Former BBC and newspaper journalist, now writer, Robert Harris was born on this day in 1957. If that name is not known to you, we urge you to rectify that as soon as possible. Harris is the author of a number of non-fiction books – including Selling Hitler, an account of the Hitler Diaries hoax – and nine works of fiction.
Harris specialises in historical-political thrillers and is of interest to SF readers primarily owing to his wonderful debut novel, Fatherland, an alternative history thriller in which Germany won the Second World War, set in April 1964 in the lead up to Adolf Hitler’s 75th birthday celebrations. Although, in strictly conceptual terms, there was nothing new in Harris’s conceit – particularly to readers familiar with works such as The Man in the High Castle – the execution is flawless, engendering in the reader an edge-of-the-seat tension, despite the fact that the revelation at the centre of the book is well-known historical fact.
Happy Birthday, Robert Harris – or, as we might say if Fatherland was fact rather than fiction: alles gute zum Geburtstag!