Remembering Harry Harrison

15 August, 2013 by

Harry Harrison passed away a year ago today.

This morning I received a message from S. Gruzov which said: Сегодня исполняется годовщина смерти Гарри Гаррисона – выдающийся человек. Помянем его.

Google translates that to: Today marks the anniversary of the death of Harry Harrison – an outstanding person. Pray for him.

I’m not a hundred per cent sure Harry would have wanted our prayers, but I think he’d appreciate people remembering him today.

Read from a favourite HH novel or short story, and recommend something of Harry’s to a friend – that way we can keep his memory alive forever.

– Paul

Bill, the Galactic Hero Movie is Go!

22 April, 2013 by

Alex Cox’s Bill, the Galactic Hero project reached it’s funding target on Kickstarter on Sunday, which means that the movie will actually happen!

I know Alex Cox has wanted to adapt Bill for a looooong time, and was in regular contact with Harry Harrison over the years as he worked on bringing the story to the big screen.

I’m really looking forward to reading the screenplay – Alex has exactly the right sense of humour to handle the adaptation, so I’m sure it will be great.

If you’re not familiar with his work, check out the website alexcox.com which includes free downloads of some of Alex’s screenplays – including Repo Man, Sid and Nancy and his drafts of a Mars Attacks! screenplay – and his Moviedrome guides.*

If you need a further incentive, the site also has a link to Alex’s Bill, the Galactic Hero movie blog.

—-

*In the late 1980s and early 90s Moviedrome was a late night slot on BBC tv which presented an eclectic collection of films, with introductions by Alex Cox. I remember watching on my little black and white portable tv and being entertained – and occasionally spooked – by those movies. There’s a list of the films shown here: http://www.kurtodrome.net/moviedrome.htm and if you check on You Tube you can see some of Alex’s introductions.

Alex Cox Moviedrome

Alex Cox presenting BBC TV’s Moviedrome

Bill the Galactic Hero Movie – Deadline Sunday

19 April, 2013 by

Director Alex Cox reports that the Kickstarter project has reached its $100,000 funding target:

“Things look very good as we have passed our goal. But I would be remiss if I didn’t ask for yet another push! Some supporters may drop out at the eleventh hour; some credit cards will be maxed out and won’t deliver; you know the drill.”

The deadline for the project is 8:00pm EDT on Sunday 21st April — 62 hours to go as I write this. You can still pledge money and, as Alex says, be a part of filmmaking history. You’ll also become a part of HH history, as very few of Harry’s stories have (so far) been adapted into films of any kind.

You can read Alex’s latest update and pledge money on the Kickstarter website.

bill-1b

Bill, the Galactic Movie Kickstarter Update

8 April, 2013 by

Thirteen days left on the Kickstarter countdown. So far just over $72,000 has been raised towards the budget, so only $28,000 left to go.

It would be great to see a Bill, the Galactic Hero movie, and you can help make it happen by (a) pledging money, and (b) telling everyone you know to pledge money! Please spread the word.

Payments for Kickstarter projects are handled through Amazon Payments – you can use your Amazon .com or .co.uk login to complete your transaction. Your money will only be taken if the project reaches 100% funding by Sunday 21st April 2013.

Great Rewards are on offer to those who help fund the project, check out the details on the Bill, the Galactic Hero  project page.

Artwork: Michael Gross

Artwork: Michael Gross

Bill, the Galactic Movie

22 March, 2013 by

Director Alex Cox’s plans for an adaptation of Bill, the Galactic Hero are moving on apace, and now you can help make the movie happen.

The aim is to raise a $100,000 budget via Kickstarter.com – find out more details and watch Alex’s video about the project here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexcoxfilms/alex-cox-directs-bill-the-galactic-hero

Pledge cash if you can – the deadline is 21st April 2013. Pledge $10 and you get to download the screenplay as a .pdf if the project goes ahead. Pledge more than $25 and you’ll get to download the movie as a .mov file once it is completed. Check out the Kickstarter page to see what rewards are on offer if you pledge even greater sums…

Alex Cox Directs Bill, the Galactic Hero

Alex Cox Directs Bill, the Galactic Hero

AbeBooks 50 Essential SF Books

16 January, 2013 by

Richard Davies has compiled a top fifty for the AbeBooks website — and of course there’s a Harry Harrison novel on the list. No prizes for guessing which HH novel he includes.

