Science fiction writer inspires historical society volunteer | News, sports, jobs
Tim Boyer was 16 years old in 1972 when he wrote a letter to science fiction author Harlan Ellison.
He wrote the letter after visiting Publix Book Mart, a used bookstore in Cleveland. Ellison once wrote that it was “The only thing that kept him sane.” Boyer visited the store for an out-of-business sale and mentioned his visit in his letter to the author.
He also asked if Ellison would attend a conference next year, but he could not remember which conference he was considering, and did not mention a specific name in the letter he sent. Ellison responded with his personal stationery, letterhead and envelope, mailed from his California address.
When he first started reading Ellison’s stories, Boyer had no idea that the author was from so close to home. However, he felt a deeper connection when he learned that Ellison grew up in Painesville and Cleveland. “Inappropriate person from Ohio” Boyer said. “I’m relevant.”
Harlan Ellison was born in Cleveland in 1934, and spent time in both Cleveland and Paynesville briefly as a child. His family returned to Cleveland after his father’s death in 1949. He often felt alienated and isolated as a child because he was bullied because of his Jewish heritage.
His solace was in comic books and novels that would inspire his later creative endeavours. He was known as an outspoken and often controversial person throughout his life, but his distinctive voice and sharp wit cemented his status as a legendary writer.
Boyer described Ellison’s work as a cross between horror and science fiction, and this type of writing was well received by audiences “chaotic” in it: “He wrote all sorts of strange things, and I’ve never read anyone else like him.”
Boyer was interested in this darkness from an early age, and Ellison’s works fueled this. His writing came at just the right time for Boyer, and Elsion was instrumental in changing science fiction from science fiction “Bug-eyed monsters and spaceships are what they are now.” His unique mix of genres led to his books being relegated to the adult sections of the library, which was frustrating for the young Boyer. He was strongly encouraged to borrow books from Edward Sutliff Brainard’s reading room, which was aimed at young people. However, Boyer knew what he wanted to read, and he found a way to borrow books that captivated him. His advice? “Always make friends with the librarian.”
Ellison is probably best known for his dark, exciting, almost apocalyptic version of science fiction in works such as “I have no mouth, I must scream.” In Boyer’s words, he was a master of short stories, and it’s hard to disagree with more than 400 of his stories.
His work on television scripts is also incredibly well known, from episodes of TV series “External borders” “Twilight Zone” And “Babylon 5” to “The city on the edge of eternity” It is often cited as the best episode of the series “Star Trek: The Original Series.” These actions and others followed Boyer throughout his life, starting with petitioning his parents to let him stay up to watch the third season of the series. “star trek” When he was 12 years old to get a copy of “dangerous visions” On his shelf today.
Reading Ellison’s works greatly influenced Boyer, especially his love of science fiction. Because of his love of science fiction, he became one of the most involved volunteers at the Trumbull County Historical Society. We would like to thank him for donating this letter and for his efforts to help make the Science Fiction Museum a reality.
Nelson is the science fiction coordinator for the Trumbull County Historical Society.
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