Terry Bisson, a celebrated science fiction and fantasy author, passed away at the age of 81. Born and raised in Kentucky, he embarked on a fascinating life that extended beyond his writing career. Notably, Bisson was part of the first group of protestors ever invited to the White House during President Kennedy’s term.
In 1981, he published his first novel, Wyrldmaker, marking the beginning of a prolific career. One of Bisson’s most notable works was The Talking Man, which explored themes of identity, humanity, and the enigmatic nature of reality. Another well-known novel of his was Fire on the Mountain, which imagined a world where John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry was successful, leading to the establishment of a socialist republic in the southern United States. A rather off-beat novel of his was Voyage to the Red Planet, which follows the misadventures of a diverse group of individuals on their unconventional journey to colonize Mars.
While recognized as a working writer for his tie-in novels in the ’90s, contributing to film adaptations like Virtuosity, Johnny Mnemonic, The Fifth Element, Alien Resurrection, and Galaxy Quest, he gained widespread acclaim for his short stories.
Known for his wit and thought-provoking narratives, Bisson’s impact reached a pinnacle with his short stories. “Bears Discover Fire” was a Hugo and Nebula award-winning story, which presented a unique and humorous take on a world where bears discover the use of fire, leading to various societal implications. He continued to explore intriguing concepts, garnering nominations for prestigious awards with stories like “Press Ann,” “The Shadow Knows,” “Dead Man’s Curve,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” “They’re Made Out of Meat,” “Necronauts,” and “England Underway.”
Terry Bisson’s passing leaves a void in the literary world, but his legacy endures through his partner, Judy, as well as his children and grandchildren. To delve deeper into the life of this influential author, his obituary is available on the Locus Magazine website.