Following the news of writer Harlan Ellison’s death on Thursday at the age of 84, celebrities took to social media to express their condolences.
In the news first tweeted by Christine Valada, who was asked by Ellison’s wife, Susan, to make the announcement, Valada shared that the author died in his sleep. Quoting Ellison, she penned, “For a brief time I was here, and for a brief time, I mattered.”
Susan Ellison has asked me to announce the passing of writer Harlan Ellison, in his sleep, earlier today. “For a brief time I was here, and for a brief time, I mattered.”—HE, 1934-2018. Arrangements for a celebration of his life are pending.
— Christine Valada Is Voting to Defeat the Madman (@mcvalada) June 28, 2018
Stephen King took to Twitter to express his admiration for Ellison. “There was no one quite like him in American letters, and never will be,” he wrote. “Angry, funny, eloquent, hugely talented. If there’s an afterlife, Harlan is already kicking ass and taking names.”
Harlan Ellison: There was no one quite like him in American letters, and never will be. Angry, funny, eloquent, hugely talented. If there's an afterlife, Harlan is already kicking ass and taking down names.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) June 28, 2018
Patton Oswalt wrote, “My heart is broken. Off to gather what few thoughts I can for awhile.”
My heart is broken. Off to gather what few thoughts I can for awhile.
What an awful day.
Harlan Ellison is dead.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) June 28, 2018
“Stardust” and “American Gods” author Neil Gaiman also expressed his sorrow via Twitter: “My friend is dead and I am so sad.”
My friend is dead and I am so sad. https://t.co/0OgaeLCj4m
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) June 28, 2018
Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin said, “Feisty, furious, yet extraordinarily kind and generous; Harlan Ellison was one of a kind.”
Feisty, furious, yet extraordinarily kind and generous; Harlan Ellison was one of a kind. He was family to us Maltins and our hearts go out to his incredible wife Susan. The world will be a duller place without him. #RIPHarlanEllison pic.twitter.com/EaSF1iEOmX
— Leonard Maltin (@leonardmaltin) June 28, 2018
Writer Warren Ellis recounted a memorable exchange between himself and Ellison. “I once asked Harlan Ellison how many books and stories he hadn’t had time to write because he just had to f— around and pick a giant fight over every little thing,” he wrote. “He said, ‘Sure, but you can’t let the bastards get away with it.'”
Joe Carnahan opined, “F—. Harlan Ellison. One of the goddamn GREATS.”
Artist Jeanette Hayes posted a throwback photo of herself and Ellison “after a laborious day” at Comic-Con.
Writer-director Josh Boone called Ellison a “#genius.”
“The Simpsons” producer Al Jean tweeted, “RIP Harlan Ellison one of the all-time great sci-fi writers (though he hated the abbreviation!).”
— Al Jean (@AlJean) June 28, 2018
“Star Trek’s” own page paid tribute the writer as well.
— Star Trek (@StarTrek) June 28, 2018