In Memoriam: Harlan Ellison

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.