Archive for June, 2008

Espionage Around the Galaxy

30 June, 2008

Wesley Britton of e-mailed to say that his article ‘Espionage Around the Galaxy: The Spy-Fi of Harry Harrison’ has been added to the Leslie Charteris website.

You can access the piece directly here. Though to see it in its proper context it is best to go the the Leslie Charteris website main page and then click on ‘Features.’

“I admit this isn’t a new piece,” Wesley says, “but it now has a better home than my old blog.”


Harry Harrison’s Response to the Pravda Piece

16 June, 2008

Pravda means ‘truth’ in Russian. But I’m afraid you won’t find much in the issue of May 26th.

I did a press conference in Moscow. Six TV channels. Newspapers, magazine, the lot. I’m just sorry that all people know about this is one biased report from a most prejudiced source.

I did not say that the ‘USA is a fascist state.’ I said that Bush had consistently violated the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But America is a constitutional democracy and I had great faith in this document. Bush will not be reelected. And the inherent checks and balances in the US system would cancel out the violations. I am a great believer in the strength of American democracy. In the long run.

Not quite the way Pravda quoted me…

More in sorrow than in anger.

Harry Harrison






Soylent Green at PennTags

13 June, 2008

PennTags is a social bookmarking tool at the University of Pennsylvania, where someone called ‘malebran‘ is tracking references to Soylent Green and ‘depictions of the environment in the media today.’

Harry Harrison – Pravda (Russia) Interview

13 June, 2008

The English version of Pravda has what appears to be a translation of an interview HH gave while in Russia. The piece is headlined ‘Harry Harrison Praises Russia and Calls USA a Fascist State.’ It goes on to say that ‘the author of the Stainless Steel Rat said that the USA is gradually becoming a totalitarian state. The author praised Russia for its unusual interest in literature and criticized Russian science fiction for its lack of dynamics and a low level of literary techniques.’

I’m not sure whether the HH quotes given were transcribed verbatim, or whether they have been translated into Russian and then back into English.

Some bloggers and blog commenters (is there a proper name for those people?) have already taken offence at HH’s comments. But many of them seem to have read only the headline of the piece or someone else’s report of it. And a few people seem to think Harry is now actually living in Russia, having ‘defected’ from the USA.  🙂

Read the full Pravda piece here. And some of the reactions here.

Harry Harrison – Lifetime Achievement Award

6 June, 2008

Harry Harrison sent me a message after his return from the 2008 Roscon in Moscow: 

“They presented me with a statuette of St. George killing a dragon. The Golden Roscon. This is the Roscon Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction.”

There are a couple of small photographs of Harry Harrison at the convention on the Eurocon 2008 website.

Frankenstein in Brighton

6 June, 2008

A specially rewritten version of Harry Harrison’s short story ‘At Last, the True Story of Frankenstein!’ has been published in a new anthology, The West Pier Gazette, and Other Stories, edited by Paul Brazier, and published by Three-Legged Fox.

Published on 28th March 2008, this is Quercus issue one, the first in a proposed series (two per year) of themed volumes which are published in a limited hardback edition for subscribers, and then a paperback edition for general release.

The Quercus-SF project also has a website – limited access to non-members, which is linked to the Send Me a Story website where, for a modest fee, you can submit a short story and receive feedback on it from a professional. Paul Brazier, the man behind Quercus, has previously been a reviewer for the BSFA magazaine Vector and was production editor on Interzone for ten years.

Some bits of the websites don’t seem to have been updated for a while, and it’s a little dificult to find your way around (it may be easier for subscribers), but you can see some of the contents of the The West Pier Gazette here, where there is also a paragraph describing the theme of the first issue:

“Each issue of Quercus-SF will have a theme. However, the idea is to stimulate writers, not to constrain them, so if they don’t write to the theme but still come up with a good story, they will be included in the Other Stories section.

“The theme this time is Brighton’s infamous West Pier. It opened in the late nineteenth century and was the place for elegant promenading for the first half of the twentieth. It was used as a set for many films including Oh, What A Lovely War and Brighton Rock but fell into disuse and decay and was closed to the public in 1974.”

Thanks to Paul Brazier for sending me a copy of the first edition of The West Pier Gazette, and Other Stories.

You can purchase – for a limited time – copies of the hardback first edition for £20 (plus £3 postage UK, £5 postage surface mail rest of the world) from the publisher’s website.


Planet of the Damned Audio Book

6 June, 2008

The free audiobook / reading of Planet of the Damned has now been completed, and is available for download (as 19 separate files, one for each chapter) on the LibriVox website. This is an ‘unofficial,’ not-for-profit reading – I don’t want to use the word ‘amateur’ as that sounds like a criticism.

I just downloaded the files, and will give them a listen over the weekend.

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