Ellison, Harlan

Ellison, Harlan (Harlan Jay Ellison), 1934–2018, American writer best known for his science fiction, b. Cleveland. Ellison wrote more than 100 books and some 1,700 short stories and articles as well as screenplays and televison scripts, many of them bleak and angry and set in strange alternate worlds. Notable among his novels is Rumble (1958), his first book about young criminals; he joined a street gang to give the work authenticity. Among his best-known science-fiction stories are Repent Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman (1965) and I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (1967) and the novella A Boy and His Dog (1969, film 1975). His many television scripts were for such series as The Outer Limits and Star Trek, e.g., The City on the Edge of Forever (1967), as well as for numerous dramas. He also was a consultant for the series The Twilight Zone (1985–86) and Babylon 5 (1994–97). In later years he published short stories in science-fiction magazines, and previously uncollected stories were reprinted in Slippage (1997), Can & Can'tankerous (2015), and other books. His incisive television criticism is collected in two volumes (1970, 1975); his film criticism in Harlan Ellison's Watching (1989). He won eight Hugo and four Nebula awards.

See Essential Ellison: A Fifty Year Retrospective (2000); biography by N. Segaloff and D. G. Grubbs (2017); J. Francavilla, Critical Insights: Harlan Ellison (2011); E. Nelson, dir., Dreams with Sharp Teeth (documentary, 2008).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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