The world said goodbye to prolific sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison last week. Ellison passed away in his sleep late Wednesday night. His death was announced via Twitter.
Ellison is probably most known in the Star Trek universe for writing “The City on the Edge of Forever.” The first season episode is widely considered one of the single best Trek episodes of all time. His work spanned decades and he was the author of over 1,800 short stories, novellas, and teleplays. He was also the recipient of eight Hugo Awards.
Ellison wrote one of the most famous Star Trek TOS episodes ever in The City on the Edge of Forever. The episode itself was met with universal acclaim and is considered one of the best of the series. It wasn’t without its own controversy though in that Ellison’s original anti-war message was watered down in his opinion. This led to a lawsuit from Ellison to the makers of TOS, whose treatment of his script he referred to as “fatally inept.” A teleplay of his original script was published with a 90-page introduction blasting the version that aired.
Ellison had a reputation as being fiercely political, opinionated, and at times cantankerous. He’s said to have sent over two hundred bricks to a publisher who refused to pay him.
He had a devoted fanbase. A lot of writers and fans went to Twitter to express their sadness at hearing about his passing. If you’re looking for more information on his writing and where you might want to start if you’re looking for a primer on Mr. Ellison’s work then check out a primer on his work here.