Saturday, January 26, 2008

Happy 90th Birthday, Philip José Farmer!

On this day in 1918, in a pocket universe known as Terra Haute, Indiana, the future creator of Riverworld, the World of Tiers, Dayworld, the planet Ozagen, Kickaha, Jeanette Rastignac, Hadon of Opar, Kwasin of Dythbeth, Deyv of the Red Egg, Greatheart Silver, Ras Tyger, Roger Two Hawks, Ulysseys Singing Bear, Benoni Rider, Father John Carmody, Captain Peter Stagg, Lieutenant Raspold, Alan Green, Richard Orme, Robert Wolff, Jim Grimson, Tom Corbie, Jack Weston, Jack Cull, Jack Cage, Jack Crane, James Cable, Paul Eyre, Harold Childe, Gordon Carfax, Lord Grandrith, Doc Caliban, Tim Howller, Leo Queequeg Tincrowdor, Simon Wagstaff, Chworktap, Ralph von Wau Wau, Jonathan Swift Somers III, Nick Adams, Jr., Curtius Parri, Red McCune, Roderick Desmond, Doc Grandtoul, Old Man Paley, Si Tomkin, Hilary Katz, Danny Alliger, Wilson Gore, Jeff Caird/Tingle/Dunski/Repp/Ohm/Zurvan/Isharashvili, Captain Hûd Ramstan and many more, and chronicler of the adventures of Tarzan, Doc Savage, Phileas Fogg, Hareton Ironcastle, Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson, M.D., A.J. Raffles and Harry “Bunny” Manders, channeler of the post-life adventures of Sir Richard Francis Burton and Mark Twain, and the official biographer of Lord Greystoke and Clark Savage, Jr., was born.

If you’re still reading this blog entry, I urge you to click on over to Phil’s official website and take a moment to stroll through this award-winning author’s wonderful imagination. Check out the time line and photo gallery of Phil’s life, find out what books a Grand Master of SF recommends, read his poetry, read some interviews, subscribe to a magazine dedicated to publishing his rarer works, and leave a birthday wish for the nonagenarian himself on his official forum (or his official MySpace).

And if for some unimaginable reason you have not yet read anything by Farmer, or even if you have read him but it’s been a while, I suggest you check out the spate of books that have been coming out in the last couple years. These include Strange Relations (includes the novel-length version of Phil’s classic The Lovers, the story which forever changed science fiction), The City Beyond Play (the new short novel with Danny Adams), Pearls from Peoria (a truly mammoth collection of Farmerian rarities), Tarzan Alive (the definitive biography of Lord Greystoke), Myths for the Modern Age: Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe (Farmerian and post-Farmerian researches into Phil’s genealogy of pulp heroes, detectives, explorers, villains, and literary characters), The Unreasoning Mask (a mind-blowing space opera about the metaphysical implications of the pluriverse), The Best of Philip José Farmer (a fantastic collection, sadly already out of print, but used copies are still out there) Up from the Bottomless Pit and Other Stories (a limited edition collection of rare short stories, public talks, and a novel about a world ecological disaster), and of course Phil’s fictional-author collection, Venus on the Half-Shell and Others, which was just released this week. And if you haven’t ever read the Riverworld series or the World of Tiers series, what are you waiting for, a trip down the River?

Anyway, I am flying out to Peoria today to give my birthday wishes to Phil in person. But until then, happy 90 revolutions, Phil!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Venus on the Half-Shell and Others shipping this week

From Subterranean Press:

Later this week we’ll begin shipping Venus on the Half-Shell and Others, the marvelous collection in which Philip Jose Farmer slips out of his own skin and into those of a number of fictional authors.

As Venus received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly, and another glowing one from Booklist, distributor and retailer orders have been strong, so we don’t expect to have copies around for long.