Wilson Tucker

Arthur Wilson "Bob" Tucker (November 23, 1914 – October 6, 2006) was an American theater technician who became well known as a writer of mystery, action adventure, and science fiction under the name Wilson Tucker.

Tucker was also a prominent member of science fiction fandom, who wrote extensively for fanzines under the name Bob Tucker, a family nickname bestowed in childhood (his own mispronunciation of the nickname "Bub"). He became a prominent analyst and critic of the field, as well as the coiner of such terms as "space opera".

Wilson Tucker
BornArthur Wilson Tucker
November 23, 1914
Deer Creek, Illinois, USA
DiedOctober 6, 2006 (aged 91)
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Pen nameBob Tucker, Hoy Ping Pong
OccupationProjectionist, writer
Period1932–2006 (as fan)
GenreScience fiction, mystery
Notable works
Future combined with Science Fiction June 1942
Tucker's "The Princess of Detroit" was the cover story for the June 1942 issue of Future


Born in Deer Creek, Illinois, for most of his life Tucker made his home in Bloomington, Illinois. Tucker was married twice. In 1937, he wed Mary Joesting; they had a son and a daughter before the marriage dissolved in 1942. His second marriage, to Fern Delores Brooks in 1953, lasted 52 years, until her death in 2006; they had three sons.


Tucker became involved in science fiction fandom in 1932, publishing a fanzine, The Planetoid. From 1938 to 2001, he published the fanzine Le Zombie, which lasted for more than 60 issues and was later revived as a webzine. (The title arising from the fact that on multiple occasions fallacious reports of his death were made within fandom.[1])

He also published the Bloomington News Letter, which dealt with news within the professional science fiction writing field. Active in letter-writing as well, Tucker was a popular fan during more than six decades, coining many words and phrases familiar in science fiction fandom and to literary criticism of the field. In addition to "Bob Tucker", he was also known to write under the pseudonym "Hoy Ping Pong" (generally reserved for humorous pieces.)[2] During a 41-year period, 1955 to 1996, Tucker created and edited eight separate editions of The Neo-Fan's Guide To Science Fiction Fandom, an historical overview of the first five decades of science fiction fandom, with important events and trends in fandom noted. Each edition also carried a lexicon of fan terminology in use throughout fandom at the time. The eighth and final edition remains in print from the Kansas City Science Fiction and Fantasy Society.

Tucker's fanzine writing has been described as "unfailingly incisive", and Tucker as "the most intelligent and articulate and sophisticated fan the American science-fiction community is ever likely to boast of".[3] He helped pioneer criticism of the genre, coining along the way terms like "space opera" in common use today.[4]

He was fan guest of honor, professional guest of honor, toastmaster, or master of ceremonies at so many science fiction conventions over nearly seven decades that no one has managed to compile a comprehensive list. Notable are his appearances as guest of honor at Torcon I (the 1948 Worldcon) and NyCon3 (the 1967 Worldcon), a perennial stint as toastmaster of the long-running Midwestcon and LibertyCon, and as toastmaster at MidAmeriCon, the 1976 Worldcon.

In 1940, he served on the committee of the Worldcon in Chicago. In 2001, he co-hosted the joint Ditto/FanHistoriCon held in his hometown of Bloomington, Illinois.

Tucker won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 1970 and the 1954 Retro-Hugo for the same category in 2004. His Science Fiction Newsletter (a.k.a. Bloomington News Letter) won the Retro-Hugo Award for Best Fanzine for 1951. His fanzine Le Zombie also won the 1943 Retro Hugo for Best Fanzine at Worldcon 76 in San Jose, CA.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted Tucker in 2003, its eighth class of two deceased and two living writers.[5] Other honors included the 1986 Skylark (annual Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction),[6] the 1996 Author Emeritus of the Science Fiction Writers of America,[6] and the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award.

Tuckercon, the 2007 NASFiC (North American Science Fiction Convention) in Collinsville, Illinois, was dedicated to Tucker.


Although he would eventually sell more than 20 novels, Tucker made his principal living as a movie projectionist and theater electrician, starting as a prop man at the Majestic Theater in Bloomington, Illinois. He served as President of Local 193 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), and retired as a projectionist in 1972.