You can see the full list here.

Harry Harrison 1925 -2012

15 August, 2012 by
Harry Harrison - Photo courtesy of Moira Harrison

Harry Harrison

Harry Harrison passed away in the early hours of Wednesday 15th August.

I will write more shortly, but right now I can’t find the words…

If you would like to leave a message or a remembrance of Harry, then please leave a comment on this post or send a message via the Contact Us page. We will pass on all messages to Harry’s family.

—-

Edit:

Harry Harrison’s daughter Moira has written a tribute, which you can read here.

The New York Times published its obituary of Harry Harrison 18th August. It appears on their website here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/18/books/harry-harrison-a-prolific-writer-of-satiric-science-fiction-dies-at-87.html

Christopher Priest has written an obituary for The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/aug/15/harry-harrison. It was published in the print edition of the newspaper dated 16th August 2012.

The Times newspaper published its obituary 18th August. Online version available to subscribers only.

Le Monde published an obituary 22nd August. Online version available to subscribers only.

The Independent newspaper published its obituary 25th August. Online version available here.

2011 in review

3 January, 2012 by

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Kindled

17 October, 2011 by

Aeon McNulty e-mailed to say ‘Why haven’t you told people about Harry’s books being released for Kindle?’ The answer to that is: Ignorance. On my part. I didn’t know they’d been released.

So the good news is that a whole heap of HH titles have been issued by Gateway (Gollancz/Orion):

A Stainless Steel Rat is Born
The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted
The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You!
The Stainless Steel Rat For President

The Men from P.I.G and R.O.B.O.T
The Technicolor Time Machine
Queen Victoria’s Revenge
Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers
Tunnel Through the Deeps (A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!)
Captive Universe
Skyfall
Planet of the Damned
A Rebel in Time

West of Eden

Stars & Stripes Forvever
Stars & Stripes in Peril

Deathworld
Deathworld 2
Deathworld 3

Homeworld
Wheelworld
Starworld

Presumably there are more to come — they wouldn’t release incomplete trilogies, would they?

More good news is that the prices are pretty good: £2.99 and £4.99 in the UK, $4.74 and $7.93 in the US.

The bad news is that first reviews of some of the titles indicate that Gateway have done a bit of a half-arsed job of preparing the texts for the e-versions. One reviewer has said the title he looked at seemed to have been OCR’d and not corrected, so there are all kinds of odd characters and errors littering the pages. I haven’t looked at any of these myself yet, but it would be a shame if Gateway haven’t taken time to do the job properly. I’ve OCR’d a lot of stuff in the past — including all of HH’s short stories — and the files need a certain amount of tidying up before they’re ready for consumption, but a half-way decent copy-editor can do it pretty quickly.

I’m off to dowload the Kindle version of West of Eden now to check it out…

PS: Anyone who leaves a comment on this post pointing out that there’s a typo in it will receive a poke in the eye by e-mail…  ; )

What if… the Dinosaurs Never Died Out?

21 August, 2011 by

Here’s a snippet of news spotted by Michael Carroll:

Disney has announced a couple of new Pixar movies, one of which is an untitled movie about dinosaurs to be directed by Finding Nemo screenwriter Bob Peterson. The film is due for 2013 release.

Why do we care about this? Because Reuters and other sources have reported that Disney have Tweeted about the film saying: “What if that life-changing asteroid missed Earth? Director Bob Peterson’s hilarious tale depicts a world where dinosaurs never went extinct.”

Sound familiar? If it wasn’t for the ‘hilarious’ part, we’d swear they were talking about West of Eden…


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