Di Filippo, Paul 1954-

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Di FILIPPO, Paul 1954-

(Philip Lawson)

PERSONAL: Born October 29, 1954, in Woonsocket, RI; son of Frank (a manager of a textile firm) and Claire Louise (a bookkeeper; maiden name, St. Amant) Di Filippo; companion of Deborah Newton (a designer). Ethnicity: "Italian and French." Education: Attended Rhode Island College, 1973-76.

ADDRESSES: Home and office—2 Poplar St., Providence, RI 02906. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Rhode Island Blue Cross, programmer, 1980-82; worked at Brown University Bookstore, 1987-94; full-time writer, 1994—.

MEMBER: Science Fiction Writers of America.

AWARDS, HONORS: Nebula nominee, 1987, for "Kid Charlemagne," and 1992, for "Lennon Spex"; British Science Fiction Award, best short story of 1994, for "The Double Felix"; World Fantasy Award nominee, 2001, for "Karuna, Inc"; Hugo Award nominee, 2002, for A Year in the Linear City.



The Steampunk Trilogy, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 1995.

Ribofunk, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 1996.

Fractal Paisleys, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 1997.

Lost Pages, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 1998.

Strange Trades, Golden Gryphon Press (Urbana, IL), 2001.

A Year in the Linear City, PS Publishing (Harrowgate, England), 2002.

Little Doors, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 2002.

Babylon Sisters and Other Posthumans, Prime Books (Canton, OH), 2002.

Neutrino Drag, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 2004.


Ciphers, Permeable Press (San Francisco, CA), 1997.

(As Philip Lawson, with Michael Bishop) Would It Kill You to Smile?, Longstreet (Atlanta, GA), 1998.

(As Philip Lawson, with Michael Bishop) Muskrat Courage, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Joe's Liver, Cambrian Publications (San Jose, CA), 2000.

A Mouthful on Tongues: Her Totipotent Tropicanalia, Wildside Press (Holicong, PA), 2002.

Spondulix, Cambrian Publications (San Jose, CA), 2003.

Fuzzy Dice, PS Publishing (Harrowgate, England), 2003, I Books, 2004.

Work represented in anthologies, including Best Science Fiction of the Eighties, edited by Hayakawa; and What Might Have Been, Volume 2, edited by Benford. Contributor of about a hundred stories and articles to magazines, including Amazing, Science Fiction Age, Pirate Writings, Interzone, Shock Waves, and Fantasy and Science Fiction. Contributor to Cities, Four Walls Eight Windows (New York, NY), 2004. Writes reviews for Asimov's, the Washington Post, and Science Fiction.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A mimetic novel, Roadside Bodhisattva; Harp, Pipe and Symphony, for Prime; Plumage from Pegasus, expected publication date, spring, 2005, for Prime; and The Emperor of Gondwanaland expected publication date, spring, 2005, for Thunder's Mouth.

SIDELIGHTS: Paul Di Filippo is the author of hundreds of science-fiction and fantasy stories, many of which have been published in collections. Published in 2002, Little Doors is a collection of seventeen short fantasies, which a Publishers Weekly contributor considered "immaculately told." While the same contributor found the stories to be hilarious, the critic also felt that Di Filippo's writing in the book "verges on the self-consciously clever and is slightly condescending." A Kirkus Reviews contributor found Little Doors a "grotesquely funny collection." The same contributor noted, "None of the seventeen pieces really outstays its welcome, and a few could possibly have stuck around for a couple dozen more pages." The contributor went on to explain that some of Di Filippo's ideas warranted expansion, such as the title story, in which a professor writing a book about Victorian children's literature discovers a mysterious, unfamiliar volume and then notices little drawn doors appearing around campus. "Still, this is a collection worth reading, even if lacking profundity," concluded the Publishers Weekly contributor.

Di Filippo also pens novels, including the 2002 A Mouthful on Tongues: Her Totipotent Tropicanalia, which he modeled after Samuel Delany's Tides of Lust. A Mouthful on Tongues takes place in 2015 in the jungles of North America, which are dominated by a high-security governmental complex. Humble secretary Kerry Hacket stumbles upon a bio-engineering project—a "She Beast" with incredible powers, including the ability to generate autonomous tongues and change her own appearance and gender as well as that of others. A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote, Di Filippo's "truly wondrous wordcraft—a lush and sometimes playful use of language—is reason enough to admire this short, possibly satiric novel."

In an interview with Claude Lalumière published on the Strange Horizons Web site, Di Filippo explains a concurrent theme in his work: a passionate desire to pervert consensus reality and imagine better worlds. He admitted, "I 'fess up to such a starry-eyed nature and program. Perhaps because I had what I like to recall was an idyllic childhood, I continue to believe that life on Earth is infinitely improvable. The tragedy comes in how bad we mess up, and why we can't get out of our way to make the world a better place. (This is true on both the global and personal levels.) In my Buddhistic moments, I also recall the saying, 'Samsara [this mortal life] is nirvana.' If only we could see it. And what's so funny about peace, love, and understanding anyhow?"



St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Bookwatch, January, 1999, review of Lost Pages, p. 8.

Book World, October 28, 2001, review of Strange Trades, p. 13; December 2, 2001, review of Strange Trades, p. 7.

Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2002, review of Little Doors, p. 1510.

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April, 1999, review of Lost Pages, p. 41.

Publishers Weekly, August 20, 2001, review of Strange Trades, p. 62; September 30, 2002, review of A Mouthful on Tongues: Her Totipotent Tropicanalia, p. 54; November 18, 2002, review of Little Doors, p. 46.

Science Fiction Chronicle, February, 1999, review of Lost Pages, p. 45.


Strange Horizons Web site,http://www.strangehorizons.com/ (November 4, 2002), Claude Lalumière, "Interview: Paul Di Filippo."

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