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Harlan Ellison Biography
Harlan Jay Ellison (born May 27, 1934, Cleveland, Ohio) is a prolific speculative fiction writer of short stories, novellas, and criticism. His work has been influenced by a number of literary genres, especially science fiction, fantasy, horror, and psychological drama.

Ellison left home in his youth and became a drifter, working various jobs. He briefly attended The Ohio State University. In the mid 1950s, he began to sell science fiction stories to pulp magazines. He was drafted into the army and served from 1957 to 1959. Afterwards, he briefly edited Rogue magazine. He subsequently began to sell scripts to television and publish short pieces, fiction and nonfiction, in various publications. He moved to California in 1962.

He was hired and worked very briefly as a writer for Walt Disney Studios, but was fired on his first day after being overheard by Roy O. Disney in the studio commissary joking about making a pornographic animated film featuring Disney characters.

Ellison has written for several science fiction television series, including the original Outer Limits series, the original Star Trek series, and the 1980s revival of The Twilight Zone.

He has received many awards for both his fiction and television work. He served as creative consultant to the science fiction TV series The Twilight Zone (1980s version) and Babylon 5. The screenplay for his projected television series The Starlost was given a Writers Guild Award, though the actual series was so altered by the producers that Ellison had his name removed from the credits.

One of his most famous stories is "'Repent, Harlequin!' said the Ticktockman", a celebration of civil disobedience against repressive authority. He has also written large amounts of non-fiction, including a book about his experience joining a gang (as research for a novel) in the late 1950s, Memos from Purgatory (which was adapted as an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock Hour in the early 1960s and featured Walter Koenig, later of Star Trek fame), and several collections of essays about the TV and film industries. For many years college media studies programs have used The Glass Teat in television criticism classes.

He also edited the extremely influential science fiction anthology Dangerous Visions (1967), which collected stories commissioned by Ellison, accompanied by his commentary-laden biographical sketches of the authors. He challenged the authors to write stories at the edge of the genre, and Dangerous Visions is widely considered the greatest and most influential SF anthology of all time. Many of the stories went beyond the traditional boundaries of science fiction pioneered by respected old school editors such as John W. Campbell, Jr. As an editor, Ellison was influenced and inspired by experimentation in the popular literature of the time, such as the beats. A sequel, Again Dangerous Visions, was published in 1972.

A projected third book in the series, The Last Dangerous Visions, has become something of a legend in science fiction as the genre's most famous unpublished book (Ellison mentioned the book in the introduction to Again Dangerous Visions). Ellison himself has come under harsh criticism for his treatment of writers who submitted their stories to him, of which there are estimated to be nearly 150 (many of those authors have died in the subsequent three decades since the anthology was first announced). Ellison owns the stories until their publication in The Last Dangerous Visions, and they cannot be seen until that book is published or without Ellison's permission (he has refused several of the authors' requests). Many consider this to be highly ironic since Ellison himself has criticized the TV and movie studios for buying his scripts and then filing them away, never to be seen again. Noted British SF author Christopher Priest has become Ellison's most prominent critic over the book, extensively cataloguing Ellison's dubious editorial practices in a widely-disseminated article titled The Book on the Edge of Forever [1] (http://sf.www.lysator.liu.se/sf_archive/sf-texts/Ansible/Last_Deadloss_Visions,Chris_Priest).

Ellison has a reputation for being outspoken and abrasive. His friend Isaac Asimov remarked of Ellison that, "he has no sense of tact whatsoever." As many people, including Ellison himself, have said, he does not suffer fools gladly. This reputation obtained a spot for him on the fledgling Sci-Fi Channel where he was given an opportunity to express his views on (presumably) whatever he wanted. It was eventually dropped.

In the 1980s, there was a widely-publicized incident in which Ellison physically assaulted author and critic Charles Platt at the Nebula Awards banquet over some critical commentary of Platt's. Platt did not pursue legal action against Ellison, and the two men signed a "non-aggression pact" later, promising never to discuss the incident again or have any contact with one another. In later years, however, Ellison often publicly boasted about the incident. This story is, of course, apocryphal and without any substantiation by those who claim it happened; i.e., court case numbers, documentation, etc.

Ellison is active in the science fiction community, sometimes appearing at science fiction conventions.

Ellison has on occasion used the pseudonym "Cordwainer Bird" to alert members of the public to situations in which he feels his creative contribution to a project has been mangled beyond repair by others, typically Hollywood producers or studios. (See, e.g., Alan Smithee.) The "Cordwainer Bird" moniker is a tribute to fellow SF writer Paul M. A. Linebarger, better known by his pen name, Cordwainer Smith. The origin of the word "Cordwainer" is shoemaker (from working with cordovan leather for shoes). The term used by Linebarger was meant to imply the industriousness of the pulp author. Ellison has said, in interviews and in his writing, that his version of the pseudonym was meant to mean "a shoemaker for birds." Since he has used the pseudonym mainly for works he wants to distance himself from, it seems appropriate -- in that it can be understood to mean that "this work is for the birds". Stephen King once said he thought that it meant that Ellison was giving people who mangled his work a literary version of "the bird."

