I’m finally getting around to reading the April 2006 issue of Locus Magazine. I would’ve started sooner but…oh, never mind.
In this issue, Harlan Ellison®‘s name comes up a few times in two places: his tribute to Octavia E. Butler (never leave off the “E”, he warns) and in Gary K. Wolfe’s review of The Best of Philip José Farmer, in which he talks about Farmer’s “Riders of the Purple Wage” which first appeared in Ellison®‘s landmark anthology Dangerous Visions.
Do you know what all of these mentions of Ellison® has in common? They are all followed by the Registered Trademark symbol.
Ellison®, whose defense of his stories’ copyrights are legendary, has apparently squeezed his copyrights so tightly that a trademark symbol popped out of his name. More power to him, I say. If Harlan Ellison® wants all instances of Harlan Ellison®‘s name to be suffixed with the symbol, then Harlan Ellison® should get exactly what Harlan Ellison® wants. At the very least, it’s fun to look at in print. It’s like this decade’s Prince Rogers Nelson name debacle, only this time its “The Author Formerly Known as Harlan Ellison.”