thought wed never lose him.
I really did. From the first time I met Bob Tucker at a science
fiction convention in the late 70s right up to ... this
moment, Bob has been the center of all of fandom to me. And Im
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,
hes still right there, holding court at a poolside table
somewhere where its always the Saturday afternoon of the
latest convention. And were 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. Its only fair.
After all, Bob Tucker invented us.
Well, not *us* as such. Rosebud
can only be blamed for so much. And Bob didnt invent SF
fandom either. That can be laid at the feet of certain Very Serious
young men in the 1930s 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 didnt *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 dont
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 dont see how Ill
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 70s right up to ... the rest of
my life, Bob has been - and will be - the center of all of fandom
to me. I wouldnt have it any other way.