Harlan Ellison, the acclaimed science fiction writer of books, television and film who was reknowned for his time working on the original Star Trek series, died at the age of 84. According to a tweet by photographer, lawyer and creative rights activist Christine Valada, Ellison’s wife Susan revealed that Ellison passed “in his sleep, earlier today.” The announcement was also accompanied by a popular quote from the writer’s afterword to The Essential Ellison: “For a brief time I was here, and for a brief time, I mattered.” Arrangements for a celebration of Ellison’s life are currently in process.
Ellison is perhaps best known to the pop culture zeitgeist as the original writer of the classic Star Trek episode “The City on the Edge of Forever,” which guest-starred a young Joan Collins alongside William Shatner and the rest of the principal cast. Aside from this and many other contributions to Gene Roddenberry’s storied franchise, Ellison also wrote for The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Babylon 5. The 1975 cult classic film A Boy and His Dog is also based on Ellison’s novella series, which began as a short story of the same name in 1969.
As news of Ellison’s death spread, thanks in large park to TrekCore.com’s retweeting Valada’s original post, many — including comedian Patton Oswalt and fellow writer Steven King — paid homage to the writer on social media.