I’ve just learned the world of science fiction has lost one of its best and brightest. Harlan Ellison has passed, age 84.
The screwball thing about this is… I didn’t think that was possible. I was convinced that if anyone was going to cheat death just out of spite, it was going to be him. He bucked the odds on everything else, why not that too?
Some writers are known for what they create. Some are known for how they create it. Ellison was one of those whose personal story is so amazing that he could have simply made a career as a gonzo journalist if he wanted to. He infiltrated a street gang to get their story, that’s how gutsy this guy was. He had the bug to write, and he wrote. He wrote everything, he wrote it his way, and the legends that circled him as a result are almost as fantastic as his stories. Almost.
One thing about it, though, he left behind an incredible body of work for us to enjoy and ponder. Much of it isn’t comfortable to read. That was never his point. He was all about shaking us around and making us see things in a completely different way. We need more of that. I’m going to miss this guy. I’d offer thoughts and prayers, but somehow I think he’d laugh at that too. Fair enough, Harlan. Let’s do this one your way. Seems right.