Philip Jose Farmer Manuscript Collection

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US TxAM-C C000253

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Philip Jose Farmer Manuscript Collection


  • 1967-1973 (Création/Production)

Importance matérielle

1 Box (2 folders)

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Notice biographique

Philip Jose Farmer was born in North Terre Haute, IN, on January 26, 1918. He was raised in Peoria, IL, where he attended Bradley University and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1950.

Although Farmer worked as a technical writer from 1956-1970, he began his science fiction writing career in 1952, when his story "The Lovers" was published by Startling Stories. "The Lovers" was notable at the time for featuring a sexual relationship between a human and an alien, and it caused Farmer to be awarded a Hugo Award as "most promising new writer" (the first of three Hugos for him). The story is considered by many to have broken the existing taboo on featuring sex in science fiction.

Over the next several decades, Farmer built up an impressive career in science fiction literature. Among his most notable works are his novel cycles Riverworld and World of Tiers. The former chronicles the adventures of a number of characters (most of them real historical figures) through a strange afterlife in which every human ever to have lived is simultaneously resurrected along a single river valley that stretches over an entire planet. The series began in 1971 with the novel To Your Scattered Bodies Go (which won the Hugo for Best Novel in 1972), and continued through four more books, concluding in 1983 with Gods of Riverworld. The World of Tiers series (7 books, 1965-1991) concerns series of artificially-constructed universes, created and ruled by decadent beings (called Lords, or Thoans) who are genetically identical to humans, but who regard themselves as superior, and who the inheritors of an advanced technology they no longer understand.

Other memorable works of Farmer's include Riders of the Purple Wage (1967), a novella-length pastiche of Joyce's Finnegan's Wake which won Farmer his second Hugo Award; Venus On The Half-Shell (1975), which Farmer wrote under the pseudonym "Kilgore Trout", a character name used originally by Kurt Vonnegut; A Barnstormer in Oz (1982), an adult sequel to L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz that tells the adventures in Oz of Dorothy Gale's grown son; and the Dayworld series (1985-1990), among many, many others.

Farmer is also noted for his body of novels and stories involving pulp heroes of the early 20th century, including Tarzan and Doc Savage. In this vein, Farmer helped pioneer the concept of crossover fiction by formulating what became known as the "Wold Newton" Universe. In the history of this universe, a meteorite fell to Earth near the English town of Wold Newton in 1795 (a real-life event). The meteorite emitted a strange form of radiation that caused genetic mutations in the occupants of a passing coach. Many of the affected individuals' descendants became endowed with extremely high intelligence and strength, in the context of the Wold Newton Universe, these exceptional individuals- as expanded on both by Farmer and by later authors working in this universe, have included such characters as Tarzan, Doc Savage, Phileas Fogg, Sherlock Holmes, and Professor James Moriarty, Lord Peter Wimsey, Allan Quartermain, Professor James Challenger, the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Shadow, Sam Spade, Nero Wolfe, Philip Marlowe, James Bond, and Fu Manchu as well as his adversary Denis Neyland-Smith.

Over the course of his career, in addition to his three Hugo Awards, Farmer also won the 2000 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award as well as the 2001 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. He was nominated for an additional three Hugos, two Nebula Awards, and a Locus Award.

Philip Jose Farmer died in Peoria, IL on February 25, 2009.

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Portée et contenu

This collection consists of two typed manuscripts (with corrections) of Philip Jose Farmer, including his Hugo Award-winning novella Riders of the Purple Wage (1967) with a signed cover letter to Harlan Ellison and Larry Ashmead and which was originally published in Harlan Ellison's groundbreaking anthology Dangerous Visions.
The manuscript "Sketches Among The Ruins of My Mind" (1973) signed by Farmer in August 1986, is accompanied by a 1972 letter from Harry Harrison containing suggested edits to Farmer's story.

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  • anglais

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© Copyright 2019 Cushing Library. All rights reserved.


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