The life and 60-year career of an award-winning science-fiction writer.
Harrison’s (1925-2012) posthumously published memoir begins with his birth in Depression-era Stamford, Connecticut, and his upbringing in Queens, New York. He only briefly describes his youth before chronicling his drafting into the U.S. Army Air Force, a time which offered little pleasure save for a lecture on the international language of Esperanto, which would endure as a lifelong interest for Harrison. Courting a fascination with both writing and ink illustrations, the author procured work with comic-book publishers (where he honed his “variegated skills”), consorted with industry contemporaries, and went on to edit pulp magazines, leading to his true calling: science fiction. Together with his wife, Joan, Harrison became characteristically nomadic, relocating from city to city, soaking up local culture, freelancing, and eventually growing fidgety in locales like New York, Mexico and Britain. He then spent time fine-tuning novels and writing Flash Gordon scripts in Italy and Denmark, followed by teaching and lecturing in San Diego until a final return to the U.K. The author’s best adventures and opinions can surely be found in this entertainingly animated chronicle. It is through his many physical relocations that the anecdotes, vignettes and sage wisdom flow freely, affording fans an intimate glance into the author’s personality while exposing him as not just a science-fiction writer, but a witty raconteur as well. The author of numerous novels (Make Room! Make Room!), short stories and popular SF series (Stainless Steel Rat), Harrison’s prolific, distinguished oeuvre speaks for itself, as does this witty memoir, which leaves no doubts about who Harrison was, how he lived, and what inspired him to write, explore and imagine.
Science-fiction readers and Harrison devotees will garner the most pleasure from this heartfelt autobiography.