A Late Bow of the Head

Damn, I fall behind on blogs and the rest of the world, and then this happens.

I found out because weeks ago Ellen Datlow posted about Thomas Disch’s passing, and a particularly saddening way of going.

Of course, I never met him. In fact, I’d only read a few of Disch’s books — 334 being the only novel, partly because it depressed me so, in an already-depressing time, but I also very much enjoyed his SF history The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of quite recently (here’s what I had to say about it) and, back in grad school, his The Castle of Indolence: On Poetry, Poets, and Poetasters, a book of his poetry criticism. But when I was in Seattle, I picked up a few of his novels, intending to read them soon, and Vernor Vinge even personally recommended Disch’s On Wings of Song to me during my one-on-one session with him. I had just recently has his blog brought back to my attention — ironically, the last entry I happened to read was his, ahem, memoriam of Algis Budrys, and I happened to read none of the posts that others found objectionable (and would rather not go back to them now) — and now, of a sudden, he is gone.

Life is short, and for some of us, happinesses run out. I cannot criticize him for what he chose. But it is saddening. Would that happier hours and more days be bestowed upon us all.

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