The legendary Thomas M. Disch was born 83 years ago
The influential writer, poet, editor, and essayist Thomas M. Disch was born on February 2, 1940. With the 1965 publication of his first novel The Genocides, Disch began an impressive output of challenging, creative fiction. Other noteworthy novels included Camp Concentration (1968), Black Alice (1968 with John Sladek), The Prisoner (1969), 334 (1972), On Wings of Song (1979), The Businessman: A Tale Of Terror (1984), The M.D.: A Horror Story (1991), The Priest: A Gothic Romance (1994), The Sub: A Study in Witchcraft (1999), and THE WORD OF GOD: OR, HOLY WRIT REWRITTEN (2008).
In 1980, Disch ventured into the world of children’s books with The Brave Little Toaster: A Bedtime Story for Small Appliances, which was the basis for the acclaimed Disney film. His other works for children included The Tale Of Dan De Lion (1986), The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars (1988 also made into a Disney film in 1998), and A Child’s Garden Of Grammar (1997). In 1999, Disney released The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue, the third film to use characters created by Disch.
Disch’s numerous shorts stories were collected into several volumes including One Hundred and Two H-Bombs (1967), Under Compulsion (1968), White Fang Goes Dingo (1971), Getting Into Death (1974), Fundamental Disch (1980), The Man Who Had No Idea (1982), and THE WALL OF AMERICA (2008). His acclaimed poetry was collected in several volumes including The Right Way To Figure Plumbing (1972), Abcdefg Hijklm Npoqrst Uvwxyz (1981), Burn This (1982), Dark Verses and Light (1991), Haikus of an Ampart (1991), About the Size of It (2007), and Endzone (2018). His poem BILLET-DOUX (2007) was produced as limited edition broadside in celebration of Tachyon Publications’ twelfth anniversary.
As an award-winning essayist, Disch was regular contributor to The Nation, The Weekly Standard, Harper’s, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and Entertainment Weekly. He won a Hugo award for the non-fiction The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered The World.
Among Disch’s other numerous accomplishments, are editing the anthologies Highway Sandwiches (1970 with Marilyn Hacker and Charles Platt), The Ruins of Earth (1971), Bad Moon Rising (1973), The New Improved Sun (1975), New Constellations: An Anthology of Tomorrow’s Mythologies (1976 with Charles Naylor), and Strangeness (1977 with Charles Naylor).
Sadly, the iconic Thomas Disch died in 2008, just days after Tachyon published what proved to be his final novel, THE WORD OF GOD: OR, HOLY WRIT REWRITTEN.