Thursday, February 26, 2009

Philip Jose Farmer Dies at 91

Science fiction great Philip Jose Farmer died yesterday morning “peacefully in his sleep,” according to his official Web site, just weeks after his 91st birthday. From CNN:
Farmer was known for his science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. He was 91.

The Peoria, Indiana, native’s most popular work was his "Riverworld" series, written in the 1970s.

Joe Lansdale, a critic, writer and friend of Farmer’s, credited Farmer with changing the face of science fiction.

“I just can’t begin to tell you how important he is to the field as well as other fields,” Lansdale said.

Critics said Farmer was the first author to address adult sexual themes in science-fiction novels.

Jonathan Strahan, an editor and critic for Locus magazine, said Farmer treated sex seriously, not in a juvenile manner or for cheap thrills.

“It wasn’t pornography and it wasn’t just about the sex of it,” Strahan said. “It was about the sexuality of people in an interesting and intelligent way.”

Graham Sleight, who wrote eloquently about Farmer’s work for his “Yesterday’s Tomorrows” column early in 2008, had this to say on the Locus blog:
All the weird stuff he loved to pack into his stories -- Tarzan, Richard Burton, sex, Joyce, loopy epistemology, historical trivia, flat earths -- made it a brew like nothing else.
From Farmer’s Web site:
He will be missed greatly by his wife Bette, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends and countless fans around the world.

January 26, 1918 - February 25, 2009. R.I.P.

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