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.

Harvey Jacobs
Photograph by Estelle Jacobs.

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.


  • Summer on a Mountain of Spices, Harper & Row, 1975.
    A coming-of-age novel set in a resort in the Catskill Mountains at the close of World War II.
  • The Juror, Franklin Watts, 1980.
    Can one person change the opinon of others on a jury? There's a darn good reason to try.
  • Beautiful Soup, Celadon Press, 1994.
    In a world in which everyone is bar-coded at birth, what happens if an accident changes the code into something unfortunate?
    You can read the first chapter of Beautiful Soup within my pages as well as a few excerpts of the excellent reviews the book has achieved.
  • American Goliath, St. Martins Press, 1997.
    Due to the efforts of various characters, including P. T. Barnum, in a novel that is part history and part fantasy, Goliath and his rival come alive. Or do they?
  • Side Effects: A Novel, Celadon Press, 2009.
    The life and times of Simon Apple who, from a very young age through adulthood, has side effects that transform miracle drugs into something otherwise. This is what Gordon Van Gelder, publisher of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction said about Side Effects:
      That funny feeling you're getting now--is that the result of some pill, or is it the effect of reading Harvey Jacobs's new novel? Take this book to your doctor and find out now!
Story Collections
  • The Egg of the Glak and Other Stories, Harper & Row, 1969.
    Three marvelous long stories that show Harvey at his best.
  • My Rose and My Glove: Stories (Real and Surreal), Darkside Press, 2005.
    A collection of 24 stories, including a few new ones among the reprints. It's a limited and numbered edition that is, unfortunately, difficult to find.
  • But Wait . . . There's More, volume 1, ReAnimus Press, 2016.
    A trio of stories. Free to download, read, and enjoy!
  • But Wait . . . There's More, volume 2, ReAnimus Press, 2016.
    Eight stories that explore the full range of Harvey's humor.
  • But Wait . . . There's More, volume 3, ReAnimus Press, 2016.
    Another trio of stories. Free to download, read, and enjoy!

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