LASFSian Dwain Kaiser Killed

Dwain Kaiser at LASFS 70th Anniversary Meeting in 2004. Photo by Mike Glyer.

LASFS member Dwain Kaiser (1947-2017) was shot to death on July 3 by a teenager who, together with his mother, lived with Kaiser and his wife in the apartment above their bookstore in Pomona.

Dwain George Kaiser, 69, owner of Magic Door Used Books, was shot several times and killed just after midnight in his apartment at 175 W. Second St., in the downtown Arts Colony area, police said. His apartment sits above the bookstore he and his wife have owned for more than a decade.

The teen suspect and his mother shared the apartment with Kaiser and his wife, according to Pomona police Sgt. Brian Hagerty. The two families are not related to each other. Hagerty said they were roommates.

It’s not clear what sparked the shooting.

Kaiser became an active fan in 1961 after receiving a copy of Cursed, edited by Arnie Katz and Len Bailes. His family moved to Las Vegas in 1963 and the next year he founded the Las Vegas SF Society.

When LASFS started APA-L in 1964 he began contributing a zine, and traveled to club meetings in LA when he could afford bus fare. He joined in 1965. The club had a place in his heart and he was one of the old-timers who came out for the LASFS’ 70th anniversary meeting in 2004, the last time I saw him in person.

His first convention was Pacificon II, the 1964 Worldcon, in Oakland, CA.

After his family moved from Vegas back to LA County in 1966, he started attending LASFS every week. With other San Gabriel Valley fans he also started the ValSFA. (Some of Kaiser’s photos from those days are here.)

Kaiser opened his first Magic Door used bookstore in 1967, in Claremont. (He closed it to return to college to avoid the draft.) Over the years, Kaiser opened several more in the Inland Empire including one in downtown Upland. The current store in Pomona was his fourth named Magic Door.

Dwain Kaiser was a highly active fanpublisher: a founding member of the amateur publishing associations APA-45 and TAPS, and the editor of many genzines, including Astron, Nimrod, Nonstop Fun Is Hard on the Heart, and No Time, No Energy & Not Much To Say.

He is survived by Joann, his wife of 32 years.

Joann and Dwain Kaiser at Loscon 2000. Photo by Dik Daniels.

25 thoughts on “LASFSian Dwain Kaiser Killed

  1. I am so sorry to read of this. Sincere sympathy and condolences to Dwain’s family and friends.

  2. Depressing. Sorry to hear about this – he was a kind and generous person.

  3. I’m so sorry to see this. I used to know him through a google group and met him and Joann once when a meetup was announced. Kind and lovely folks, both of them.

  4. How horribly tragic! I only met him once, but I know he was a well-known fan. RIP and condolences.

  5. How sad. I only saw him now and again at cons (like Baycon 2000, which he’s sporting the shirt of in the photo), but a good guy.

  6. Sorry to read this. Nice guy. I did Yoga at the studio next to his store and would visit and chat. So Sad.

  7. Very sorry to read this news. I knew him from ValSFA. Had fallen out of touch, but it was a pleasure to think of him still in Pomona running the Magic Door Bookstore with Joann. My condolences to Joann, and to all his friends.

  8. This is a great tragedy for Dwain’s family, LASFS, and fandom. I knew him inthe Olden Days, and am saddened to learn that he has joined the ranks of fans taken from us far too soon.

  9. This, is truly sad! He, was a kind and good hearted soul. And, one of the nicest; of fans… You, should be lucky enough; to encounter… On, those rare occasions; he’d be, at the old’ Clubhouse; in Burbank!

  10. Contessa (Sylvia Stevens) here. SO sorry to read this! What on Earth would lead to such a thing? Horrible. It seems the entire world is going (not so) slowly mad.

  11. Following on the death by his own hand of Santa Monica antiquarian SF bookstore owner Barry R. Levin, this is a great shock.

    I knew Dwain for many decades, going back to his fan days. I’ll miss him.

  12. We have been Good Friends since high school in Las Vegas. I don’t think I ever met a kinder person. He lived a rich life with people who loved him. I’ll miss him terribly.

  13. Just found out about this….as someone who knows everybody involved in this tremendous tragedy, I feel like I’ve just been gut punched. The lesson here is quite clear, never have a gun in a house with kids. I’ll be praying hard for all involved in this senseless event, Dwain, his wife Joann, the kid and his mum.

  14. Pingback: Pomona bookstore's reopening binds community after owner's death – Inland Valley Daily Bulletin – KONE 15

  15. Dwain’s widow, Joanne, has comitted to keeping the bookstore open until the end of 2017. She wants to work to help the books that Dwain loved get to the next people that will love them. She would love a hand in pricing books, culling books for GoodWill, and shelving books. So if you can help please call or text her at 909-472-2990 The store is in downtown Pomona CA

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