Join 3,438 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Soylent Green is sad people
August 15, 2012 5:16 AM   Subscribe

Science Fiction writer Harry Harrison, best known as the creater of The Stainless Steel Rat but also Make Room! Make Room! which became Soylent Green and Bill, the Galactic Hero, has died.
posted by Mezentian (143 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
.
posted by Gelatin at 5:19 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:20 AM on August 15, 2012


I shall instead prefer to believe his death was faked so the Special Corps could take him on as an agent.
posted by DU at 5:21 AM on August 15, 2012 [25 favorites]


.
I read Slippery Jim, and later the 200AD strip. And then the Eden series. And it was only after I saw Soylent Green last year (Fantastic film) that I realised he was behind that. He was awesome and we are poorer.
posted by Mezentian at 5:22 AM on August 15, 2012


I loved Bill the Galactic Hero when I was a kid. I disapprove.
posted by gerryblog at 5:24 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by erniepan at 5:25 AM on August 15, 2012


I hope he is somewhere in Eden now.


.

RIP Mr Harrison.
posted by infini at 5:27 AM on August 15, 2012


One of my favorites from that generation of writers, and by all accounts a good egg. He'll be missed.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:27 AM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh man. Loved his books. Comedic SF at its finest.

From what I can tell, he lived well and long. I'm glad SF can do that for people, sometimes.
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:28 AM on August 15, 2012


In one of the first Bill the Galactic Hero books, Harrison included the line "'Shut up you moron, or I'll kill you', he hinted."

Silly as it sounds, this line was always amazingly illustrative to me as to how a master could use the subtleties of language to subvert expectations in a wildly entertaining way.

I'll miss him and his writing a lot. He has been one of my favorite authors since I was a kid.

.
posted by quin at 5:29 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Every day should be unwrapped as a gift."

- Harry Harrison
posted by fairmettle at 5:29 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was 9 when I read Deathworld2 and the world of science fiction was opened to me even as I fell in love with my first fictional hero Jason dinAlt.
posted by infini at 5:30 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 5:31 AM on August 15, 2012


I loved his books when I was young. He brought me a lot of pleasure, and I'm sorry to read this news.
posted by Forktine at 5:33 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:37 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by BYiro at 5:39 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Runes at 5:39 AM on August 15, 2012


Rats.

.
posted by Mike Mongo at 5:41 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really enjoyed reading and rereading his books when I was younger.
RIP

.
posted by djeo at 5:42 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Artw at 5:49 AM on August 15, 2012


I've only ever read Make Room, Make Room, but my god, that was a fantastic book. It deserved better than 'It's people!' the real story of the book, and the utter bleakness and despair was so, so much more horrifying than the film. The ending of that book is one of the most perfect, beautiful, depressing things I've ever read, and I'm sorry that Harrison is gone.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:51 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:51 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by DreamerFi at 5:51 AM on August 15, 2012


Loved the 'Rat' as a kid...outrageously fun. Strangely enough, I just started streaming Deathworld audio as I was nodding off last night.

.
posted by j_curiouser at 5:52 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by alby at 5:56 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by hippybear at 5:57 AM on August 15, 2012


Oh man, somewhere on an old hard drive in my folks' attic there is a fanfic a 13 year old me wrote of Bill the Galactic Hero meeting Jester of Phule's Company.

Good thing this was years before I ever heard of slash. Those wayward grafted arms can get up to a lot of hijinx...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:57 AM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I went through all the Stainless Steel Rat books in one semester in college. My grades reflected it too. Can't say I regret it though.

.
posted by COD at 5:57 AM on August 15, 2012


G'bye, Harry Harrison. The afterlife you didn't believe in is actually right here in your stories and our memories of you.

.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:01 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by crocomancer at 6:06 AM on August 15, 2012


No, no, he's just nipped off in his Technicolor Time Machine with Slithey Tove to retire in 1000AD.

