The Best Appreciation of Thomas Disch? Buy His Books and Pass Them On

Jeff VanderMeer • July 7th, 2008 @ 12:15 pm • Culture


(The books I picked up this morning from Paperback Rack, here in Tallahassee, Florida)

One last post before going away…

Remember when you used to buy out-of-print paperbacks and regift them because you loved a writer so much you wanted to share? It might not take much time to remember, because for some of us did that as recently as yesterday.

So here’s an idea–this week, celebrate Disch’s fiction and his life by buying his books. Make a pilgrimmage to a bookstore, buy whatever editions you find there, and either read them if you haven’t encountered Disch’s work before, or pass them on to someone you think might enjoy them. If you have the time, post a photo of the books you bought, and then post a link to your blog post on the last entry on Disch’s blog. It’s a little like laying flowers on a gravestone. A sign of respect and appreciation.

The best of a writer is often in their books, and it seems to me this is a good way to remember Disch. Something is not right about his death seemingly being absent from major wire service reports and other national media.

18 Responses to “The Best Appreciation of Thomas Disch? Buy His Books and Pass Them On”

  1. Larry says:

    Might be a week or two, but I’ll certainly buy Camp Concentration at least.

  2. John Coulthart says:

    I’ve been aggravated that his death seems to have eluded the news media so far. He wrote reviews for the NYT yet they make no mention of it.

    In a few hours I’ll be posting Charles Platt’s 1979 interview from his OOP collection Who Writes Science Fiction? aka Dream Makers. Some great quotes from what was obviously a happier time.

  3. Joey says:

    Hello. I got here from Mr. Disch’s blog. What a great idea – thank you.

  4. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Thanks, John. Please do post the link in the comments thread here.

    Joey–great. I hope it spreads.

  5. Tomorrow Museum » Archive » More on Thomas M Disch says:

    [...] Concentration, as it is one of my favorite covers in SF I’ve long since lost my original. Jeff VanderMeer has done so (he just picked it up at used bookshop this morning.) Plus he urges readers to buy up [...]

  6. Larry says:

    Since it would cost more to drive into Nashville than it would to order via Amazon, I decided that I’d order a new copy rather than a used copy. Should get it Wednesday.

  7. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Larry: It’s entirely voluntary. The details aren’t important. :)
    jeff

  8. Mastadge says:

    My local bookstore carries no Thomas Disch books.

  9. Larry says:

    I know it’s voluntary, Jeff. I’m pressuring myself to go ahead and do what I’ve meant to do for 5 years now, that’s all :D

  10. John Coulthart says:

    Charles Platt’s 1979 Disch interview now posted here:

    http://www.johncoulthart.com/feuilleton/2008/07/08/thomas-m-disch-1940–2008/

  11. John Coulthart says:

    …and the HTML tags for some reason haven’t fully embraced the URL so you’ll have to copy and paste the link.

  12. Corey Redekop says:

    I’ve only read The Genocides, but it was a hell of a good book.

  13. ray massie says:

    great idea! i also went to Tachyon and ordered Word of God and Wall of America…

  14. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Amazon posted this today, btw: http://www.omnivoracious.com/2008/07/thomas-m-disch.html

  15. Livia Llewellyn says:

    The NYTimes ran his obit today:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/08/books/08disch.html?ref=todayspaper

  16. Adam says:

    Let me propose an alternative, which is not in conflict with Mr. VanderMeer’s proposal, but might serve as a compliment: libraries often choose to sell books that have not been recently borrowed–a terrible policy, of course. Borrow books by Disch. If you’ve read them and thought they were good reread them (I find I want to reread more and more, and so while it may seem I read less and less, my appreciation of what I have read grows). Then promptly return them.

    I borrowed the only two Disch books available in my town: The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of, which is very enjoyable, and The Sub: A Study in Witchcraft, which I will read next.

  17. rochita says:

    So, which book would you recommend as starters to someone who hasn’t read Disch before?

  18. Thomas M Disch - Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums says:

    [...] Re: Thomas M Disch Jeff Vandermeer has proposed an excellent idea: Ecstatic Days » Blog Archive » The Best Appreciation of Thomas Disch? Buy His Books and Pass Them On [...]

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