LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Harlan Ellison, the pugnacious author of “A Boy and His Dog,” who lambasted society in nightmare fiction and stinging essays for half a century, died early today at his Los Angeles home. He was 84.
Ellison was best-known and lauded for science fiction and fantasy, including the dystopian short story “I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream,” as well as scripts for “Star Trek”, “The Outer Limits” and “Babylon 5.” His prolific work also included more than 1,700 other short stories, comic books, articles and screenplays.
Some of his most popular works were surrealistic fantasies set in grisly worlds run by totalitarians and conformists. Some were humorous; many were shockingly graphic.
“A Boy and His Dog” portrays a world devastated by nuclear war. Its hero is a young thug lured to an underground community who rebels against its sterility.
The novella was the basis for a 1975 movie starring Don Johnson.
Ellison was also famously combative, with a long history of litigation that included copyright and/or royalty lawsuits against CBS Paramount Television, ABC, Paramount Pictures, Orion Pictures and comic book and magazine publisher Fantagraphics.
“Harlan Ellison: There was no one quite like him in American letters, and never will be. Angry, funny, eloquent, hugely talented. If there’s an Nafterlife, Harlan is already kicking ass and taking down names,” writer Stephen King tweeted.
Actor and comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted: “My heart is broken. Off to gather what few thoughts I can for awhile. What an awful day. Harlan Ellison is dead.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.)