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Thomas Disch, Writer of Science Fiction, Dies of Apparent Suicide

Thomas Disch, a poet, critic, and author of science fiction, died at his apartment in New York on Friday, July 4th, of an apparent suicide. He was 68.

DischNYT: "His friend Alice K. Turner said Mr. Disch shot himself. She and other friends told how his apartment had been devastated by a fire; then his partner of more than 30 years died; then his home in Barryville, N.Y., was flooded; and finally, he faced eviction after he returned to the apartment. He also suffered from diabetes and sciatica. 'He was simply ground down by the sequence of catastrophes,' his friend Norman Rush, the novelist, said Monday." According to the L.A. Times, "Three of his novels, 'Camp Concentration,' '334' and 'On Wings of Song' were named in "Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels," a survey by critic David Pringle. Disch's nonfiction work 'The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World' received a Hugo Award in 1999."

The Advocate has posted a LiveJournal entry written 10 days before his death. Disch reads an excerpt at the 1987 NY book fair, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Quite sad indeed. Brave Little Toaster is a great book.

    Posted by: Drew | Jul 8, 2008 8:26:12 AM

  2. I don't think you can say that someone died "of an apparent suicide." If you take the word "of" out of that first sentence it will be greatly improved. Thanks.

    Posted by: Wayne in KC | Jul 8, 2008 10:46:43 AM

  3. Technically, it should be "died by apparent suicide".

    Posted by: anon | Jul 8, 2008 11:48:59 AM

  4. Holy S$#%!

    He lived in my apartment building...

    And the worst part of the situation was that it was his friend who walked into the apartment and found him. Everyone in the building was shocked and devastated.

    The cops also unnecessarily took his body and weapon out through the front door.

    Poor soul.

    Posted by: Allan in NYC | Jul 8, 2008 12:50:52 PM

  5. I didn't hear about this until last night. What a loss -- still in his sixties.

    Science fiction was a safe space when I was a nerdy gay kid. He gave me so much, and helped me grow up.

    Sad news.

    Posted by: thin mint | Jul 8, 2008 1:43:24 PM

  6. Publishing under the name Thom Demijohn, he was also the co-author, with John Sladek, of the cult classic "Black Alice". And he was openly gay since the 1960s! Sad to see him go.

    Posted by: gregnsf | Jul 8, 2008 9:58:54 PM

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