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Thomas M. Disch


102 H-Bombs

Thomas M. Disch

Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in Fantastic Stories of Imagination, March 1965. The story can also be found in the collections One Hundred and Two H-Bombs (1967), White Fang Goes Dingo and Other Funny S.F. Stories (1971), The Early Science Fiction Stories of Thomas M. Disch (1977) and Fundamental Disch (1981)

Camp Concentration

Thomas M. Disch

Louis Sacchetti is a poet and pacifist imprisoned for refusing to enlist in the war against Third World guerillas. Sacchetti and the other inmates are used in perverse scientific experiments, and Sacchetti is infected with a germ that raises intelligence to incredible heights while causing decay and death.

Come to Venus Melancholy

Thomas M. Disch

Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November 1965. The story can also be found in the anthologies Best SF Seven (1970) edited by Edmund Crispin and Alpha 3 (1972), edited by Robert Silverberg. It is included in the collection Under Compulsion (1968).

Echo Round His Bones

Thomas M. Disch

It all began when Captain Nathan Hansard of 'A' Artillery Company of Camp Jackson/Mars command Post went to Mars. The message he was sent there to deliver made him wish he were dead---in only 6 weeks' time the total nuclear arsenal of Camp Jackson/Mars was to be released upon the enemy.

Something had to be done and fast. Captain Hansard left for Earth via the instantaneous transmitter of matter, hoping to arrive immediately. But when he sank into the manmitter's once solid steel floor, he realized that he was a ghost. Only he did not remember dying... Well then, it was as a ghost that he would have to try and save mankind from atomic destruction...

Fundamental Disch

Thomas M. Disch

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction (Fundamental Disch) - (1980) - essay by Samuel R. Delany
  • Descending - (1964) - short story
  • Casablanca - (1967) - novelette
  • The Doomsday Machine - (1974) - short story
  • 102 H-Bombs - (1965) - novelette
  • White Fang Goes Dingo - (1965) - novelette
  • Dangerous Flags - (1964) - short story
  • The Double-Timer - (1962) - short story
  • Minnesota Gothic - (1964) - short story
  • Assassin & Son - (1964) - short story
  • Slaves - (1967) - short story
  • The Roaches - (1965) - short story
  • Angouleme - (1971) - short story
  • Bodies - (1971) - novelette
  • The Squirrel Cage - (1966) - short story
  • The Asian Shore - (1970) - novelette
  • Et in Arcadia Ego - (1971) - short story
  • The Master of the Milford Altarpiece - (1968) - short story
  • Getting Into Death - (1974) - novelette
  • The Story of the Story: "The Double-Timer" - (1980) - essay
  • On "Et in Arcadia Ego" - (1974) - essay
  • The Uses of Fiction: A Theory - (1975) - essay
  • The Fall of the House of Usher - (1980) - short fiction

In Xanadu

Thomas M. Disch

This short story originally appeared in the anthology Redshift: Extreme Visions of Speculative Fiction (2001), edited by Al Sarrantonio. It can also be found in the anthology Year's Best SF 7 (2002), edited by David G. Hartwell and Karhryn Cramer. The story is included in the collection The Wall of America (2008).

One Hundred and Two H-Bombs

Thomas M. Disch

Everyone--even the generals--hated the non-war. It cost a great deal, and there was no profit in it: it was insane. Yet allmost all of the adults were too deeply tangled in the system that produced the non-war to see their way out. That was almost the definaition of being an adult: That you couldn't see the way out...

But the children were tied by no such fetters of attitude and preconception. And one hundred and two strangely gifted orphans saw a way out very clearly.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction - (1967) - essay
  • 102 H-Bombs - (1965) - novelette
  • The Sightseers - (1965) - shortstory
  • Final Audit - (1963) - shortstory
  • The Vamp - (1965) - shortstory
  • Utopia? Never! - (1963) - shortstory
  • The Return of the Medusae - (1963) - shortstory
  • The Princess' Carillon - (1963) - shortstory
  • Genetic Coda - (1964) - shortstory
  • White Fang Goes Dingo - (1965) - novelette
  • The Demi-Urge - (1963) - shortstory
  • Dangerous Flags - (1964) - shortstory
  • Invaded by Love - (1966) - novelette
  • Bone of Contention - (1966) - shortstory
  • Leader of the Revolution - (1965) - shortstory

The Asian Shore

Thomas M. Disch

Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in the anthology Orbit 6 (1970), edited by Damon Knight. The story can also be found in the anthologies Best SF: 1970 (1971), edited by Harry Harrison and Brian W. Aldiss, The Dark Descent: The Evolution of Horror (1987), edited by David G. Hartwell. and A Fabulous Formless Darkness (1991), edited by David G. Hartwell. It is included in the collections The Shores Beneath (1971), Getting Into Death (1974) and Fundamental Disch (1980).

