Harry Harrison (1925-2012)

SFWA Grand Master Harry Harrison, 87, died August 15, 2012 in Crowborough, Uckfield, East Sussex.

Harrison is best known for his SF crime series the Stainless Steel Rat, featuring con man and thief Slippery Jim diGriz. Other important works include his novel of overpopulation Make Room! Make Room! (1966), the basis of famous SF film Soylent Green (1973); the Deathworld series; the Eden series; and A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! (1972).

Henry Maxwell Dempsey was born March 12, 1925 in Stamford CT; his father changed his last name to Harrison soon after the birth. Harrison attended art schools in New York, and worked as a commercial artist before turning to fiction, selling first story “Rock Diver” in 1951. He went on to become an astonishingly prolific author and editor, producing scores of novels, stories, and anthologies over the next six decades.

Harrison helped shape the SF field in the ’60s and ’70s through his collaborations with Brian Aldiss, including SF criticism magazine SF Horizons, which ran for two issues in 1965-65, and their influential Best SF anthology series, which ran from 1968-1975.

Harrison was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame in 2004, and received the SFWA Grand Master Award in 2009. He was predeceased by wife Joan Merkler in 2002 (married 1954) and is survived by their two children.

For a complete obituary and appreciations, see the September issue of Locus.