Harlan Ellison, the iconic, yet controversial fantasy and science fiction writer, who has written for projects like Star Trek and The Twilight Zone, has died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 84. Ellison started off in the literary world, editing the groundbreaking Dangerous Visions in 1967. He would eventually author such popular novels such as 1969’s A Boy and His Dog, and 1980’s Shatterday.
In addition to his written work, Ellison has made guest appearances on shows like The Simpsons and Babylon 5, and wrote episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Star Trek. PC games have been created out of his stories I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. While there have been no burial plans set, celebrations for Ellison’s life will be coming soon. And the celebrations and discussions of Ellison’s work and legacy have already begun sprout up on social media.
Christina Valada confirmed Harlan Ellison’s death this morning with a statement from Ellison’s wife, Susan. “Susan Ellison has asked me to announce the passing of writer Harlan Ellison, in his sleep, earlier today,” the statement reads, adding that arrangements to celebrate his life are pending. Fans and coworkers responded by recalling memories of his best works, with some noting that Ellison was always way ahead of his time.
Ellison had so many great works that it’s difficult to crown his best achievement. However, to many Star Trek fans, Ellison’s best television work is his award-winning writing for the 1967 episode “The City on the Edge Forever,” in which Doctor McCoy (DeForest Kelley) travels back in time and accidentally changes history. Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) then follow him in order to change the timeline back. However, in order to get things back in order, McCoy must let his new love Edith (Joan Collins) die. The episode led to a big lawsuit with the CBS Paramount Television, but that didn’t stop Ellison from saying that he wanted to pen the script for Star Trek 2 in 2009.
Ellison, who has disowned some of his past TV works, was frequently laughed at for being a litigious guy who often thought his work was being ripped off by others. In addition to CBS Paramount, he has also sued James Cameron and AOL, and then earlier in the decade, he sued to try and stop the 20th Century Fox movie In Time, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, from being distributed. Although many have people lampooned Ellison for his lawsuits, one cannot deny his influence not just on several television shows but on movies like Somewhere in Time, The Terminator, and Back to the Future. Harlan Ellison will be sorely missed.
Source: Christine Valada/Twitter