The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World

Thomas M. Disch

From acclaimed science fiction writer Thomas M. Disch comes "The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of", a keenly perceptive account of the impact science fiction has had on American culture. As only a consummate insider could, Disch provides a fascinating view of this world and its inhabitants, tracing science fiction's phenomenal growth into the multibillion-dollar global entertainment industry it is today. If America is a "nation of liars", as Disch asserts in this dazzling and provocative cultural history, then science fiction is the most American of literary genres. American SF writers have seen their wishes, dreams, and lies accorded the same respect as facts. From the protoscience-fiction tales of Edgar Allen Poe, to the utopian dreams and technological nightmares of European writers H. G. Wells, Jules Verne, and J. G. Ballard, to American conservatives Robert Heinlein and Jerry Pournelle, liberals Joe Haldemann and Ursula le Guin, flakes William Burroughs and Philip K. Dick, and outright charlatans Ignatius Donnelly and various UFO "witnesses," Disch emphasizes science fiction's cultural role as both a lens and a medium for the very rapid changes driven by modern technology, highlighting its powers of prediction and prevarication. Much more than a history of the genre, "The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of" is an in-depth study of its ever-growing interaction with all aspects of culture-- politics, religion, and the fabric of our daily lives-- showing how it has become a cultural battlefield while helping us to adjust to new social realities, in everything from Star Trek's model of a multicultural workplace to Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. Disch is full of high praise and trenchant criticism of the genre, but sees its darker expression in the appearance of suicidal and homicidal UFO cults that blur science-fiction-fueled fantasies with reality. Behind the spaceships and aliens Disch reveals the blueprints of the dizzying postmodern future we have already begun to inhabit.

The Man Who Had No Idea

Thomas M. Disch

Hugo Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1978. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction of the Year #8 (1979), edited by Terry Carr and The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 23rd Series (1980), edited by Edward L. Ferman. It is included in the collection The Man Who Had No Idea (1982).

The Man Who Had No Idea: A Collection of Stories

Thomas M. Disch

Table of Contents:

  • The Man Who Had No Idea - (1978) - novelette
  • The Black Cat - (1976) - short story
  • The Santa Claus Compromise - (1974) - short story
  • The Vengeance of Hera, or Monogamy Triumphant - (1980) - short story
  • Concepts - (1978) - novelette
  • The Apartment Next to the War - (1975) - short story
  • The Foetus - (1980) - short story
  • The Fire Began to Burn the Stick, the Stick Began to Beat the Dog - (1976) - short story
  • At the Pleasure Centre - (1974) - short story
  • The Grown-Up - (1981) - short story
  • How to Fly - (1977) - short story
  • Planet of the Rapes - (1977) - novelette
  • The Revelation - (1980) - short story
  • Pyramids for Minnesota - (1974) - short story
  • Josie and the Elevator: A Cautionary Tale - (1980) - short story
  • An Italian Lesson - (1982) - short story
  • Understanding Human Behavior - (1982) - novelette

The Puppies of Terra

Thomas M. Disch

Ever since the alien Masters had taken control, domesticating mankind with their energy-technology and the all-powerful mental Leash, the human condition had changed from toil and trouble to Total Wish Fulfillment. Only the Dingoes, the obstinate ones who resisted the Masters' Leash, weren't invited to the cosmic party. Poor Dingoes!

The Wall of America

Thomas M. Disch

These surreal, satiric stories pay a mesmerizing visit to the shadowy zone that lies between our everyday lives and a perilously tangible near-future.

In "The Wall of America," the Department of Homeland Security has put up a border wall between the United States and Canada. But the NEA has plans for the wall as well, turning it into the world's largest art gallery. After the Rapture, working-class life for "A Family of the Post-Apocalypse" is not as different as one might imagine, despite the occasional plague of biker-gang locusts. Between addiction and art is "Ringtime," where a criminal is trapped in a recursive compulsion to visit other people's memories while he is forced to record his own for an eager audience. A Somali schoolgirl living in post-WWIII Minneapolis goes on a bloody crusade to rid her town of a familiar predator, one who might just be a monster, in "White Man."

Vivid, starkly imagined, and strikingly articulate, this disquieting collection is a journey that skillfully straddles the line between playful absurdity and pointed irony.

