Harlan Ellison Dead: Legendary ‘Star Trek’, ‘A Boy And His Dog’ Sci-Fi Writer was 83
Harlan Ellison, one of the world’s foremost science fiction writers, has died at 83. His death was announced by a family friend via twitter.
“Susan Ellison has asked me to announce the passing of writer Harlan Ellison, in his sleep, earlier today. “For a brief time I was here, and for a brief time, I matter.’ – HE, 1934-2018. Arrangements for a celebration are pending.”
Among Ellison’s highly influential and very popular novels and novellas are 1969’s post-apocalyptic A Boy and His Dog (made into a 1975 cult film starring a young Don Johnson) and, among the very many short story collections, 1980’s Shatterday, which included the remarkable title story.
Among Ellison’s Hollywood work was the screenplay for the non-sci-fi The Oscar, starring Stephen Boyd, and he also wrote for such TV shows as The Flying Nun, Route 66, The Outer Limits, Star Trek and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.
Ellison’s Star Trek episode, The City on the Edge of Forever, is often cited as among the original series’ very best. Ellison himself was no fan of the end result, though, often complaining about rewrites.
The writer also was a creative consultant to both the 1980s Twilight Zone reboot and Babylon 5.
Biography A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison by Nat Segaloff was published last year.
Among the many awards won by Ellison are multiple Nebula, Hugo and Edward awards, along with Edgar Allen Poe and Writers Guild of America trophies.
Along with the Star Trek episode, Ellison’s 1964 Outer Limits installment Demon with a Glass Hand is widely considered among the best of series. The bizarre, uncanny episode starred Robert Culp as a man who wakes with no memory but an apparently all-knowing glass hand.
His 1964 episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, “Memo From Purgatory,” starred a young James Caan as a writer who goes undercover to write about violent youth gangs of Brooklyn.