So the world lost the Dangerous Visionary this morning.
I had the mixed experience of meeting the great man on several occasions, and he was definitely classifiable as "larger than life". I feel sorry for all the young SF fans who won't get to see him in person. He could be difficult, singling out people for sustained bouts of ridicule and verbal hostility for no apparent reason, but cripes he was a good raconteur. And as Jack McDevitt once said to me: "One thing you have to remember about Harlan; he took part in the Peace Marches".
It's hard to criticize a man who was willing to put himself in harm's way for a principle unpopular with those in power. Perhaps it's a good thing he's gone. I can't think he would be happy with things the way they are today in America, and he paid his dues back in the not-so peace-and-lovey 60s.
But it doesn't feel like a good thing, it feels like another piece of the world broke off.