Fan Gallery Contents: Harry Warner Jr.

[Harry Warner Jr.] Harry Warner Jr. [high-res photo]

19 December 1922 - February 17, 2003

Hagerstown MD

FGoH: Worldcon 1971.

Fan Writer Hugo 1969, 1972. (And then he wrote a very funny article for GRANFALLOON called "How I Fought For My Hugo.")
FAAn Award for Best LoC Writer, 1975-'80; FAAn Award for Best Letterhack, 1998, '99.
Big Heart Award, 1969. Past President of fwa, 1989.
Non-Fiction Hugo 1993 for A WEALTH OF FABLE. First Fandom Hall of Fame, 1995.

"He's a legend in science fiction fandom, though he rarely attended any conventions. He published fanzines and wrote two great books about the history of science fiction fandom. And he wrote letters of comment to just about every zine out there. When I was younger and dreamed of putting out a zine of my own, I always imagined I'd know I'd Made It if I got a LoC from Harry Warner, Jr." (Laurel Krahn)

Harry Warner was a superb fanwriter and a prolific correspondent. Harry undertook to comment on every zine he got, sometimes writing that he felt guilty for falling behind or missing an issue. He answered neos' efforts as readily as anyone's, and many a clubzine devoid of any other appreciation for the editor's work boasted a solitary loc from Harry. 

He was earnestly interested by anything from baseball to opera. He was fandom's leading historian, author of ALL OUR YESTERDAYS and A WEALTH OF FABLE. He was highly reclusive. Worldcons were spotlighted in his chronicles, yet he didn't go to them even when they were close to home. (He made an exception for Noreascon I, the 1971 Worldcon, where he was fan guest of honor). His legend as the irascible Hermit of Hagerstown was largely based on his own description of these tendencies, laced with self-deprecating humor.

The other hallmarks of Harry's prose were the journalistic precision of his descriptions and his playful "idea-tripping" (Tom Digby's term for the fannish practice of applying twisted Campbellian logic to extrapolate an idea in an amusingly unexpected direction).

Harry inspired many cartoons by that other omnipresent fanzine contributor, Bill Rotsler. Most were intended to appear beside a Warner loc in the lettercolumn. Bill also drew one for File 770 whose joke depended on there being no Warner letter in the issue. Fortunately, it's already been published because, however timely, I would not enjoy using it now. (Mike Glyer, FILE 770 #142)

".. the idea of a fandom without Harry Warner, Jr, is just mind-boggling. Sort of like science fiction without Isaac Asimov (but that's another story)." (Gary Farber, 1986)

Photo by Curt Phillips, 1989.
Data: July 2014

Rev. 30-Jul-2014

[picture of Harry Warner Jr. photo]