Philip José Farmer: 1918-2009

The wildly inventive and passionately polemical science-fiction writer Philip José Farmer quietly expired at home, Ash Wednesday morning, at the ripe age of 91. I and many others first became aware of Farmer’s work in the 1970s, shortly after the first volume of his legendary Riverworld series, To Your Scattered Bodies Go won the Hugo Award for best novel. The central conceit of Riverworld is that all existing religions are wrong about the afterlife: In Farmer’s work, earth’s luckier dead reawaken in fresh adult bodies on a magical planet far, far away where all the most influential or memorable personalities of human myth, literature and history are reborn (memories intact!!) to coexist. Provocative collaborations and personality clashes ensue. Continue reading “Philip José Farmer: 1918-2009”