Fans Mourn Sci-Fi Legend Harlan Ellison
Legendary science fiction author Harlan Ellison died earlier today. He wrote, a lot, in a variety of mediums, and was a cantankerous but beloved figure.
The news was announced by a family friend on Twitter, who was married to Ellison's late friend/comic book writer Len Wein.
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 mattered.”—HE, 1934-2018. Arrangements for a celebration of his life are pending.— Christine Valada Is Fully Vaccinated, Get Yours (@mcvalada) June 28, 2018
Ellison was born in Cleveland but lived here in Los Angeles. He wrote more than 1,700 stories, essays, articles, and columns, along with dozens of TV and movie scripts.
"The only thing worth writing about is people," Ellison said. "People. Human beings. Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight."
He wrote the episode of Star Trek hailed by many as its greatest, "The City of the Edge of Forever," as well as contributing to everything from The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone to Babylon 5.
Ellison was outspoken, even writing a series of columns for L.A. Weekly in the 1980s called "An Edge In My Voice" -- you can read one online about an anti-nuclear weapons protester who was killed by authorities. (You can also read several of Ellison's other essays and short stories here.)
He tried drawing attention to writing by writing and finishing stories in the windows of bookstores, including right here in L.A., according to his official biography.
Ellison had a bit of the gonzo journalism streak in him -- he went undercover with a kid gang in Brooklyn's Red Hook section while writing a novel dealing with juvenile delinquency, and he toured with bands including the Rolling Stones before writing a novel about it called Spider Kiss.
Numerous writers and fans shared their memories of Ellison online.
My heart is broken. Off to gather what few thoughts I can for awhile.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) June 28, 2018
What an awful day.
Harlan Ellison is dead.
Harlan Ellison: There was no one quite like him in American letters, and never will be. Angry, funny, eloquent, hugely talented. If there's an afterlife, Harlan is already kicking ass and taking down names.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) June 28, 2018
Just learned that Harlan Ellison has passed away. Got trapped on an elevator with him once at a convention. He could be abrasive and hard to take, I guess, but I think he and I both would have laughed our asses off thinking about that con. RIP— Cullen Bunn 🎃 (@cullenbunn) June 28, 2018
When I was in my early 20s devouring Ellison books, I was always impressed by the fact that Harlan's introductions to his short stories were as engaging as the stories themselves. Sometimes more! He seemed to pour the entirety of himself into everything he wrote.— J.M. DeMatteis (@JMDeMatteis) June 28, 2018
For the last year, Harlan and I had been working on a project together. Harlan is a hero of mine. Growing up, his work made me recognize the true power of science fiction. Before, I'd been reading stories about spaceships and aliens and other worlds simply for entertainment...— Albert Kim (@MagicBranch) June 28, 2018
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