Harvey Jacobs 1930-2017
||Dec. 31, 2017|
Sadly, Harvey Jacobs (1930-2017) passed away on September 23. His loss is not only one for his family and friends but readers everywhere. Within his five novels and five short story collections is the soul of a true storyteller. There are many writers but few storytellers, and his stories effortlessly open new worlds and views throughout, whether of the here and now or the future.
What strikes me the most when I think about Harvey is - although a sharp sense of humor - his warm humanity. No matter what is thrown at any of his protagonists, the person rises above it. For example, in "The Synchronous Swimmer," a story in his collection But Wait . . . There's More, volume 2, it doesn't matter whether the swimmer and alien are totally incompatible in terms of physical appearance, because they have the will to try and succeed.
I had first met Harvey in the mid-1970s when I started a new (and minor) job at a TV company. Harvey was not only one of the show's writers but also someone who I had read over the years. I had met other SF writers previously, at conventions and such, but this was the first time that I had come to know any writer on a daily basis. Talk about convenience: Harvey was in the same building, on the same floor, and very close by. In person Harvey had the same sense of "story" that was in his writing. That impressed me no end. And so meeting him led to a friendship that lasted over the years.
Harvey began publishing fiction in the late fifties and the sixties. His first book was a collection of three long stories (The Egg of the Glak) and then came a short but funny sequence of novels, including The Juror, which was optioned to become a movie. That didn't come about, but there's always the hope: Some day . . .
More to the point, the world seems a less friendly place without Harvey, but we at least have his stories. If you haven't read anything by him, I strongly recommend the two free ebooks, But Wait . . . There's More, volumes 1 and 3. And here follows a list of his publications - with links, since they're available at ReAnimus Press.
Note: For Harvey's novels and collections, I list the original publisher and date; each title having a link goes to ReAnimus Press, the present publisher of his writing.