Philip Jose Farmer 1918 – 2009

February 25, 2009

Philip José Farmer passed away today at age 91.


Farmer is perhaps best known for his Riverworld and World of Tiers series, among a zillion or so other things in 50 years of writing science fiction.  He also wrote two “fictional biographies,” one about Doc Savage, and one I greatly enjoyed about Lord Greystoke/Tarzan, Tarzan Alive.

His Riverworld series is really what got me though,  especially the Hugo winning first book,  To Your Scattered Bodies Go (what a great title!) and the second, The Fabulous Riverboat. What a concept for a series!

I remember looking at those books for months at Waldenbooks because of the first book’s title, and because of the Vincent Di Fate artwork on the first few Riverworld paperbacks at the time.  I returned time and time again to oogle and fondle before finally purchasing them.

I found out later the title of the first volume had been taken from a John Donne poem.  And sorry, none of the artwork for reissued paperbacks ever topped the Di Fate versions.  The SciFi Channel did a disappointing adaption by combining two of the books but changing the heroes and villains around.  But then, what adaption by SciFi Channel isn’t disappointing?

Good reading though.  Very good reading.


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