Feeds

RIP Harry Harrison: Stainless Steel Rat scurries no more

Hopefully he won't become Soylent Green

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Obituary It's been a bad summer for SF. In June, Ray Bradbury slipped the surly bonds of Earth, and now legendary icon Harry Harrison has passed away at age 87.

"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!" said Michael Carroll, admin of Harrison's official website.

Among the SF community, Harrison, whose real name was Henry Maxwell Dempsey, is probably best known for the creation of James Bolivar DiGriz – aka the Stainless Steel Rat – who became a non-terminally violent antihero for the corporate age. The dozen-book series began in 1961 and the tales of "Slippery Jim," along with wife and twin sons, were only concluded in 2010.

He also earned support for taking a poke at Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers worldview with his Bill, the Galactic Hero series. Later books in the series were written by other authors and edited by Harrison, something he said he regretted.

For Hollywood, Harrison was the creative spark behind Soylent Green, which was very loosely based on his Nebula Award-winning novel Make Room! Make Room! (a story he dedicated to his children, Todd and Moira). In it he envisaged a massively overpopulated planet and its degrading effect on society. No spoilers, but the ending to the film is fairly well-known.

Harrison was one of the authors from the golden age of science fiction, where short story writers could make a living selling to the magazine market. He began his career as an illustrator and editor of comics and SF journals before transitioning into a full-time career as a novelist.

He was a life-long proponent of the global-language-that-isn't, Esperanto, and his fiction took a distinctly atheistic and dystopian point of view. For this El Reg hack, the To the Stars novels have the most resonance; a series of tales with an all-too-familiar theme in modern SF.

Harrison enjoyed nearly fifty years of marriage to his wife Joan, who passed from cancer in 2002. He is survived by two children. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
95 floors in 43 SECONDS: Hitachi's new ultra-high-speed lift
Guangzhou skyscraper denizens to hold on to hats
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.