Science fiction author Terry Bisson dead at 81

Science fiction and fantasy author Terry Bisson (previously at Boing Boing), famed for short stories such as the Hugo and Nebula award-winning Bears Discover Fire and They're Made Out of Meat, died Wednesday morning. He was 81 years old.

Locus Magazine published an obituary.

First novel Wyrldmaker appeared in 1981, followed by World Fantasy finalist Talking Man (1986) and Fire on the Mountain (1988). Other novels include Voyage to the Red Planet (1990), Pirates of the Universe (1990), The Pickup Artist (2001), and Any Day Now (2012). He completed the late Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman (1997), and has co-written YA novels with Stephanie Spinner, written children's books about NASCAR racing as ''T.B. Calhoun,'' produced numerous film and TV novelizations and media tie-ins, and written non-fiction titles, notably On A Move: The Story of Mumia Abu-Jamal (2001).

Margret Grebowicz recently profiled him and his work in The New Yorker, including his laconic Locus column detailing events that haven't happened yet: "Terry Bisson's History of the Future."

In science fiction, what counts as plausible or as serious? What comes across as silly—and what is just outlandish enough to be believable? Your views on these questions depend on your ideas about the future. We live in an era of prestige sci-fi, in which many writers aim for seriousness, and yet seriousness can be a kind of constraint, since the world is so often absurd. "This Month in History" is from an earlier, looser, raunchier, zanier sci-fi era. The genre's longest-running joke, it raises an unsettling possibility: What if pulpy absurdity is a good way to predict the future?

I'm a huge fan.