Harry Harrison

Harry Harrison was one of the noteworthy writers from the U.S, best known for writing his novels on the science fiction and fantasy genres. He was particularly well known for creating the character of Stainless Steel Rat. One of the novels was loosely developed into a film titled Soylent Green, which starred Charlton Heston in the lead role. Prior to the beginning of his writing career, author Harrison used to work as an artist in the EC Comics. He worked on the comic series Weird Science and Weird Fantasy. Harrison was also involved in writing syndicated strips of comics. The science fiction stories written by him have been usually full of adventure and satire. He used to even make use of some serious themes for writing the stories. Author Harrison made his debut as an author with the publication of the novel Deathworld in the year 1960. However, he had already contributed significantly to this genre beforehand. Harrison was born as Henry Maxwell Dempsey on March 12, 1925, in Stamford, Connecticut. Soon after his birth, his parents changed the family name as Harrison. Even author Harrison was not aware of this fact until he reached the age of 30. Harrison’s father, Leo Dempsey, belongs to the Irish descent and was a painter by profession. His mother was a Jewish from Russia. While growing up, Harrison had to live in many places including England, Denmark, Ireland, Mexico, and Italy. He learned Esperanto during his military service for overcoming boredom and became its advocate. During the 1970s, Harrison shifted to Ireland. There, he constructed a beautiful house in County Wicklow and resided there for many years with the family. Esperanto makes frequent appearances in his books, particularly in his two well known series. Author Harrison has also served as an honorary president of Ireland’s Esperanto Association.

When he was at the peak of his career, he held memberships of various Esperanto organizations. Harrison studied at the Forest Hills School and finished his high school in the year 1943. Following this, he joined the Air Force at the time of the World War II. Later, he became a specialist sharpshooter, the gunnery instructor, military policeman, and gunsight technician. He had developed against the military in his heart, which served him quite well in becoming a writer. After a couple of years of service, author Harrison became a civilian again and joined New York’s Hunter College in 1946. Also, he started selling illustrations of the magazines of science fiction and comics. Author Harrison married a woman named Evelyn for the first time. After their divorce in 1951, she got hooked to another science fiction author named Lester del Rey. IN 1954, author Harrison married for the second time with Joan Merkler in the New York City. The two remained married until Joan’s death in 2002 due to cancer. Harrison had 2 children with Joan named Moira and Tom. He dedicated his book Make Room! Make Room!, to his children. Author Harrison spent his last years in Ireland, where he wrote and raised his children together. He enjoyed a tax free status owing to his Irish citizenship and taking advantage of the scheme for Irish writers. Harrison used to visit England frequently and for this he had bought an apartment, located in Brighton. Harrison died on August 15, 2012, at his Brighton apartment. He used several pen names for writing some of his books. Some of the pseudonyms used by him include, Wade Kaempfert, Philip St. John, Hank Dempsey, and Felix Boyd.

One of the successful novel series written by Harry Harrison is known as Deathworld. It consists of 3 books in total, published between 1960 & 1966. An early book released in this series is called Deathworld 2. It was published by the Sphere publication in the year 1963. The central character introduced by author Harrison in this book is Jason Dinalt. At the beginning of the book, author Harrison has shown a savage and primitive place on an unknown planet, where people lived in fear. The stakes seemed to be very high as every man looked to finish every other man in order to prevent getting killed first. If they fail to do so, they are required to live the rest of their lives as slaves. The inhabitants appear to live in the early days of the Bronze Age at one point and then in the Machine Age in the very next moment. Technology seemed to have degenerated into numerous mysteries that were guarded with feelings of jealousy by different brotherhoods. However, Jason dinAlt appeared to be different from all the others. He was a cunning man and a gambler. When he realized that he had to turn up on the winning of the deadly game, he started shuffling the brotherhoods for his own benefit. At no point was he ready to live like a slave. The unique storyline of the book helped it to win immense praises from the readers all over the world. Author Harrison was highly appreciated for coming up with such an interesting story. He was lauded by the critics for his efforts.

