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Speer, Jack

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author, Fan.

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(1920-2008) US fan, attorney and author, an early member of Fandom who was active from the mid-1930s, publishing a letter in Wonder Stories for September 1934. In fandom he also used the hoax persona John A Bristol 1938-1939. He published the first significant history of the fan community as an instalment of his Fanzine Full Length Articles (1938-1960s), each of whose six issues was a chapbook devoted to a single topic and circulated through FAPA: #1 examined Mark Twain as an sf author and #2 was the 1930s fan history Up to Now: A History of Fandom as Jack Speer Sees It (1939 chap), which inter alia introduced the concept of numbered fandoms – First Fandom, Second Fandom and so on. Up to Now has been reprinted several times, most recently in Challenging Moskowitz: 1930s Fandom Revisited (anth 2019 ebook) edited by Rob Hansen. Speer's first and seemingly only professional magazine sale was a "Probability Zero" squib in Astounding for August 1942. He edited and, with assistance from Forrest J Ackerman and many other Los Angeles fans, published the first Fancyclopedia (1944), a highly idiosyncratic reference guide to fandom that was later expanded by Dick Eney as Fancyclopedia II (1959), with the third incarnation now online in wiki format [see under links below] and frequently updated. Speer also published many further fanzines. Fancestral Voices (coll 2004) is a selection of his fanzine work, including autobiography, critical examination of sf themes (with an ingenious attempt to classify such themes using a Dewey-like decimal system) and some fiction. [DRL]

see also: First Fandom Hall of Fame; Worldcon.

John Bristol Speer

born Comanche, Oklahoma: 8 August 1920

died Albuquerque, New Mexico: 28 June 2008


works as editor

  • Fancyclopedia (Los Angeles, California: Fantasy Foundation, 1944) [encyclopedia: pb/]


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