News arrived of the death of the writer Michael Bishop, which occurred on Monday, November 13. Since the end of June 2023, he was in a hospice. He didn’t feel close to death but his health problems led him to that decision.
I wrote a tribute to Michael Bishop on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Sadly, that period coincided with the onset of serious health problems for him. He often wrote about the therapies he underwent over the years, which allowed him to continue working until recently.
Among Michael Bishop’s works in recent years, the 2015 novelette “Rattlesnakes and Men” was a Nebula Prize finalist. He also edited revised editions of works that were previously published and a new anthology which also includes unpublished stories, not necessarily linked to genre labels. In 2016, his last novel “Joel-Brock the Brave and the Valorous Smalls” was published, a work different from his previous ones, confirming how eclectic and inventive he was.
Michael Bishop was a great humanist who wrote works ranging from anthropological science fiction to poetry, from horror to mystery, also collaborating with other writers. In many cases, genre labels are limiting if not useless for his works, as in the case of his essays. His posts on Facebook were interesting as well and made him part of the minority capable of taking advantage of the social network in a constructive way. His refined and sophisticated works have also been the subject of analysis, especially in the essay “Michael Bishop and the Persistence of Wonder” by Joe Sanders.
During his life, Michael Bishop worked as a teacher for several years and as a writer he offered a lot of food for thought contained in his works.