Professional writing

In 1941, Tucker's first professional short story, "Interstellar Way Station", was published by Frederik Pohl in the May issue of Super Science Stories. Between 1941 and 1979, primarily in the early 1940s and early 1950s, he produced about two dozen more.[7] He also turned his attention to writing novels, with 11 mystery novels and a dozen science fiction novels to his credit.

His most famous novel may be The Year of the Quiet Sun (1970). It was runner-up for the Locus Award for Best Novel and a finalist for the Hugo and the Nebula Award. In 1976 it won a special retrospective John W. Campbell Memorial Award (established 1973 for 1972 novels).[6]

Other notable novels include The Lincoln Hunters (1958), in which time-travelers from an oppressive future society seek to record Abraham Lincoln's "lost speech" of May 19, 1856. It contains a vivid description of Lincoln and his time, seen through the eyes of a future American who feels that Lincoln and his time compare very favorably with the traveler's own.

The Long Loud Silence (1952) is a post-apocalypse story in which the eastern third of the United States is quarantined as the result of an atomic and bacteriological attack. Damon Knight [8] called it "a phenomenally good book; in its own terms, it comes as near perfection as makes no difference."

Much of Tucker's short fiction was collected in The Best of Wilson Tucker (Timescape, 1982; ISBN 0-671-83243-3).[7]

Tucker's habit of using the names of friends for minor characters in his fiction led to the literary term "tuckerization" or "tuckerism(s)".[9][10] For example, Tucker named a character after Lee Hoffman in his novel The Long Loud Silence, and after Walt Willis in Wild Talent.[11]

Selected works


  • Charles Home mysteries (five, 1946 to 1951)
  • The Chinese Doll (1946)
  • The City in the Sea (1951)
  • The Long Loud Silence (1952)
  • The Time Masters (1953, revised 1971)
  • Wild Talent (1954) (aka Man from Tomorrow, 1955 )
  • Time: X (1955)
  • Time Bomb (1955) (aka Tomorrow Plus X)
  • The Lincoln Hunters (1958)
  • To the Tombaugh Station (1960)
  • A Procession of the Damned (1965)
  • The Year of the Quiet Sun (1970)
  • This Witch (1971)
  • Ice and Iron (1974)
  • Resurrection Days (1981)


  • The Princess of Detroit, Future Science Fiction (June 1942)
  • The Planet King (1959)
  • The Best of Wilson Tucker (Timescape, 1982) (collection)


  • The Neo-Fan's Guide To Science Fiction Fandom (eight editions, 1955 to 1996)

See also


  1. ^ Katz, Arnie. "Philosophical Theory of Fanhistory" in Fan History Archive Archived 2009-01-08 at the Wayback Machine..
  2. ^ Robert Bloch. "Wilson Tucker - The Smo-o-oth Operator" in Bloch's Out of My Head, Cambridge MA: NESFA Press, 1986.
  3. ^ Clute, John "Wilson Tucker: Writer of bleak science fiction." The Independent 12 Oct. 2006
  4. ^ Browning, T.G. "Stanley G. Weinbaum: SF Flare". Retrieved 2006-09-06.
  5. ^ "Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame". Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. Retrieved 2013-03-26. This was the official website of the hall of fame to 2004.
  6. ^ a b c "Tucker, Wilson" Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine.. The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Literary Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  7. ^ a b Wilson Tucker at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-18. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  8. ^ Knight, Damon (1967). In Search of Wonder. Chicago: Advent.
  9. ^ Jeff Prucher (2007). Brave New Words: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction. Oxford University Press. p. 342.
  10. ^ Baen, Jim. "The Tucker Circle". Jim Baen's Universe. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  11. ^ Langford, David. "Tuckerisms". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Gollancz. Retrieved 3 December 2014.

External links

20th World Science Fiction Convention

The Hugo Awards, named after Hugo Gernsback, are presented every year for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. Results are based on the ballots submitted by members of the World Science Fiction Society.

The 20th World Science Fiction Convention, also known unofficially as Chicon III (less frequently, Chicon II), was held August 31–September 3, 1962, at the Pick-Congress Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Because the second Worldcon held in Chicago was officially called, in its publications, the 10th Annual World Science Fiction Convention (and once as the "10th Annual Science Fiction Convention") and not Chicon, the next Chicago Worldcon held in 1962 was occasionally referred to as Chicon II, though Chicon III is the generally accepted and preferred nomenclature.

