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Harlan Ellison, Provocative Sci-Fi Writer of 'Star Trek,' 'A Boy and His Dog,' Dies at 84

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29.06.2018

Speculative-fiction writer Harlan Ellison, who penned short stories, novellas and criticism, contributed to TV series including “The Outer Limits,” “Star Trek” and “Babylon 5” and won a notable copyright infringement suit against ABC and Paramount and a settlement in a similar suit over “The Terminator,” has died. He was 84.

Christine Valada tweeted that Ellison’s wife, Susan, had asked her to announce that he died in his sleep Thursday.

Susan Ellison has asked me to announce the passing of writer Harlan Ellison, in his sleep, earlier today. “For a brief time I was here, and for a brief time, I mattered.”—HE, 1934-2018. Arrangements for a celebration of his life are pending.

— Christine Valada (@mcvalada) June 28, 2018

The prolific but cantankerous author famously penned the “Star Trek” episode “City on the Edge of Forever,” in which Kirk and Spock must go back in time to Depression-era America to put Earth history back on its rightful course, a goal that for Kirk means sacrificing the woman he loves (played by Joan Collins). The final script was rewritten by “Star Trek” staffers to avoid the anti-war lesson Ellison had intended to impart about the ongoing Vietnam War, leaving Ellison unhappy.

His 1995 book “The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay That Became the Classic Star Trek Episode” contained two drafts by Ellison.

The author was still steaming over his experience more than four decades after the episode originally aired: In 2009 Ellison sued CBS Paramount Television seeking revenue from merchandising and other sources from the episode; a settlement was reached six months later.

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The author of a 1980 L.A. Times profile declared, “Ellison is fiercely independent, proudly elitist, frequently........

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