Soylent Green is ocean krill. Krill, I tell you!
posted by tilde at 6:07 AM on August 15, 2012


After bonding over the Lord of the Rings, Dad and I bonded over the Stainless Steel Rat.

.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:11 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:12 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Aquaman at 6:13 AM on August 15, 2012


I read all the Stainless Steel Rat and Deathworld books as a pre-teen and enjoyed them. I also suspect I missed some (OK, a lot) of the nuance, so I believe they're due for a re-read.

Thanks, Mr. Harrison, for all the joy I got from your books.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:18 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by MythMaker at 6:21 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by mrgroweler at 6:24 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:30 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by WPW at 6:33 AM on August 15, 2012


Each of us has only this one brief experience with the bright light of consciousness in that endless dark night of eternity and must make the most of it.

The Stainless Steel Rat
I think he did OK.

Adiaŭ, saĝa verkisto.
posted by zamboni at 6:34 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Harry could shift tone -- from the broadest, silliest farce and devastating parody to sombre meditations on life the universe and everything -- on a dime novel.

I'll point out here that Harry anticipated Steampunk in 1961 in the original Stainless Steel Rat. Paraphrasing from memory:
The Count kicked the clanking contraption and pointed at a gage on it's side. "Look at that, down to eighty pounds pressure. Next thing you know, it'll fall on its face and set the place afire. Stoke, you idiot, stoke!" Belching a plume of black smoke, the robot turned toward the hearth and opened the firegrate. . . . "Not in here, outside, dammit!"
Some less well know Harrison works you should look into:
Here's to crime!

.
 
posted by Herodios at 6:34 AM on August 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Harrison was recommended to me by one of my favorite teachers, when he learned I liked SF. Make Room, Make Room was a real eye-opener.

I became proficient in octal as a result of West of Eden.

.

posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:37 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't read Harry Harrison in years, but there was a sad time in my teenage years when I only owned a few hundred books, so every book in my modest collection would get at least annual rereadings. I was also an avid library fan, so ripped through everything of Harrison I could get my hands on.

I loved his characters, his humor, and the whole space opera feel of his books.

He was by no means ever going to be considered great, but I hold a special place for him.

He made my life a better one.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:38 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Harrison was also a comic book artist in the 1940's and 1950's. He did some work with Wally Wood for EC, and his work appeared in issue #8 of a comic book with the titillating title of Thrilling Adventures in Stamps.

.
posted by marxchivist at 6:40 AM on August 15, 2012


As much as I want to '.', my first reaction was 'oh, bowb'.

Harry Harrison, through the auspices of the Rat and Bill, is directly responsible for my particular tastes in both SF&F and humor. Reading those took me to Stasheff's Warlock of Gramarye series, to Robert Asprin's entire oeuvre, through Craig Shaw Gardner and Greg Costikyan, and eventually to PTerry, Scalzi, and the many others now infusing genuine humor and fun into compelling SF&F stories.
posted by hanov3r at 6:43 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


SSR through to SSR Gets Drafted, Technicolor Time Machine, A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!, Make Room, Make Room, the Eden series... I had such a great time reading his stuff as a teenager. And unlike some SF authors' work, I hung onto them all through many moves, which says a lot about how indispensable they all felt.

I never got around to the Deathworld series or Star Smashers. Might have to address that.
posted by rory at 6:45 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by malocchio at 6:45 AM on August 15, 2012


Reading Harry Harrison at an impressionable age did more to expand my sense of humor than most books. Unlike a lot of other things that made me laugh when I was 12 and 13, I have no fear that when I go back to read them, I won't still find them hilarious.

My favorite Harry Harrison anecdote is almost certainly apocryphal (a fancy word for a lie) but I like it anyway, so here goes.

When Soylent Green was being made, Harrison was completely out of the loop. He was not consulted about or shown the script, did not visit the set, got no reports of any kind. But he did get invited to the premier. Now, I should mention at this point that in the novel Make Room! Make Room!, soylent is simply the combination of soy beans and lentil, two crops that are very efficient to grow in terms of land use. He arrived at the premier uneasy, and the film itself did nothing to soothe his worries about what had been made from his story.

