Science fiction author Harry Harrison died in his home in Great Britain this morning, August 15th. He was 87 years old.
“His passing leaves a huge gap in the universe, but thankfully he didn’t leave us empty-handed,” said Harrison’s close friend, Irish science fiction writer Michael Carroll. “Dozens of novels and over a hundred short stories are as fine a legacy as we could hope for,” he continued. Carroll considered Harrison’s work to be “a gem, a rich conglomeration of intelligence and adventure that so few other writers have been able to match.”
Harrison’s first novel, Deathworld, was first published in 1960, and the author later became well known for his 1966 dystopian novel, Make Room! Make Room!, which was adapted into the 1973 movie Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston.
One of Harrison’s best-known works is the Stainless Steel Rat series, which introduced one of science fiction’s greatest anti-heroes, Slippery Jim diGriz, aka The Stainless Steel Rat. DiGriz was a quick-witted con man with a nevertheless strong sense of morality, who traveled the universe swindling humans, aliens, and robots. The last book in the Stainless Steel Rat series was published in 2010.
Harrison was born in Stamford, Connecticut on March 12, 1925. He served his country in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war, Harrison worked as a freelance commercial artist before venturing into a long career as one of science fiction’s leading writers.
Harrison is survived by his daughter, Moira, and his son, Todd. Harrison’s wife, Joan, died in 2002.
Safe journeys, Mr. Harrison.