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Author tribute: Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison, a true master of science fiction, has passed away. In his sleep, not murdered by maligned colleague or by a hit man from a major movie studio to get him to stop suing that a movie was based on his work. Who’d have thought? Ellison rarely had robots in his brilliant, dark fiction; a big exception was the Demon with the Glass Hand episode of the Outer Limits, one of the series most iconic episodes. He argued (and sued) that it was the basis for the Terminator. Ellison also collaborated with Isaac Asimov on a screenplay of I, Robot— the complete antithesis of the Will Smith movie. Ellison and Asimov had a running mock insult relationship to the delight of those who attended Cons in the old days. Ellison’s I, Robot screenplay is famous in and of itself and you can purchase it on amazon. If you aren’t familiar with Ellison, the Syfy channel has a nice summary here. My favorite story about Ellison and his curmudgeonly ways is in the introduction to Dan Simmons fantastic short story collection, Broken Stones, and recounted here. Rest in peace, Harlan, and thank you for your dangerous visions.

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