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New Title Spotlight: An Ornament to His Profession

In our never-ending quest to bring you the joys of classic SF writers you might never otherwise have heard of, we are delighted to feature An Ornament to His Profession, a collection of some of the best short fiction of Charles L. Harness.

Charles Leonard Harness was born in Colorado City, Texas, in 1915. He earned degrees in chemistry and law from George Washington University and worked as a patent attorney from 1947 to 1981. Harness’s background as a lawyer influenced several of his works. His first story, ‘Time Trap’ was published in 1948 and drew on many themes that would recur in later stories: art, time travel and a hero undergoing a quasi-transcendental experience. Harness’ most famous single novel was his first, Flight into Yesterday, which was published first as a novella in the May 1949 issue of Startling Stories and was later republished as The Paradox Men in 1953. A great influence on many writers, Harness continued to publish until 2001 and was nominated for multiple Hugo and Nebula awards. In 2004 he was named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.  He died in 2005, aged 89.

An Ornament to His Profession contains stories covering the full gamut of Harness’s repertoire from alternate history, SF about the legal profession, and lyrical and witty stories of science and the arts:

The Rose
Time Trap
Stalemate in Space
The New Reality
The Chessplayers
Child Chronos
An Ornament to His Profession
The Alchemist
The Million Year Patent
Probable Cause
The Araqnid Window
Summer Solstice
Quarks at Appomattox
George Washington Slept Here
O Lyric Love
The Tetrahedron
Lethary Fair

You can find more of Charles L. Harness’s work via his Author page on the Gateway website, and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.