Tuesday, December 16, 2008

579th Post - Fun With A Scanner

Got home late this evening.

I am finally done scanning in the front and back covers of those books I'm gonna sell on ebay after the holidays. I learned a lot about my scanner and the software that runs it. I have created some very nice 1 megabyte plus jpeg images of those covers. I'll put a couple of them up here for your viewing pleasure.

They are rare, out-of-print books by a guy named Harlan Ellison. I used to read his books voraciously, and defend him and his work to anyone who would listen, and to several who wouldn't. I didn't care. I was part of his cult.

(Yes! This was back in my pre-girlfriend days. Why do you ask?)

Today, I find his work precious and pretentious. The Ellison engine has always been so self-aggrandizing that I am not sure if I would enjoy meeting him or not. I knew someone who had attended a panel that Ellison ran, and found Ellison to be argumentative, impatient, and opinionated in such a way that one would be unable to get a word in edgewise. At any rate one would be so hesitant to express an opinion for fear that it might be contrary to that which Ellison thinks, that one would not bother to say anything should an opportunity arise. I'm told that his friends love him to pieces, and that's fine. I am not one of those friends. I can only judge him by his work and his actions, and at this point in my life, neither appeals to me.

He has made a career over building up his own work, and putting down the work of others. He once called Leon Uris, who wrote "Topaz" and "Exodus" and many others, Leon Urine. He referred to Robert Ludlum as a creative typist. You get the idea.

Ad hominem attacks against fellow scribes don't make you look good. I work in a field where, yeah, you criticize the work of others (been on both sides!), but you don't write, say, an e-mail to someone ragging on the work of a third party. You don't appear in front of a large group of people and rip a colleague to shreds. It is really not done. It is unseemly, and borderline unprofessional. My opinion, of course. People at my work read this blog, and they may care to discuss this point with me over coffee. I'll let them buy.

So, I'm going to try to sell these 19 books on ebay. The economy is in the toilet, which does not bode well for my desire to sell these at a good price, but I will try anyway.

Wish me luck.


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