Frank M Robinson, who was a renowned science fiction and thriller writer has died at the age of 87 today.

Born in 1926, Frank M. Robinson moved to San Franciso in the 1970s where he became a a speechwriter for Harvey Milk. He also had a small role in the film Milk.

He was the author of 16 books, 3 of which were made into films, The Power, The Glass Inferno (made into The Towering Inferno) and The Gold Crew.

Dustin Lance Black paid tribute to the author saying, ‘This morning FRANK M. ROBINSON left this world. He was Milk’s speech writer, an acclaimed sci-fi author and was like a father to me. To say the earth feels made of quicksand lately makes it sound too solid. Frank, I’ll miss your thunderous laughter, your protective love and your razor sharp writer’s mind. #HarveyMilk’

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A note on Frank’s website notes meeting Dustin Lance Black and the making of Milk saying, ‘An amazing experience. They had a guy picked out to play me–met him later on–and then Sean Penn, Gus van Sant (director), and Lance Black (screenwriter–smart, talented, a workhorse and friendly) came over to the house and Penn interviewed me for an hour and a half about Harvey (I used to be Harvey’s speechwriter). Afterward, took them all to dinner at an upscale Burmese restaurant on Castro. Sean had to leave early and I entertained Gus and Lance with tales about Rogue and Playboy. Naturally they were fascinated (translation: bored stiff).’