When the film revealed that soylent green is people, the silence that followed in the movie was punctuated at the premier by Harrison's loud: "What the fuck?!"
posted by Kattullus at 6:47 AM on August 15, 2012 [27 favorites]


Wow. Stainless Steel Rat was the first book I ever bought with my own money, in a used bookstore 800 km away from home. I was a sad, lonely teenager and it was a grey, threatening day. I read the book in one evening, loved it, and went back the next day to trade it in for another book. I wish I'd kept it - that second book was forgettable, but the sense of fun and adventure and how being cool an adult would be stuck with me and I'd love to re-read it now.

.
posted by deadtrouble at 6:50 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:51 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by MikeMc at 6:53 AM on August 15, 2012


Sorry Harry, but Heston screaming "ITS SOY AND LENTIL!, IT'S SOY AND LENTIL" doesn't pack the same punch.

I rarely say this, but Hollywood did the right thing in deviating from the novel.

I hope you could console yourself with the money and fame.

.
posted by Renoroc at 6:54 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


A handy link in case anyone posts a tribute in Esperanto.
posted by tilde at 6:55 AM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


An imagination that lastingly enriched those of his readers, including me.
posted by Segundus at 6:58 AM on August 15, 2012


> Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers

Oh hell yes.

"Greetings, John. I am Troceps of the Fligigleh and am called that only by my friends. You have saved my life, therefore, I owe you a life. Whom shall I kill?"
posted by scruss at 6:58 AM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


.
posted by paulg at 6:59 AM on August 15, 2012


More from MeFi's own jscalzi here

.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:01 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by cass at 7:03 AM on August 15, 2012


.

I just loved the Stainless Steel Rat series when I was younger and I reloaded them on my Kindle a few months ago to run through them again. This seems like a good excuse to do that.
posted by ged at 7:04 AM on August 15, 2012


> Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers

Oh hell yes.


So are you of the Hagg-loos or the Hagg-inder?
 
posted by Herodios at 7:06 AM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


.
posted by theora55 at 7:13 AM on August 15, 2012


the man of twists and turns: " I became proficient in octal as a result of West of Eden."

Ah, the Yilané! :D

That was actually a really enjoyable, decent book with a lot of depth, which I don't believe got much critical acclaim. The concept, for anyone who's unfamiliar: In a parallel universe, the asteroid collision that wiped out the dinosaurs never happened. But instead of mammals gaining dominance, a lizard descendent of the mosasaur did, leaving them the most intelligent species and top predator on the planet for millions of years. The civilization they develop is centered around modified life forms, which they have gene-crafted for specific purposes. Humankind remains stuck in the stone age.

It's the sort of book that in different hands (Hello, Michael Crichton) could have been a superficial treatment destined to be made into an even further gutted movie. But Harrison crafted a detailed story - consulting at least one biologist and a linguist, to get the details of a truly alien race right. In theory, it could be turned into a great sci fi miniseries for tv.

...

We keep losing intelligent, thoughtful and evocative scifi authors to old age attrition. Clarke. Bradbury. Harrison. :(

Thanks for the Rat, Deathworld, the Technicolor Time Machine and so many other wonderful engrossing stories, Mr. Harrison. And thanks for the Yilané.

.
posted by zarq at 7:14 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was a huge fan of the Stainless Steel Rat and Deathworld when I was a pre-teen. He was one of my favorite authors.

.
posted by vibrotronica at 7:23 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Mitheral at 7:23 AM on August 15, 2012


Back in college, I had a workout buddy. Body of a god. Hair like REO Speedwagon. Face like raw hamburger. He was going to school to pursue his dream; to become a shop teacher. On the way home from one of our workouts, he admitted that he'd never read a book, and asked what I saw in them.

I fumbled the explanation, and when I got back to the dorms, I rooted around in my collection a bit, then headed over to his room with a big 3-in-one edition of the first three Stainless Steel Rat books.