The chairman was Earl Kemp. The guest of honor was Theodore Sturgeon. The toastmaster was Wilson Tucker. Total attendance was approximately 730.Following the convention, Advent:Publishers published The Proceedings: Chicon III, edited by Earl Kemp. The book includes transcripts of lectures and panels given during the course of the convention and includes numerous photographs as well. Events at the convention included an address by Willy Ley.

9th World Science Fiction Convention

The 9th World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Nolacon I, was held 1–3 September 1951 at the St. Charles Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

The chairman was Harry B. Moore.

The guest of honor was Fritz Leiber.

Total attendance was approximately 190. The at-the-door membership price was US$1, the same price charged from the 1st through the 12th Worldcon

Other pros attending included Robert Bloch, Fredric Brown, Judith Merril, E.E. Smith, L. Sprague de Camp, editor John W. Campbell and fantasy artist Hannes Bok, who did Nolacon's program book cover. Famous fans present included Sam Moskowitz, Wilson Tucker (aka Bob Tucker), Dave Kyle, Roger Sims, Terry Carr, and Lee Hoffman. The latter, editor of the very popular fanzine Quandry, whom everyone assumed was male, turned out to be a young woman, a ‘revelation’ which greatly startled even those who had corresponded with her.

Notable events included world premiere screenings of The Day The Earth Stood Still and When Worlds Collide, plus a continuous two-day-long party in Room 770 at the St. Charles Hotel that became legendary following the convention not only for its duration but for its high quality. Mike Glyer's long-running newszine File 770, named in commemoration of this party, has won the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine a number of times.Hugo Awards were not presented at this Worldcon as the awards were not proposed until the following year, 1952, with the first Hugos actually presented in 1953 at the 11th World Science Fiction Convention. However, in 2001 at the 59th World Science Fiction Convention held in Philadelphia, a set of Retro Hugo Awards were presented to honor work that would have been Hugo-eligible had the award existed in 1951. A "Certificate of Merit" was presented to representatives of The Day the Earth Stood Still by the Nolacon I chairman, and this was reported on Movietone News at the time.

Ace Science Fiction Specials

Ace Science Fiction Specials are three series of science fiction and fantasy books published by Ace Books between 1968 and 1990. Terry Carr edited the first and third series, taking the "TV special" concept and adapting it to paperback marketing. The first series was one of the most influential in the history of science fiction publishing; four of the six novels nominated for 1970 Nebula Awards were from the series.

The date given is the year of publication by Ace; some are first editions and some are reprints. Also given is the Ace serial number. The serial number given is that of the first printing in the Ace Special series (except for the reissue of Rite of Passage). Books with a previous first edition are noted as "reissue" below. The order listed for series one is the original order of publication; the price is given. Ace reissued many of these books outside of the Ace Special line with different covers and prices, and sometimes different paginations. Award winners are noted; many were nominated for awards.

Author Emeritus

Author Emeritus was an honorary title annually bestowed by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America upon a living writer. It was created in 1995 "as a way to recognize and appreciate senior writers in the genres of science fiction and fantasy who have made significant contributions to our field but who are no longer active or whose excellent work may no longer be as widely known as it once was." The Author Emeritus is invited to speak at the annual Nebula Awards banquet.The Author Emeritus was inaugurated in 1995 and conferred 14 times in 16 years to 2010 (at the 1994 to 2009 Nebula Awards banquets). Three years later, no more had been named and SFWA simply stated, "This year's Nebula Awards Weekend will not feature an Author Emeritus." By October 2013, early in the 20th year of the honor, SFWA had made unavailable general information about the Author Emeritus and a compiled list of honorees.

