Harlan Ellison (1934—2018)
We sadly note the passing of SF legend Harlan Ellison. Harlan was known for his groundbreaking anthologies, Dangerous Visions and Again Dangerous Visions; scriptwriting, especially Star Trek’s “The City on the Edge of Forever”; and short stories like “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream,” “The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World,” and “Jeffty Is Five.” The author’s first story for Asimov’s, “Laugh Track” appeared in our Mid-December 1986 issue. This was an intriguing story about the ghost of woman trapped on the laugh track of various television sit-coms. His next appearance was a bigger event. From November 1987 through our Mid-December 1987 issue we serialized his script, I Robot: the Movie. In the days before desktop publishing typesetting this script was a bit of a nightmare, but the results were worth the effort. His other tales for Asimov’s were “The Few, the Proud” (March 1989), a short story in his Kyben War series, and “The Function of Dream Sleep” (Mid-December 1988), a tale about grief and loss. Harlan also wrote two essays for Asimov’s. The first, “Me n’ Isaac at the Movies: A Brief Memoir of Citizen Calvin” (November 1987), was an introduction to the I, Robot script. The second, “Xenogenesis” (August 1990), examined “the relationship of the reader to the writer.” This essay was his last work to appear in the magazine.