Dammit, Harry; I still owe you a drink…

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.



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