This will be a short post, since what I encountered of his work many years back I enjoyed but, for whatever reason, did not stick with me as it should. Based on some of the reactions already on the ILE thread about his passing, though, that is my mistake, and I will investigate more thoroughly.
Elvis T. has however linked to a fine blog piece by Patrick at Making Light about Disch’s impact and passing, which I recommend. To quote it briefly:
He could be hard to take, both in person and in his public interactions with the SF world. He played the game of literary politics hard, and sometimes lost badly. He frequently seemed to have no patience for his allies, much less his enemies. Of his other career, as noted poet Tom Disch, I can’t say much, except that to my mind the poetry was often good. In his later years he wrote a blog; after he began to post frequently on the depravity of Muslims and immigrants, I became unable to keep reading it.
The Disch I prefer to remember was no nicer than that, but much smarter: a brittle and brilliant ironist with a bright wit and no optimism whatsoever.
A good role to take, that.
Check ’em out — and as others have noted, a tip of the hat for writing the book The Brave Little Toaster as well. RIP.