Challenger Logo by Alan White   A Science Fiction Fanzine   Winter 2007

Please check the Challenger website for more of Curt’s reminiscences of his and our great, great friend.
Curt’s own website is at The bacover illo is by Charlie Williams
(from the 1980 MidSouthCon [Huntsville AL] program book)

The Best of All of Us:
Bob Tucker

Curt Phillips

I thought we’d never lose him. I really did. From the first time I met Bob Tucker at a science fiction convention in the late 70’s right up to ... this moment, Bob has been the center of all of fandom to me. And I’m pretty sure that the same sentiment holds perfectly true for a *lot* of us who think of ourselves as members of the subculture called fandom. At the center of it all was Tucker. And for me, he’s still right there, holding court at a poolside table somewhere where it’s always the Saturday afternoon of the latest convention. And we’re all right there around him. No matter how madly we spin in our own fannish orbits, Bob is still the nucleus of our fannish microcosm. It’s only fair. After all, Bob Tucker invented us.

Well, not *us* as such. Rosebud can only be blamed for so much. And Bob didn’t invent SF fandom either. That can be laid at the feet of certain Very Serious young men in the 1930’s who were terribly concerned with Science and Technocracy, and with hammering the plowshare of pulp fiction into a sword of Scientifiction with which to Conquer the Stars – or something like that. Bob was there at the time and looked at the teeming proto-fandom hueing and crying all about him and thought: “this little trial balloon needs a few pins stuck in it”.

And so he decided to re-invent fandom in his own image. He started writing letters to the letter columns of the few Very Serious SF magazines of the day, and unlike most of the letters those magazines published, they were *funny*. In fact, they were *Very Funny*. And they became popular with the other readers and some of those readers started trying to be funny too. And a few of them were. Bob started writing for fanzines and then started publishing his own fanzines, and fandom began to rely on his wit and humor to light their own paths into fandom. And a *lot* of us have walked on that path. I claim a permanent residency on that trail, myself. You see, Bob happens to have been very nearly the first person in the history of fandom to have made the point that SF and the fandom that grew up around it didn’t *have* to be all Scientific and Serious all the time. He demonstrated that it could be a kick in the pants too, and in so doing he laid the foundation of the entire fannish edifice we all live in today. You don’t see a lot of fans running around trying to organize all of fandom to Help Promote Better Living Through Science and that sort of thing today (at least not seriously) but you do see fans gathering together to socialize, swap tall tales, eat, drink, and be merry together. You *do* see us writing fannish stuff and publishing fanzines, and... and... I suppose we’! ll stil l go to conventions and sit at poolside tables under shady trees and sit and talk of fandom with our friends. I just don’t see how I’ll ever be able to do that without Bob sitting right there next to me. From the first time I met Bob Tucker at a science fiction convention in the late 70’s right up to ... the rest of my life, Bob has been - and will be - the center of all of fandom to me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.


The 9th Occasional
North American Science Fiction Interim Convention (NASFiC)

Dedicated to the memory of Bob Tucker

Holiday Inn, Collinsville IL August 2-5, 2007


$90 attending, $75 young adult, $65 child



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