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Charles L. Harness

Charles Leonard Harness was born December 29, 1915 in Colorado City, Texas. After an abortive stint at Texas Christian University, studying to be a preacher, he moved on to George Washington University in Washington DC, where he received a B.S. degree in 1942, and a law degree in 1946. He married in 1938, and he and wife Nell have a daughter and a son. He worked as a mineral economist for the US Bureau of Mines, 1941-47, then became a patent attorney, first with American Cyanamid (1947-1953), then with W.R. Grace & Co. (1953-1981).

His first story, ‘‘Time Trap," appeared in Astounding (8/48), and he went on to write a number of well-regarded SF stories, many involving future trials and patent attorneys. A series of patent office spoofs/stories (some co-written with Theodore L. Thomas) appeared under the pseudonym Leonard Lockhard, beginning with ‘‘Improbable Profession’’ (Astounding 9/52). His first published novel, Flight Into Yesterday (aka The Paradox Men), first appeared as a 1949 novella, and was expanded in 1953. The Rose, his most famous novella, appeared as a book in 1966. It was followed by Wagnerian space opera The Ring of Ritornel (1968), Wolfhead (1978), The Catalyst (1980), Firebird (1981), The Venetian Court (1982), Redworld (1986), Krono (1988), Lurid Dreams (1990), and Lunar Justice (1991). His short fiction has been collected in An Ornament to His Profession (1998), which includes not only ‘‘The Rose’’ but a new novella as well.