Thursday, February 26, 2009

RIP Jose Philip Farmer

The only man (I think) who has ever published a novel under the name of everyone's favorite fictional sci-fi writer, Kilgore Trout, died Wednesday.

I know him best for a series that blew my fucking mind when I was 15 years old, or thereabouts called The Riverworld Saga.  In it, Farmer imagines an afterlife in which everyone ever born on Earth is resurrected on the banks of a huge river.  So you get Julius Caesar interacting with Mark Twain, and shit like that.  It was awesome.

Farmer was also one of the first sci-fi writers to write graphic sex scenes, which I'm sure had nothing to do with my enjoyment of his novels, as what 15 year old nerdy boy wants to read about sex?  Especially when he could be reading whatever half-assed book was on the summer reading list for school?

I'd been planning to revisit the Riverworld series for quite a while now, and I guess now is as good as any time to--you are more than welcome to do the same--the first one, To Your Scattered Bodies Go--is widely considered to be one of the better books in the series, if not the best.

So, rest in peace, Mr. Farmer -- if your afterlife is half as cool as the one you imagined, you are probably having a ball right now.


Andrew Wice said...

Thanks for the tip.

Not many people besides Big BM are aware that Vanilla Ice's seminal work "Ice Ice Baby" is based on Vonnegut's Ice-9.

Big Blue Monkey 2: The Quickening said...

That's true--very few people besides me know that.