Sci-fi legend Harlan Ellison recovering from stroke

Contributed by
Oct 13, 2014

Let's muster up all the good wishes we can for one of science fiction's most towering figures.

Word came over the weekend that the great Harlan Ellison suffered a stroke last week and is recovering at the moment in the hospital. His wife Susan wrote at his website, "A couple of days ago Harlan had a stroke. He’s in the hospital. His right side is paralyzed. He’s comfortable -- as possible. We will keep you up-to-date with his progress."

A close friend of Ellison's, screenwriter Josh Olson, later wrote that the legendarily garrulous scribe was "talking a mile a minute, and throwing out more obscure references per minute than anyone can possibly keep up with.” If that is indeed the case, then we're hopeful that the stroke wasn't a debilitating one and that Ellison will be back on his feet and at his (manual) typewriter soon.

Famously confrontational, endlessly creative and fiercely humanist, the 80-year-old Ellison is a personality with which every fan of science-fiction should be familiar. His career stretches across seven decades and every written medium -- short stories (some 1,700 of them), novels, screenplays, TV scripts, comics and nonfiction -- and his most famous tales are landmarks in the field: "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman," "The Deathbird," "Jeffty is Five," "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream," "From A to Z in the Chocolate Alphabet" and the classic novella A Boy and His Dog are practically required reading for any fan. So is his anthology Dangerous Visions, long considered a seminal collection of speculative fiction.

He also wrote the original Star Trek episode still regarded as the series' finest -- "City on the Edge of Forever" -- and the 1964 Outer Limits segment not just hailed as the best of that show but one of the greatest hours of televised sci-fi ever: "Demon With a Glass Hand." It's no surprise that the upcoming Outer Limits feature film will reportedly be based on that episode.

Ellison has a shelf full of awards for his work, but most importantly, he's always been one of fantastic literature's most unique and outspoken voices. He's also been a champion for writers -- long defending our right to, you know, get paid for what we do like everyone else -- and a ferocious fighter for copyright ownership. 

He doesn't rub everyone the right way -- nor should he -- but the world would be a far emptier place without him. Get well soon, Harlan!

(via Giant Freakin' Robot)

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