This week’s non-fiction piece over at Strange Horizons is by friend-of-Futurismic Sam J Miller; it’s a rumination on the recent suicide of sf writer and poet Thomas M Disch, and an attempt to divine what the trigger of the tragedy might have been. From Sam’s introduction:
Suicide is always a speculative matter. Even in a case like Tom’s, where a number of negative factors clearly contributed, the survivors are left to wonder. What was really going on? Where do we put the blame? What do we do with our grief? With our guilt? Murder and disease and acts of God give us something concrete on which to focus our rage and grief, but suicide thumps us over the head with the ugly truth about human mortality.
Grieving the death of a favorite writer is not so different from mourning the death of a friend: there’s the same sense of frustration and impotence, of loss and loneliness. Literature is a kind of intercourse, and we crave a closer communion with the writers who send those shivers up our spines. So I wonder: who killed Thomas Disch?
It’s an interesting and sensitively-written essay, and well worth your time – go take a look.
Disch is one of the ever-growing list of writers whom I’m painfully aware I should have read by now – are there any Disch fans among Futurismic‘s readers? If so, which of his works would you recommend as his best?