1995 Emil Petaja

1996 Wilson Tucker

1997 Judith Merril

1998 Nelson S. Bond

1999 William Tenn

2000 Daniel Keyes

2001 Robert Sheckley

2002 —

2003 Katherine MacLean

2004 Charles L. Harness—declined the banquet invitation due to being unable to travel and was honored by SFWA as an "Author of Distinction"

2005 —

2006 William F. Nolan

2007 D. G. Compton

2008 Ardath Mayhar

2009 M. J. Engh

2010 Neal Barrett, Jr.

Belmont Bruins baseball

The Belmont Bruins baseball team (formerly the Belmont Rebels) is a varsity intercollegiate athletic team of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The team is a member of the Ohio Valley Conference, which is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I. The team plays its home games at E. S. Rose Park in Nashville. The Bruins are coached by Dave Jarvis.

Beyond Time and Space

Beyond Time and Space is an anthology of science fiction stories edited by American writer August Derleth. It was first published by Pellegrini & Cudahy in 1950. Several of the stories had originally appeared in the magazines The Century, The Atlantic Monthly, The Strand, Blue Book, Blackwood's Magazine, Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, Astounding Stories, Maclean's, The American Legion Magazine and Startling Stories. A heavily abridged paperback edition was issued by Berkley Books in 1958.

Deer Creek, Illinois

Deer Creek is a village in Tazewell and Woodford counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 704 at the 2010 census. Deer Creek is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer

The Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer is the Hugo Award given each year for writers of works related to science fiction or fantasy which appeared in low- or non-paying publications such as semiprozines or fanzines or in generally available electronic media during the previous calendar year. There is no restriction that the writer is not also a professional author, and several such authors have won the award for their non-paying works. The award was first presented in 1967 and has been awarded annually.

During the 58 regular and retro nomination years, 98 writers have been nominated; 21 of these have won, including ties. David Langford has received the largest number of awards, with 21 wins out of 31 nominations. He was nominated every year from 1979 through 2009, and won 19 times in a row from 1989 through 2007. The other writers to win more than once are Richard E. Geis, with seven wins out of sixteen nominations; Mike Glyer, with four wins out of twenty-five nominations; Susan Wood Glicksohn, with three of eight; Harry Warner, Jr., with two out of eight; Wilson Tucker, with two out of seven; Bob Shaw, who won both times he was nominated; Forrest J Ackerman, with two out of four Retro Hugos; and Ray Bradbury, who won both Retro Hugos he was nominated for. The writers with the most nominations without winning are Evelyn C. Leeper, who was nominated twelve times in a row from 1990 through 2001, and Steven H Silver, whose twelve nominations span 2000-2013.

Hugo Award for Best Fanzine

The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Fanzine is given each year for non professionally edited magazines, or "fanzines", related to science fiction or fantasy which has published four or more issues with at least one issue appearing in the previous calendar year. Awards were also once given out for professional magazines in the professional magazine category, and since 1984 have been awarded for semi-professional magazines in the semiprozine category; several magazines that were nominated for or won the fanzine category have gone on to be nominated for or win the semiprozine category since it was established.

The award was first presented in 1955, and has been given annually since except for in 1958. A "fanzine" is defined for the award as a magazine that does not meet the Hugo award's criteria for a professional or semi-professional magazine. Specifically, it must meet less than two of the five Hugo criteria for consideration as a semiprozine: that the magazine had an average press run of at least one thousand copies per issue, paid its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication, provided at least half the income of any one person, had at least fifteen percent of its total space occupied by advertising, and announced itself to be a semiprozine. This is the oldest long-running Hugo award for fan activity; in 1967 Hugo Awards were added specifically for fan writing and fan art. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been awarded for 1939, 1941, 1946, 1951, and 1954, and the fanzine category has been included each year.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. The 1955 and 1956 awards did not include any recognition of runner-up magazines, but since 1957 all of the candidates were recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year.During the 69 nomination years, including Retro Hugo years, 128 magazines run by 177 editors have been nominated. Of these, 40 magazines run by 67 editors have won, including ties. Locus has won 8 times out of 13 nominations, the most wins of any magazine. File 770 has won 7 of 31, the most nominations of any magazine. Mimosa has won 6 of 14 nominations, Ansible has won 5 out of 11, and Science Fiction Review has won 4 of 12; they are the only other magazines to win more than twice. Challenger has the most nominations without winning at 12; the next highest is FOSFAX with 7. As editor of Locus Charles N. Brown has won 8 of 13 nominations, though he shared 8 of those awards with Dena Brown. Richard E. Geis has won 6 of 15 nominations for his work on Science Fiction Review, Psychotic, and The Alien Critic; Mike Glyer has won 7 of 31 for editing File 770; David Langford has won 5 of 12 for work on Ansible and Twil-Ddu; and Richard Lynch and Nicki Lynch have both won 6 of 14 nominations for Mimosa. Guy H. Lillian III has the most nominations without winning at 12 for Challenger.

