Harry Harrison

(March 12, 1925 — August 15, 2012).

Harry Harrison was a founding member of the Queens Science Fiction league and attended the first Worldcon in 1939. (Read his short reminiscence of Nycon.)

Harrison entered the science fiction field professionally as an illustrator for EC Comics, working on Weird Fantasy and Weird Science. He went on to write for comics as well as edit them before turning his attention to prose, publishing the short story “Rock Diver” in Worlds Beyond in 1951.

During the 1950s and 60s, Harrison served as the main writer for the “Flash Gordon” comic strip. His first novel, Deathworld, published in 1960, garnered Harrison a Hugo nomination. Harrison’s creation of Slippery Jim diGriz, the Stainless Steel Rat, led to a lengthy series about the anti-hero and he also created the humorous character Bill, the Galactic Hero.

Harrison’s 1966 novel Make Room, Make Room was turned into the feature film Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston. Harrison won a Nebula Award for the film. He also was the editor, with Brian W. Aldiss, of the second Nebula Award Anthology and went on to edit, with Aldiss and alone, several other anthology series, including Decade, Nova, and a best of the year series that lasted for nine years. In the 1990s, Harrison turned his attention to alternate history, first writing The Hammer and the Cross trilogy and later the Stars and Stripes Forever trilogy.

Harrison was born Henry Maxwell Dempsey. Shortly after his birth, his father changed the family name to Harrison, a fact Harry did not know until he was thirty, at which time he officially changed his name to Harry Max Harrison. During World War II, Harrison served as a gunnery instructor for the United States Air Force. Later in life, he would move to the Republic of Ireland. His interest in the language Esperanto, made its way into several of Harrison’s works and he was the honorary President of the Esperanto Association of Ireland.

In 1990, Harrison was named Guest of Honor at ConFiction, the 48th World Science Fiction Convention.

He received nominations for the 1961 Best Novel Hugo, and the 1962 Best Novel Hugo.

Other Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Read his reminiscence of Seacon.

For more on his career, see http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/harrison_harry