Harry Harrison


Simon Reynolds has a nice obit for science fiction writer Harry Harrison, who died a few days ago.
Harrison's Make Room, Make Room became the kitsch stinker classic Soylent Green but the novel is a superior treatment of the overpopulated world theme. As Reynolds notes, in the book "soylent is not 'made of people,' it's made of soya and lentils. That and krill and seaweed crackers make up the diet for 99 percent of the population."

As a child I read Deathworld and a few other Harrison books and I am one of the few people on Earth who read The Man from P.I.G. (1968), the author's 1960s spy spoof. As Jared Shurin summarizes it:

The book - a slightly extended version of a novella - is quick and slightly dirty. It follows a simple problem/solution format, with every problem solved by the judicious application of pig. Harrison is clever enough - and funny enough - to keep this going, but were The Man from P.I.G. any longer, it would cease to be amusing.

The overall plot, the mystery, its inevitable resolution and even the characters - they're all actually fairly meaningless, with twists and turns introduced at random by Harrison. The book is an extended joke about how pigs can solve any problem. A funny joke (fortunately) but not a particularly deep one.

Hey now - this book is called The Man from P.I.G. - it has to be good (I remember enjoying it).