Another successful book written by Harrison is called ‘Deathworld 3’. The Sphere publication released this book too in the year 1966. Once again Jason dinAlt is shown as the lead character, living on the planet known as Felicity. This planet is filled with people who are compelled to stay there. The inhabitants who have been living there for more than hundreds of centuries have only one purpose in life, and that is to attack others and destroy them completely. Jason was aware of this very well. He even knew that the planet is heading towards an unavoidable disaster. If the planet gets destroyed, there is no other place in the universe like Felicity, where Jason dinAlt and his close ones could survive. Jason makes a plan and thinks that is a perfect one, if things go as he has planned. But, what the way Felicity’s fate turned out Jason had never imagined even in the wildest of his dreams. The book was liked by one and all. Author Harrison was once again praised by the critics and the readers alike. He received wide appreciations for his work and it motivated to continue writing satirical science fiction books. The book became highly successful and it helped author Harrison more popularity as a science fiction author.

Books in order of publication by series:

Deathworld Books

Deathworld II: The Ethical Engineer(1964) 
Deathworld 3(1968) 

Stainless Steel Rat Books

The Stainless Steel Rat(1961) 
The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge(1970) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World(1972) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You!(1978) 
The Stainless Steel Rat for President(1982) 
A Stainless Steel Rat is Born(1985) 
You Can Be the Stainless Steel Rat(1985) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted(1987) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues(1994) 
Stainless Steel Visions(1992) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell(1996) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus(1999) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Returns(2010) 

Stainless Steel Rat Books

A Stainless Steel Rat is Born(1985) 
The Stainless Steel Rat(1961) 
The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge(1970) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World(1972) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You!(1978) 
The Stainless Steel Rat for President(1982) 
You Can Be the Stainless Steel Rat(1985) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted(1987) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues(1994) 
Stainless Steel Visions(1992) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell(1996) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Returns(2010) 
The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus(1999) 

Brion Brandd Books

Planet of the Damned(1962) 
Planet of No Return(1981) 

Saint (Simon Templar) Book

Vendetta for the Saint(1964)

Bill the Galactic Hero Books

Bill the Galactic Hero(1965) 
The Planet of Robot Slaves(1989) 
The Planet of the Bottled Brains(1990) 
The Planet of Tasteless Pleasure(1990) 
The Planet of the Zombie Vampires(1991) 
The Planet of the Hippies from Hell(1991) 
The Final Incoherent Adventure(1992) 

Tony Hawkin Books

Montezuma’s Revenge(1972) 
Queen Victoria’s Revenge(1974) 

To The Stars Books


Eden Books

West of Eden(1984) 
Winter in Eden(1986) 
Return to Eden(1988) 

Hammer And The Cross Books

The Hammer and the Cross(1993) 
One King’s Way(1994) 
King and Emperor(1996) 

Stars And Stripes Books

Stars and Stripes Forever(1998) 
Stars and Stripes in Peril(2000) 
Stars and Stripes Triumphant(2001) 

Standalone Novels

Plague from Space(1965) 
Make Room! Make Room!(1966) 
The Man from P.I.G.(1968) 
The Technicolor Time Machine(1968) 
Captive Universe(1969) 
In Our Hands, the Stars(1970) 
The Jupiter Legacy(1970) 
Spaceship Medic(1970) 
Tunnel Through the Deeps(1972) 
Stonehenge: Where Atlantis Died(1972) 
The Men from P.I.G. and R.O.B.O.T.(1974) 
Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers(1974) 
The California Iceberg(1975) 
The Lifeship(1976) 
Planet Story(1979) 
The QEII is Missing(1980) 
The Jupiter Plague(1982) 
Invasion: Earth(1982) 
A Rebel in Time(1983) 
The Turing Option(1992) 

Short Stories

Toy Shop(2010) 
Arm of the Law(2010) 
The K-Factor(2010) 
The Misplaced Battleship(2010) 
The Repairman(2010) 
The Velvet Glove(2011) 

Short Story Collections

War with the Robots(1962) 
Two Tales and Eight Tomorrows(1968) 
Prime Number(1970) 
One Step from Earth(1971) 
The Best of Harry Harrison(1977) 
Galactic Dreams(1994) 
50 in 50(2001) 
Toy Shop and Two Others(2009) 
Science Fiction Collection 001(2011) 

Non-Fiction Books

Great Balls of Fire(1977) 
Spacecraft in Fact and Fiction(1979) 
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