04 February, 2009
Harlan Jay Ellison is a prolific American writer of short stories, novellas, teleplays, essays, and criticism. His literary and television work has received many awards. He wrote for the original series of both The Outer Limits and Star Trek; edited the multiple-award-winning short story anthology series Dangerous Visions; and served as creative consultant to the science fiction TV series The New Twilight Zone and Babylon 5.
Ellison's most famous stories have been within the speculative fiction genre. He has won multiple Hugo and Nebula awards. He was also very active in the science fiction community (a founding member of the Cleveland Science Fiction Society, he edited its fanzine as a teenager), and gives colorful and confrontational talks at science fiction conventions. In the 1960s, he served as the Science Fiction Writers of America's first vice president. He prefers not to place his works in a genre, but will use the term "speculative fiction" to describe his work.
Ellison's fantasy work is generally better aligned with surrealism or magic realism than space opera-type science fiction. There is also a strong ethical current running through his work, half of which is nonfiction, including social activism and criticism of the arts.