tuftears: Sad Kitty (Sad)
Harry Harrison, author of the famed Stainless Steel Rat books, has passed on.

He wrote many other books-- Deathworld, West of Eden, and a different comedic SF series, "Bill the Galactic Hero" but I'll always remember him for the Stainless Steel Rat, a hero of an entirely different cut-- smooth, suave, conniving, someone who didn't serve the law so much as sneaking around the often officious, usually useless officers of the law to do good in his own way. It was something of a revelation that heroes didn't have to be Dudley Do-Rights, that they could rely on sharp wits and a bag of tricks instead of magical powers or steely muscles and charged blasters to save the day.

There have been rogues in the past-- Robin Hood and Reynard the Fox-- and there will be rogues in the future, like Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards. (There are not enough rogue protagonists out there!) But the Stainless Steel Rat was my introduction to the merry band.

Rest in peace, Harry Harrison!

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Conrad "Lynx" Wong

July 2017

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