Damn, but it seems the last few months I’ve had to post far too many times about us losing some good people from the world of SF&F. I’ve just seen via CNN that highly respected science fiction and fantasy author Philip Jose Farmer has passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 91. Farmer was, as the CNN article remarks, one of the few writers in the genre to hold both the lifetime achievement award from the World Fantasy Society and the Grand Master award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. Highly influential on other SF&F writers Farmer, despite penning many works (in a career which went from The Lovers in 1952 right up to last year), is probably still best known for his Riverworld series, which saw pretty much every human being from the whole of our species’ history returned to life on a distant, terraformed world following the accidental annihilation of humanity in the 21st century, beginning with the book To Your Scattered Bodies Go. Farmer was also one of the first major SF writers to openly explore sexuality, as can be seen in works like Blown or Image of the Beast (he even included the late Forry Ackerman, who passed away just before Christmas, as a character). He will be missed, but we have the consolation of his books.
(the cover to the first hardback edition of Farmer’s To You Scattered Bodies Go, published Putnam, 1971)