“Tuckerization” is the practice of giving a real person’s name to a character, place or artifact in a story. The term was inspired by Wilson “Bob” Tucker’s sly habit of sneaking friends’ names into his work. Sometimes this is easy for a fan to recognize, as I’m sure Tucker’s close friends did. Other times, if the subject’s name is not uncommon, it’s an open question whether a Tuckerization was intended.
Lately Andrew Porter has been reading all of Larry Niven’s “Known Space” stories, including some in paperbacks he acquired decades ago but had never opened until now.
Porter realizes he should have read them a lot sooner, explaining —
Niven is a known serial-Tuckerizer, known best for his Fallen Angels, in which dozens of fans are named in transparent, easy to recognize ways. In his Flatlander, I’ve already come across one character named “Lowndes”. But I was stunned to read in his short story “ARM”, a reference to “Andrew Porter, Janice Sinclair’s lover…”
So if Niven wrote this in 1974 or so, and it was first published in 1975 — in something called Epic, which I vaguely remember — I’m wondering whether it was random, or deliberate.
And I’m amazed that however it happened, I’m getting 38-years-delayed egoboo!
I checked with Larry Niven, who made it official –
I don’t actually remember, but I don’t doubt that was a reference to the fan Andy Porter. A tuckerism.
Porter obviously knew about a second example:
I was, of course, Tuckerized by Robert Sawyer in his Mindscan, as a major character who is not only recognizably me, but appears throughout much of the book. This was deliberate; I paid for the Tuckerization via a fan-fund auction held during a Toronto convention.
[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]