Aug 16 2012 11:30am

Remembering Harry Harrison: Tributes from Around the Web

Harry Harrison may be gone, but his presence lives on in his writing, his humor, his invaluable contributions to science fiction, and in the legacy of inspiration he leaves behind. As Tor Books’ Tom Doherty has said, his ideas were always thought-provoking, and often far ahead of the curve. He was a beloved part of the Tor family.

Harrison’s fans were out in force on the Internet yesterday to celebrate the man behind the 1950s and 60s Flash Gordon, creator of The Stainless Steel Rat and author of Make Room! Make Room! (later adapted into the film Soylent Green). Below the cut is a collection of tributes and remembrances, as we bid a final farewell to an SF icon.

Neil Gaiman (from his blog)

“He was crusty, curmudgeonly, opinionated and a real delight to know.”

John Rogers (from his blog, calling Harrison “one of the founding fathers of Leverage”)

Whatever caper you’re on now Harry, give ’em hell.”

Charlie Jane Anders (via io9)

“There are few really great comic space opera novels, aside from Douglas Adams. And Harrison’s Stainless Steel Rat books qualify — Jim DiGriz is a really inspired creation, a rogue smuggler created years before Han Solo existed.”

John Scalzi (from his blog)

“Yes, I was a fan of Harry Harrison’s. When SFWA named him a Grand Master, I was very well pleased. I think it’s worth noting that in his storied career, Harrison never won a Hugo (he was nominated twice, in the Novel category) and had a share in only a single Nebula (for Soylent Green, adapted from his book). The measure of someone’s influence and stature as a writer is not always immediate; the Grand Master award was a fine way of noting that Harrison’s work and reputation built over an entire career. And that’s an encouraging thing.”

Michael Carroll (author and webmaster of Harrison’s official site)

“Rest in peace, my friend. You touched the lives of millions with your exciting adventures, packed with unlikely but always hilarious and thrilling escapades and frequently rather dodgy, but loveable, characters... and, you know, your fiction was pretty damn good too!”

Christopher Priest (from The Guardian)

“[H]e was funny and self-aware, he enjoyed reporting the follies of others, he distrusted generals, prime ministers and tax officials with sardonic and cruel wit, and above all he made plain his acute intelligence and astonishing range of moral, ethical and literary sensibilities.”

Dayton Ward (via Twitter)

“RIP to the Stainless Steel Rat himself”

Mitch Benn (via Twitter)

“Harry Harrison, creator of The Stainless Steel Rat, the best SciFi movie never made, has left us. Rest In Space HH, regards to Slippery Jim.”

Lillith Sullivan (via Twitter)

“Feeling rather blue that Harry Harrison passed...I suppose he’s got a measure of immortality while the Stainless Steel Rat exists in print.

F. Paul Wilson (on

”We met only a few times in person, but I read him extensively and there’s a bit of Slippery Jim DiGriz in Repairman Jack.“

Gardner Dozois (on

“Sad news. Not only a good writer, but a nice guy.”

Sherrilyn Kenyon (via Facebook)

“I could absolutely weep. I just found out that one of my all time fave authors, Harry Harrison, died today.... He was a special, special talent and I am so glad to have found a friend in the Stainless Steel Rat”

Harlan Ellison (via

“It’s a day without stars in it.”

Fans are being encouraged to share their thoughts and personal recollections on Harrison’s website.

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john mullen
1. johntheirishmongol
It's always sad when one of the writers you read when growing up is gone for good and you don't have any more stories to look forward to reading. Like everyone else, a fan of Jim Digriz but I would have to say, my fave from him was the Deathworld Trilogy. If you haven't read it, find a copy today!
2. rushmc
Maybe now someone will get his books back in print??
Cait Glasson
3. CaitieCat
Thanks for introducing me to the word "jongleur", Harry.

And so many other great introductions you made over the years. I'll miss your work.

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