RIP Harry Harrison

[caption id="attachment_1005" align="alignleft" width="214"]Paperback book cover of Harry Harrison's Two Tales and Eight Tomorrows The first SF book I ever bought, and still one of my favorites.[/caption] Science fiction author and SFWA Grand Master Harry Harrison (the Deathworld series, the Stainless Steel Rat series, the novel Make Room! Make Room! which was the basis for the film Soylent Green, the satirical Bill, the Galactic Hero series, and many, many, many more) has just passed away at the age of 87. Harry's official news blog has started a comment thread for sharing condolences and fond memories. I only met him once, briefly, but I've known his work since I was a sapling. His short story collection Two Tales and Eight Tomorrows was the first SF book I ever purchased, and it was a gateway drug leading me to his other excellent work, as well as a strong influence in my SF TV writing. Waaaay back when I was a teenager, I often dreamed of adapting "The Streets of Ashkelon" for television, a mental exercise which usually ended by admitting to myself that no TV network would ever have the cojones to air it... and that's probably still true. Half a century later, I finally got to meet Harry Harrison at a UCLA book signing, and had to decide which of his books to bring... and I wound up choosing my ancient, faded, battered paperback of Two Tales and Eight Tomorrows, just so I could tell him what it had meant to that starry-eyed filmmaker-wannabe teenage geek. Thank you, Harry. Rest in peace.

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