Harry Harrison 1925 -2012

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.



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.

1,188 Responses to “Harry Harrison 1925 -2012”

  1. Eugene Says:

    Dear Harry Harrison, rest in peace. I was reading your books throughout all my childhood and they were inspiring me. Thank you. Good bye.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Покойся с миром, любимый писатель.

  3. Wayne Zombie Says:

    I fell in love with the Stainless Steel Rat stories when they first came out. I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Harrison at a Phoenix science fiction convention, it must have been one of the WesterCon’s in the 80’s. I was working the convention and had access to the guest lounge. I don’t have a clue what we talked about, but we spent close to an hour just talking. It was a moment that I hope stays with me the rest of my days.

  4. Павел Кузнецов Says:

    Безумно жаль, что ушел из жизни этот великолепный человек.
    Я как тысячи других вырос вместе с героями его книг и сейчас с удовольствием перечитываю и снова и снова возвращаюсь в мир своего детства. Спасибо тебе за это Гарри!! Покойся с миром…

  5. Mark Says:

    The Eden books were my introduction to Harrison and they are some of the best stories I’ve ever read. I just finished reading The Stainless Steel Rat writing this and I can’t believe Harry is no longer among the living. I just hope he went peacefully and I look forward to seeing him in the afterlife!

  6. Richard J. (Rick) Carufel Says:

    The thing that set Harry Harrison apart from so many other Sci-fi authors was his ability to use humor in his stories. While in the great science fiction stories the author makes science palatable and interesting most lack humor, Harry knew when to be humorous but also when not to.
    From the first lines of the Stainless Steel Rat I was hooked. Not every adventure that Jim and Angelina embarked on was literary gold, but you were never bored!
    Even in his more serious books Harry knew where to throw in some humor anf irony.
    We the fans of Harry Harrison knew that at some point he would no longer be with us. Let me say then ,Thank you Harry Harrison for spreading joy and wonder into so many lives!
    I raise a glass of bourbon to you!

  7. Стас Says:

    Спасибо Гарри за твои книги! Ты будешь всегда моим любимым писателем.

  8. Anonymous Says:


  9. deerstop Says:

    Один из самых любимых авторов. Спасибо за всё!

  10. Heather Says:

    Thank you for all your writing. Time for a rest now.

  11. Piotr Says:

    i pozostaniesz
    W 1986 przeczytałem pirewszą Twoją książkę
    miałem wtedy 18 lat.
    Teraz po przeczytaniu WSZYSTKICH Twoich książek
    wydanych w Polsce
    jesteś i pozostaniesz
    moim NAJLEPSZYM autorem książek sci-fi.
    Po wiadomości o Twej śmierci
    jest mi BARDZO smutno.
    W nie dalekiej przyszłości
    Twoje książki dam swojej córce
    by mogła poznać, Twój talent literacki.
    Żegnaj MISTRZU.

  12. Triskell Says:

    Parmi tout nos romans
    Y’en avait des marrant
    Mais des histoires folles,
    Tu écrivais les plus drôles.

    Parmi les auteurs
    Y’en avait des terreurs
    Mais sans jamais d’erreurs
    Tu nous touchais au cœur.

    Parmi les étoiles
    Tu faisais disparaître le voile
    Qui recouvrait nos vies
    Merci Harry.

  13. Michael Decker Says:

    This is terribly sad news. Only two weeks ago I hooked a friend of mine on the exploits of my favorite fictional character, “Slippery” Jim DiGriz. No single book have I read over and over than The Stainless Steel Rat. Every time I read these books, it’s like visiting an old frend.

    I’ve always enjoyed the late Mr. Harrison’s unique literary style, his fanatstic worlds he created, and his wonderful characters. Mr. Harrison has given me hours and years of joy and entertainment with his amazing imagination. And we are all so fortunate that he chose to share that imagination with us. I’ll always regret never having had the opportunity to meet this great author, but I’ll have the memory of him, and of his works to last me until my story reaches it’s own end.

    God speed, Harry. I will miss you as I would a dear friend.

  14. Lawrence Says:

    You wil be missed Harry.

  15. J Coles Says:

    A sad blow to the SF community. I never read one of his books that I didn’t enjoy.

  16. Haruo Says:

    Bedaŭrindega novaĵo. Mi kondolencas al Moira kaj ĉiuj, kiuj amis lin. Kaj mi relegos la rustimunan ŝtalan raton.

  17. ZAV Says:

    Спасибо, Гарри. Ты теперь дома.

  18. BobN Says:

    Upon hearing of Harry’s passing I decided to pull out my copy of Deathworld and read it again. It does not read like a novel written in 1960 and holds up amazingly well after more than a half century. Truly a unique writer who will be missed.

  19. JustaFan Says:

    I wish I had something special to say, but I have nothing new, nothing beyond what everyone else is saying. It’s sad when a respected author leaves us. My condolences and best wishes to Mr. Harrison’s family.

