Harlan Ellison, 1934-2018

July 3, 2018 | Andrea

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"For a brief time, I was here; and, for a brief time, I mattered." –Harlan Ellison

Science fiction lost another influential writer when Ellison passed away on June 28 at the age of 84. Although he bristled at being pigeonholed, Ellison was recognized as a Grand Master of the genre by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He won a host of awards throughout his illustrious career, counting multiple Hugos, Nebulas and Bram Stokers among his honours. He was also a prolific critic and screenwriter and worked on television shows such as Star Trek, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone.

Ellison had a reputation for being litigious, suing various TV networks and filmmakers for copyright infringement, including director James Cameron and the studio behind The Terminator. In an infamous incident at an award ceremony, he groped author Connie Willis on stage. A controversial and contentious man, Ellison left many stories: those told about him (such as the reports of him sending a dead gopher to a publisher and attacking a TV executive), and those written by him. Here are just a few of his works:


Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison

Dangerous Visions

Ellison edited this landmark New Wave science fiction anthology, collecting essays and short stories by Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick and other giants of the field.


I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream

The title story of this ebook collection is one of Ellison's most unsettling, a grim tale of a cruel artificial intelligence tormenting the last of the human race. Also included in this anthology are other notable short stories such as "A Boy and His Dog" and "'Repent, Harlequin!' said the Ticktockman."


A Boy and His Dog

A Boy and His Dog

Don't be misled by the gentle title – the post-apocalyptic survival story "A Boy and His Dog" was adapted into an R-rated 1975 film, available on Kanopy.


The Essential Ellison - A 35 Year Retrospective

The Essential Ellison: A 35-Year Retrospective

More than 70 of his unabridged works can be found in this hefty tome. Prefer ebooks? Browse Hoopla for more of his stories. 


A Lit Fuse - The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison by Nat Segaloff

A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison by Nat Segaloff

Drawn from a series of in-depth interviews conducted over the course of five years, this biography is available for use in the Merril Collection, which houses many more of Ellison's works.