It took him all semester, but he read all three.

I don't know if that fostered a lifelong love of reading or anything; I lost touch with Mike pretty soon after that. My point is that Harry Harrison was able to write books that could show people who didn't love books why people love books.

I'll miss him.

.
posted by MrVisible at 7:28 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was already a hardcore SF fanatic when then-teenage-me found Harry Harrison's Slippery Jim: oh hells yes! I ripped through them like they were water to a dying man, and have reread them all several times since.

Then to also find Bill the Galactic Hero and Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers?!? Bliss!
posted by easily confused at 7:37 AM on August 15, 2012


The Slippery Jim books were formative sci-fi for me during my early teens, and my dinosaur-mad brother and I devoured the Eden series as well.

.
posted by jquinby at 7:41 AM on August 15, 2012


We keep losing intelligent, thoughtful and evocative scifi authors to old age attrition. Clarke. Bradbury. Harrison. :(

And its 2012 already and what do we have to look forward to anymore? Visions of empty oceans, dried lakes, burning savannahs and the black border around the coasts of the continents...

*wistful sigh for my childhood's future*
posted by infini at 7:43 AM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


.
posted by tychotesla at 7:50 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by mwhybark at 8:00 AM on August 15, 2012


Harry Harrison is the first place I heard of Esperanto.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:02 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


(And also maybe the last.)
posted by wenestvedt at 8:02 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


. Loved Make Room and the Stainless Steel Rat stories that I've read. Should go back and catch up with some of the others.

Not too many of the sixties generation of writers left.
posted by octothorpe at 8:07 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


wenestvedt: (And also maybe the last.)

Never watched Red Dwarf?
posted by hanov3r at 8:09 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bill the Galactic Hero, read in a not very good Dutch translation, was one of the first books to teach me the art of satire.

A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurray! was a proto steampunk novel that deserves to be much better known than it is.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:13 AM on August 15, 2012


punkto
posted by gubo at 8:15 AM on August 15, 2012


Incubus, a full length film with all dialog in Esperanto, starring William "Get a Life!" Shatner.

I hope when you come, the weather will be clement.

And a merry Level Nivelo to you!
 
posted by Herodios at 8:17 AM on August 15, 2012


Truly one of the greats. He will be missed, but his works will live on.

.
posted by blurker at 8:20 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:25 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by contrarian at 8:30 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by motty at 8:34 AM on August 15, 2012


Jim DiGriz is, in large part, a continuation of earlier French and English eighteenth and nineteenth-century fictional and real-life characters who played both sides of the law. Examples include then famous colorful robber Eugene Francoise Vidocq (1775-1857), a model for Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Allan Poe's August Dupin. Reportedly, Vidocq built the actual French Surete using ex-criminals as early French detectives. . . .

According to Harrison bibliographer Paul Tomlinson, Harrison was also a reader of the John Buchan novels that shaped the films of Alfred Hitchcock and the Bond books. Harrison was also directly influenced by Leslie Charteris's Simon Templar books and short stories. . . .

While some reviewers have also seen comparisons between the Rat stories and the realm of 007, in Tomlinson's view, James Bond probably didn't have much to do with the "Stainless Steel Rat". . . .

Harrison: “Bond was nowhere near my mind when I wrote RAT. The direct opposite; Bond on the side of the law. The Rat a picaresque character, the villain as hero.”

-- Wesley Britton , Espionage Around the Galaxy: The Spy-Fi of Harry Harrison
posted by Herodios at 8:40 AM on August 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


.
posted by jason says at 8:45 AM on August 15, 2012


Aw, damnit. Bill, the Galactic Hero was one of the best piss-takes on military SF (with a little consideration for the Foundation Trilogy's Trantor) ever.

.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:45 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Tsuga at 8:46 AM on August 15, 2012


.

