The Gollancz team is tremendously saddened at the news of Harry Harrison’s passing earlier today. A well known and well loved figure in the SF community, he will be much missed.
As today’s blog post, we have a few tributes to Harry from the team.
Darren Nash says: It’s only Wednesday and already it’s a bad week for fans of science fiction or comics. Just a few days after the death of legendary artist Joe Kubert, comes the sad news that renowned SF author Harry Harrison has passed away. I wasn’t lucky enough to have met the man, so I know him only from his (very entertaining) convention appearances and, of course, from his books. Among many others over the course of a career spanning more than half a century, he gave us the vigorous action of Deathworld, the ambitious alternate history of Eden, the delicious pulp space opera parody Bill, The Galactic Hero, the claustrophobic dystopia of Make Room! Make Room! and, of course, that wonderful rogue, Slippery Jim diGriz: The Stainless Steel Rat. Any one of these would have been enough to ensure his place as one of the greats of science fiction, but to have created them all is a staggering achievement. Valé Harry. Repozo en paco.
Jon Weir says: I met Harry only once, when he was able to make it to one of the Gollancz parties I had organised. Charming, witty and gracious, he arrived and was immediately swamped with adoring fans: authors, booksellers, and critics. I remember that year we were blessed with a particularly starry guest list from within the world of SF & F and the next day, as people wrote to say how much they’d enjoyed the event, the one name everyone kept mentioning was Harry’s. He’d been the hit of the night, charming everyone he’d shared time with and anyone who ever met him wouldn’t be surprised to know that.
The party’s still going Harry, it has to, but to be honest, that guest list seems a little less starry without you. RIP.
Gillian Redfearn says: Harry Harrison pulled off one of the very hardest things an author can do. He wrote with an infectious humour and warmth, which characterised him as much as his writing. Make Room! Make Room!, perhaps his most chilling tale in concept, is always powered by the characters . . . but none of his series surpassed, for me, The Stainless Steel Rat series. Light on its feet, humorous, action-filled and with a wonderful protagonist, antihero Slippery Jim (James Bolivar diGriz), this was the first SF series I read that really made me laugh. Whether he was romancing the psychopathic love of his life, Angelina, breaking into prison as a teenager to try to learn his trade, or embarked on a grand theft, Rat always provided a wonderful, witty adventure.
I’ve not re-read the novels for years, but this weekend The Stainless Steel Rat will be at the top of my reading list.
Marcus Gipps says : As the newcomer to the world of Gollancz, I never had a chance to meet Harry Harrison or hear him talk, but I’ve heard enough from my colleagues to know that I missed out.
We published his most recent Stainless Steel Rat book last year, and I was amazed to discover that the character who had so entertained me in my childhood was still going strong. I have fond memories of working my way though the series at my local library, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
I hope he was pleased to know that he had such a loyal audience, and I hope that many new fans will discover his work over the years to come. I think I speak for all of Gollancz when I say that we were and are immensely proud to publish him.
Harry Harrison, 1925-2012, may he rest in peace.
Tags: Harry Harrison
This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at 3:03 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.