I Remember David A. Kyle

Dave Kyle the first time I met him, New York,1991.

[Editor’s note: February 14 was Dave Kyle’s birthday.]

By John L. Coker III: There are not many people active today in science fiction fandom who can recall a time before David A. Kyle (1919-2016) was part of the scene.

Dave had participated in many of the great moments in SF history from the earliest days.  He had personally known and worked with most of the people who were involved in the SF field during the past seventy years or so.  And, he was still excited about it all.

If you were accompanying Dave during a large convention, you better not be in a hurry, because you were going to get to meet everyone there.  He was especially gracious to the younger fans, taking them around, introducing them to people during the weekend.

Over the years, I always found Dave to be a thoughtful, considerate, and well-mannered person, all in the most natural way.  He was modest and glad to share the spotlight, acknowledging the good work of others.  Dave was clever, and really smart, with a wonderful sense of humor.  He told wonderful stories and delivered some terrible puns.

Dave had great capacity for composing well-constructed paragraphs in first draft and he was comfortable speaking in an impromptu manner in front of audiences.  Dave was interesting, knowledgeable, idealistic and stalwart, with genuine depth and a real command of the English language.  He could give legitimacy to any event just by participating, or even with his presence in the audience.  He was generous to friends and strangers.  I can remember occasions as I watched Dave’s well-wishers form a receiving line as they waited to greet him when he entered a crowded room, and then he’d have them sign his book.

He was a professional artist with natural talent and imagination.  And, Dave had a considerable career as a journalist for his family’s newspaper, radio and television stations.  He will likely best be remembered as an author, editor and SF book publisher.

Dave devoted his life to promoting the ideals of science fiction.  He genuinely embodied the ‘sense of wonder.’  He was a pioneer with many first-time accomplishments.  His unique influence will be felt for decades to come.  When fans gather together in the future to share stories, they will all remember the Man in the Red Jacket, David A. Kyle.

Dave Kyle the last time I saw him, Chicago, 2012.


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5 thoughts on “I Remember David A. Kyle

  1. I’ve known David for 42 years. Less than half of his Fannish existence. In fact, I just realized, when we first met, he was just a couple of years younger than I am right now. Wow.

    Everything and then some written by John here is accurate, if understated.

    David embodies the concept of being a Fan and I’m glad I met him and got to know him.

  2. Dave was present at Albacon 2016, a small relaxacon in Albany, NY. His daughter Kerry had been taking him to cons. She told me he said beforehand that he didn’t feel good and didn’t want to go. She said “Come on, dad! It will be fun!” and brought him.

    70 years of fannish experience kicked in, and he was active, engaged, and having a wonderful time. It gave him so much energy he was up off his electric scooter and clomping around the lobby with his walker. Kerry felt that Albacon was just the thing for him. It was a smaller con, filled with a lot of folks he knew, and without the size, volume, and sensory overload that could become disorienting to him. I concurred.

    That Albacon had British writer GoH Ramsey Campbell participating via Skype, since health issues made it inadvisable for him to travel to the US. When Dave entered the room, Ramsey said “Hi, Dave!”, and a ten minute conversation ensued. It was a tickle.

    The last fannish event Dave was at was expatriate British fans Bill and Mary Burns annual summer party in Long Island. I missed that one and regretted it. Dave died the next day.

    Philcon later that year had a programming track devoted to Dave, and one of the participants was fellow First Fandom member Bob Madle, who had known Dave for longer than I’ve been alive. Is Bob the last man standing from that group?


  3. Thank you for posting this. I have fond memories of Dave Kyle. I continue to miss signing his book.

  4. I remember meeting David Kyle a number of times. My first time was at an I-Con on Long Island, New York. I happened to have a copy of “The Dragon Lensman”, which I brought for David to sign. It was then that I found out that he would make me sign his little book.
    A few years later, I happened to be in Potsdam, New York, coming home from a snowmobile trip in Quebec. I touched base with David there, and we went out for coffee together. He then would leave to go to church in Potsdam.
    I also remember at the one Philcon that I was at, where David introduced me to another writer-John Norman. Now I don’t care for his writing, but John Norman was a very nice person, and I am glad that I got to meet him.
    I will miss David. “You can’t sit here,”

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