  20. Леший Says:

    Первая книга с фантастикой, которую мне подарили, была его. С нее я начал свой путь в мир фантастики. Ты останешься с нами в нашей памяти. Легкой дороги тебе, Гарри.

  21. Pol Steele Says:

    Just heard the oh so very sad news that Harry has passed away. No words can express how sorry I am and how my heart goes out to his family and loved ones. Harry’s books got me through some hellish times in childhood and fostered a love of Sci-Fi that has lasted over three decades. All I can do is wipe away a hot tear.. Raise a tall cool glass… And offer a toast… “Here’s to you Harry. Rest in peace. You made the stars shine a little brighter!”

  22. Tiffany AT Imagination Recourse Says:

    Thank you Harry for such entertainment and sparks of imagination, written with such humour and intrigue. Loved your work, thank you for your pen of imagination and words. Forever will you be Living on within the pages of your great books, for future science fiction readers like you’re reading the star worlds through time — from the publishers who believe so much in the power of the written word and imagination. – Ms Tiffany xxx much love to your family and thank you sincerely for your work. stainless steal rat!!

  23. Morf Says:

    So sad to hear this.

    I recently bought some of the books that Harry had been clearing out of his library, including one that contained a short note dated Aug 3 1982 to Harry from Joan Wiengarten at Nat Sobel associates.

    They will mean even more to me now.

  24. buidl-lemmy Says:

    Ah .. man .. he gave and gives me hours to smile an laugh with “The rat” the “Plague From The Stars”, Deathworlds and and and .. I never stopped reading his stories – some of them 10 times and more and its always a big pleasure .. – so Harry – thanks from me and my family for all those stories – Cheers – we bought some fine wine and had a toast on you !! Enjoy the peace now!

  25. db105 Says:

    Rest in Peace.

    I’m Spanish, and I remember enjoying the Stainless Steel Rat novels (the Spanish translation) when I was a teen.

  26. Антон Давыдов Says:

    Гарри покойся с миром . Ты лучший!!!!

  27. Anatoly Says:

    People pass on. There’s no sense to whine about it.

    Harry Harrison means much to me. His fantastic novels have opened me an entrance to science fiction and fiction literature at all. Considering that I’ve never read his most popular creation, that is something.

    Farewell, Mr. Harrison. I believe many readers all over the planet thank you for each second spent in a dreaming oblivion of your literal world.

  28. Jarl Says:

    A shame to lose such a talent, but a life well-lived, I think. The Rat became a bit of a hero to me when I first “met” him in my teens, and each re-reading is like re-encountering an old friend. But Harry Harrison also created some great science fiction – thought-provoking, chilling, thrilling, inspiring and humorous.
    Farewell Mr Harrison, may your words brighten more readers’ minds for many years to come.

  29. Pas Ratunkowy Says:

    Polska będzie o Tobie pamiętać!!!

  30. интересное в сети Says:

    of course like your website however you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the truth however I’ll definitely come back again.

  31. Franco Proctor Says:

    Will always hold Harry’s books high up in my collections, I still re-read the Deathworld series and Slippery Jim DiGriz will always be a favourite. Rest In Peace Harry you did a lot for so many people.

  32. Jon Woodard Says:

    Harry, your influence on my own grasp of existence is undoubtedly clearer to you now that it ever could have been in life. I’m guessing even that is an irony you’ll somehow appreciate for eternity.

    Rest in peace my friend, and thank you.

  33. Pradeep Jayatunga Says:

    I live in Sri Lanka. Found the first book of Eden trilogy couple of years ago. Got hooked. Was searching for the other books ever since. Got them through Amazon only last month. Was looking forward to reading. Very sad to hear of Harry’s death. RIP

  34. António Martins-Tuválkin Says:

    Mi legis ĉion lian kio publikiĝis en mia denaska lingvo ( http://bibliowiki.com.pt/index.php/Harry_Harrison ). Kiam mi estis studento pri biologio mi elektis “Okcidente de Edeno” kiel analizindan ekzemplon pri genetiko en sciencfikcio por freŝula eseo. Iom poste mi povis ĝui kelkajn aliajn verkojn en la originalo kaj en esperantlingvaj tradukoj.

    Plej sâtata estis por mi “La stratoj de Aŝkelono” — frapa, klara, senkaŝa! Kiom surprize kaj esperige legi ion tian el usona aŭtoro! Dankon!

  35. Brian Byrne Says:

    A Belated Rest In Peace Harry. You will be sorely missed. Deepest condolences to his family.

  36. Alex Says:

    Очень опечален новостью, покойся с миром. ((

  37. Jeff Willis (@ShaiDorsai) Says:

    RIP Harry. Big fan. Can honestly say your work had an impact on my formative years. Thanks for the great adventures!

