Monday, July 07, 2008

Gay sci-fi writer Thomas M. Disch, dead at 68

I was very saddened to read of the suicide of gay sci-fi writer/poet Thomas M. Disch. I came to know his work by reading the wonderful On Wings of Song. The literary world has lost two luminary gay sci-fi writers this year, the first being Arthur C. Clarke. Disch continued to write in his blog up until a few days before he died. The 1993 Encyclopedia of Science Fiction wrote "Because of his intellectual audacity, the chillingly distanced mannerism of his narrative art, the austerity of the pleasures he affords, and the fine cruelty of his wit, [Disch] has been perhaps the most respected, least trusted, most envied and least read of all modern first-rank sf writers."

Advocate reports:
Science fiction writer and poet Thomas M. Disch has committed suicide. Disch died July 4 and his body was discovered July 5, according to the New York City Police Department. He was 68.
The author of popular sci-fi novels Camp Concentration and 334, Disch had been openly gay since 1968. Following the 2004 death of his partner, poet Charles Naylor,
Disch reportedly began suffering from depression. Though some of his books, notably 334, derive from Disch's experience as a gay man, he was rarely touted as a gay writer. "I was pleased when a book called The Gay Canon included 'On Wings of Song'; I thought, Well, finally! They seem to notice me," Disch told Strange Horizons' David Horwich in 2001. READ MORE