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Harlan Ellison, prolific and warlike writer of science fiction, dies at the age of 84

Harlan Ellison, a prolific writer who won several prizes for his sci-fi, fantasy, crime, horror and television scripts, but had such an extraordinary inclination to fight that his own book jackets "may be the most fierce." Person named on Earth "died on June 27 at his home in Sherman Oaks, California. He was 84 years old.

His death was announced by his agent Susan Shapiro. The cause was not disclosed

Mr. Ellison began publishing stories in the 1950s and wrote in part despite a college professor who told him he had no literary talent. He became one of the most popular and influential authors of science fiction of his generation ̵

1; but he insisted that he did not want to be limited to science fiction.

Instead he preferred the term "speculative fiction".

He has published numerous books and more than 1,500 stories, reviews and essays during an almost constant life. He went on tour once, sat in the shop window of the bookstores and composed a short story every day.

Several of his stories, including "Remorse Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman "(1965)," I have no mouth, and I have to scream "(1967) and" The Animal That Called Love in the Heart of the World "(1968), were often reprinted and apply in sci-fi anthologies as of lasting importance.

Harlan Ellison.

In his best work, Mr. Ellison "showed at times a raging but worthy sense of the pain of the world," critic John Clute, a co-editor from "The Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction," said in an interview. "He was always unique in his works. You saw him hit the table and blow his fists.

Deception was not Mr. Ellison's strong suit, instead he wrote a noticeable indignation of injustice, ignorance, and moral deafness. "I go to bed badly every night," he told The Los Angeles Times in 1990, "and I get madder every morning. Mr. Ellison also wrote a lot about film and television, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, and collections of his critical reviews are taught in college journalism courses. He struck the films of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas for lack of literary credentials or imaginative depth and because of the focus on young viewers "for whom nostalgia is reminiscent of breakfast."

He occasionally appeared as an actor and speaker – including for a computer game based on one of his stories – and was one a frequent talk show guest, most recently on "Politically Wrong with Bill Maher."

"Even in its most annoying as it comes from topic to topic," The film historian Robert F. Moss wrote in the 1989 New York Times " Mr. Harlan Ellison's Watching, a collection of movie reviews. Ellison has some of the intriguing quality of a nonstop talent with a cultural bearing for a ghost. You have not invented the subject about which he has no opinion. "

For decades, Mr. Ellison was in demand as a writer and scriptwriter for television and film. (Only one of his screenplays was made into a movie, the forgotten" The Oscar "of 1966.) He wrote dozens of scripts from TV Shows, including The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Burke's Law, The Outer Limits, The Man From UNCLE, and even The Flying Nun.

He was credited with one of the most memorable episodes of "Star Trek", 1967's "The City on the Edge of Forever," in which the interplanetary travelers aboard the spaceship Enterprise return to the 1930s, with the possibility of storytelling Mr. Ellison was annoyed at how his script was rewritten by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and the show's editors.

Mr. Ellison sued Hollywood studios several times when he thought they had His ideas were stolen and hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised in settlements, and one of his successful suits was the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle from 1984, "The Terminator," which he believed appropriated his storyline from an android assassin Ellison as "a parasite", but his name was included in the credits of the video version of the film.

"Everywhere I go, I think there The authors are treated as if they were invisible, as if they did not care, "he told the Los Angeles Times in 1990." Just in this city, the writer has a history of brutalization, because it is a city that flies almost exclusively on horse-lucky and hot air.

His hair-raising mood has often been shown to critics, producers and people he happened to meet, including the equally combative Frank Sinatra. In a memorable passage from Gay Tales Esquire's 1966 article, "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," singer Mr. Ellison confronted a private club in Beverly Hills the way he was dressed. Ellison played billiards in the club and wore, in Tales's words, "brown corduroy trousers, a green Shaggy-dog Shetland sweater, a light brown suede jacket and Game Warden boots."

Sinatra asked him about the boots – were they Italian? Spanish? English? – until Mr. Ellison finally answered, "Look, I do not know, man."

