Requiescat in Pace Harry Harrison

Sad news this morning as we mourn the passing of one of the greats of science fiction, Harry Harrison. Harrison, 87, was best known as the author of Make Room! Make Room! (the basis for the film Soylent Green), for the Deathworld novels, and for his twelve novels about Slippery Jim DeGriz, the Stainless Steel Rat.

Harrison actually started out as an illustrator working on SF comics including Weird Science and Weird Fantasy before switching to writing—he was also the main writer for the Flash Gordon comic strip during the 1950s and 60s. In his short stories and novels, Harrison often tackled serious issues (such as overpopulation), but he is equally beloved for his humorous and satirical work, including Bill, the Galactic Hero (which spoofs Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers). In his long and celebrated career, Harrison helped raise the bar for science fiction, both through his own work and as an editor and anthologist. He will be greatly missed. Harry Harrison, 1925-2012

He will certainly be missed. The Deathworld trilogy was one of my early favorites, especially the first book. Plus the Stainless Steel rat series is just a plain classic fun.

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About Jeff Miller

Jeff Miller is a former atheist who after spending forty years in the wilderness finds himself with both astonishment and joy a member of the Catholic Church. A retired Navy Chief who now makes his living as an application developer.

  • Frank Weathers

    Long Live the Stainless Steel Rat —Slippery Jim De Grize

  • willduquette

    I like Slippery Jim DiGriz; but the Deathworld books were just the thing to knock me out of my Christian orbit for a time when I was in high school. I got over it, and I think I still have the book, but I can’t get the bad taste out of my mouth.

    • jeffmiller

      I think it was the second book in the series that was quite heavy in relativism as he argues with the person who kidnapped him. I remember being impressed by that conversation when I first read it. When I re-read it again last year – not so much – as it was really quite silly philosophically.

      • willduquette

        That’s the one. And these days I have no use for a poisoned krenoj.

  • Julie D.

    I loved the Deathworld books … but can’t think of what would knock someone out of their Christian orbit. Was it one thing or just overall?

    • willduquette

      I can’t put all of the blame on Mr. Harrison; to some extent, he simply gave me an excuse. I remember being rather troubled about it at the time, though.