Harlan Ellison is one of the most interesting people in science fiction. It seems that in nearly every story you hear about him he is upset with someone or something, from filing lawsuits against Star Trek to fighting with various people across the science fiction, yet there is far more to this man than someone who is abrasive and willing to start a fight. He is willing to give praise when he thinks it due and is clearly a brilliant man who has spent his life writing fantastic stories.
Harlan Ellison was born on May 27, 1934 in Cleveland Ohio. He has been a professional writer for most of that time, publishing hundreds of short stories. Much of what he has written is science fiction but he has in no way limited himself to the genre branching out into other fields as well as writing for television and movies.
Perhaps his most famous work is the Star Trek Episode "City on the Edge of Forever" and though the story was changed considerably, to its detriment if you ask Harlan, it still holds much of his vision. What it lost was a story of drug dealing aboard the Enterprise that was lost because it didn't fit Roddenberry's vision of Star Trek. The original script was eventually released, but even through all of this "City on the Edge of Forever" Is considered by many to be the best episode of the Original Star Trek series and possible Star Trek itself.
Harlan has written only a handful of novels when compared to his work on short stories. This is likely the reason that his name is not as well known as some of the others of his time period and skill. One of the most famous of those short stories is "A Boy and His Dog" which was turned into a movie of the same name. Both book and movie are filled with dark humor and are extremely fun so long as you like extremely dark humor.
Controversy seems to be one of the defining characteristics of Harlan Ellison's life. One of the more common of these ccontroversies is the use of the pseudonym Cordwainer Bird on any project in which he feels his work was mangled beyond repair by Hollywood executives. He has also claimed that Terminator was taken from two ideas he wrote for the outer Limits and was fired from Disney studios on his first day for joking about making an adult feature staring the cartoon characters.
In 2006 Harlan Ellison was given the title of Grandmaster of Science Fiction by the Science Fiction and Fantasy writers of America. Harlan lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife Susan.
Visit his Homepage