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Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87 (Read 1408 times)
Webbie
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Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Aug 15th, 2012, 3:59pm
 
LONDON — American author Harry Harrison, whose space-age spoofs delighted generations of science fiction fans, has died, a friend said Wednesday. He was 87.

Irish sci-fi writer Michael Carroll said in a telephone interview that he learned of Harrison’s passing from the author’s daughter, Moira, earlier in the day. He said Harrison died in southern England, but didn’t have much further detail.

Harrison was a prolific writer whose works ranged from tongue-in-cheek inter-galactic action romps to dystopian fantasies, with detours through children’s stories and shambolic crime capers. Carroll said most of the works delivered a stream of sly humor with a big bucket of action.

“Imagine ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ or ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark,’ and picture them as science fiction novels,” he said. “They’re rip-roaring adventures, but they’re stories with a lot of heart.”

Harrison was best known for his “The Stainless Steel Rat” series, starring the free-spirited anti-hero Slippery Jim DiGriz, a quick-witted conman who travels the universe swindling humans, aliens and robots alike. His 1966 work, “Make Room! Make Room!” — a sci-fi take on the horrors of overpopulation — inspired the 1973 film “Soylent Green” starring Charlton Heston.


More here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/harry-harrison-science-fiction-satiri...
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ente per ente
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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #1 - Aug 15th, 2012, 9:52pm
 
Really  some  very bad  news...he was really  a very  good author, I  liked  most  of  the  Sci-Fi adventure/action  books  written  by him, indeed...
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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #2 - Aug 16th, 2012, 7:05pm
 
Alas. Another light in the literary sky is dimmed.

And no one is replacing them, as far as I can see.

-- Jean
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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #3 - Aug 16th, 2012, 8:39pm
 
Quote:
Alas. Another light in the literary sky is dimmed.

And no one is replacing them, as far as I can see.

-- Jean


Amen sister.
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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #4 - Aug 17th, 2012, 9:01am
 
Oh no. I will miss the Stainless Steel Rat. Loved those stories. I liked the way he wrote too. It was always with a smile and a wink.
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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #5 - Aug 23rd, 2012, 10:59am
 
You might recall that Harry was a big fan of the Esperanto language - I think it was the "native" language of most of the Stainless Steel Rat universe.  In fact, you can get (for free) an Esperanto language version of one of the Stainless Steel Rat novels (along with a bunch of other translated classics) at the Esperanto.org website:

http://esperanto.org/Ondo/Libroj/Libroj.php

He was a great author, and we have lost a good man.

John Gilbert
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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #6 - Aug 24th, 2012, 12:49pm
 

Saying a last farewell to Harry Harrison, one of the last of the of the " s-f writers of a certain era, made me wonder what exactly was the Golden Age. Here's what Wikipedia had to say:

The first Golden Age of Science Fiction often recognized as the period from the 1938 to 1946. It was an era during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published. In the history of science fiction the Golden Age follows the pulp era of the 1920s and 30s, and precedes the New Wave science fiction of the 1960s and 70s. According to historian Adam Roberts "the phrase Golden Age valorises a particular sort of writing: Hard SF --linear narratives, heroes solving problems or countering threats in a space-opera or technological-adventure idiom.

Indeed? Whaddaya think?

-- Jean
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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #7 - Aug 24th, 2012, 1:48pm
 
Sounds about right.
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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #8 - Aug 24th, 2012, 7:05pm
 
I think the Wikipedia version is the accepted one, but...the "Golden Age" goes from 1938 to 1946 (approximately, of course.) But the New Wave did _not_ start in the 1960s, IMO, despite the Wikipedia author's opinion. It started in the 1970 -- about halfway through, I think. What shall we call the period from 1946 to mid-1970s? That was when many of the Great Ones were in their prime -- Heinlein, Bradbury, Sturgeon, Brackett, my beloved Cordwainer Smith...I have seen that period referred to as the Silver Age, although there is nothing about this in Wikipedia. If that is true, (again IMO) the Silver Age far outranks the Golden Age.

As Webbie would say, Your thoughts?

-- Jean
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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #9 - Aug 25th, 2012, 6:14am
 
I wonder if the focus is solely on books.

If we look also at movies there is the trend from say the 1927 Metropolis to the Monster movies of the drive in era such as the giant ants, mice people etc. Godzilla et al in the 1950's.

Then in the 1960's we see a whole new trend in movies 2001: A Space Odyssey,  Planet of the Apes, The Time Machine etc.
Quote:
According to historian Adam Roberts "the phrase Golden Age valorises a particular sort of writing: Hard SF --linear narratives, heroes solving problems or countering threats in a space-opera or technological-adventure idiom.


The tone was different, the ideas were different and the medium was different. We had TV. We had Star Trek, Dr Who, The Time Tunnel even The Jetson's.

I guess you could split the time line either way but I'm thinking your historian Adam Roberts is talking about the genre as a whole and not just books.

Just a thought.

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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #10 - Aug 25th, 2012, 6:45am
 
First, let's be clear -- Whoever the heck Adam Roberts is, he is not _my_ historian. He belongs solely to Wikipedia, IMO -- and may be one of the reasons Wikipedia is considered by many sensible people to be a somewhat limited resource. Roberts has managed to jump from the Golden Age to the New Wave, thus skipping everything in between, which was a lot.

But you are right, he may have been referring to s-f in general. I tend to think the world is made of books. (Have you ever seen that YouTube production entitled "The Internet Is Made of Cats?" Hilarious.) Anyway, yes, you are right -- in the 60s the non-book world began to see s-f as a subject worthy of serious treatment.

And here's another thought; The pulp magazine world of the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s gave s-f writers a pre-made audience. That is something that is missing from today's sf/f/h world. Which may be why there are so many outstanding sf/f/h writers -- who are not finding an audience. It's not because they don't deserve one; it's because there's no place where readers can reliably count on finding _them._

You think?

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Re:  Harry Harrison, science fiction satirist dies aged 87
Reply #11 - Aug 25th, 2012, 11:25am
 
You might be onto something here.
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