Harlan Ellison, renowned science fiction writer and author of 'Repent, Harlequin!', dead at 84

Renowned science fiction writer Harlan Ellison has died at the age of 84. He was born in 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio and his first short stories were published in 1949


                            Harlan Ellison, renowned science fiction writer and author of 'Repent, Harlequin!', dead at 84

Renowned science fiction writer Harlan Ellison has died at the age of 84. The acclaimed writer had penned down several short stories, novellas, and has also contributed to TV series including 'The Outer Limits', 'Star Trek', and 'Babylon 5'. He had also won a notable copyright infringement suit against ABC and Paramount and reached a settlement in a similar suit over 'The Terminator'.

According to Tech Crunch, one of his most notable works include 'The City on the Edge of Forever', with which he was vocally unhappy as the script was rewritten, although the filmed version is considered to be the finest episode in the 'Star Trek' series. 



The report also notes that Ellison had made his mark as an editor after his 1967 anthology 'Dangerous Visions' which still remains the definitive collection of New Wave science fiction. However, its stories of sex and violence, including their stylistic experimentation no longer seem groundbreaking.   



Born in 1934, in Cleveland, Ohio, his first short stories were published in 1949, before he would move to New York to become a science fiction writer. During the 1950s, he wrote several short stories and serve in the US Army for almost two years. He relocated to California, where he began writing scripts for television shows such as 'The Outer Limits', 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and 'Star Trek', and served as a consultant for shows such as, 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Babylon 5'.

Although he had briefly worked for Walt Disney Studios, he was fired within a day by co-founder Roy Disney, who had reportedly heard him joke about making a porn film with the company's characters. He won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for his 1965 story 'Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman'. Ellison had also sued New Regency and director Andrew Niccol over their 2011 film, 'In Time'. 

According to Variety, the author of his 1980 LA Times profile declared, "Ellison is fiercely independent, proudly elitist, frequently angry, tenacious and downright vengeful.” The article quotes Ellison telling the author, "They’ve got to know that everybody isn’t frightened and won’t back down. These people are not creators; they belong to the AAA — agents, attorneys, and accountants. They aren’t comfortable dealing with writers — they think we’re madmen. They’re really only comfortable dealing with numbers.” 

Andrew Niccol's 'In Time' follows the similar premise as Ellison's 'Repent, Harlequin!' (YouTube)
Andrew Niccol's 'In Time' follows the similar premise as Ellison's 'Repent, Harlequin!' (YouTube)

The report also states that Ellison won a suit of $337,000 from ABC and Paramount Studios in 1980 for copyright infringement on a story the author had co-written with Ben Bova, 'Brillo'. 

Wrap reports that the award-winning writer had an expansive biography published last summer of the title, 'A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison, an Exploration', which was published by NESFA Press and written by Nat Segaloff, after an interview which spanned for almost five years.