Table of Contents:

  • A Family of the Post-Apocalypse
  • A Knight at the Opera
  • Canned Goods
  • In Praise of Older Women
  • In Xanadu
  • Jour de Fête
  • Nights in the Gardens of the Kerhonkson Prison for the Aged and Infirm
  • One Night, or, Scheherazade's Bare Minimum
  • Painting Eggplants
  • Ringtime
  • The Abduction of Bunny Steiner, or a Shameless Lie
  • The First Annual Performance Art Festival at the Slaughter Rock Battlefield
  • The Man Who Reads a Book
  • The Owl and the Pussycat
  • The White Man
  • Three Chronicles of Xglotl and Rwang
  • Torah! Torah! Torah!: Three Bible Tales for the Third Millennium
  • Voices of the Kill

Under Compulsion

Thomas M. Disch

Table of Contents:

  • The Roaches - (1965)
  • Come to Venus Melancholy - (1965)
  • Linda and Daniel and Spike - (1967)
  • Flight Useless, Inexorable the Pursuit - (1968)
  • Descending - (1964)
  • Nada - (1964)
  • Now Is Forever - (1964)
  • The Contest - (1967)
  • The Empty Room - (1967)
  • The Squirrel Cage - (1966)
  • The Number You Have Reached - (1967)
  • 1-A - (1968)
  • Fun with Your New Head - (1966)
  • The City of Penetrating Light - (1968)
  • Moondust, the Smell of Hay, and Dialectical Materialism - (1967)
  • Thesis on Social Forms and Social Controls in the U.S.A. - (1964)
  • Casablanca - (1967)

Understanding Human Behavior

Thomas M. Disch

Nebula Award nominated novelette. It originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 1982. The story can also be found in the anthologies The Best Science Fiction of the Year #12 (1983), edited by Terry Carr and The Best from Fantasy & Science Fiction: A 40th Anniversary Anthology (1989), Edward L. Ferman. It is included in the collection The Man Who Had No Idea (1982).

Read the full story for free at Strange Horizons.

Voices of the Kill

Thomas M. Disch

Nebula Award nominated short story. It originally appeared in the anthology Full Spectrum (1988), edited by Lou Aronica and Shawna McCarthy. The story can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Fantasy: Second Annual Collection (1988), edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling and the collection The Wall of America (2008).

Planet of Exile / Mankind Under the Leash

Ace Double G-Series: Book 597

Thomas M. Disch
Ursula K. Le Guin

Planet of Exile

The Earth colony of Landin has been stranded on Werel for ten years, and ten of Werel's years are over 600 terrestrial years, and the lonely and dwindling human settlement is beginning to feel the strain. Every winter, a season that lasts for 15 years, the Earthmen have neighbors: the humanoid hilfs, a nomadic people who only settle down for the cruel cold spell. The hilfs fear the Earthmen, whom they think of as witches and call the farborns. But hilfs and farborns have common enemies: the hordes of ravaging barbarians called gaals and eerie preying snow ghouls. Will they join forces or be annihilated?

Mankind Under the Leash

Ever since the alien Masters had taken control, domesticating mankind with their energy-technology and the all-powerful mental Leash, the human condition had changed from toil and trouble to Total Wish Fulfillment. Only the Dingoes, the obstinate ones who resisted the Masters' Leash, weren't invited to the cosmic party. Poor Dingoes!

The Brave Little Toaster

Brave Little Toaster: Book 1

Thomas M. Disch

Feeling abandoned by their beloved master, a vacuum cleaner, tensor lamp, electric blanket, clock radio, and toaster undertake a long and arduous journey to find him in a faraway city.

The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars

Brave Little Toaster: Book 2

Thomas M. Disch

From Publishers Weekly

Readers may have believed that all that could be said about a band of loyal appliances was stated with electrifying eloquence in The Brave Little Toaster. But there is new territory to cover with old friends like the AM radio and new: a ceiling fan, an electric blanket and a microwave among them, as well as a hearing aid handmade by Albert Einstein. They all head to Mars after learning that there resides a force of warring appliances with plans to invade Earth. The toaster simply and persuasively speaks of peace to the planet's inhabitants and is elected president (a reign which lasts only until he returns to Earth). What is Disch talking about? Perhaps it doesn't matter, for while he seems to be amusing himself, much of what he writes will entertain readers, too. The epic elements will more than appease those awaiting this sequel, but the most exuberantly funny scenes are those in which the appliances while away the time with their distinctive brand of gossip. Ages 10-up.

334

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 39

Thomas M. Disch

334, the city street address of a place where time pivots forward and backward, is the setting of a unique odyssey through human history.