A great writer. I liked the SSR books more than most of his other work, though they were far from his most serious. Oddly, despite the lack of seriousness in the SSR books, they were my first introduction to materialistic, monist, atheism and at least partially responsible for my rejection of the quasi-dualistic sort of spiritual atheism of my parents.

He will be missed.
posted by sotonohito at 8:55 AM on August 15, 2012


His stuff was such fun!

.
posted by leslies at 8:56 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love Stainless Steel Rat books as a kid. Deathworld and Make Room, Make Room fit my teenage years well. Listened to a story or two from the Librivox mob. Always engaged my brain and humor(s).

Missed.


.
posted by doctornemo at 9:11 AM on August 15, 2012


(That was "loved")
posted by doctornemo at 9:12 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by rahnefan at 9:17 AM on August 15, 2012


First Bradbury, now Harrison.

Not working out to be a very good year.

.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:19 AM on August 15, 2012


I once spoke to him briefly when I called in to "Hour 25" and he was nice to me even though my question was stupid.

.
posted by The Tensor at 9:21 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Sphinx at 9:33 AM on August 15, 2012


I agree with DU, this whole thing is just a conspiracy to hide his entrance into the Special Corps. Or at least, so I choose to believe.
posted by dejah420 at 9:39 AM on August 15, 2012


Harrison: “Bond was nowhere near my mind when I wrote RAT. The direct opposite; Bond on the side of the law. The Rat a picaresque character, the villain as hero.”

And yet DiGriz is a better and nicer human being than Bond...
posted by Zed at 9:48 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Snyder at 9:48 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by pmb at 9:51 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Iridic at 9:51 AM on August 15, 2012


Neil Gaiman:
I'd been a fan of Harry's since reading the first Stainless Steel Rat story in an ancient copy of Astounding Science Fiction I'd found as a boy. I'd loved his books and stories. I had them all.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:01 AM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


.

This has not been a good year for author deaths.
posted by Jilder at 10:13 AM on August 15, 2012


12 year old me is crying, 37 year old me is pretty bummed too.

^
posted by Cosine at 10:31 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for giving young me the SSR.

.
posted by fleacircus at 10:31 AM on August 15, 2012


Thanks, Harry! Thanks for the description of Bill, the Galactic Hero, new recipient of a right arm in place of his lost left arm "staying up all night shaking hands with himself".

Thanks for the depiction of the fierce love between Slippery Jim and Angelina DiGriz, a model of unabashed devotion to a partner who brings you joy. When I read those books as a youth, I wanted so badly to have a love of my life who was also my partner in crime. It sounds silly, but the totality of Jim and Angelina's love was revelatory to me.

.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:33 AM on August 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


.
posted by mikelieman at 10:46 AM on August 15, 2012


I just re-read Deathworld a few months ago. It had been a very long time since I had read it and it really held up. That made me happy.
posted by zzazazz at 10:51 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by immlass at 10:55 AM on August 15, 2012


At least we have his works to read to honor his memory.

.
posted by Lynsey at 10:57 AM on August 15, 2012


I'd only known him indirectly, from Soylent Green the movie. It looks like I'm due for a trip to the library. Thanks for the recommendations -- it's a fine way to remember him.

We may at least take consolation in the fact that his remains will no doubt prove to be delicious.

.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:03 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Harry Harrison is dead, and John Ringo is alive and kicking. Life just isn't fair.
posted by happyroach at 11:08 AM on August 15, 2012


Although I can't recall the specific passage, my standout memory of the early Stainless Steel Rat novels as a kid includes a scene in which the protagonist, 'Slippery Jim' DiGriz, frankly describes his atheistic view of the world against the backdrop of an cold, expansive cosmos, and yet was still able to articulate a pretty clear-cut sense of morality. For a 12 year old kid in a full-bore evangelical Christian household, it blew my mind to encounter Harry Harrison's warm, humanistic, and supremely funny outlook amidst all of the chrome and starlight of pulp scifi. A lot of the details of the series are blurry, now, but I'll always remember how well rendered and self-aware Harry's characters could be.

