So many individuals have had significant impact and influence upon our lives that it’s easy for the importance of those who have disappeared from our minds to dim and fade away. I hadn’t thought about Harry Harrison for many years – not in any meaningful sense, anyway – until this morning when I heard of his passing and felt a keen pang of loss and regret at the passing of one of my galactic heroes and, so soon after Ray Bradbury, another foundation stone of a bygone era of science fiction. I only met him once, getting on for 30 years ago at Birmingham’s Andromeda sf bookshop, and I’ve read none of his post-1980s output, but as a teenager his presence in my life was considerable and it extended well into my adulthood.
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