'The Rose' is a wonderful and ultimately moving novella by Harness also from 1953. He failed to sell it to a U.S. publisher. It first appeared in the British magazine Authentic Science Fiction in that year. It was not republished in paperback in the UK until 1966, and it wasn't until 1968 that UK publisher Sidgwick & Jackson issued the (now very scarce) hardback edition. Its revival in the 1960s was the result of the interest in Harness's work of Michael Moorcock, It actually didn't make it into print in the United States until 1969. The hardback is a brute to find in decent shape. Nice copies tend to sell for quite a lot of money.
‘In a world where a terrifying Ultimate Weapon is just about to be perfected, a scattered handful of people are on the brink of making a giant evolutionary step and becoming more than human. The Rose is the story of two such mutants, one man and one woman.
On their foreheads, strange horn-like growths sprout. On their backs, disfiguring humps grow. Together they fight in a new and deadly version of an ages-old battle, all the time seeking the mysterious Rose that will resolve the puzzling enigma on which the future of life itself depends…’
'This astonishing tale... transfigures its source in Oscar Wilde's "The Nightingale and the Rose" into a transcendent paean to the victory of art over the coercions of science.' John Clute
Harness made a kind of comeback in 1968 with the Ring of Ritornel when his earlier work began to be more appreciated. For whatever reason, it was 10 years before he wrote another novel, Wolfhead, in 1978.
I personally don't find the later works quite recapture the earlier magic (a bit like Joseph Heller after Catch 22), though others may disagree.
Though he was nominated for multiple Hugo and Nebula awards in later years, I find it astonishing that he never received an award for either of these fine works. The Rose was nominated for a retrospective Hugo in 2004 alongside other novellas published in 1953 but lost out to A Case of Conscience by James Blish.
So there is some justice that he was named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2004.