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Sci-fi Author Harry Harrison Dies at 87

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the rest-in-peace dept.

Sci-Fi 91

tmjva writes "Per BBC's Entertainment page, author Harry Harrison died today at the age of 87. His body of work included Make Room! Make Room!, (the inspiration for Soylent Green), The Stainless Steel Rat, and Bill the Galactic Hero. From the article: 'Harrison's first novel, Deathworld, was published in 1960, while the first book in the Stainless Steel Rat series was published a year later. The last of the series was published just two years ago in 2010 and the books are widely regarded as producing one of science fiction's great anti-heroes, Slippery Jim diGriz, aka The Stainless Steel Rat. The author also parodied the sci-fi genre in his seven Bill the Galactic Hero books, which were first seen in 1965. He saw his work as anti-war and anti-militaristic.'"

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91 comments

Sad (5, Funny)

jdigriz (676802) | about 2 years ago | (#41001889)

The guy was talented. The Stainless Steel Rat series was quite funny.

Re:Sad (5, Insightful)

Toe, The (545098) | about 2 years ago | (#41001919)

by jdigriz (676802)

Seriously, jdigriz gets first post? How appropriate is that?

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41002053)

He must be a very evolved Rat.

Titanium perhaps?

Re:Sad (4, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 2 years ago | (#41002495)

I agree, that's pretty close to winning the Internet.

Re:Sad (3, Funny)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 years ago | (#41002507)

That guy is pretty slippery.

Re:Sad (1)

drkim (1559875) | about 2 years ago | (#41005867)

He slipped in through the wainscoting.

Sad about HH, though. Loved, and often re-read his stuff.

RIP

Re:Sad (4, Interesting)

ACS Solver (1068112) | about 2 years ago | (#41002045)

Most fitting username for a first post on this.

Truly sad, yet another of the sci-fi greats dying. I've had the pleasure of dining with Harry Harrison a few years ago, and in person he was every bit as funny as his works. Impressive how his very strong moral convictions come through in his books.

Re:Sad (4, Interesting)

ACS Solver (1068112) | about 2 years ago | (#41002201)

Oh, and reminds me. Just recently we had the discussion here [slashdot.org] about the most underappreciated sci-fi writer. When talking about all-time sci-fi greats with Harrison, he mentioned Clifford Simak among them and said he deserved more recognition than he got.

Re:Sad (1)

Tuidjy (321055) | about 2 years ago | (#41002467)

When I was growing up in Bulgaria, Clifford Simak was certainly considered one of the great ones. For some reason, he, together with Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke, was one of the three most translated Western Sci-Fi authors.

For obvious reasons, Harry Harrison, Heinlein, and Orwell were less likely to be translated... because their anti-totalitarianism was more overt.

Re:Sad (1)

ancienthart (924862) | about 2 years ago | (#41003955)

Erik Flint on the Baen Free Library is a pretty good read as well.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41002065)

No joke. I remember seeing him portray himself in that movie where the family hit him with a car then took him home. Not too many writers can act like that.

Re:Sad (1)

micahjc (615671) | about 2 years ago | (#41010591)

Are you saying Harry Harrison is Bigfoot?

Re:Sad (3, Insightful)

mindwhip (894744) | about 2 years ago | (#41002233)

I remember reading the SSR books in my teens the late 80s. I was very surprised when I realised how OLD the first few were as some of the ideas/concepts in the books were just becoming mainstream/reality.

Harry Harrison will be missed.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41003351)

It went in the shitter in the later novels. The Rat became a government rat with a brainwashed woman as his significant other.

Bill the Galactic Hero ridicules without humor a great deal of science fiction. Harry had lost the touch by that point and there was no fire to any of it just ranting interspersed with dialog.

He went on a raving ranting monologue against soldiers at a science fiction convention.

I'd not paid attention to him since.

Re:Sad (1)

Dyolf Knip (165446) | about 2 years ago | (#41025169)

> The Rat became a government rat with a brainwashed woman as his significant other.

Uh... that happened in the very first book. The "earlier" novels were all prequels.

Re:Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41004275)

What is sad is that only 52, now 53, comments were posted. Asimov, Heinlein, Farmer, Clark and now Harrison, the writers I read in my youth are disappearing.

Re:Sad (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#41007489)

...but his characters lacked realism.

