I had a dream last night in which I was reading a quote from Harlan Ellison, in which he said “John Scalzi is everything that is wrong with science fiction today.”
I find this interesting because a) I don’t have a hate-on for Ellison, and indeed I just recently purchased a collection of his and a reprint of Dangerous Visions, so I don’t have fantasies of feuding with the man, and b) I seriously doubt Ellison has any idea who I am, or if he did — and he had a negative opinion of my work — that what I write would create that level of vitriolic response in him. I imagine I’d rate, at worst, a dismissive “crap!” before moving on. Basically, if I were to go a-feudin’ in science fiction, he would not be my first choice of partner, nor, I suspect, would I be his. It’s just not a good fit, you know?
Of course, having written this, eventually someone somewhere will misread it, and eventually it will go down in the annals of science fiction that Harlan Ellison and I had some sort of bitter encounter that ended in a comic book-style civil war in science fiction, with everyone choosing sides and Worldcons being turned into desperate battlegrounds between our factions, ending with, oh, I don’t know, a slap fight between Harlan and me on the stage of the Hugos. So for the record: Didn’t happen, folks. Unlikely to happen, too. I think we both have better things to do.