(1953- ) US author who began publishing sf with his first novel, The Broken Worlds (1986), an attractive picaresque adventure. Shadows of the White Sun (1988) seems at first assessment almost too complex – it is set in a Far-Future solar system dominated by revenant star-sailors whose descendants occupy seven Space Habitats called the Hypaethra, orbiting the Sun, while a computer-created Android race occupies the planet Veii in exchange for ritual tribute paid to the Despot who dominates the habitats. But embedded within this surround are a convincing murder mystery, a trek and an examination of character. Echoes of both Frank Herbert and Gene Wolfe are detectable, not to Harris's discredit. Complications of venue and plot affect The Schizogenic Man (1990) more seriously, with a twenty-first-century balkanized, Computer-run, city-state America where lives change according to periodic lotteries, and a Time-Travel plot that further shuffles the reality cards; the novel was the 1991 runner-up for the Philip K Dick Award. Harris's work had yet to come fully into focus when he left the field.
Before beginning his sf career, Harris began to publish a series of adaptations of famous stories and novels for teaching purposes; those adapting the work of Edgar Allan Poe and Robert Louis Stevenson are given in the Checklist below. [JC]
adaptations from Edgar Allan Poe
- The Gold Bug (Providence, Rhode Island: Jamestown Publishers, 1982) [chap: adapted from the story by Edgar Allan Poe: pb/]
- The Masque of the Red Death (Providence, Rhode Island: Jamestown Publishers, 1982) [chap: adapted from the story by Edgar Allan Poe: pb/]
- The Tell-Tale Heart (Providence, Rhode Island: Jamestown Publishers, 1982) [chap: adapted from the story by Edgar Allan Poe: pb/]
adaptations from Robert Louis Stevenson
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