Harlan Ellison, acclaimed science fiction writer, dies at 84

10:35 • 29.06.18



Harlan Ellison, who emerged as a major figure in the New Wave of science fiction writers in the 1960s and became a legend in science fiction and fantasy circles for his award-winning stories and notoriously outspoken and combative persona, died Wednesday night in Los Angeles. He was 84.

Ellison died at home in Sherman Oaks in his sleep, the Los Angles Times reports, citing Susan Shapiro, his Hollywood agent. Ellison’s death was unexpected.


"Ellison was immensely talented, immensely argumentative and immensely controversial, all in equal measure,” said author John Scalzi, one of The Times’ Critics at Large. “Loved or loathed, he was undeniably one of the great figures in science fiction."

Since selling his first short story in 1955, the prolific Ellison won multiple awards from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Mystery Writers of America and the Horror Writers Assn.


The third most anthologized science fiction writer behind Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, Ellison also won four Writers Guild of America Awards, including those for memorable 1960s episodes of the TV series “The Outer Limits” (“Demon with a Glass Hand”) and “Star Trek” (“The City on the Edge of Forever”).

His best-known short fiction includes the collections “Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman” and “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.”

In 2006, Ellison received the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.


“He’s one of the major post-World War II American writers of science fiction,” said Rob Latham, a professor of English and a specialist in science fiction at UC Riverside, which awarded Ellison the university’s Eaton Award for Lifetime Achievement in Science Fiction in 2011.


That same year Ellison was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.


“He was very influential in changing the field, making it more open to social issues, to explorations of characters,” Latham, a senior editor of the journal Science Fiction Studies, told The Times. “He’s had an enormous influence on science fiction with his writing, and he’s also been an influential editor.”

That included serving as the editor of “Dangerous Visions: 33 Original Stories,” a 1967 book that Latham said “is probably the most important anthology published in the field in the last 50 years and set an agenda for a new kind of science fiction writing that would be more socially engaged and responsive to the times.”

 





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