Harlan Ellison has passed. Makes me very sad. He was incredibly influential for me as a writer. I collected and read all of his short fiction. I remember many of the stories vividly, still.

I only “met” Harlan once. He was the GoH at Foolscap in 2005. I was late to the con, to his GoH speech, so I came in just as he was starting and stood at the very back, listening, rapt and in awe of being so close to one of my idols.

As Harlan was leaving the room, being shepherded by a liaison, he stopped to talk to me. He said something like, “This is all working for you,” he said, waving a hand to indicate all of me. “The hair. The glasses. Everything. You’ve got such an incredible light. I could see it from way up there.”

I thanked him, told him that he was one of my favorite writers, and that was that. I never saw him or spoke with him again.

But it meant more than I can say, just those few words, that he could see my light.

I hope he’s raising hell wherever he’s gone, and continuing to share his stories.