.
posted by gyges at 11:12 AM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by fings at 11:35 AM on August 15, 2012


How very sad. I loved the Deathworld Trilogy as a kid.

.
posted by Splunge at 11:37 AM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by joeycoleman at 11:42 AM on August 15, 2012


He wrote a CYOA-style book called You Can Be the Stainless Steel Rat which someone has apparently taken to heart.
posted by juv3nal at 11:56 AM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aw, Harry.

R.I.P
posted by mule98J at 12:00 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by mkim at 12:18 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by bitmage at 12:19 PM on August 15, 2012


really sad news, the SSR books are among the best sci-fi IMHO, and his short stories are simply excellent.

.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 12:22 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Nyrath at 12:41 PM on August 15, 2012


.

He was basically my favourite author during my early teens (ie the golden age). Wrote a few words about him on my blog.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:47 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by mikurski at 1:13 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by biffa at 1:41 PM on August 15, 2012


space rats of the Combat Camel Corps: FORM UP
posted by Sebmojo at 1:55 PM on August 15, 2012


Been burying a lot of my favorite authors. I suspect this will only continue unless some of them (like Vernor Vinge) turn out right.

.
posted by twidget at 1:58 PM on August 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


.
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 2:05 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by drezdn at 2:13 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by porpoise at 2:52 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by eviemath at 3:18 PM on August 15, 2012


Funny how Deathworld still informs my environmentalism decades after reading it, even though at the time I mainly read it for the guns. I guess more and more SF is interested in the ways in which the environment fights back -- the only problem being that it happens on a sufficiently long time-scale, and the reaction is sufficiently delayed, that the dumb guys with fancy guns never manage to realize what's going on.
posted by chortly at 3:49 PM on August 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


.
posted by thylacinthine at 3:56 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by anateus at 3:59 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by bartleby at 4:16 PM on August 15, 2012


.
posted by Xoebe at 5:35 PM on August 15, 2012


I adore Stainless Steel Rat so much. It's one of the books I own multiple copies of, because when I couldn't find one, I just bought another.

You were such a light to us all.
posted by Deoridhe at 8:51 PM on August 15, 2012


I'm pretty sure the Shaftoes in various Stephenson books owe a pretty big debt to Jimmy DiGriz.
.
posted by bystander at 12:54 AM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


.

I enjoyed his books when I was a mite. I must re-read some of them.
posted by asok at 5:43 AM on August 16, 2012


I always hated the line that was trotted out on the back of his books: "the Monty Python of the spaceways", apparently from some review in New Scientist. A ridiculously poor attempt to enjar a unique and delightful voice.
posted by Hogshead at 7:19 AM on August 16, 2012


Been a fan since forever. Met him once at a college do. Sigh.
posted by mdoar at 12:47 PM on August 16, 2012


.
posted by PippinJack at 12:53 PM on August 16, 2012


.

I have a singular regret. I saw Harrison at a con--probably Chattacon--20+ years ago and got autographs on my copies of the first paperback of SSR and “The Cast Iron Rat” in Worlds of If and the To The Stars trilogy, but I did not get a copy of Bill, The Galactic Hero autographed for the very simple reason that I never read it. And I still haven’t, but I started it last night after I had learned of his death. Why does this matter?

My name is...Bill.

Dammit.
posted by Francis7 at 2:20 PM on August 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clearly, all over the world, kids just like me were reading the Stainless Steel Rat series and loving it. This does not make up for the passing of Harry Harrison. I picked up a copy of A Stainless Steel Rat is Born in a charity shop just a few weeks ago and will be reading it later.
posted by Myeral at 7:56 AM on August 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Harry was buried on the same day as Neil Armstrong, under a blue moon. A brief write up of the funeral in latest Ansible
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:13 PM on September 3, 2012 [5 favorites]


David Pringle & Harry Harrison discuss SF
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:04 PM on September 11, 2012


« Older Ever since something was invented to replace it, p...  |  Aimee Mann's [previously, prev... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments