George Locke (1936-2019)

George Locke in foreground, with Alexei Panshin [rear] and Marsha Elkin/Jones/Brown). Photo (c) by Andrew Porter.

British fan, bookseller, and author George Locke died February 1 at the age of 82.

His first published sf story was “The Human Seed” for Authentic Science Fiction in October 1957, and he wrote a number of stories under the name Gordon Walters in the 1960s. The SF Encyclopedia has full details of his career.

Also an active fan, he was one of the organizers of IPSO,  the International Publishers’ Speculative Organization, the second British APA, founded in April 1961. He was on the RePetercon committee (the second British Eastercon, 1964).

His fanzine Smoke came in third place, ahead of several much better known titles, in the 1960 fan poll of UK fanzines, here:

1960
..1. ORION – Ella Parker
..2. SKYRACK – Ron Bennett
..3. SMOKE – George Locke
..4. HYPHEN – Walt Willis & Ian McAuley
..5. BASTION – Eric Bentcliffe      
..6. APORRHETA – Sandy Sanderson
..7. ESPRIT – Daphne Buckmaster
..8. TRIODE – Eric Bentcliffe
..9. RETRIBUTION – John Berry
10. DIRECTORY OF SF FANDOM – Ron Bennett

Andrew Porter says, “I first met him at the 1966 Midwestcon. I seem to remember he was in the USA pursuing his glider or hot air ballooning interests.”

The SF Encyclopedia credits his many important bibliographical works, beginning with the Ferret Fantasy’s Christmas Annual series (1972-1975) containing reprinted fiction along with short bibliographies of this material. The series inspired his work on Science Fiction First Editions: A Select Bibliography and Notes for the Collector (1978), and a later anthology, Sources of Science Fiction: Future War Novels of the 1890s (1988) designed for institutions.

Locke also produced bibliographies of works in the category of nineteenth-century interplanetary romance, Voyages in Space: A Bibliography of Interplanetary Fiction, 1801-1914 (1975) and, in enormously expanded and sophisticated form, Voyages in Space: The Interplanetary Theme in Creative Writing to 1914: A Researcher’s Companion (2011).

SFE calls his Spectrum of Fantasy sequence of annotated bibliographies Locke’s central accomplishment in the field: A Spectrum of Fantasy (1980) A Spectrum of Fantasy II (1994) and A Spectrum of Fantasy III (2002), plus two ancillary volumes, Spectrum of Fantasy: Christmas Annual 2002 and Spectrum of Fantasy: Christmas Annual 2003-2004.

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]

Lottie Robins (1915 – 2018)

By John L. Coker III: Lottie Levin Robins, who was happily married for 66 years to Jack Robins (a member of the Futurians, First Fandom and N3F) died peacefully on November 18, 2018.

Lottie was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, on September 18, 1915 to immigrant parents from the Ukraine – the last of five children.  She graduated high school in 1932.  Wrote her first play at age 9 and wanted to be a writer from that day on.  From age 11 to 18 Lottie was published every Saturday in the Winnipeg Free Press Young Authors pages: letters, essays and a novel.  At 17 she won first prize in a Young Zionist essay contest.  At 19, first prize coast-to-coast in the same contest.  At 22, in charge of music and drama and wrote a daily newsletter and was Assistant Director at an 8-week camp for 500 children.  During that time she wrote a weekly column for a three provincial Anglo-Jewish newspaper and read every book in the library about writing.   She also was secretary for her attorney brother, social worker for a Children’s Bureau and a student nurse at a children’s hospital for a year.

In 1945, Lottie left for Brooklyn where she worked as a medical assistant for a doctor’s office for 4 years until she met Jack. They immediately found common interests: writing, photography, classical music and politics.  After dating for only 5 weeks, they became engaged and were married on December 25, 1949.  In 1956, when their children were 3 and 5, Jack went back to college full-time, attending Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute on a fellowship where he received his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry. 

After she and Jack started to take weekly college courses, Lottie was invited to be an instructor in Adult Education for 5 years, teaching non-fiction and writing memoirs.  She eventually published in Guideposts, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, Canadian Writer’s Journal, Saturday Evening Post, Jack and Jill, McCalls, the New York Times, and many others.  She was Executive Editor of a two-language magazine, transliterated Yiddish and English for Rodel Press, and wrote 400 columns for Canadian and USA newspapers.