Re:Sad (1)

invid (163714) | about 2 years ago | (#41008817)

The Stainless Steel Rat introduced me to the concept of hacking complicated systems, long before I learned how to program computers. He was one of my inspirations to learn about technology. One of the best and influential series in science fiction.

Deathworld (1)

Toe, The (545098) | about 2 years ago | (#41001901)

Odd coincidence that I just re-read his Deathworld books recently. Apparently they are old enough that they are public domain these days.

A fond farewell.

Re:Deathworld (5, Informative)

jockm (233372) | about 2 years ago | (#41002113)

Not quite. Deathworld is in the public domain because it copyrighted under the pre 1976 copyright law, and was (apparently) never renewed. Pre-1976 books are minefield to figure out if they are in the public domain or not.

In order to be sure they are in the public domain, in the US, you need to do careful research, or the book has to have been copyrighted in 1923 or before. The UK and the rest of the world have different laws, so don't assume they carry over.

Oh and Peter Pan will likely never be in the public domain...

Re:Deathworld (2)

Toe, The (545098) | about 2 years ago | (#41002271)

OK, well, fwiw it appears in Project Gutenberg.

Re:Deathworld (1)

dr_dank (472072) | about 2 years ago | (#41005503)

Oh and Peter Pan will likely never be in the public domain...

On Barrie's death, Great Ormand Street Hospital (a London childrens hospital) was given the copyright in perpetuity.

Re:Deathworld (1)

drkim (1559875) | about 2 years ago | (#41005899)

...On Barrie's death, Great Ormand Street Hospital (a London childrens hospital) was given the copyright in perpetuity.

Can an IP have a perpetual copyright in the US? Or is it just that the US will respect the UKs perpetual copyright?

Re:Deathworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41008911)

I doubt it. The King James Bible is public domain in most of the world, but falls under a Crown license in the UK.

Re:Deathworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41009073)

So far, it can. Disney has figured out how to make a de facto perpetual copyright by getting it extended whenever it starts coming close to expiring.

Re:Deathworld (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 2 years ago | (#41009985)

Can an IP have a perpetual copyright in the US?

Wrong question.

You should be asking "can IP copyrighted after Steamboat Willy have other than perpetual copyright in the US?"

Re:Deathworld (1)

jockm (233372) | about 2 years ago | (#41010197)

I was referring to the UK law (and should have been more clear) as an object lesson that you cannot assume that what is true in the US holds true for the rest of the world...

Re:Deathworld (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | about 2 years ago | (#41007713)

Oh and Peter Pan will likely never be in the public domain...

So he'll stay forever in his protected Copyrightland, fighting evil pirates and getting royalties to live for all eternity? Well, he surely wished for it hard enough.

Re:Deathworld (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41002473)

I had forgotten about Deathworld, I'll have to dust those off and read again myself...

Thanks for the reminder.

Thanks, Harry (2)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41001951)

Thank you, Harry, I truly enjoyed the books.

Re:Thanks, Harry (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 years ago | (#41003135)

He probably would have appreciated your thank you a hell of a lot more last week.

Re:Thanks, Harry (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about 2 years ago | (#41003255)

He probably would have appreciated your thank you a hell of a lot more last week.

[golf clap]

Re:Thanks, Harry (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41003435)

no difference, this week, last week, what he probably did appreciate is my business, since I bought some of his books and that was way back.

Re:Thanks, Harry (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41003511)

If by some chance I would have thanked him last week and then he ended up dead this week, I'd be known as the polite yet deadly, nobody would want me to thank them ever again.

Re:Thanks, Harry (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41003537)

Oh, and I just came up with 4 different business plans based on that ability, to thank somebody just before they kick the bucket. A couple of the plans are straight forward, and 2 involve people paying to be rude to them.

is this another roman_mir lie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41005007)

Thank you, Harry, I truly enjoyed the books.

we find it hard to believe that you have read anything other than the writings of your cult leader or the books of ayn rand.

even worse you probably don't consider either of them to be fiction.

Stainless Steel Rat (5, Insightful)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 2 years ago | (#41001971)

The adventures of Jim di Griz were as formative in my teenage years as any other book I could name. I love the idea that in the future, when poverty and war was more or less eliminated and even murderers could be (mostly) rehabilitated, the government itself would allow a few of the brightest criminal minds to slip through the cracks and cause a little chaos (and occasionally stop bigger chaos from leaking off various planets.) The world was mildly dystopian, but still a much more tongue in cheek vision of the future than it was outright depressing. Rest in peace, Harry Harrison.

Re:Stainless Steel Rat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41002527)

I first read "The Stainless Steel Rat" in junior high school via the Geek Underground. I call it that because that's the only explanation for the circumstances by which I had received the book.
The day I got the book, the interior of the school bus was impossibly dark, or so I thought at the time; I had relocated a from sunny So Cal a year and half ago, and that morning was a typical mid-winter morning in Anchorage, so the sun wouldn't be up for another several hours. The frosty, subterranean dark was punctuated with traffic lights, and more frequently, headlights from passing autos. That and the residual sleepiness created a dreamy, unreal atmosphere.
I hadn't made a single friend in the few weeks I'd been going to the new school, and I certaintly hadn't spoken to anyone on the bus. So I was startled when a Native guy I'd never spoke to sitting behind me gave me a tattered copy of the book. I don't recall an exchange other than "take this, you'll like it." I think the cover of the book was red. I said "thanks", and proceeded to read it, and re-read it over the next week at home (I concealled my book addiction from my class mates); that was a bright spot. maybe the brightest, in my entire recollection of junior high.
I would sneak off to the library during lunch -- the library was shared by the adjoining high school -- and I was ecstatic that it had other works by Harrison.
R.I.P., sir.

RIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41001999)

I still remember picking up my first Harry Harrison as a teenager planning and being completely pulled into the story. Slippery Jim diGriz is one of my fictional heros. I don't know if I'd still enjoy those books in the same way but I have always treasured his stories as part of growing up. RIP

Don't eat the biscuits at the funeral.... (3, Insightful)

jrmcc (703725) | about 2 years ago | (#41002067)

I think you know what THEY'RE made of...

Re:Don't eat the biscuits at the funeral.... (2)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 2 years ago | (#41002443)

I think you know what THEY'RE made of...

Seaweed, probably. Soya and lentils being too expensive.

Re:Don't eat the biscuits at the funeral.... (1)

jpkunst (612360) | about 2 years ago | (#41043503)

Note that the "Soylent Green is people" meme is from the film, not the book. In the book there is no cannibalism angle at all.

Two of my boyhood heroes... (4, Interesting)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 2 years ago | (#41002263)

"Slippery Jim" diGriz and Bill, the Galactic Hero. I've worn out 2 or 3 copies of both series over the years.

Oddly enough, just a couple of days ago, I just happened to run across a reprint of A Trans-Atlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! which I bought and read on impulse, having seen it years and years ago but never having actually cracked the cover. A fun read, if you've not not already had the pleasure.

Thanks, Harry. I don't think I'll ever tire of your work.

Re:Two of my boyhood heroes... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41002547)

I second the recommendation of A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! The book is most memorable for the alternate history: a semi-steampunk world where the US revolutionary war failed, and North America is still part of the British Empire. The "Queen Elizabeth" was a luxury airplane that ran on finely powdered coal. The main character is a descendant of the despised traitor George Washington, and wants to erase that stain on his family honour.

By the way its original title was Tunnel through the Deeps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel_Through_the_Deeps [wikipedia.org]

Re:Two of my boyhood heroes... (1)

M1FCJ (586251) | about 2 years ago | (#41007343)

Don't forget Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers... That was a fun book making fun of everything under the sun!

Really one of the greatest in sci-fi (2)

zyche (784345) | about 2 years ago | (#41002265)

His name was one of the first I learned to recognize as a young beginner sci-fi-aficionado (ohh, maybe 10 years old?). I really liked the Steel Rat books, both others as well.

Here is a comment by John Scalzi [scalzi.com] (who is actually surprisingly similiar in style - I recommend).

Athiest (5, Interesting)

Kiyyik (954108) | about 2 years ago | (#41002345)

I first read his Stainless Steel Rat books in a small town in the bible belt, whre my stepfather was a minister. His were the first books I ever encountered that openly made the case for athiesm. It was so different form everything else I'd run into-of course I had head of it, but to come right out and openly advocate it in the books (and a bit after the story proper, IIRC) was definitely a bit of a first. Tonight, I'm heading out to a sushi joint with the other members of my Skeptic/Freethinkers' singles group, and I'll raise a toast to Slippery Jim. For me, he was step one on a long, long journey, and I am grateful.

Re:Athiest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41003523)

Skeptic/Freethinkers' singles group? Sounds like some sort of weird religious group to me.

Re:Athiest (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 2 years ago | (#41012947)

Except they don't have tax-exempt status.

STAINLUS STEL RATA (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#41002403)

died :(

Re:STAINLUS STEL RATA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41003885)

no, no, no. . . it's "el rato di ferro-chromo est morte"

Ah, heck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41002441)

I met Harry Harrison at a con in glasgow - a charming chap - where he was very happy to be abducted by two Angelina-look-alikes wielding prop blasters.
'86 I think.
I suggest 'In Our Hands the Stars' as an example of an enjoyable departure from his more widely-known works.

Fairwell you rat! (2)

yoshi_mon (172895) | about 2 years ago | (#41002451)

RIP Harry. As with many others I spent many a night wearing out old paperbacks with his name on the binder.

One of the set of novels that has not been mentioned is his Edan series. A very good series that Harry put some serious effort into. Not as much 'fun' as some of his other work but very good sci-fi.

One of my favorite Sci-Fi authors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41002537)

Here's to you Mr. Harrison! You will be missed.

Some public domain stuff for you to try (3, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | about 2 years ago | (#41002603)

Harry Harrison wrote quite a bit of stuff during the days when copyright actually could expire.

http://www.feedbooks.com/books/search?query=harry+harrison [feedbooks.com]

Noteworthy: "The Misplaced Battleship" (the first Stainless Steel Rat story) Deathworld (the first Deathworld novel)

It would be cool to see the Stainless Steel Rat adventures turned into movies. I'd love to see what a .75 calibre recoilless pistol would look like as a prop.

steveha

Re:Some public domain stuff for you to try (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#41002931)

I'd love to see what a .75 calibre recoilless pistol would look like as a prop.

Here's one idea. [cold-moon.com] Although I will admit, Jim DiGriz's probably doesn't look so...brutal.

Re:Some public domain stuff for you to try (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41063879)

I had always thought a "recoilless rifle" had a big muzzle brake [wikipedia.org] to accelerate the rifle in the opposite direction of the recoil force. But Wikipedia says the counter-acceleration is from gases allowed to escape out the back of the weapon!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recoilless_rifle [wikipedia.org]

This doesn't seem very practical for a pistol. I need to go back and re-read the Stainless Steel Rat stories and see if they actually say "pistol" or if I just assumed that the ".75 recoilless" was a pistol.

RIP (5, Insightful)

VynlSol (1687610) | about 2 years ago | (#41002627)

Mi gutted sciante ke vi estas ne en la mondo ie, pensante. Ripozi en paco!

Re:RIP (2)

Dr Herbert West (1357769) | about 2 years ago | (#41003359)

Mod parent +1 esperanto!

Re:RIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41003769)

+1! I completely agree! HH was a massive advocate of esperanto.

Re:RIP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41006807)

Ne havi inteston estas mortige.

Re:RIP (1)

mfnickster (182520) | about 2 years ago | (#41005073)

Li vere estis remarkinda autoro.

Re:RIP (1)

rleibman (622895) | about 2 years ago | (#41018469)

La rustimuna sxtalrato estas unu de la nura libroj kiun mi legxis en Esperanto, vere amuza!

Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers (3, Informative)

VAXcat (674775) | about 2 years ago | (#41002651)

He wore the most screamingly funny science fiction book ever written - "Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers". A parody of Doc Smith's books. It's worth te the trouble to find.

Re:Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers (1)

SpankyDaMonkey (1692874) | about 2 years ago | (#41003773)

Agreed, it's one of the jewels of my book collection and stands just as well on it's own merits as it does as a parody.

If I remember correctly the stainless steel rat was also serialised in the 2000AD comics and then subsequently published as a collection. Could be worth tracking this down or pushing for a reprint to help introduce a new generation to some classic,influential and seminal works.

There goes another great one (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about 2 years ago | (#41002713)

As our bookshelves can attest, my spouse and I have been fans of Mr. Harrison's writing for decades now. He was a versatile writer who excelled at creating engaging and entertaining characters. We were so excited to find "The Stainless Steel Rat Returns" a couple of years ago, after thinking he had retired the series...

Rest in peace, good sir, and may the stars watch over you.

Sir, you will be truly missed! (3, Informative)

stainlesssteelpat (905359) | about 2 years ago | (#41002749)

Harry, i grew up with you. You changed my childhood. I wouldn't be the man I am without you. Thanks a bunch! Slippery Jim

Just bought first Stainless Steel Rat book (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41002761)

Big fan of his. Read all the Rat books but didn't own the first few. Was lucky and found a hard bound of the first three stories in excellent condition and bought it a week ago. As much fun to read now as they were then. He will be missed.

RIP Harry (2)

DaKong (150846) | about 2 years ago | (#41003013)

Loved the Stainless Steel Rat. It influenced my life in 3 key ways. Jim di Griz's mastery of judo inspired me to earn a green belt and stand up successfully to the bullies in my junior high school. And if it weren't for you I wouldn't have known Esperanto existed. Never learned much of that, but it kicked off a life-long love for languages that has led to mastery of five others. Lastly, it began a life-long quest for a real-life glass of Syrian Panther Sweat.

Plug for Invasion: Earth (1)

fredmeister (1159859) | about 2 years ago | (#41003109)

Sadly this is the only Harry Harrison novel I've read, but I still remember it vividly. It's one of the better alien invasion stories with a thoughtful twist at the end. Also, I vividly remember some of the illustrations - creepy aliens!

hmmm (2)

nomadic (141991) | about 2 years ago | (#41003127)

Actually Bill the Galactic Hero seemed more like a parody of one book specifically, Starship Troopers. Did a good job of skewering Heinlein I thought.

Re:hmmm (2)

rbrander (73222) | about 2 years ago | (#41006047)

To be a parody of Starship Troopers, it would have to follow the plot, have equivalent characters, be a mirror to some extent. There's none of that.

Starship Troopers unabashedly glorifies military service - given that it is entirely voluntary at all times except mid-combat. Bill, with a totally different plot and characters, tells a story where it is not voluntary even if the teenage volunteer falls for a tricky sales job; is anything but glorious when, as usual, based on lies and blunders. It's up to the audience to see that the Bill story is much the more familiar.

That makes it a strong reply to ST, but not a parody; and doesn't skewer Heinlein so much as say "nice theoretical world, but you're dreaming".

Re:hmmm (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#41006721)

Nope. Pure projection of your own thoughts and desires, right there. The novel is actually a retelling of an obscure Czech novel about service in the Austro-Hungarian Empire's army in World War I.

Re:hmmm (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about 2 years ago | (#41010487)

Since when has The Good Soldier Schweik(*) been obscure?

(Don't even want to try spelling it correctly - fuck slashcode and it's unicode handling).

Re:hmmm (2)

nomadic (141991) | about 2 years ago | (#41010715)

http://www.dekkerdreyer.com/blog/interview-harry-harrison/ [dekkerdreyer.com]

Harrison himself states he took pot shots at Heinlein in Bill the Galactic Hero, and Heinlein never talked to him again.

Re:hmmm (1)

rbrander (73222) | about 2 years ago | (#41037447)

Thank you all - fascinating, I'll have to re-read "Bill" to spot those "potshots". And now I have to find an obscure Czech novel, too.

But none of that makes it a "parody" which was my only point - I quite agree that it was a critical response to ST (among many, MANY other military-glorifying SF novels - it's a whole genre).

Stainless Steel Rat (1)

aoeu (532208) | about 2 years ago | (#41004049)

Is still working to save humanity. R.I.P. and good luck?

West of Eden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41004141)

West of Eden, the first in the Eden series, was particularly good sci-fi. When re-read as an adult it wasn't quite as good, but held up better than many other sci-fi writers' material.

Re:West of Eden (1)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 2 years ago | (#41004549)

I was surprised that I had to read through to what was currently the last comment before encountering anyone mentioning this series. I actually went to the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] page for Harry Harrison to confirm I had remembered correctly that he'd written these given no one had mentioned them yet.

I found he'd written far more books than I'd realised, and I may have to go hunt a few more out now.

Re:West of Eden (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41006509)

Yeah, West of Eden was an entertaining read and had some cool ideas, but it didn't really catch people's minds when it was released. I think it suffered largely from the long development time. By the time he was finished and published it, the idea of cold-blooded dinosaurs (which the book's entire structure hinged upon) was entirely passe. It also didn't help that his prehistoric "Shut Up Woman, Man Talk Now" human culture was terribly outdated from an archaeological POV, and combined with the Frightening Amazon Empire(tm) of the dinosaurs made the book feel rather sexist and dated, too. That sort of thing wasn't gonna win the book any praise in the early 80's.
  It all came together to make the book feel as if it had fallen out of a hole in time from the early 60's. (Which might be why I like it so much. I dig old SF, warts and all.)

Good books... (1)

BorelHendrake (1496471) | about 2 years ago | (#41005215)

Loved the Stainless Steel Rat...but I also really enjoyed his more serious book "Homeworld". An interesting look at a big brother society... He was one of the better Sci-Fi authors. He will be missed.

cut and paste in a virtual machine (2)

stepho-wrs (2603473) | about 2 years ago | (#41005223)

Thinking about the Grey Men and the training methods still makes me uneasy.

Yellow and frail (1)

dark grep (766587) | about 2 years ago | (#41005723)

Very sad to hear this news. He was too one of the authors I most read during my teens. It is clearly time to crack open the yellowing pages of my old paperbacks and give the SSR and Deathworld novels are re-read - possibly the last before they fall apart. Then probably off to Amazon to replace with whatever's available in hard cover. For some reason I would rather pay $50 for hard cover copy of the 'old classics' than $2.50 for the ebook edition.

Hammer and Stripes (1)

dark grep (766587) | about 2 years ago | (#41005771)

Let's not forget the 'Hammer and the Cross' and the 'Stars and Stripes' series. Both well researched and great alternate history trilogies. Even if he does indulge in a bit of Britt bashing, Stars and Stripes is still one of my favorite Civil War alternate history novels, and as I recall HH was regarded as an authority on that era too.

Julian Assange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41006417)

Julian is a fan. He made Harry Harrison his okcupid profile name.

The Stainless Steel Rat's mentor said that society wanted criminals, since they wanted to be entertained (this was in a dull absolutely law abiding galactic civilization).

And his criminal plot in that movie was featured in Superman, and Office Space, can't remember where else. (Skimming fractions of a penny.)

On page 666, I remember of one of his novels, the protaganists' hands were cut off by the alien. Unexpectedly, squicky, so I looked at the page number.

Saber

One of the great SF writers that I like to re-read (1)

chthon (580889) | about 2 years ago | (#41007195)

I have a large collection of mostly translated SF books. Harry Harrison is one of those writers that regularly got translated into Dutch, so I had to run into him sooner or later in the beginning of the seventies, I think it was Wheelworld. Most of his work is nice to read. I was impressed by 'One Step from Earth'. He also had a feel for the nonsensical and burlesque, and this combined with SF made him at least original. However, his way of writing doesn't seem to be consistent across his books, and while he had many nice ideas, the way some of his books are written does sometimes give an impression of amateurism. It could be that this comes from the translation of course. A couple of years ago I found a translated version of 'Planet Story'. I knew that this book existed, but I did not remember the title any more , having it seen only once in 1978 or 1979. I did not even know at the time it was from HH. I think that concerning the writing (and probably also the translation) this is one of his finer works. HH had always good stories, but I do think that regarding writing he might have learned a bit of some of his colleagues.

Re:One of the great SF writers that I like to re-r (1)

chthon (580889) | about 2 years ago | (#41007205)

(Reformatting for better readability)

I have a large collection of mostly translated SF books. Harry Harrison is one of those writers that regularly got translated into Dutch, so I had to run into him sooner or later in the beginning of the seventies, I think it was Wheelworld.

Most of his work is nice to read. I was impressed by 'One Step from Earth'.

He also had a feel for the nonsensical and burlesque, and this combined with SF made him at least original. However, his way of writing doesn't seem to be consistent across his books, and while he had many nice ideas, the way some of his books are written does sometimes give an impression of amateurism. It could be that this comes from the translation of course.

A couple of years ago I found a translated version of 'Planet Story'. I knew that this book existed, but I did not remember the title any more , having it seen only once in 1978 or 1979. I did not even know at the time it was from HH. I think that concerning the writing (and probably also the translation) this is one of his finer works.

HH had always good stories, but I do think that regarding writing he might have learned a bit of some of his colleagues.

Re:One of the great SF writers that I like to re-r (1)

chthon (580889) | about 2 years ago | (#41007215)

s/beginning of the seventies/beginning of the eighties/

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