I really dislike Harlan Ellison. I have never held the New Wave (when was that, the Sixties and Seventies?) of SF in high regard, being a prudish religious type who wants to squelch Free Speech and all. I like precisely one of his stories, and it makes me cry (Jeffty Is Five). His impolitic behavior at cons is the stuff of legend; his well-earned dislike for the Trekverse is well-earned. I know personally a leggy blonde whom he approached in an elevator "What would you say to a little f**k?", to which she replied "Hello, little f**k.".
Ellison is a jerk. (I must admit to liking his interviews on Tom Snyder's late night gab-fest, but that was when I was a callow yout', so it doesn't count.)
However, I have seen a Dickensian chance at redemption for him.
He helped with the design of the B5 universe, and for that I thank him. He also played three small roles in the series:
- Ceremonies of Light and Dark, (8 April 1996) - Sparky the Computer (voice)
- The Face of the Enemy, (9 June 1997) - Psi Cop
- Day of the Dead, (11 March 1998) - Zooty (voice)
Sparky was an alternate personality revealed during a reboot of the station computer system. It took on the persona of a Jewish dad with a momma complex, who adopted Garibaldi. Hilarity &c. Zooty was the voice of...Zooty (played by Teller!) This was a standout episode, written by Neil Gaiman!
Babylon 5 would not have been what it was without the work of Harlan Ellison. Thanks.