She had many other interests, including photography, embroidery, sewing, making dolls, quilting and Persian rugs.

Science Fiction was such an important part of their marriage and they got to know many of the people who became famous, including Don and Elsie Wollheim, Isaac Asimov, Fred Pohl, Damon Knight, Sam Moskowitz and others.  Jack was the photographer at the SF functions that they attended, so he was not in many of the pictures.  Together, they attended three World SF Conventions.  At one SF conference in Philadelphia, Jack and Lottie wrote and performed a humorous skit in honor of Don Wollheim’s retiring. 

Lottie and Jack Robins in 2015.

Lottie celebrated her 103rd birthday last year.  She thought of Jack as her loving husband, encyclopedia, editor and best friend.  When asked about her secret for having lived so long, Lottie would often replay that Jack was wonderful to live with and they had such an interesting life together.

Lottie is survived by her daughter Lohrainne Janell; her son Arthur Robins; three grandchildren (Alisa, Amy and Leila); and, three great-grandchildren (Jordon, Fionah and Jaxon).

(Adapted from an article in First Fandom Annual, 2018, ed. by John L. Coker III and Jon D. Swartz)

Carol Channing (1921-2019)

Fanny

By Steve Green: Carol Channing (1921-2019): US actress and singer, died January 15, aged 97. Genre roles included: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), Alice in Wonderland (1985), Where’s Waldo? (voice roles, 13 episodes, 1991), The Addams Family (voice role as Grandmama Addams, 15 episodes, 1992-93), Thumbelina (1994), The Magic School Bus (voice role, one episode, 1994), Touched by an Angel (as herself, one episode, 1997), The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars (voice of “Fanny,” 1998).

Remembering Mike Raditz

[Regular contributor Steve Vertlieb suffered a family loss and wanted to share his memories.]

By Steve Vertlieb: Mike (Michael) Raditz was one of the more colorful characters in the proverbial bark of my family tree. He was my first cousin, the son of my aunt Ann who was my dad’s sister. Ann married a wonderful artist by the name of Mark Raditz, and they had three children…Audrey (who had a beautiful soprano voice, and sang with Eugene Ormandy as a young girl), Eddie (who became a successful concert violinist) and Michael. Michael was the baby of the family, and closer (although a few years older than I) to my own age. As children, Mike would play with my cousins Marsha, Helene, Myra, and I. We were somewhat mischievous in those formative years of the early to mid nineteen fifties. We’d often congregate at my Zayda’s (grandfather) house in the traditionally Jewish neighborhood of Strawberry Mansion in Philadelphia. When our parents attended Shul during the Orthodox High Holidays at synagogue B’nai Menasha during Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur, Michael, Marsha, Helene, Myra, and I would beg for ice cream in my Zayda’s (Samuel Vertlieb) store, adjoining the family home.

As we grew up and, presumably, matured I began to lose touch with Michael. My parents never owned a car while I was growing up, and so we would have to take a bus whenever we would go out…except for the times when there was a family gathering. It was then that my Uncle Lee and Aunt Jesse (Marsha’s mom and dad) would pick us up, and drive us to family events and gatherings. Mike was, after all, a few years older than myself and, as he should, began gravitating to friends closer to his own age.

Mike loved opera, as I recall, and was always talking about the music and the vocalists whose voices would serenade and sweetly resonate through the walls of his home. He was also a huge baseball fan. Michael never married, but had lots of friends with interests similar to his own. In later years, as a growing sense of family and my own roots seemed to envelop me following my divorce from my wife in 1996, I began to reach out to what remained of my family. We’d schedule monthly family lunches, usually on a Saturday afternoon, and congregate at The Olive Garden on Roosevelt Boulevard. Michael would join Marsha, Helene, my brother Erwin (when visiting from Los Angeles), Shelly and I for a loving laugh fest in which Michael would happily regale us with with stories of our parents, and of their emigration from White Russia to Canada and, eventually, to Philadelphia, as well as their physical and emotional travails along the passage of time and history.

Mike was, you see, the keeper of the Vertlieb and Raditz family heritage, and was the patriarch of the second generation. He could talk for hours about each of our parents … their joys, their sorrows, and of the family secrets which had seemingly become lost to posterity. For my beloved mom’s 100th birthday party and dinner, Mike took some wonderful videos which, although somewhat dark due to the muted lighting of the restaurant, remain ever more precious to me today. Michael was eccentric, to be sure, but he was also among the most colorful characters whom it was ever my pleasure to know and call friend.

