The legendary Thomas M. Disch was born 78 years ago
Thomas Disch at South Street Seaport June 3 2008 (photo: Houari Boumedienne/Wikimedia Commons)
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, BLACK ALICE (with John Sladek), 334, ON WINGS OF SONG, THE BUSINESSMAN: A TALE OF TERROR, THE M.D.: A HORROR STORY, and THE WORD OF GOD: OR, HOLY WRIT REWRITTEN.
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, THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER GOES TO MARS, FILM ADAPTATION, and A CHILD’S GARDEN OF GRAMMAR.
Disch’s numerous shorts stories were collected into several volumes including ONE HUNDRED AND TWO H-BOMBS, FUN WITH YOUR NEW HEAD, WHITE FANG GOES DINGO, GETTING INTO DEATH, FUNDAMENTAL DISCH, THE MAN WHO HAD NO IDEA, and THE WALL OF AMERICA.
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.
Disch’s acclaimed poetry was collected in several volumes including THE RIGHT WAY TO FIGURE PLUMBING, ABCDEFG HIJKLM NPOQRST UVWXYZ, BURN THIS, DARK VERSES AND LIGHT, HAIKUS OF AN AMPART, and ABOUT THE SIZE OF IT. His poem BILLET-DOUX was produced as limited edition broadside in celebration of Tachyon Publications’ twelfth anniversary.
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.
For more information about THE WORD OF GOD: OR, HOLY WRIT REWRITTEN, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Ann Monn
For more information about THE WALL OF AMERICA, visit the Tachyon page.
Cover by Ann Monn
BILLET-DOUX, art and design by Barry Barnes