[Cite This]

Harlan Ellison

Harlan Ellison Photo

Harlan Jay Ellison is an established American author who mostly writes under the speculative fiction genre. He has prolifically penned a number of short stories, novellas, essays, comic books and critiqued on films, books etc. He is best known for editing the sci-fi anthologies, entitled Dangerous Visions.

Born on May 27, 1934, in Cleveland, Ohio, Harlan Ellison was raised by a dentist mother and jeweler father. He developed a tendency to keep running away and took a number of odd jobs in his youth ranging from a hired gun to truck driver to lithographer etc. He was expelled from Ohio State University after 18 months for hitting a professor. In his defense Ellison said that the professor tried to disparage his writing ability. In order to avenge himself on the professor, every time his work was published, he would send him a copy of it for the next twenty years.

In 1955, he moved to New York to pursue his career in writing. He wrote over hundred science fiction stories and articles in two years.  He got married in 1956 but it lasted briefly. Ellison developed a keen interest in writing about youth gangs for which he conducted a research joining a street gang. The stories regarding this subject matter included in the collection The Deadly Streets and a novel Web of the City. He was conscripted into the United States Army in 1957 where he served for two years. Subsequently, he wrote for Rogue magazine and had his work published at Hamling’s Regency Books. Moreover, Ellison also directed his attention toward erotic story writing which were later published in L.A magazines.

Subsequently he moved to California and took up a number of screenwriting projects. His famous screenplays for small screen include The Man from U.N.C.L.E, Burke’s Law, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and Star Trek. He also penned a screenplay for The Oscar. In addition to screenwriting, Ellison worked as a columnist for the Los Angeles Free Press. His columns were centered on television content. He focused on the sociopolitical current affairs and their depiction and interpretation on television. His column was named The Glass Teat. Furthermore, he provided his services as creative consultant on the sci-fi TV series The Twilight Zone.

He always remained a topic of one scandal or another over the years. He was once hired as a writer by a notable production house, Walt Disney Studios. However, his misbehavior and offensive jokes had him fired on the very first day of job. In 1960’s he published stories in both fiction and non-fiction genre. He advocated rebellion and civil disobedience under oppressive rule in his story, “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman“. In the story set in a post-apocalyptic world he examines the dynamics of love and friendship in a story, titled “A Boy and His Dog. The story later adapted into a film featuring Don Johnson, in 1975.

One of his stories was included in the The Best American Short Stories 1993 edition, titled “The Man Who Rowed Christopher Columbus Ashore”. Besides that he tried his luck in the audiobook industry, narrating his own and books of other renowned authors. He lent his voice to animated characters in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. For his brilliant work in multifarious genres, Harlan Ellison had been awarded five Bram Stoker Awards, two Edgar Awards, World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Nebula Award for Best Short Story and many more other prestigious accolades.

Buy Books by Harlan Ellison


Write About Harlan Ellison