The sci-fi legend is gone…

Harlan Ellison, a giant in science fiction whose legacy stretched well beyond his own writing, has died, according to Len Wein’s widow, Christine Valada:

Click here for the Los Angeles Times’ obituary.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Very sad. So very outspoken but he had integrity.

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    • For crying out loud, don’t say sci-fi legend….he’ll hear that phrase that sounds like crickets copulating, and come back to life to rip somebody’s lungs out!

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  2. One of the first writers of science fiction I read as a child. He has been one of my heros for years. Not many of the golden age left now. 🙁

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  3. 13 mins ·

    Harlan Ellison has died. Never before have we lost in one moment a saint and devil, a genius and an obnoxious pain in the butt, and … I could go on and on I think. I had heard a lot about Ellison and read some of his stories which I could not help but label genius (note I said “some” not all), but when I first saw him speak at Tricon in 1966 I was overcome beyond awe with the revelation he was the greatest theatrical event of the 20th century. A short story writer who seldom wrote novels, he published over a thousand pieces, maybe many more, His intense introductions and reviews in Glass Teat and such works far beat Hunter Thompson and Tom Wolfe at their own game, yet for reasons I will never understand, the Glass Teat sold in the thousands rather than the millions. My favorite stories of his were A BOY AND HIS DOG (adopted into a misguided film) and Daniel White for the Greater Good (not speculative fiction). The book length memoir Memos from Purgatory is a fine true tale (even if embellished a little), a story a little raw, and in places, the some of the most brilliant and effectively intense writing I have read. His script for the OUTER LIMITS “Demon with the Glass Hand” was one of my best TV watching experiences (The subsequent graphic novel was not as much to my taste), and many liked “Soldier” on the same series as well. It is hard to type RIP because the R and the P don’t seem to fit Harlan. For 50 some years I have put off reading ROCKABILLY which has another title now, and maybe I should do that now.

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  4. Thanks for letting us know about Harlan’s passing. I have two Harlan Memories:

    When I was about 7 years old, I was attending SDCC. The show was so small that it pretty much fit into one large ballroom. I remember seeing a man sprinting across the room holding something under his arm. Suddenly Harlan (I didn’t know it was him at the time) stood up, and shouted. “The son of a bitch just stole Jack Kirby’s Inkpot Award! GET HIM!” The entire room turned as one. That thief never had a chance!

    The second time I saw Harlan was in college (late 80’s). After discovering his work, I had spent a summer reading everything he wrote. I went to SDCC that year where he was doing a signing of his latest work. I stood in line for a half-hour as people came up to him with stacks of books for him to sign. When it was my turn, he looked at me puzzled that I didn’t have any books and asked “What do you want me to sign?” I said “Nothing. I just wanted to shake your hand and thank you. Especially for your advice about being a writer and working for Disney*” As I turned to leave, he called me back and proceeded to chat with me for the next 20 minutes (probably to the annoyance of those standing behind me in line) about what I wanted to do for a career (screenwriting) and how to go about doing it. Our meeting concluded with him saying “If you ever sell a screenplay, look me up and I’ll buy you lunch.”

    Sadly, I’ll never had that lunch (I ended up working in video games instead) but I was always glad that he had made the offer.

    Safe travels, Harlan. You were one of a kind.

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  5. The Van Morrison of science fiction—an undisputed genius whose “What a jerk!” stories were the stuff of legend.

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