Truth to Power

RIP Philip Jose Farmer

Philip Jose Farmer, science-fiction writer, dies at 91

(CNN) – Author Philip Jose Farmer died in his sleep Wednesday, according to a message on his Web site.

Farmer was known for his science-fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. He was 91.

The Peoria, Indiana, native’s most popular work was his “Riverworld” series, written in the 1970s.

Joe Lansdale, a critic, writer and friend of Farmer’s, credited Farmer with changing the face of science fiction.

“I just can’t begin to tell you how important he is to the field as well as other fields,” Lansdale said.

Critics said Farmer was the first author to address adult sexual themes in science-fiction novels.

Jonathan Strahan, an editor and critic for Locus magazine, said Farmer treated sex seriously, not in a juvenile manner or for cheap thrills.

“It wasn’t pornography and it wasn’t just about the sex of it,” Strahan said. “It was about the sexuality of people in an interesting and intelligent way.”

His influence over the science-fiction community is becoming more apparent over time, critics said.

One of the most well-known science-fiction novels to be influenced by Farmer was “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein. </em>


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