R.I.P. Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

Harlan Ellison at the LA Press Club 1986 Copyright 2006 by Galen A. Tripp

Harlan Jay Ellison (May 27, 1934 — June 28, 2018) Celebrated science-fiction author Harlan Ellison, best known to Trekkers the world over for penning the classic TOS episode, “The City on the Edge of Forever,” died unexpectedly in his sleep at his Los Angeles home. He was 84. The legendary writer was also well known for his admitted reputation of often being contentious, abrasive, temperamental, and argumentative, even to the point of feuding with “Star Trek”creator Gene Roddenberry over the treatment of his ‘City/Forever’ script.  Over a ten-month period, Ellison’s original draft underwent several rewrites, went more than $50,000 over budget, and played havoc with the production schedule.  However, the final result was a teleplay that everyone could be justly proud of.  To this day, “City/Forever” has remained a cast and crew favorite.  It later won both the Hugo and Writer’s Guild of America Awards.

Ellison was married five times, each one ending within a few years, except for his last.  His published output includes over 1,700 novels, novellas, short stories, screenplays, teleplays, comic book scripts, essays, and a wide range of critical works over his long career, including “A Boy and His Dog” (later made into a 1975 film), “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream,” and “”Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman.” “For a brief time I was here, and for a brief time, I mattered.”—HE, 1934-2018.

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