Don’t F*ck With The Quote

In 1992, prior to the release of Connie Willis‘ new novel, Doomsday Book, Random House editor Amy Stout approached multi-award winning – and notoriously blunt – science fiction author Harlan Ellison for a quote. The following letter was sent to Stout in reply and includes the blurb as requested, plus explicit instruction with regards to its use. To the eagle-eyed amongst you: yes, Ellison’s spelling mistake was bravely corrected.

Edit: Although it was changed for the blurb, it seems that ‘irresistable’ may be a legitimate spelling after all.

Transcript follows. Many thanks to the submitter, who wishes to remain anonymous.



12 February 92

Dear Amy:

You may use this on Connie’s new book. In full, no ellipses, no altering for any edition. And send me a copy of the book, please. And warn the troll drones in your art and publicity departments that if they fuck around with the quote, change it or alter it for a meaning not intended, I will come and find them and kill them so dead I’ll murder their ancestors!



“The writing of Connie Willis is irresistable. Clever, cunning, and capable of tantalizing the most demanding reader.”