Inger Edelfeldt

Inger Edelfeldt (born 14 July 1956) is a Swedish author, illustrator and translator.

October 6

October 6 is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 86 days remaining until the end of the year.

Space opera

Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare, melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, and risk-taking. Set mainly or entirely in outer space, it usually involves conflict between opponents possessing advanced abilities, futuristic weapons, and other sophisticated technology. The term has no relation to music, but is instead a play on the terms "soap opera" and "horse opera", the latter of which was coined during the 1930s to indicate clichéd and formulaic Western movies. Space operas emerged in the 1930s and continue to be produced in literature, film, comics, television and video games.

An early film which was based on space opera comic strips was Flash Gordon (1936) created by Alex Raymond. In the late 1970s, the Star Wars franchise (1977–present) created by George Lucas brought a great deal of attention to the subgenre. After the convention-breaking "New Wave", followed by the enormous success of the Star Wars films, space opera became once again a critically acceptable subgenre. Throughout 1982–2002, the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel was often given to a space opera nominee.

The City in the Sea

The City in the Sea is also the title of a science fiction novel by Wilson Tucker"The City in the Sea" is a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. The final version was published in 1845, but an earlier version was published as "The Doomed City" in 1831 and, later, as "The City of Sin". The poem tells the story of a city ruled by a personification of Death using common elements from Gothic fiction. The poem appeared in the Southern Literary Messenger, The American Review, the Broadway Journal, as well as in the 1850 collection The Poets and Poetry of America.

Poe drew his inspiration from several works, including Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

The Lincoln Hunters

The Lincoln Hunters is a 1958 novel by Wilson Tucker. The novel, set in the year 2578, details the story of a historian from the oppressive society of that year, who travels back in time to record Abraham Lincoln's Lost Speech of May 19, 1856 in Bloomington, Illinois.

It contains a vivid description of Lincoln in the early stages of his career, seen through the eyes of a future American who feels that Lincoln and his time compare very favorably with the traveler's own.

The book is mentioned in 11/22/63, a novel by Stephen King that also centers around time travel and an assassinated president. Furthermore, the protagonist springboards to 1958-the year "Hunters" first ran-to alter the timeline by 1963.

The Long Loud Silence

The Long Loud Silence is a science fiction novel written by Wilson A. Tucker. It was first published in hardback edition by Rinehart & Co. in 1952, followed by Dell paperback editions in 1952 and 1954.

At the Hugo Awards in 1953, The Long Loud Silence placed second to The Demolished Man for the inaugural Best Novel award.The story takes place following a nuclear holocaust which wipes out every major city east of the Mississippi and leaves the survivors permanently infected with plague. To prevent the plague from spreading, the army sets up a cordon sanitaire along the Mississippi. The story follows one survivor, Russell Gary, as he attempts to get back across the river.

The Year of the Quiet Sun

The Year of the Quiet Sun is a 1970 science fiction novel by American writer Wilson Tucker, dealing with the use of forward time travel to ascertain future political and social events. It won a retrospective John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1976. It was also nominated for a Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1970, and a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1971.


Tuckerization (or tuckerism) is the act of using a person's name (and sometimes other characteristics) in an original story as an in-joke. The term is derived from Wilson Tucker, a pioneering American science fiction writer, fan and fanzine editor, who made a practice of using his friends' names for minor characters in his stories. For example, Tucker named a character after Lee Hoffman in his novel The Long Loud Silence, and after Walt Willis in Wild Talent.In most cases, tuckerization is used for "bit parts" (minor characters), an opportunity for the author to create an homage to a friend or respected colleague. But sometimes an author will attach a friend's name, description, or identifiable characteristics to a major character, and in some novels nearly all the characters represent friends, colleagues, or prominent persons the author knows. When this happens, tuckerization can rise to the level of a roman à clef.

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