Thomas Page, author of The Hephaestus Plague, was born in Washington D.C., and is a graduate of Elon College and The University of North Carolina. He has a major in English and an M.F.A in film from Columbia University. He grew up in North Carolina.
Having worked as a bartender, fossil cleaner, Radio DJ, fortuneteller, advertising copywriter and Hollywood script doctor he turned his hand to literature in 1973 producing a string of successful science fiction novels, murder mysteries and non-fiction titles.
The Hephaestus Plague was made into a major motion picture in 1975, BUG, co-written by famous horror movie auteur William Castle and directed by Jeannot Swarc, who has written a foreword for the new Trashface edition of the book.
A wanderer by nature, Thomas has lived in Middletown Ohio, Durham North Carolina, New York City, Western Massachusetts, Denver Colorado and Los Angeles CA, finally settling in Santa Monica California.
His lifelong love of biology lead to what he considers his greatest achievement:
"I believe my one immortal contribution to the world was finding a small fossil deposit in the west which
was named after me (Page One) and which was determined to consist of carnivorous bird droppings. It is around
10 million years old and likely to be there 10 million years from now. Writers come and go through the ages
but bird shit is immortal."
Thomas lives and works in Santa Monica, California and has a married daughter who lives in Paris, France. Not Texas.
The Trashface connection
I first encountered The Hephaestus Plague in 1987 in a 1975 Bantam edition bought second hand in an old bookshop in Lisbon, Portugal. From the first I was entranced by the character of Professor Parmiter the chief protagonist and I re-read the book every 3 or 4 years, delighted to find every time that my enjoyment of the book remained as strong as ever. The great love and fascination with the insect world tells on every page of the book and it completely trancends its own distinctly 1970s disaster novel milieu, while still having all the best elements of it.
As a result of this enduring love for the book it was naturally high on my list of works which I wanted to see back in print when Trashface first became a reality. After a long, unsuccessful search through the usual channels I finally found a reference to Thomas Page on a website that listed the descendants of Edward III. Amazingly it gave his name and that of his sister. I finally was able to find an address for someone I believed to be his sister living in the southern United States and I fired off an optimistic letter.
Just as hope was fading almost a month later I received a wholly unexpected phone call from the United States from Thomas himself. It was a strange experience for me to be suddenly in touch with an icon of my youth, but I found he had exactly the gravel-voiced charm and wordly sense of humour I would have expected from a man who had seen and lived and worked as much as he undoubtedly has.
Trashface will also be working with Thomas to bring out a new edition of The Man Who Would Not Die during 2008.
The Hephaestus Plague
The Man Who Would Not Die
Skyfire (aka Sigmet Active)
Recall (Under the name of Thomas Walker)