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R.I.P., Thomas M. Disch

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I imagine most of you who would want to know already know by now that Thomas M. Disch committed suicide a few days ago.

Disch was one of my favorite authors in high school. I still have a high regard for a lot of his work--I think I read most of his fiction (and a little of his nonfiction) that was published before 1980 or so. Somehow I never got around to reading his later work; not sure why. But anyone looking for an introduction to his short fiction could do worse than to dig up a used copy of Fundamental Disch. I always had a particular fondness for "Dangerous Flags," though it's certainly not a Deep or Significant story; just short and fun.

Sadly, Disch later criticized some of that early work as "juvenilia." But fwiw, I still consider it worth reading.

He was, I think, the second author who we did an author focus issue on; we reprinted a story, two poems, and some nonfiction by him, and we added a review of the then-new Vintage reissues of a couple of his books, plus an interview with him (conducted by then-Articles-editor David Horwich, who I think was a big Disch fan). That last was quoted in the abovelinked New York Times obituary; thanks to all who dropped me notes about it. (I assume that the Times writer just Googled Disch's name; that interview was relatively high in search results.)

The Locus obituary notes that Disch had two books out in the past year, with a collection coming from Tachyon this October; maybe I'll check them out.

It sounds like things had been pretty rough for him lately, but I'm sad to see him go.

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