As it says on his recent books, Terry Pratchett is Britain's bestselling living novelist. His Discworld comic fantasies began with The Colour of Magic in 1983 (to his amusement he's been asked in recent years whether he pinched any themes from J.K. Rowling, who started publishing in 1997). They've been such a phenomenal success, and have generated so many spinoffs like maps, games, diaries, quizbooks and even academic studies, that it's getting difficult to count the actual Discworld novels. Officially, his 2001 publications include the 26th and 27th, Thief of Time and (with artist Paul Kidby) The Last Hero, but this count omits the short novel whose chapters alternate with chunks of pop-science explication in The Science of Discworld (with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen).... Despite having learned to cope with vast UK signing sessions that go on until his wrist screams for mercy, Terry remains cheerful and approachable, with a fund of wry anecdotes about his various lives as famous writer, obscure writer, journalist, and (once upon a time) PR man for a nuclear power station. A worthy Worldcon guest. You have to admire the man who created the bibliophile orangutan of Unseen University, literature's first rugged, muscular and caring role-model for librarians everywhere.
William Tenn is the pen name of London-born Philip Klass. He began writing in 1945 after being discharged from the Army, and his first story, "Alexander the Bait," was published a year later. His stories and articles have been widely anthologized, a number of them in best-of-the-year collections. He was a professor of English at the Pennsylvania State University, where he taught among other things a popular course in science fiction. In 1999, he was honored as Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America at their annual Nebula Awards Banquet. Photo of Fruma & Philip Klass (William Tenn) by Laurie D.T. Mann
We've adapted the appreciation Laurie Mann wrote about William Tenn from Noreascon's Progress Report 2.
Or read William Tenn's Remembrances of Worldcons Past, also adapted from Progress Report 2.
Jack Speer is one of the "founding dinosaurs" of fandom. He is one of those who defined our history because he not only helped shape it, he was the first to write it. Jack wrote "Up to Now", the first real history of SF fandom in 1939. A few years later he codified our "fanspeak" along with a lot more history when he wrote the first Fancyclopedia in 1944. Jack's influential articles created the idea of "numbered fandoms" by identifying key traits and changes in various generations of fandom. He investigated and reported on feuds, the Cosmic Circle and other contretemps as well.
Jack continues to entertain and inform us with his fanzines and essays, often published in the Fantasy Amateur Press Association.
Update, June 2008 — The Noreascon Four Committee is saddened that Jack passed away the morning of June 28, 2008. Please see the excerpts from the Noreascon Four Souvenir Book.
"I'm very sorry to hear this, and I'm very grateful that we had a chance to honor Jack at Noreascon Four. He was an amazing, gentle, frighteningly bright, wonderful man, and he was a great guest."
—Deb Geisler, Chairman, Noreascon Four.
Photo of Jack Speer by Laurie D.T. Mann
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A British Fan of All Trades, Peter Weston's many and varied activities include founding the longest-lived fan group in the U.K., editing the Andromeda series of original anthologies, chairing the Seacon '79 Worldcon, and editing Speculation. For years, Peter's foundry has cast the rocket ships for the Hugo Awards; the bases are the
faultresponsibility of the individual Worldcon committees.
You can read Pete's own report of his adventures as a TAFF delegate in Peter Weston's 1974 TAFF Report, or check out his memories of bidding (for the 1979 Worldcon) at SunCon 1977, in Fine Times in Florida.