Word on the internet is that Harry Harrison has died.
I adored Harry for a multitude of reasons — he was kind, he was funny, he was acerbic; he created Slippery Jim and Angelina, and Bill, the most inept hero in space opera, and gave us a vividly frightening look at what it would be like when there were just too many of us.
The last time I talked to him at length was…in Montreal? Really? I guess it was. He joined us for breakfast, carrying his cup over from his table to ours, and sitting himself down to chat about nothing much, really.
Harry had charm; people wanted to look out for him. The staff at the restaurant was no different. They knew him by name, as he knew their names, and they kept a subtle eye on him. We went from two foreigners at a corner table, to Mr. Harrison’s friends; he introduced us, so we knew their names, too.
That drink…I incurred that debt at the Philadelphia Nebulas. It was a good debt, as so few are, a kind of promise that I’d be talkng with Harry again, not once, but many times more.