The scifi author Thomas Disch died of suicide on July 4. His work was brilliant, difficult, and formally groundbreaking, especially his 334 and Camp Concentration. Born in Iowa, he spent his teens in Minnesota, and often returned here in his fiction. His first novel, The Genocides, which I highly recommend, features an earth invaded by giant plants, and a group of Minnesotans, farmers and others, striving to live in the changed and depopulated world. It’s particularly compelling to read if you’re from the North Shore, which is never featured in disaster tales. In The Genocides, Lake Superior is sucked up by the plants for irrigation, and Duluth is lovingly and thoroughly destroyed. The farmers do not survive. And now we’ve lost Disch himself.
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