I last shared an evening with Mike about a year ago in December, 2017 when, at my invitation, he joined my brother Erwin and I for a delightful dinner at a quaint Japanese restaurant across the street from my apartment. We listened and laughed as Mike once again regaled us with loving stories of our families history, and of the sacred Jewish heritage paving the path for our own evolution, backgrounds, and birth.

I received a telephone call from my cousin Marsha last evening … the first evening of the new year … informing me that Michael had passed away of a heart attack nearly a year earlier in February, 2018. Our families had sadly drifted apart once more, as families will, and no one had made the effort to inform our dwindling numbers that Michael had passed. Marsha had, herself, inadvertently stumbled across the news only yesterday when accessing Mike’s Facebook page to wish him a Happy Birthday. Mike had succumbed, apparently, merely two months after spending a wonderful evening of dinner and conversation with Erwin and I. I remain deeply affected and saddened by the loss of this marvelous, deliciously colorful soul whose life had so joyously intersected my own. I love you, Mike. Rest well, my Cousin. Rest well, my friend. God willing, we shall meet again in a more ethereal reality while a younger soul, perhaps, will recount the stories of our own lives and memorable adventures on Earth, and perpetuate our family’s loving memory.

Graham Connor (1957-2018)

By Jonathan Cowie: SF Concatenation’s  co-editor, SF fan and my close friend for over four decades, Graham Connor has died.

This is the mini-obit we will be using in the next edition:

Graham Connor, the British physicist and SF fan, has died aged 61. He graduated only with a 2:1 as – not only was this decades before university funding privatisation and its grade inflation – his lecturers said that they did not give firsts to students who never attended their lectures in the final year; though arguably this was another reason he should have received a first. As a result, he had a career in aerospace building communication satellites: it was not rocket science (well it was) and not the career researching gravity he wanted, his physics passion. If ever you have made an international phone call in Europe, then most likely your signal will have gone through a microwave guide designed by Graham onboard the communications satellite. But before that, and since, Graham was an SF enthusiast.  He entered fandom, while a student, in 1976.  He was a runner-up at the Unicon 1 short story competition (claiming he should have won) and won the short story competition at Unicon 2 (claiming he should have come second against what he considered another’s more worthy story).  He was on the committee of a couple of the Hatfield PSFIFA Shoestring cons (now rebranded as Hertfordshire University PSIFA).  He was one of the film projectionists for the London area BECCONs of the 1980s and the BECCON Eastercon in 1987. That was the convention that SF² Concatenation was launched with Graham as co-editor: he was the issue editor of its 1989 paper edition. His last major contribution to SF² Concatenation was the creation of the now-running series of articles by scientists who are SF authors on their favourite scientists. He was a regular at Eastercons in the late 1970s though to the 1990s.  He attended other conventions including the 1979, 1987, 1990 and 1995 Worldcons and the non-British 1994 Eurocon. In the mid-1990s he began attending Manchester’s Festival of Fantastic Films (founded by a friend of SF² Concatenation, the late Harry Nadler) and attended the Fest most years through to the late 2000s. Following an episode, ill health prevented his attending conventions after 2008. For the past few years, a few old PSIFAns met regularly near his home for a reunion, as did the past couple of years the former BECCON team, and these gave him a convention fan bar experience.  We really had hoped for more time with him.

Memories Are Made of This

By John Hertz:  Fred Patten’s sister Sherry phoned inviting me to a gathering in memory and honor of Fred on December 9th, at Big Jim’s Restaurant, in Sun Valley.  I saw Nick Smith on my bus (not a Ken Kesey allusion – although, come to think of it –). Sure enough he was going to the same place.

There were two dozen of us, LASFSians (L.A. Science Fantasy Society, Fred’s local club and mine, oldest S-F club in the world) or at least all the folks I recognized.  We met at two in the afternoon, so I’m not sure whether to call it lunch or supper –lupper?  Isn’t that a Brazilian band?

Seated near enough to converse were Smith, Scott Beckstead, John DeChancie, His Majesty the Emperor, Lee and Barry Gold.  We talked about knowledge, formalism, song, writing, activity, Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), verisimilitude, contribution, imagination — the things fans talk about.

