Philip José Farmer, 1918–2009

top left: artist unknown (1969); top right: Patrick Woodroffe (1975)
bottom left: Peter Elson (1988); bottom right: artist unknown (1995)

The great science fiction writer Philip José Farmer died today. I wrote about his more excessive works back in August 2007 and that post is as good an obituary as I could offer now. A Feast Unknown remains a favourite for pushing extreme content to a degree which would give William Burroughs pause whilst still functioning as a rollicking page-turner. Few writers could work on both those levels and do much more besides. Feast seems to be out of print today, which isn’t a surprise. Publishers are still a timid bunch for the most part and Farmer never pulled his punches.

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4 thoughts on “Philip José Farmer, 1918–2009”

  1. So far, my only exposure to PJF have been To Your Scattered Bodies Go (which I appreciated but didn’t particularly enjoy) and Venus on the Halfshell, which I first read at the age of ten and had no idea was actually penned by Farmer until very recently.

    I’m going to check out Image of the Beast and see where that takes me.


  2. Hi Evan. Image is probably a good book for a Clive Barker fan to start with since it’s very Barkeresque. Or maybe Clive is Farmeresque…

  3. PJF was a brilliant, visionary writer who happened to write science fiction – a singular talent who redefined what genre fiction could be. Let’s hope that his tragic passing has the silver lining of bringing a few more readers to his incredible body of work.

    BTW – the site looks great, John. I know I’m not the 1st to say this, but you’re my go-to guy for great fantastic-themed art. Keep up the good work.

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