Philip Jose Farmer


I was saddened to learn that Philip Jose Farmer passed away. His Riverworld books are one of my favorite series from my impressionable teen years. I have reread them several times, and I think they always hold up. I was just rereading some classic stories from the Subterranean best-of collection earlier this week: “The Lovers” and  “Riders of the Purple Wage.”

In addition to great stories, Farmer had a way with titles that I love (and steal from all the time):

“The Jungle Rot Kid on the Nod”

“The Sliced-Crosswise Only-On-Tuesday World”

“Sketches Among the Ruins of My Mind”

I think the first thing I came across of his was “Spiders of the Purple Mage” in the Thieves’ World series, before I had any idea about “Riders of the Purple Wage.” Very, very different stories, if I recall correctly.


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