AND BACK COVER
Brain Movies: The Original Teleplays of Harlan Ellison, Volume One
Limited Babylonian Edition
Signed by both Harlan Ellison & J. Michael Straczynski
Introduction by J. Michael Straczynski
down for an important letter from J. Michael Straczynski to Babylon 5
fans about this book.
IN ADDITION TO THE BABYLON 5 MATERIAL, THIS SPECIAL EDITION INCLUDES --
“Memos From Purgatory,” Ellison’s
adaptation of his memoir about life in a Brooklyn gang. Produced for The
Alfred Hitchcock Hour, this
harrowing tale of juvenile delinquency is presented in TWO different drafts,
illustrating the author’s creative process.
A LETTER TO BABYLON 5 FANS
FROM J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI,
JULY 6, 2011
I don’t have to tell you who Harlan Ellison is, or that he wrote some of the most seminal episodes of science fiction television in the history of the form. His scripts for THE OUTER LIMITS, STAR TREK, TWILIGHT ZONE and others have won countless awards and are considered landmarks of the genre.
A while back,
I got wind of a top-secret project being developed by Publishing 180,
the company that publishes the BABYLON 5 script books, involving Harlan’s
scripts for these series. (Important note: I do not own any part of P180
nor do I receive any financial remuneration of any kind from this project.
My involvement here is strictly as a fan and admirer.)
The book, entitled BRAIN MOVIES, contains Harlan’s scripts for “Soldier” and “Demon With a Glass Hand” from THE OUTER LIMITS, “Paladin of the Lost Hour” and “Crazy as a Soup Sandwich” from THE TWILIGHT ZONE, “Memos from Purgatory” from THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR, “The Face of Helene Bournouw” and Harlan’s near-legendary manifesto on how to write good science fiction, written exclusively for incoming writers on BABYLON 5. (The scripts for “Paladin” and “Demon” received the prestigious Writers Guild Award.)
In many cases, the book contains both the script and the treatment, something almost never seen outside the studio. Most amazing of all, the book contains not just the shooting script for Harlan’s HITCHCOCK episode, it contains an earlier draft filled with his handwritten annotations and changes.
When an episode is broadcast, you don’t get to see the writer’s mind at work, don’t have the opportunity to experience the moment he decided to make a line of dialogue or a scene go this way instead of that way, how a turn of phrase was altered in just the right way at the last moment, you see only the end product. By including the draft with the handwritten annotations, you can see the creative process being enacted right before your eyes. The opportunity to see inside the writer’s mind is unspeakably rare.
Best of all, these are not re-typeset versions of the script, they are painstakingly scanned reproductions of the ORIGINAL SCRIPTS, exactly as they were written.
And for the budding science fiction writers out there, what better than having Harlan Ellison break down in his manifesto how to write effectively in the genre, how to avoid various kinds of traps and make your writing better?
The value of this book to up-and-coming writers, academics, collectors, fans, and just plain folks who love science fiction television is inestimable. This isn’t just a book of scripts, it’s an important piece of history.
When I heard that Harlan was going to include the B5 manifesto (entitled “A Terrifying List of Things Not to Do When Writing For BABYLON 5”), I offered to write an introduction to the volume, entitled “Touching Magic.” That introduction is now also in the book.
Last, and maybe coolest of all, because of the presence of B5 material, they are doing a limited number of books that are DUAL AUTOGRAPHED by both myself and Harlan. With only one prior exception, this is the ONLY time that Harlan and I have autographed something together, and never before for a published book. Once those signed editions are gone...they’re gone.
(This book is a limited edtion)