  38. Karina Ustyan Says:

    RIP. I will write an article about you in Russian and post it at http://www.handy.com.ua translated.

  39. Max Says:

    Rest In Peace Mr Harry Harrison. 😦
    I was just finishing Stainless Steel Rat Returns when that happened…
    I absolutely love your works including the Rat!
    You will always be remembered.
    Long live James Bolivar DiGriz!

  40. Mike Says:

    Farewell to the man who wrote a trilogy that captivated me and even, dare I say it, shaped some of my thoughts – The Eden Trilogy. Thanks for all you broughtto everybody.

  41. Bill (the not-so galactic hero) Says:

    Will never forget the first time I found The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World on a shelf in the school library and read in wonder….aged 11! Thanks Harry, loved every word you wrote.

  42. Brad M Says:

    Loved your books Harry. You were a special man with a rare imagination. Thank you for sharing your mind with us. You brought me much joy and as I re-read your works the joy continues to flow. Your family should be very proud of your contributions to the literary world.

  43. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Harry…I know you can read it…it is strange, but the stainless steel rat became my evening learning…thank you for this enormous effort, although you did not mention to do so…anyway – times has changed, and we all gone forward…hope that you will be happy seeing that we have reached all good things you have dreamed off..

  44. Anonymous Says:

    Рига знает, читает Тебя, и помнет откуда Ты родом…спасибо за то, что Ты есть!

  45. Russell Says:

    The Stainless Steel Rat was the book that turned me into a sci-fi fan (although no other author in the genre ever lived up to Harry, for me). His wit, intelligence and feeling shone through the pages. His style was punchy yet vivid – a great storyteller, who wrote as I wanted to read.

    Since I discovered him, I always considered Harry ‘my’ author – the one whose work entertained and connected with me like no other. I remember as a teenager a friend of mine asking what I’d grab if my house was on fire. My Harry Harrison books, I replied.

    Although I am saddened to learn of Harry’s passing away (especially as it happened back in August without me knowing), his wonderful stories ensure he will be with me forever. Rest in peace, Harry. Thanks for the memories.

  46. tonythorneTony Thorne MBE Says:

    I took this at the 2007 Eurocon. Harry is saying, “What, sign all of them?” Such was his generous nature that’s just what he did!

  47. Christopher Perera Says:

    I read and loved the Stainless Steel Rat as a boy of 14. I lent the books to a friend who never gave them back. At the age of 40 I bought them all again and I loved them all again. Then my sons read them and loved them to. Your books are timeless…… My eldest son asked why had they not been made into a film, it still mystifies me…….. But a film I fear would not live upto my imagination… Which I thankyou for Harry. RIP

  48. Vivian Fox Says:

    My first introduction to Harry Harrison was within the pages of 2000ad I loved the style and panache of The Stainless Steel Rat at first reading and soon I was reading, no devouring the collected works of this great man, at first I just enjoyed the humour, but as I got older I started to understand his deeper messages of the sacredness of life, of having a working moral compass and I still got a kick out of the funnies that peppered his work. From Jim diGriz I moved on to Jason dinAlt, Bill the Galatic Hero at one point in the late 80’s I could proudly boast I had every Harry Harrison book in print in the UK and not a few that weren’t in print here. When The Stainless Steel Rat for President was first published I ran to my local book shop to buy a copy I then rushed to the nearest phonebox ( no mobiles then!) to ring my best friend to describe the cover to him in great detail, counting the number of ships overhead and exactly how Jim looked, my friend was not impressed – it was a Saturday morning and I had woken him from his weekend lie-in. Now so many years later I still read my stainless strel rat books at least once a year. Mr Harrison you will be missed.

  49. Simon Says:

    At age eleven I fancied a change in my reading habits. At the local library I saw a book with an interesting cover and signed it out. Reading one of the stories a man goes into a hotel and is happy with his 3ft square room and then hangs himself up on the back of the door.
    My first venture into the world of science fiction was War of the Robots by Harry. Now age fifty I have over 3,000 science fiction books, including the above which I ran out and bought my own copy of the next day.
    I drop in on Harry`s web site once a year or so to see how things are going. This time to see the world has lost a wonderful mind. This range and styles always amazed me and I have reread his books so many times.
    His legacy lives on in alphabetized volumes in my library. In his honour I shall thrill with the stainless steel rat, laugh with/at Bill the galactic hero, angst over Eden, battle Deathworld with Jason and all the heroes and heroines Harry created.
    Rest in peace your work lives on.

  50. Борис Владимирович Says:

    Он был замечательным писателем! Сейчас дико жалею,что не смог увидеть его в 2008,когда он был в Москве. Прочитав первую его книгу про Джима Ди Гриза,я не успокоился,пока не нашел всю серию. Затем была Фантастическая сага и, конечно же, Мир Смерти- моя самая любимая серия книг! Мы любим и читаем Ваши книги,поэтому Вы всегда для нас живы!

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