LOS ANGELES (AP) — Harlan Ellison, the prolific, pugnacious author of “A Boy and His Dog,” and countless other stories that blasted society with their nightmarish, sometimes darkly humorous scenarios, has died at age 84.
Ellison’s death was confirmed Thursday to The Associated Press by Bill Schafer, an editor with Subterranean Press, the author’s publisher. A woman who answered the phone at Ellison’s office, who declined to give her name, said he died Wednesday in his sleep.
During a career that spanned more than half a century, Ellison wrote some 50 books and more than 1,400 articles, essays, TV scripts and screenplays. Although best-known for his science fiction, which garnered nearly a dozen Nebula and Hugo awards, Ellison’s work covered virtually every type of writing from mysteries to comic books to newspaper columns.
Several of Ellison’s works were translated into dozens of languages.
One of the best-known, “A Boy and His Dog,” portrays a world devastated by nuclear war and fought over by vicious gangs.
Ellison recently expanded the story into a full-length novel, “Blood’s A Rover,” that Subterranean is publishing this month.
He was born on May 27, 1934, in Cleveland. His youth in nearby Painesville was lonely — he and his older sister, Beverly, were among the only Jews in town and were rejected. He attended Ohio State University but left after punching a professor who said he lacked writing talent.