We're sad to report that science fiction writer George Clayton Johnson has died at the age of 86.
Johnson was best known as the co-author with William F. Nolan of the 1967 novel Logan's Run, set in a post-apocalyptic society in which everyone must be terminated at the age of 21. The book was made into a classic 1976 movie starring Michael York (in which the age was raised to 30) and also spawned a 1977 TV series that lasted only half a season (Nolan, who is still with us, wrote several sequels to the original book as well). A remake has been in development for years.
But Johnson, who began his writing career in 1959, was also involved with two other sci-fi milestones. He wrote a number of scripts for the original 1959-1964 incarnation of The Twilight Zone, including "Kick the Can" (which was remade by Steven Spielberg as one of the stories in the 1983 Twilight Zone movie), "Nothing in the Dark" (starring a young Robert Redford as Death), "A Game of Pool," "A Penny for Your Thoughts" and "The Four of Us Are Dying."
Following that, Johnson landed a script assignment with a new series called Star Trek, and his episode, "The Man Trap," became the show's debut offering when it premiered on Sept. 8, 1966 (although it was actually the fifth episode filmed).
He also conceived the story for the 1960 Frank Sinatra heist thriller Ocean's 11 (remade years later with George Clooney and Brad Pitt) and contributed to shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Route 66 and Kung Fu while also penning short stories.
Johnson passed away of cancer on Christmas Day in Los Angeles, and is survived by his son Paul, his daughter, Judy Olive, and his wife of 63 years, Lola Johnson. His son told the Associated Press, "Please emphasise how much he loved his fans, and judging by the overwhelming response I've received, from hundreds of people, known and unknown, he made quite an impact on them."
RIP and safe travels, sir.
(via BBC News)