Doug Fratz, a five-time Hugo nominee for Best Fanzine and a well-known sf/f book reviewer, died September 27. It turned out that by missing MidAmeriCon II (while in the hospital) I also missed my last chance to see him: he moderated the retrospective panel about the first MidAmeriCon (1976) that I was supposed to be on. He is survived by his wife and two adult children.
A prolific reviewer, Fratz was one of the pillars of sercon fanzine fandom in the 1970s, which was my own interest in those days. He founded Thrust in 1973, renaming it Quantum in 1990, and finally merging it with Science Fiction Eye.
According to the SF Encyclopedia —
Fratz also wrote numerous book reviews for other venues during that period and afterwards, including Washington Post Book World, Fantasy Review, and Science Fiction Eye, and entries for numerous academic reference books. In the 1990s he wrote book reviews for Science Fiction Age, and in the 2000s reviewed primarily for Science Fiction Weekly (on the then Sci-Fi Channel web site), continuing to write reviews and articles for the site when it was renamed Sci-Fi Wire and then Blastr. In the 2010s, his primary venues for book reviews and interviews have been SF Site and The New York Review of Science Fiction.
Doug Fratz’ first fannish contacts were in comics fandom in 1966. He published several well-known comics fanzines in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Comicology, Potpourri, CriFanAc, and Comicology Fan Review.
Professionally, Fratz was an internationally-respected environmental scientist serving as Vice President of Scientific and Technical Affairs for the Consumer Specialty Products Association in Washington, DC, a trade association. He worked for CSPA for more than 35 years, and for the past 25 years much of his work focused on science policy and regulations related to air quality and atmospheric issues in California, nationally, and globally.
In fact, there has been an outpouring of tributes from his professional colleagues, indicating the depth of loss they feel at his passing, including this video posted by CSPA.
[Thanks to Steven H Silver and Moshe Feder for the story.]