Wednesday, February 25, 2009


RIP Philip José Farmer

The man who had a greater influence on my development as a writer than any other, Philip José Farmer, passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning.

I never had the opportunity to meet Phil, though it was my great honor to republish some of his work in the pages of Win Scott Eckert's Myths for the Modern Age. We're just at the moment getting to files together for the forthcoming reprint of Two Hawks from Earth, and last week I was lucky enough to be one of the first to read Christopher Paul Carey's thoughtful and insightful afterword to the novel.

I wish I'd had the chance to meet Phil in his prime, and talk to him about his work, and about the characters and stories he grew up loving and never stopped loving. I wish I'd had the chance to talk about ERB with him, and Doc Savage, and John Barth, and airships. I wish I'd had the chance to have him read one of my stories and tell me what he thought of it. I wish, I wish.

Philip José Farmer made me who I am today. If not for Phil and his Wold Newton family, if not for Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life and Tarzan Alive, if not for "After King Kong Fell" and The Other Log of Phileas Fogg and The Adventure of the Peerless Peer, if not for A Feast Unknown and "The Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod", if not for Father to the Stars and To Your Scattered Bodies Go and "The Alley Man" and Greatheart Silver and "The Oogenesis of Bird City" and too many others to count...

If not for Phil Farmer, I might well not be a writer today. And if not Phil Farmer, I definitely wouldn't be the kind of writer I am today.

Thanks for the feast, Phil. If I have anything to say about it, you won't ever be forgotten. Rest easy. You earned it.

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

Oh crap, just after the last issue of the Farmerphile! With collaborators completing several of his novel and short stories, Farmer is gone before his comeback!

Goodbye, World of Tiers and Finnegan, Riverworld and all its multitudes, Lord Grandrith and Doc Caliban and all the rest!
May he find peace at the source of the River...
Farmer's work had a huge effect on me too, Chris. To pick just one first fiction sales were..well, porn stories, and I used the name Peter Clydesdale, the porn-writing computer from the Greatheart Silver books, as my pseudonym.
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