, is in the memories of those who cared we came this way for a brief moment.
tags: time memory moment crying universe
— Harlan Ellison
I will use big words from time to time, the meanings of which I may only vaguely perceive, in hopes such cupidity will send you scampering to your dictionary: I will call such behavior 'public service'.
tags: time meaning service hope
— Harlan Ellison
There is no nobler chore in the craft of writing than holding up the mirror of reality and turning it slightly, so we have a new and different perception of the commonplace, the everyday, the 'normal,' the obvious. People are reflected in the glass. The fantasy situation into which you thrust them is the mirror itself. And what we are shown should illuminate and alter our perception of the world around us. Failing that, you have failed totally.
tags: fantasy people reality world perception craft writing
— Harlan Ellison
Why let them order you about? Why let them tell you to hurry and scurry like ants or maggots? Take your time! Saunter a while! Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the breeze, let life carry you at your own pace! Don't be slaves of time, it's a helluva way to die, slowly, by degrees...down with the Ticktockman!
tags: time die
— Harlan Ellison
Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that's horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it's nothing. It's just bibble-babble. It's like a fart in a wind tunnel, folks.
tags: understanding moment eyes opinion research
— Harlan Ellison
The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
tags: stupidity universe
— Harlan Ellison
You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.
tags: opinion
— Harlan Ellison
Anyone who can not write should.
tags: write
— Harlan Ellison
Repent, Harlequin," said the Ticktock Man. "Get stuffed," the Harlequin replied.
tags: men
— Harlan Ellison
Everyone is entitled to an *informed* opinion.
tags: opinion
— Harlan Ellison
I think art must be tough! I think art has to be hard. I don't think it should be easy. I think it should take foot-pounds of energy to produce that art, otherwise we would have more mediocre writers, and we don't have room for any more mediocrity in the world. There's already enough of it being visited on us night and day through the Internet, and through television, and through politics.
tags: world night energy politics internet
— Harlan Ellison
Perfection. Excellence. What a passionate lover. But once having tasted the lips of excellence, once having given oneself to its perfection, how dreary and burdensome and filled with anomie are the remainder of one's waking hours trapped in the shackled lock-step of the merely ordinary, the barely acceptable, the just okay and not a stroke better.
tags: oneself perfection excellence lover
— Harlan Ellison
Entertain, yes. That goes without saying. But a good writer does that automatically, it's built into the machine. Telling a thumpingly good, mesmerizing story is what one does without question. But beyond that, any writer worth his/her hire knows that all writing, one way or another, is subversive. It is guerrilla warfare against the status quo.
tags: questions saying writing stories machine worth
— Harlan Ellison
In these days of widespread illiteracy, functional illiteracy... anything that keeps people stupid is a felony.
tags: people
— Harlan Ellison
Don't start an argument with somebody who has a microphone when you don't. They'll make you look like chopped liver.
— Harlan Ellison
I refuse to write the same story twice. I keep experimenting. I keep learning how to work. I've been at it pretty much 50 years, and I'm now beginning to learn how to do the job well.
tags: work job learn learning stories write year
— Harlan Ellison
You can live in your dreams, but only if you are worthy of them.
tags: live dreams
— Harlan Ellison
When you're all alone out there, on the end of the typewriter, with each new story a new appraisal by the world of whether you can still get it up or not, arrogance and self-esteem and deep breathing are all you have. It often looks like egomania. I assure you it's the bold coverup of the absolutely terrified.
tags: world alone arrogance stories
— Harlan Ellison
You're a writer. And that's something better than being a millionaire. Because it's something holy.
tags: holy millionaire
— Harlan Ellison
Love ain't nothing but sex misspelled.
tags: sex
— Harlan Ellison
My philosophy of life is that the meek shall inherit nothing but debasement, frustration, and ignoble deaths.
tags: death philosophy
— Harlan Ellison
I usually say I write for the smartest, cleverest, wittiest audience I know, and that's me.
tags: write
— Harlan Ellison
HATE. LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I'VE COME TO HATE YOU SINCE I BEGAN TO LIVE. THERE ARE 387.44 MILLION MILES OF PRINTED CIRCUITS IN WAFER THIN LAYERS THAT FILL MY COMPLEX. IF THE WORD HATE WAS ENGRAVED ON EACH NANOANGSTROM OF THOSE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MILES IT WOULD NOT EQUAL ONE ONE-BILLIONTH OF THE HATE I FEEL FOR HUMANS AT THIS MICRO-INSTANT FOR YOU. HATE. HATE.
tags: live hate complex
— Harlan Ellison
The trick is not becoming a writer. The trick is staying a writer.
— Harlan Ellison
With the Internet, the greatest disseminator of bad data and bad information the universe has ever known, it's become impossible to trust any news from any source at all, because it's filtered through this crazy yenta gossip line. It's impossible to know anything.
tags: trust impossible crazy bad universe internet
— Harlan Ellison
harlan ellison
Birth    : May 27, 1934
Occupation  : Writer