Ellison recently gained attention for his April 24, 2000 lawsuit against Stephen Robertson for posting four of his stories to the Usenet newsgroup alt.binaries.e-book without authorization. Included as defendants in the lawsuit were AOL and RemarQ, ISPs whose involvement was running Usenet servers carrying the group in question and for failing to stop the alleged copyright infringers in accordance with the "Notice and Takedown Procedure" outlined in the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Robertson and RemarQ settled the lawsuit with Ellison, though he pressed on with his suit against AOL. The AOL suit was settled in June 2004 under conditions which were not made public.

Books of Short Stories
Gentleman Junkie and Other Stories of the Hung-Up Generation
Deathbird stories
The Beast Who Shouted Love at the Heart of the World
Approaching Oblivion
Love Ain't Nothing but Sex Misspelled (fiction and nonfiction)
Strange Wine
Shatterday
Stalking the Nightmare
Angry Candy
Slippage

Novels
Spider Kiss
Rumble (also titled Web of the City)

Published screenplays and teleplays
I, Robot (with Isaac Asimov) (unrelated to the 2004 movie starring Will Smith)
City on the Edge of Forever (Star Trek episode, original screenplay, with commentary)
See also Phoenix without Ashes, the novelization by Edward Bryant of the screenplay for the pilot episode of The Starlost, which includes a lengthy afterword by Ellison describing what happened in the production of that series.

Nonfiction
Memos from Purgatory
The Glass Teat (essays on television, 1968-1970)
The Other Glass Teat (essays on television, 1970-1972)
Harlan Ellison's Watching

Anthologies edited
Dangerous Visions 1967 (ISBN 0425061760)
Dangerous Visions 2
Dangerous Visions 3 (ISBN 0722132999)
Again Dangerous Visions 1972 (ISBN 0425061825)
Medea: Harlan's World (1985; ISBN 0932096360): an experiment in collaborative science-fictional world-building, featuring contributions by Hal Clement, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. LeGuin and others

Selected Short Stories
The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World
A Boy and his Dog (made into a film)
The Diagnosis of Dr. D'arqueAngel
From A to Z, in the Chocolate Alphabet
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
Jeffty Is Five
The Prowler in the City at the Edge of the World
"Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman
Shattered Like a Glass Goblin
Soldier: filmed as an Outer Limits episode. The film The Terminator had sufficient story element similarities that Ellison filed a lawsuit against James Cameron. Later prints of the film acknowledge the debt to Ellison.
The Whimper of Whipped Dogs

Awards won

Bradbury award
The Bradbury Award in 2000 went to Harlan Ellison and Yuri Rasovsky.

Bram Stoker Award
The Essential Ellison (best collection, 1987)
Harlan Ellison's Watching (best non-fiction, 1989 - tie)
Mefisto in Onyx (best novella, 1993 - tie)
Chatting With Anubis (best short story, 1995)
Life achievement award, 1995
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (best other media - audio, 1999)

Hugo award
"Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman (best short fiction, 1966)
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (best short story, 1968)
City on the Edge of Forever (best dramatic presentation, 1968)
Dangerous Visions (special award, 1968)
The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World (best short story, 1969)
Again, Dangerous Visions (special award for excellence in anthologizing, 1972)
The Deathbird (best novelette, 1974)
Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38 54' N, Longitude 77 00' 13" W (best novelette, 1975)
Jeffty is Five (best short story, 1978)
Paladin of the Lost Hour (best novellette, 1986)

Locus poll award
The Region Between (best short fiction, 1970)
Basilisk (best short fiction, 1972)
Again, Dangerous Visions (best anthology, 1972)
The Deathbird (best short fiction. 1974)
Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38 54' N, Longitude 77 00' 13" W (best novelette, 1975)
Croatoan (best short story, 1976)
Jeffty Is Five (best short story, 1978)
Count the Clock That Tells the Time (best short story, 1979)
Djinn, No Chaser (best novellette, 1983)
Sleepless Nights in the Procrustean Bed (best related non-fiction, 1985)
Medea: Harlan's World (best anthology, 1986)
Paladin of the Lost Hour (best novelette, 1986)
With Virgil Oddum at the East Pole (best short story, 1986)
Angry Candy (best collection, 1989)
The Function of Dream Sleep (best novellette, 1989)
Eidolons (best short story, 1989)
Mefisto in Onyx (best novella, 1994)
Slippage (best collection, 1998)

Nebula award
'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman (best short story, 1965)
A Boy and His Dog (best novella, 1969)
Jeffty is Five (best short story, 1977)
 
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Harlan Ellison.