I was glad to have DeChancie there because he being both a fan and a pro had a helpful perspective.  I was glad to have Smith there because he being both a filker (our home-made music, named after a 1950s typing error that turned “folk music” into “filk music” and stuck) and a fanziner had a helpful perspective.  I’d known Lee and her husband Barry Gold longest; both had done filking, fanzining and, as the saying goes, much much more.

At first we’d all supposed Sherry Patten was only providing the occasion and we’d each pay for ourselves. No.  She made clear she was our hostess – “Come and dine, the pleasure’s mine, and I will pay the bills” (that is a Johnny Mathis allusion).  This was a fine gesture on her part.  She said it was in appreciation for all that the LASFS had done for Fred.  At such moments one can only say thank you.  All that Fred had done for the LASFS could not be measured.

She’d made a display of photographs.  If there was going to be time for speeches I was ready to take my turn; Fred was a giant. But unfortunately I had another bus to catch – just as the cheesecake came in.

Sherry had been a devoted sister and had done wonders.  I went to thank her.  I looked at the clock and saw I’d missed my bus.  DeChancie gave me a ride to the next stop in the chain.

It was a good day.

Lee Billings (1956-2018)

Lee Billings at MidAmeriCon II in Kansas City in 2016

Lee Billings at MidAmeriCon II in Kansas City in 2016

By JJ: Originally part of Nashville fandom, Lee (Van Deest) Billings was a member of the Middle Tennessee Science Fiction Society, active in club events, part of the lively community at alt.callahans on Usenet, and participating in conventions all over the country. A singer and brilliant lyricist, she became a big Filker, coordinating the Filk programming at many conventions.

Up to the 1990s, there was a lack of strong filk programming in Southern Fandom. She filled that gap by creating and chairing Musicon for 5 years. She describes that evolution in The History of Musicon 1992-1996.

She was Guest of Honor at Harmonicon III in 1995, and was honored as Toastmistress at GAFilk 1 in 1999, which picked up the mantle of Southern Filkdom after the final Musicon.

Lee was nominated for a Pegasus Award (the Filkers’ Hugo Awards) for Best Military Song in 1995 for The Ballad of Fleet Sergeant Ho. Thanks to Eli Goldberg, her album can be found here.

After moving to Houston two decades ago, she became a strong supporter of Apollocon, and assisted that convention in various roles.

Lee was a jewelry artisan, creating unique and interesting pieces. She and her partner Russ had a Dealer’s Table at many conventions. She regularly posted photos of unusual and fascinating geological specimens on her Facebook wall. In her business’ “About” section, she said, “Starcat Designs came into being in 2002, growing out of my love of rocks and minerals. Most of my jewelry designs are one-of-a-kind.The materials used include stone, glass, organics (pearls, bone, shell, wood, etc.), and metals.”

I only got to know Lee during the last three and a half years, through her participation in the File 770 community and in conversations with her at Worldcon and on Facebook. I’m far from an expert on her contributions to fandom and filkdom; I welcome comments from those who have more knowledge of her life, and links to tributes to her elsewhere on the web.

After being diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer more than a year ago, Lee defied the odds and continued to contribute her wit, wisdom, and assistance to others while fighting to overcome her own illness.

Lee was an incredibly clever, vibrant, and eloquent person, a fierce advocate of fair and considerate treatment for the marginalized and less-privileged, and she will be greatly missed not only by me, but by all who knew her. She is survived by her domestic partner of 20 years, Russ Ault, and their seven rescue cats.

Lee’s partner Russ says:

There will be a memorial service of some sort at a later date. There will be no funeral. Lee requested that her remains be cremated. I will be collecting remembrances to sort through for the memorial. They can be emailed to rault42 [at] gmail [dot] com.

If desired, memorial donations can be made to Project Purple.

Vale, Starcat.
 

Diversity, if we can face it

By John Hertz: (reprinted from Vanamonde 1327; originally published 14 Nov 18)  Fred Patten (1940-2018) was a gentle giant.

In APA-L with him we saw this.

His Lzine ¡Rábanos Radiactivos! (“Radioactive radishes!”, an expletive of Profesor Mental in the Mexican comic-book Criollo, el Caballo Invencible) appeared every week over forty-three years – five years after a stroke disabled his favored side, leaving him to type with one finger of his left hand.

