Harness, Charles L. 1915–2005

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Harness, Charles L. 1915–2005

(Charles Leonard Harness)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born December 29, 1915, in Colorado City, TX; died September 20, 2005, in North Newton, KS. Lawyer and author. Harness was a critically acclaimed science-fiction author who became more famous in England than in his native United States. An alumnus of George Washington University, he completed his B.S. there in 1942, followed by a law degree in 1946. He then became a patent attorney, first with the American Cyanamid Company in Connecticut and then, from 1953 until his 1981 retirement, with W.R. Grace & Company in Columbia, Maryland. Despite his recognized gifts as a writer, Harness continued to practice law in order to support his family. His writing career began in the late 1940s with contributions to such magazines as Astounding Science Fiction. His first novel, Flight into Yesterday (1953; published as The Paradox Men two years later), was a critical success, but it was more popular in England than in America. For many years, Harness focused on his family and law career before releasing The Rose (1966), which was published in London, and The Ring of Ritornel (1968). Part of the difficulty in being accepted by fans and publishers in the United States was Harness's unwillingness to write one kind of science fiction. His topics range widely, and his plots and themes are intellectually challenging. In the 1980s, especially after his retirement, Harness enjoyed a prolific period. He published ten books from 1980 through 2002, including the novels The Catalyst (1980), Redworld (1986), and Lurid Dreams (1990), and the short story collection An Ornament to His Profession (1998). His last book was Cybele, with Bluebonnets (2002).



St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Independent (London, England), October 11, 2005, p. 37.

Washington Post, September 23, 2005.


Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Web site, http://www.sfwa.org/ (October 5, 2005).

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Harness, Charles L. 1915–2005

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