The Genocides

Gregg Press Science Fiction Series: Book 59

Thomas M. Disch

This spectacular novel established Thomas M. Disch as a major new force in science fiction. First published in 1965, it was immediately labeled a masterpiece reminiscent of the works of J.G. Ballard and H.G. Wells

In this harrowing novel, the world's cities have been reduced to cinder and ash and alien plants have overtaken the earth. The plants, able to grow the size of maples in only a month and eventually reach six hundred feet, have commandeered the world's soil and are sucking even the Great Lakes dry. In northern Minnesota, Anderson, an aging farmer armed with a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other, desperately leads the reduced citizenry of a small town in a daily struggle for meager existence. Throw into this fray Jeremiah Orville, a marauding outsider bent on a bizarre and private revenge, and the fight to live becomes a daunting task.

On Wings of Song

Masters of Science Fiction: Book 4

Thomas M. Disch

Named one of science fiction's 100 best books by noted genre editor David Pringle, Thomas M. Disch's On Wings of Song is at once allegory, social satire, political fable, and brilliantly written science fiction of the ultimate out-of-body experience. In Disch's dazzlingly imagined future America, Daniel Weinraub dreams of escaping the repressive midwest of the mid-twenty-first century through an electronic device with which the user takes flight into cyberspace when activated with a quasi-musical code called "The Symphonette." Daniel's adventures take him from Iowa's God-fearing police state and its "correctional" labor camps for the sinful to Manhattan's mean streets and "cyberspatial flight paths."

The Businessman: A Tale of Terror

Supernatural Minnesota: Book 1

Thomas M. Disch

The Businessman presents the sinister tale of Bob Glandier, a morally repulsive Twin Cities executive who murders his estranged wife and attempts to go back to business as usual, until she returns sets about arranging his divine retribution. With help from her dead mother and the ghost of poet John Berryman-thoroughly bored of suburban séances and all too eager to lend a hand-Giselle undertakes the elaborate, righteous, and wickedly amusing haunting of her husband. There is justice in the afterlife after all-at least in Minnesota.

The M.D.: A Horror Story

Supernatural Minnesota: Book 2

Thomas M. Disch

Exploring questions of guilt and responsibility, the second book in Thomas M. Disch's Supernatural Minnesota series, The M.D., is a satisfying mix of dark humor, biting social commentary, and terrifying horror. Given the power to heal or to harm by the Roman god Mercury through a magical staff, the caduceus, young Billy Michaels embarks on a lifelong journey of inflicting good and evil on those who cross his path. Wielding the caduceus, Billy, and later the grown-up, greedy physician William, can only cure in proportion to the amount of suffering he inflicts. From paralyzing his brother and mutilating schoolmates to wreaking a nationwide plague and running for-profit concentration camps for the sick, Michaels's powers spin quickly out of control.

The Priest: A Gothic Romance

Supernatural Minnesota: Book 3

Thomas M. Disch

Minneapolis priest Pat Bryce is plagued by a host of distinctly unholy problems, including a fondness for altar boys, the blackmail efforts of underworld types (who know of the good father's indiscretions) and involvement in a plot by a fellow priest and an anti-abortion group called Birth-Right to ensure that pregnant girls come to term by holding them hostage in a pseudo-medieval fortress. Bryce's severest affliction, however, is a tendency to assume the identity of a 13th-century bishop in the Inquisition.

The Sub: A Study in Witchcraft

Supernatural Minnesota: Book 4

Thomas M. Disch

The Sub, the fourth novel in Thomas M. Disch's Supernatural Minnesota series, which uses different supernatural horrors to satirize modern America, focuses on Diana Turney, a substitute teacher in the town of Leech Lake, Minnesota, left to care for her niece after her sister is imprisoned for the attempted murder of her philandering husband. Haunted by her father's ghost and disturbing repressed memories, Diana discovers she has the power to turn people into their animal totems and proceeds to transform locals into an array of creatures from spiders to pigs. Diana, her cruelty growing in proportion to her power, dismisses a warning from her father's ghost that she is destined to kill everyone she loves and continues on a spree of violence and mayhem.

The Prisoner

The Prisoner: Book 1

Thomas M. Disch

He's a top-level agent, highly skilled and ultra-secret. But he wants out, and they won't let him quit. He quits anyway. Then suddenly comes the dawn when he wakes up in captivity, in a pleasant, old-style seaside town - one packed solid with electronic surveillance hardware.

This is The Village. And he is The Prisoner. If he was good enough, sharp enough to be a top-flight cloak-and-dagger man, is he good enough to escape the men who've chained his life to the wall?

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