Not to be too one-sided, for a moment of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (“the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”, attr. Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr [in Les Guêpes “the wasps” Jan 1849?]) you can find in RR 165 13 Dec 67 “We’ve all been crying about the dearth of good genzines in Fandom these days”.

That’s about the strongest language he used, and it was just before praising a genzine.

He did many things, and wrote about them, with quiet vigor.  I said he made prosaic a word of praise.

Besides ours, he was in the great apas FAPA (Fantasy Amateur Press Ass’n), SAPS (Spectator Am. Press Society), OMPA (Off-trails Magazine Publishers Ass’n), and The CultThe Cult??  “The thirteen nastiest bastards in fandom”??  Bruce Pelz said “Someone must have lied.”

Fred chaired Westercon XXVII (West Coast Science Fantasy Conference; 1974) and Loscon XIV (L.A. local con; 1987).  He edited the L.A.Con Program Book (30th World Science Fiction Convention, 1972) – my task for L.A.con II (42nd Worldcon, 1984) – and daily newszine.   He was a fine fanhistorian, e.g. in a series on Worldcon history for the MidAmericon I progress reports (34th Worldcon, 1976).  He wrote up Fan Guests of Honor Bruce Pelz for Noreascon II (38th Worldcon, 1980) and Tom Digby for ConFrancisco (51st Worldcon, 1993).

His first Worldcon was Solacon (16th, 1958).  He joined LASFS (L.A. S-F Soc.) in 1960.  In 1963 he was a Hugo Award finalist for co-editing the clubzine Shangri L’Affaires with Al Lewis and Bjo & John Trimble [there should be, but Electronicland may not manage, a circumflex over the j – an Esperantism indicating the pronunciation “bee-joe”].  He was given the Evans-Freehafer (LASFS award for service to the club) in 1965.  He was a reviewer for Locus and Science Fiction Review.  He co-founded DUFF (the Down Under Fan Fund, which elected me its 2010 delegate – alas, for all Fred’s connection to Australia, though he attended South Gate in ‘58 and lived to see South Gate Again in 2010, see here, p. 20, and here, he could not attend) in 1972.  He was Fan Guest of Honor at DeepSouthCon IX (1971); received a Special Committee Award at L.A.con IV (64th Worldcon) for “a lifetime of service to Fandom” and was Fan GoH at Loscon XXXIII (both 2006); received the Forry (LASFS award for service to s-f) in 2009.

At two special interests he earned particular fame: Japanese cartoons, animated, which came to be known as Japanimation and then animé, and still, which came to be known as manga (Japanese, “whimsical pictures”, in Japan meaning all kinds of cartoons, comics, animation, addressing all ages, and including comedy, commerce, history, mystery, s-f, sports; on Tokyo trains I’ve seen businessmen reading what English for lack of a better term would have to call by the same name as Criollo, comic books), and anthropomorphic-animal cartoons, which eventually gave rise to Furry Fandom.  In 1977 he co-founded C/FO (the Cartoon Fantasy Organization); he was so instrumental at introducing animé to America that he was given the Inkpot (Comic-Con Int’l award) in 1980.  In 2004 he published Watching Animé, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews. A Dante scholar who became a top university librarian said talking with Fred about animé was like a graduate-level seminar.  These special interests were an ordinary, not a dominant, part of his fanwriting.

He was never an epigrammatist, just perceptive.  It was he, rooming with Art Widner and me at Westercon LIII (2000), who observed that the newest current into s-f cons came not from a barbarian invasion but a widened perimeter.

No one ever said fans were slans (A.E. Van Vogt, Slan, 1940), but we could regret carrying forward all-too-human foibles.  Clamoring against exclusions we don’t hesitate to practice them.  Few of the encomiums at Fred’s death have noted the breadth of his career.  It’s only been two days.  Perhaps we’ll do better when we catch our breath.  R.I.P.

Remembering Jerry Ohlinger (1943-2018)

By Steve Vertlieb: Jerry Ohlinger, who died November 12 was, perhaps, the first movie memorabilia dealer that I ever met or had dealings with. I entered organized fandom in the Fall of 1965 when my brother and I were invited by Forrest J Ackerman to attend the very first Famous Monsters of Filmland convention at Loew’s Midtown Manhattan Motor Inn in New York City. Jerry, along with Steven Sally, were very much a presence in the mid-sixties in New York, and their movie memorabilia shops were popular havens for movie geeks like myself who wanted to own a particular still, poster, or pressbook from our favorite films. Visiting Jerry Ohlinger’s Movie Memorabilia Shop became a singular rite of passage for anyone on the East Coast aspiring to be a serious movie collector. If you didn’t know Jerry, then you weren’t really a “fan.”

Jerry was very personable and friendly, as well as a wealth of knowledge and anecdotal information. As I grew comfortably into the passion of collecting half a century ago, Jerry became one of my principle contacts for source materials. I visited his shop in Manhattan periodically, and grew to enjoy a relationship with him over the years. In these mildly prehistoric days of early collecting, Jerry Ohlinger became the Monstrous maven who guided us through fannish heaven as we came to understand that virtually anything that we wanted, any significant piece of movie collectable, was available for a nominal fee. Jerry was, perhaps, the East Coast godfather for collectors of all shapes, sizes, and bank accounts.

Jerry was a warm, friendly guy with endless patience and a huge heart. He was especially good, kind, and generous to the remarkable cast of characters who worked for him … often housing, feeding, and caring for them when times were lean. These included Ray Pence who lived in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia for a time, and Mike Woodin who both became good pals and chums. Their presence at numerous conventions was always both reassuring and somehow comforting.

My ventures into the big apple had grown infrequent by the early eighties, but I would still bump into Jerry regularly at neighboring conventions in Philadelphia and New Jersey, and Jerry (though growing older like the rest of us) remained a warm, patient, and reassuring presence in my life. I hadn’t seen Jerry in years when I learned, to my infinite sadness the other day, that Jerry had lost his long battle to cancer. I was probably only in my late teens or early twenties when first I encountered the remarkable Jerry Ohlinger. I’ll turn seventy-three in mid December. Jerry Ohlinger occupied my thoughts, my memories, my heart, and my life for much of the past half century. His tutelage and warmth will ever remain firmly ingrained in my journey through fantasy, horror, and science fiction fandom. I was but a mere lad when first we met. I owe much of my life’s passion for collecting to you. Rest In Peace, old friend. My thoughts, memories, and my enduring affection go with you.

Fred Patten (1940-2018)

Fred Patten, a fannish polymath who helped introduce anime to Americans, died November 12.

Fred had lived in a nursing facility since suffering a stroke in 2005. His sister, Sherrill Patten, told LASFS that on November 1 he was found non-responsive, moved to a hospital and treated, but never regained consciousness.

Patten’s first sf convention was the 1958 Worldcon in LA. He joined the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS) in 1960 while still a student at UCLA. He was nominated for a Hugo in 1963 as co-editor of the club’s fanzine Shangri L’Affaires with Al Lewis, Bjo and John Trimble. For his service to LASFS he received the club’s Evans-Freehafer Award in 1965.

L to R: Bill Donaho, Fred Patten, Bruce Pelz. Photo courtesy Metcalf & Brown, taken late 1962 or early 1963.

His biography almost ended in 1965, according to club legend – a party crasher evicted from LASFS’ Halloween event came back and fired a shot through the window, narrowly missing him.

Fred took a master’s degree from UCLA’s School of Library Science in 1963, writing his thesis on the books of Andre Norton. He joined Hughes Aircraft in 1969 as a technical catalogue librarian and worked there until 1990.

He was an insatiable reader and enthusiastic critic. He gained fame as one of the prolific, insightful reviewers for Dick Geis’ Hugo-winning Science Fiction Review along with Paul Walker, Ted Pauls and Richard Delap.

From 1975 to 1977, Delap and Patten produced their own monthly review journal, Delap’s F&SF Review.

Fred also had a strong interest in comics and graphic storytelling. He collected foreign language works like Tintin and Asterix, built a small import business by taking orders from friends, then for awhile tried to make a go of a publication, Graphic Story World, and a bookstore, Graphic Story Bookshop, with Richard Kyle in Long Beach.

He first encountered Japanese manga at the 1970 Westercon, and soon discovered anime. Home video recording units were becoming common, which made it practical if not easy for people to obtain copies of things shown on Japanese TV or syndicated in America. He co-founded the first American anime fan club, the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, in 1977, and was recognized with Comic-Con’s Inkpot Award in 1980 for introducing anime to American fandom.

