Harlan Ellison, SF author and legend, dies of old age.

Harlan Ellison, the science fiction author, has died of old age. Peaceably, in his own bed – which is somewhat ironic, given his legendary irascibility. We kind of expected him to go while wrestling a Black Bear, a ninja, a country sheriff, two critics, a movie mogul and a lawyer to the ground, his bedroom littered with the corpses of his enemies.

His writing included the Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever; the story A Boy and His Dog (later made into a movie with a young Don Johnson); I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream; and ‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman. He also acted as editor for Dangerous Visions.

Harlan Ellison, SF author, dies of old age.
Harlan Ellison, SF author, dies of old age.

He was a little dangerous himself. Ellison ‘allegedly’ publicly assaulted critic Charles Platt at the 1985 Nebula Awards banquet, as well as acting as a champion for author’s rights in both the literary field as well as Hollywood. He was let go from a Warner Brothers SF movie for shouting at the head of Warner – one Robert Shapiro – that Shapiro had the “intellectual and cranial capacity of an artichoke”.

Harlan launched many legal battles over the years, taking on various studios, publishers and genre bods to court over libel, plagiarism and cheating him out of money.

If they’re still writing in the 26th Century of Humanity, then they will still be showing this clip …

Cheers, Harlan. You truly were one of a kind.

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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