Philip Jose Farmer passes away

Published On February 26, 2009 | By Joe Gordon | Books

Damn, but it seems the last few months I’ve had to post far too many times about us losing some good people from the world of SF&F. I’ve just seen via CNN that highly respected science fiction and fantasy author Philip Jose Farmer has passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 91. Farmer was, as the CNN article remarks, one of the few writers in the genre to hold both the lifetime achievement award from the World Fantasy Society and the Grand Master award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. Highly influential on other SF&F writers Farmer, despite penning many works (in a career which went from The Lovers in 1952 right up to last year), is probably still best known for his Riverworld series, which saw pretty much every human being from the whole of our species’ history returned to life on a distant, terraformed world following the accidental annihilation of humanity in the 21st century, beginning with the book To Your Scattered Bodies Go. Farmer was also one of the first major SF writers to openly explore sexuality, as can be seen in works like Blown or Image of the Beast (he even included the late Forry Ackerman, who passed away just before Christmas, as a character). He will be missed, but we have the consolation of his books.

Philip Jose Farmer To You Scattered Bodies Go Riverworld.jpg

(the cover to the first hardback edition of Farmer’s To You Scattered Bodies Go, published Putnam, 1971)

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About The Author

Joe Gordon

Joe Gordon is’s chief blogger, which he set up in 2005. Previously, he was professional bookseller for over 12 years as well as a lifelong reader and reviewer, especially of comics and science fiction works.

One Response to Philip Jose Farmer passes away

  1. Matthew says:

    Still my favourite author because of the scale of his stories and imagination, e.g. Riverworld and world of Tiers. I bought most of his books as American imprints in this little shop in Denmark Street.