Thomas M. Disch biography

Thomas M. Disch

Novelist, Author

1940 – 2008


Who was Thomas M. Disch?

Thomas Michael Disch was an American science fiction author and poet. He won the Hugo Award for Best Related Book – previously called "Best Non-Fiction Book" – in 1999, and he had two other Hugo nominations and nine Nebula Award nominations to his credit, plus one win of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, a Rhysling Award, and two Seiun Awards, among others.

In the 1960s, his work began appearing in science-fiction magazines. His critically acclaimed science fiction novels, The Genocides, Camp Concentration, 334 and On Wings of Song are major contributions to the New Wave science fiction movement. In 1996, his book The Castle of Indolence: On Poetry, Poets, and Poetasters was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and in 1999, Disch won the Nonfiction Hugo for The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of, a meditation on the impact of science fiction on our culture, as well as the Michael Braude Award for Light Verse. Among his other nonfiction work, he wrote theatre and opera criticism for The New York Times, The Nation, and other periodicals. He also published several volumes of poetry as Tom Disch.

Following an extended period of depression following the death in 2005 of his life-partner, Charles Naylor, Disch stopped writing almost entirely, except for poetryalthough he did produce two novellas. Disch committed suicide by gunshot on July 4 2008 in his apartment in Manhattan, New York City. His last book, The Word of God, which was written shortly before Naylor died, had just been published a few days before Disch's death.


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Feb 2, 1940
Des Moines
Also known as
  • Tom Disch
  • Leonie Hargrave
  • Dobbin Thorpe
  • Thomas Michael Disch
  • Thom Demijohn
  • Thomas Disch
  • Atheism
  • United States of America
  • Cooper Union
  • New York University
Lived in
  • New York City
    ( - 2008/07/04)
  • Saint Paul
  • Des Moines
  • Fairmont
Jul 4, 2008
New York City

on July 23, 2013

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