Harlan Ellison Dies at 84; Prolific, Irascible (Science) Fiction Writer


“Harlan Ellison, a furiously prolific and cantankerous writer whose science fiction and fantasy stories reflected a personality so intense that they often read as if he were punching his manual typewriter keys with his fists, died on Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles. … Mr. Ellison looked at storytelling as a ‘holy chore,’ which he pursued zealously for more than 60 years. His output includes more than 1,700 short stories and articles, at least 100 books and dozens of screenplays and television scripts. And although he was ranked with eminent science fiction writers like Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, he insisted that he wrote speculative fiction, or simply fiction. ‘Call me a science fiction writer,’ Mr. Ellison said on the Sci-Fi Channel (now SyFy) in the 1990s. ‘I’ll come to your house and I’ll nail your pet’s head to a coffee table. I’ll hit you so hard your ancestors will die.’ Mr. Ellison’s best-known work includes ‘A Boy and His Dog’ (1969), a novella set in a postapocalyptic wasteland of the United States, which was made into a 1975 movie; ‘I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream’ (1967), a short story about a computer that tortures the last five humans on earth; ‘The City on the Edge of Forever,’ a beloved back-in-time episode of the “Star Trek” television series in 1967; and “ ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman” (1965), about a futuristic society in which time is regimented by a fearsome figure called the Ticktockman. … Mr. Ellison was a fast-talking, pipe-smoking polymath who once delighted talk-show hosts like Merv Griffin and Tom Snyder with his views on atheism, elitism, violence and Scientology. He could be wild, angry and litigious. He said that he lost his job with the Walt Disney Company — on the first day — when he stood up in its commissary (with company executives watching) and described how he wanted to make an animated pornographic film starring Mickey and Minnie Mouse. …”
NY Times (June 28, 2018)
W – Harlan Ellison
The Harlan Ellison Interview

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1 Response to Harlan Ellison Dies at 84; Prolific, Irascible (Science) Fiction Writer

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