Thomas Michael Disch (February 2, 1940 Des Moines, Iowa – c. July 4, 2008 New York City, New York) was an American science fiction author and poet. He won the Hugo Award for Best Related Book (previously entitled "Best Non-Fiction Book") in 1999, and he had two other Hugo nominations and nine Nebula Award nominations to his credit, plus one win of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, a Rhysling Award, and two Seiun Awards, among others.
In the 1960s, his work began appearing in science-fiction magazines. His first novel, The Genocides, appeared in 1965. He soon became known as part of the New Wave, writing for New Worlds and other avant-garde publications. His critically acclaimed novels of that time included Camp Concentration and 334. In the 1980s, he moved from science fiction to horror, with a series of books set in Minneapolis: The Businessman, The M.D., The Priest, and The Sub. His latest novel The Word of God was published by Tachyon Publications in the Summer of 2008.
In 1999, he won the Nonfiction Hugo for The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of, a meditation on the impact of science fiction on our culture, as well as the Michael Braude Award for Light Verse. Among his other nonfiction work, he wrote theatre and opera criticism for The New York Times, The Nation, and other periodicals. He also published several volumes of poetry.
He committed suicide on July 4, 2008 or July 5, 2008
Disch was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on 2 February 1940. Because of a polio epidemic in 1946, his mother Helen home-schooled him for a year. As a result, he skipped from kindergarten to second grade. Disch's first formal education was at Catholic schools; which is evidenced in some of his works which contain scathing criticisms of the Catholic Church. The family moved in 1953 to the Twin Cities in Minnesota, rejoining both pairs of grandparents. In Minneapolis public schools, Disch discovered his long-term loves of science fiction, drama, and poetry. He describes poetry as his stepping-stone to the literary world. A teacher, Jeannette Cochran, assigned 100 lines of poetry to be memorized and Disch wound up memorizing ten times as much His early fascination continued to influence his work with poetic form and the direction of his criticism.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who heard there were attempts to kick him out of his apartment.