One of my favorite Science Fiction writers has passed away. when I first discovered sci-fi I devoured everything Harry Harrison wrote. I read his early works to tatters.
Harry Harrison, illustrator, editor and author, as stated by Wikipedia, was born in Stamford, Connecticut and died in Britain on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at the age of 87.
His 1966 novel "Make Room! Make Room!" — which paints a future society crumbling under the weight of excessive population and resource depletion — is credited as the basis for the 1973 dystopian film "Soylent Green."
Harrison's substantial body of work included Deathworld and its sequels, a long-running series based on con man Jim diGriz or "The Stainless Steel Rat," and Bill, the Galactic Hero, which was also extended into a series co-authored by other writers. His books toed the line between science fiction adventure, humor, and satire, often with a strong anti-military bent informed by his time in the US Army Air Corps.
Despite this, Harrison is probably best known indirectly — as the author of Make Room! Make Room!, which inspired cult film Soylent Green despite having very little to do with it. Make Room! Make Room! was a bleak depiction of a corrupt and overpopulated US in the year 1999, predating much "population bomb" literature and infusing the central murder-mystery plot with romance and tragedy. The book, however, crucially did not suggest cannibalism as a potential policy solution, and "soylent green" was in fact a mixture of soy and lentils.