Thomas M Disch's picture

Thomas M Disch

(Thomas Michael Disch)
USA flag (1940 - 2008)

aka Thom Demijohn, Leonie Hargrave, Victor Hastings, Cassandra Knye

Poet and cynic, Thomas M. Disch brought to the sf of the New Wave a camp sensibility and a sardonicism that too much sf had lacked. His sf novels include Camp Concentration, with its colony of prisoners mutated into super-intelligence by the bacteria that will in due course kill them horribly, and On Wings of Song, in which many of the brightest and best have left their bodies for what may be genuine, or entirely illusory, astral flight and his hero has to survive until his lover comes back to him; both are stunningly original books and both are among sf's more accomplishedly bitter-sweet works.

In recent years, Disch had turned to ironically moralized horror novels like The Businessman, The MD, The Priest and The Sub in which the nightmare of American suburbia is satirized through the terrible things that happen when the magical gives people the chance to do what they really really want. Perhaps Thomas M. Disch's best known work, though, is The Brave Little Toaster, a reworking of the Brothers Grimm's "Town Musicians of Bremen" featuring wornout domestic appliances -- what was written as a satire on sentimentality became a successful children's animated musical.

Thomas M. Disch died on July 4, 2008.

Genres: Horror, Children's Fiction, Science Fiction, Mystery
Supernatural Minnesota
   1. The Businessman (1984)
   2. The M.D. (1991)
   3. The Priest (1994)
   4. The Sub (1999)
   The Genocides (1965)
   The House That Fear Built (1966) (as by Cassandra Knye)
   The Puppies of Terra (1966)
     aka Mankind Under the Leash
   Echo Round His Bones (1967)
   Black Alice (1968) (as by Thom Demijohn)
   Camp Concentration (1968)
   Alfred the Great (1969) (as by Victor Hastings)
   334 (1972)
   Clara Reeve (1975) (as by Leonie Hargrave)
   On Wings of Song (1979)
   Neighboring Lives (1981) (with Charles Naylor)
     aka Neighbouring Lives
   The Silver Pillow (1988)
   The Proteus Sails Again (2008)
   One Hundred and Two H-Bombs (1966)
   Under Compulsion (1968)
     aka Fun with Your New Head
   Highway Sandwiches (poems) (1970) (with Marilyn Hacker and Charles Platt)
   White Fang Goes Dingo (1971)
   The Right Way to Figure Plumbing (1972)
   Getting into Death (1973)
   The Early Science Fiction Stories of Thomas M Disch (1977)
   Triplicity (1979)
   Haikus of a Pillow (poems) (1980)
   Fundamental Disch (1980)
   Burn This (poems) (1982)
   The Man Who Had No Idea (1982)
   Orders of the Retina (poems) (1982)
   Here I Am, There You Are, Where Were We (poems) (1984)
   The Tale of Dan de Lion (poems) (1986)
   Yes, Let's (poems) (1989)
   Dark Verses and Light (poems) (1991)
   The Dark Old House (poems) (1996)
   A Child's Garden of Grammar (poems) (2002)
   About the Size of It (poems) (2006)
   The Wall of America (2008)
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Anthologies edited
   The Ruins of Earth (1971)
   Bad Moon Rising (1973)
   The New Improved Sun (1975)
   New Constellations (1976) (with Charles Naylor)
   Strangeness (1977) (with Charles Naylor)
   Ringtime (1982)
   Torturing Mr Amberwell (1985)
Game Books
   Total Amnesia (2021)
Novellas and Short Stories
Non fiction
Series contributed to
   1. The Prisoner (1969)
     aka I Am Not a Number!
Black Cat Weekly
   30. Black Cat Weekly #30 (2022) (with others)
Anthologies containing stories by Thomas M Disch
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Short stories
Descending (1964)
Nada (1964)
Now is Forever (1964)
Thesis on Social Forms and Social Controls in the USA (1964)
102 H-Bombs (1965)Nebula Awards (nominee)
Come to Venus Melancholy (1965)Nebula Awards (nominee)
The Roaches (1965)
The Squirrel Cage (1965)
The Affluence of Edwin Lollard (1966)
The Contest (1966)
The Empty Room (1966)
Fun with Your New Head (1966)
Casablanca (1967)
Linda and Daniel and Spike (1967)
Moondust, the Smell of Hay, and Dialectical Materialism (1967)
The Number You Have Reached (1967)
Problems of Creativeness (1967)
1-A (1968)
The City of Penetrating Light (1968)
Flight Useless, Inexorable the Pursuit (1968)
The Asian Shore (1970)
Asian Shores (1970)Nebula Awards (nominee)
His Own Kind (1970)
Let Us Quickly Hasten to the Gate of Ivory (1970)
Angouleme (1971)
Things Lost (1972)
The Birds (1973)
Death and the Single Girl (1976)
Chanson Perpetuelle (1978)
The Man Who Had No Idea [short story] (1978)Hugo (nominee)
Mutability (1978)
The Brave Little Toaster [short story] (1980)Hugo (nominee)
Nebula Awards (nominee)
The Revelation (1980)
The Grown-Up (1981)
Understanding Human Behavior (1982)Nebula Awards (nominee)
Canned Goods (1984)
Torturing Mr Amberwell [short story] (1985)
The Rapture (1986)
Palindrome (1987)
Voices of the Kill (1988)Nebula Awards (nominee)
The Abduction of Bunny Steiner, or A Shameless Lie (1992)
The Burial Society (1993)
One Night, or Scheherazade's Bare Minimum (1993)
The Man Who Read a Book (1994)
The Owl And the Pussycat (1999)

Nebula Awards Best Novellette nominee (1966) : 102 H-Bombs
Nebula Awards Best Short Story nominee (1966) : Come to Venus Melancholy
Nebula Awards Best Novel nominee (1966) : The Genocides
Nebula Awards Best Novellette nominee (1971) : Asian Shores
Nebula Awards Best Novel nominee (1975) : 334
Hugo Best Novellette nominee (1979) : The Man Who Had No Idea [short story]
Hugo Best Novel nominee (1980) : On Wings of Song
John W Campbell Memorial Award Best Novel winner (1980) : On Wings of Song
Nebula Awards Best Novel nominee (1980) : On Wings of Song
Hugo Best Novella nominee (1981) : The Brave Little Toaster [short story]
Nebula Awards Best Novella nominee (1981) : The Brave Little Toaster [short story]
Nebula Awards Best Novellette nominee (1983) : Understanding Human Behavior
Nebula Awards Best Short Story nominee (1989) : Voices of the Kill
Bram Stoker Best Novel nominee (1992) : The M.D.: A Horror Story

Thomas M Disch recommends
The Baby Merchant (2006)
Kit Reed
"Can stand beside Levin's Rosemary's Baby and Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale."
All You Who Sleep Tonight (1990)
Vikram Seth
"Seth writes poetry as it has not been written for nearly a century, that's to say with the intention that his work should give pleasure to that ideal Comman Reader."
Mr Scobie's Riddle (1983)
Elizabeth Jolley
"A satire of great verve and acerbity."
Nightflyer (1982)
Christopher Fahy
"A shamelessly satisfying fantasy...fresh hot buttered popcorn."
Little, Big (1981)
John Crowley
". . . perhaps the greatest fantasy ever. . ."
The Cosmic Puppets (1957)
Philip K Dick
"Philip K Dick writes the way he sees it and it is the quality, the clarity, of his vision that makes him great!"
Mission of Gravity (1954)
(Mesklinite, book 1)
Hal Clement
"The best account of alien life on another planet."

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