A Science Fiction Roundtable

While putzing around on YouTube last night, I stumbled upon this 24 minute clip from show I’ve never heard of called Nightcap: Conversations on the Arts and Letters. Apparently it was on a station called Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS) a forerunner, or the parent of, the current A&E channel. A&E stands for arts and entertainment, which, if anyone has seen the channel in recent years (like the last 20) it is about neither art nor entertainment.

The guests are none other than Isaac Asimov, Harlan Ellison, and Gene Wolfe. It is a very entertaining discussion whether or not you enjoy science fiction. I like how one of the hosts, the one that appears drunk, comes to the realization somewhere around the later third of the program: “Hey, you mean you guys don’t just shit on a piece of paper?”

It was the first time I had ever seen Wolfe in action. Not what I expected, he seems so ordinary. Like the guy that would be handing you a cut of lamb from behind the counter. Perhaps it was because he was in the company of eccentrics. Asimov with those giant muttonchops and Ellison with those goofy glasses.

Ah, just watch the thing, alright? They don’t do stuff like that anymore – not on television. Well, perhaps they do on channel 1098 on the Platinum Comcast package as some throw-in that no one watches because – well… the Kardashians – or whatever people are wasting their minds on these days.

Maybe PBS still does stuff like this, I don’t know


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