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Thomas M. Disch RIP
Bella
ellen_datlow
I've just found out that Tom Disch committed suicide in his apartment on July 4th. He was found by a friend who lives a few blocks away.

I'm shocked, saddened, but not very surprised. Tom had been depressed for several years and was especially hit by the death of his longtime partner Charles Naylor. He also was very worried about being evicted from the rent controlled apartment he lived in for decades.

I last visited with him about a month ago, when I ran into him shopping at the Greenmarket across the street from where he lived (he rarely went out because he had trouble walking). He invited me up for cheese and bread which we bought together at the market and I visited for an hour or two. He seemed more optimistic about his work than he'd been for at least a year as he had three books/novellas coming out over the next year.

Tom wrote wonderful stories (I only read one or two of his novels but kept meaning to read more) and if you haven't ever read the collections Getting into Death or Fundamental Disch you need to find and read them.

Tom, as much as you were a bitter, sometimes mean curmudgeon--I'll miss you.


John Clute on Tom Disch

And possibly the best obituary by Elizabeth Hand on
Salon

I guess I'm surprised but not shocked. I saw him about a month ago at the NYRSF reading at South Street. He read from his new book and was quite bubbly - told me I looked like Chris Walken. I'm surprised that his novels Camp Concentration and 334 and his short stories haven't gotten the same kind of mainstream attention and respect that P.K. Dick has received.
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Nobody ever made any big giant movies out of Disch's stories and books, or movies named after them, or...not even named after them or based on them, really, but still carrying a credit.

At any rate, it comes to mind that an attempt was made to reintroduce Disch with sexy trade paperbacks based on the Vintage resell of Dick, around the same time as Sturgeon, like ten years ago. It didn't seem to work, for Disch or Sturgeon.
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Except The Brave Little Toaster. And to have written something like The Businessman or Camp Concentration and be remembered for the toaster . . . that would be hard.
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Yeah, I forgot about Brave Little Toaster, which is awesome. Not really the kind of thing that kickstarts a cult into higher gear, like Blade Runner, though.
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(Deleted comment)
He didn't get as much money as he should have. He felt Disney cheated him (I don't remember the details).
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One of the many things about which Disch had reason to be bitter is that he was instrumental in several very successful films for Disney and got shafted out of pretty much all of the royalties. Not just the Brave Little Toaster films, but he also apparently wrote the original treatment for The Lion King and got dropped down the memory/poverty hole for that, too.
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I knew about the Brave Little Toaster but not The Lion King.
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It was me who made the original post in this thread.
Sorry to leave my name off.

Rick Bowes
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That in a way is what's so shocking. He seemed cheerier lately.
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