Fred started establishing contacts with Japanese anime production companies. Toei Animation’s Hollywood representative, then trying to sell an American production of its TV giant-robot animation, gave Fred lots of graphics to write articles for popular-culture magazines like Starlog promoting anime. Over the next 25 years Fred wrote enough pieces to fill a book, Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews (2004).

These connections led Fred into regular contact with professional animators in Hollywood, where he clashed with them about their stereotyped views of Japanese animation:

Anime also got me into the biggest fight that I have ever been in, with Bill Scott of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame, at the meetings of ASIFA-Hollywood. Scott dismissed Japanese animation as unimaginative costumed-hero stuff, in horribly limited animation. I rebutted, “You should talk! Rocky and Bullwinkle may be brilliant, but it’s hardly for the quality of its animation. You have it animated at one of the cheapest studios in Mexico City. As for the giant-robot stereotype, there’s much more variety in Japanese animation than there is in American animation. It’s that the anime fans don’t want to watch anything besides giant robots.” But it was a lost cause. I was drowned out by Scott and the other American animation-industry veterans chanting, “Poor animation! Awful animation!” I dropped out of ASIFA-Hollywood for several years.

At the same time anime fandom was taking off, there was a parallel development among people interested in anthropomorphic comics and fiction, and Fred was an active participant. Furry fandom began with the amateur press associations (APAs) Vootie and Rowrbrazzle. Vootie, “The Fanzine of the Funny Animal Liberation Front”, run by Reed Waller & Ken Fletcher of Minneapolis s-f fandom, ran from 1976 to 1983. Marc Schirmeister started its replacement, the quarterly Rowrbrazzle, beginning in February 1984.

While helping to nurture these new branches of fandom, Fred remained highly active in mainstream fandom. He chaired the 1974 Santa Barbara Westercon, and the 1987 Loscon. He was on the committees of the 1972, 1984, and 1996 Worldcons. (For L.A.Con, the 1972 Worldcon, he edted the Program Book, and published the daily newzine Wabbit Twacks — a reference to the work of Frederik Pohl, the GoH).

He and John Foyster started the Down Under Fan Fund in 1972, to exchange visiting fans between Australasia and North America in the tradition of TAFF.

In 1971 he was DeepSouthCon’s fan guest of honor.

L.A.Con banquet. Milt Stevens, Fred Patten, Carol Pohl, Frederik Pohl, Dian Crayne. From the collection of Len & June Moffatt.

A highly respected fanhistorian, Fred’s research was helped by his access to Forry Ackerman’s collection of the earliest fanzines. He did an excellent series of articles about Worldcon history for MidAmeriCon’s (1976) progress reports. And he was a dependable authority whose views mattered in debates about whether the first SF convention was Leeds or Philly, and whether the LASFS or PSFS was the oldest existing SF club.

Unfortunately, Fred became bedridden after suffering a stroke in 2005, although with the aid of his sister Sherrill he did sometimes go in a wheelchair to LASFS or visit fans at her apartment, where she fixed up one room as his library with SF art and some awards hanging on the walls. And with the use of a MacBook Pro laptop computer he stayed active in fandom, typing with one finger. Remarkably, he was able to sustain his uninterrupted string of contributions to LASFS’ weekly APA-L until 2009, having an issue of his fanzine ¡Rábanos Radiactivos! in every distribution – for 2,279 weeks in all.

Moving into a convalescent home forced him to give up his sff collection. He donated almost 900 boxes of comic books, records, tapes, anime, manga, fanzines and books to UC Riverside’s Eaton Collection.

Despite finding typing to be much harder after the stroke, his productivity was remarkable. In 2013 he reported that he was reviewing books for three websites and writing a weekly column for another.  In the past half-dozen years he’s edited 14 anthologies of anthropomorphic fiction. He also compiled fanhistorical works like Furry Fandom Conventions 1989-2015.

Fred’s indomitable fannish spirit was acknowledged with a Special Committee Award by the 2006 Worldcon, L.A.con IV, “in celebration of a lifetime of service to Fandom.” He was named Fan GoH of Loscon in 2006, and won LASFS’ Forry Award in 2009. And he was inducted to the Furry Hall of Fame in 2012 at the MiDFur convention in Melbourne, Australia, for a lifetime of service to Furry fandom.