The room became silent as Sinatra, accompanied by bodyguards, joined the 5-foot Mr. Ellison approached and then asked, "You expect a storm

" Look, "said Mr. Ellison," is there any reason you're talking to me? "

" I do not like your clothes, "Sinatra said ] "I hate to shake you," Mr. Ellison replied, "but I'm getting dressed."

Before Mr. Ellison left, more words were exchanged.

Early in his career, Mr. Ellison was hired as a writer but was dismissed in his first week when he described making a pornographic movie with Disney cartoon characters. (He said his comments were heard by Walt Disney's brother.)

On another occasion, than one Studio Leader mumbled, "All authors are hacks," Mr. Ellison jumped over a desk and punched him in the neck.

He refused to allow editors to change one word of his prose, and he often had creative altercations with Television Producers 1985 he left a $ 4,000 job a week with a re-launched version of "The Twilight Zone" after the studio decided not to shoot a segment written by Mr. Ellison about a black Santa Claus committing revenge on white fanatics] " I told them, 'You pull the plug and I'm off,' "he told the Los Angeles Times in 1990.

They did, and he did.

For the work, he held the second-rate person, Mr. Ellison, often Adopted Pseudonyms, especially "Cordwainer Bird." Although he despised television and said it was "responsible for the stupidity of our time," he won several awards for his TV scripts from The Writers Guild of America. He also won several Hugo, Nebula and Edgar Awards for his science fiction, fantasy and crime thrillers.

Although he sometimes corrected hosts to the talk show, who did not list all of his honors, he also blasted the idea of ​​award ceremonies in an essay from 2013 Variety

"Not only do I hate all award ceremonies," he wrote with his typical understatement, "I want to behead them beheaded, drive piles through their black and rotten ram hearts, and see the decapitated remains buried at a crossroads comes midnight."

Harlan Jay Ellison was born on May 27, 1934 in Cleveland. His mother was a housewife and his father was a dentist, smuggler and jeweler at various times.

Mr. Ellison grew up mainly in Painesville, Ohio, where his smart mouth, small size, and Jewish heritage left him marginalized.

"When you're an outsider, you're always angry," he said in a 2008 documentary "Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth."

He said he first ran away from home at 13 pm attend a carnival, then when he was not in school, moved across the country to work as a truck driver, fisherman and lumberjack.

He dropped out of Ohio State University after quarreling with a professor who said he had no talent as a writer. Mr. Ellison moved to New York, promptly began selling stories – and sent the professor a copy of everything he published for the next 20 years.

For his first novel "Rumble" (1958) – later published as "Web of the City" – Mr. Ellison was ex officio member of a Brooklyn gang. He participated in civil rights marches, covered rioting and for a while Ghost wrote a column for men's magazines for comedian Lenny Bruce. He was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War.

In 1962 he moved to Los Angeles to enter the lucrative screenplay business. He continued to publish stories and novels in a quick clip, many under false names. He edited several large anthologies of science fiction and often published several books a year.

One of his most famous works in 1969 was a novella, "A Boy and His Dog," which portrayed a rebellious man's post-apocalyptic landscape with a dog possessing supernatural powers. It was turned into a movie in 1975, and Mr. Ellison later expanded the idea into a novel, "Blood is a Rover," which will be released this year. Ellison described herself as a "blatantly elitist" and said that his first four marriages ended in divorce, partly because "a lot of times I'm a pain in the ass."

Survivors include his wife of 32, Susan Toth.

Mr. Ellison lived in a futuristic house surrounded by a library estimated at between 75,000 and 250,000 books. He was injured during an earthquake in 1994 and in 1996 had a quadruple bypass surgery after a heart attack. The heart attack did nothing to mitigate his style or slow his output.

Asked about the urge to write in 1990, Mr. Ellison told the Los Angeles Times: "You do it because all writers believe in an insane place Writing is a sacred duty – what you want to do is to speak with his time, to change something, to say, "I was here. In a way, I was a force for the good. & # 39; "

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