(You probably weren't looking for the Fake Bob Shaw, but just in case...)
(December 31, 1931 - February 11, 1996)
BoSh was a fan, fan writer, fan artist, novelist, structural engineer, aircraft designer, and journalist from Northern Ireland, noted for his originality and wit. He was one of the Wheels of IF and a great and influential fan.
He was introduced to science fiction as a pre-teen by reading an A. E. van Vogt short story in Astounding. He later described the experience as being more significant and long-lasting than taking LSD. In 1950 he joined the group Irish Fandom which met at James White's house. The group was very influential in fandom and produced the fanzines Slant (to which he contributed a large part of the artwork and "The Fansmanship Lectures") and its successor Hyphen (which besides other Shaw fanwriting ran 30 instalments of his column "The Glass Bushel"). He acquired the nickname "BoSh" during this period. He also was one of the editors on the one-shot 'Our 'Zine. He was a world-champion Ghoodminton player, always ranking in the top 3-4 worldwide. A selection of his fan writing up to 1979 was collected by Rob Jackson in The Complete BoSh in two volumes: The Eastercon Speeches (of which more below) and The Best of the Bushel, a selection of Glass Bushel columns much later expanded as The Full Glass Bushel (Ansible Editions, 2020), which contains all the columns plus additional articles from Hyphen.
Originally trained as a structural engineer, Bob Shaw worked as an aircraft designer for Short and Harland, then as science correspondent for The Belfast Telegraph and then as publicity officer for Vickers Shipbuilding before starting to write full-time. During the Troubles, Shaw and his family moved from Northern Ireland to England, where he produced the majority of his work. Sadie died suddenly in 1991.
He had nearly lost his sight through illness and suffered migraine-induced visual disturbances throughout his life. He married Nancy Tucker in 1995 and went to the US to live with her, then returned to England in the last months of his life. Shaw died of cancer on 11 February 1996.
Following his early membership of Irish Fandom, he formed the Belfast Triangle, living in Oblique House with Walt Willis, and James White; he always remained a keen reader of and contributor to fanzines. For many years, at Eastercon, he would deliver a humorous speech (often one of his Serious Scientific Talks (which weren't)); these were eventually collected in The Eastercon Speeches (1979 as above), A Load of Old Bosh (1995) -- which included a similar talk from the 1979 Worldcon in Brighton -- and The Serious Scientific Talks (2019), an Ansible Editions ebook containing all ten previously collected talks plus four more. (Serious Science was a smaller collection of three talks published in 1984 by Eve Harvey and Marc Ortleib.)
With Walt Willis, Bob Shaw co-wrote The Enchanted Duplicator in 1954. He was the world's greatest practitioner of Fansmanship and did the drafting for the design of the Tucker Hotel. He received the Doc Weir Award in 1980 and three FAAn Awards for Best Fan Writer.
He was well-loved and sought after wearing both his fan and pro hats. The BoSh Fund was created to bring him to Noreascon and The Shaw Fund to bring him to Aussiecon 2. See also Bob Shaw Appreciation Magazine.
Professionally, he published his first story in 1951, and is best known for "Light of Other Days" (ASF, Aug 1966), the story that introduced the concept of slow glass. Orbitsville and its two sequels deal with the discovery of a habitable shell completely surrounding a star, and the consequences for humanity. The first in this trilogy won him the 1976 British SF Association Award.
Awards, Honors and GoHships:
- 1974 -- Tynecon 74
- 1976 -- SfanCon 7, British SF Association Award
- 1977 -- SfanCon 8, FAAn Award for Best Fan Writer
- 1978 -- Windycon V, FAAn Award for Best Fan Writer
- 1979 -- Novacon 9 West, toastmaster at Seacon '79 (the 1979 Worldcon), FAAn Award for Best Fan Writer
- 1980 -- Doc Weir Award
- 1981 -- Novacon 11, DeepSouthCon 19
- 1982 -- Norwescon V, Plergbcon, Shoestringcon 4
- 1986 -- Not-Anokon 8, toastmaster for Confederation (the 1986 Worldcon), Nicon 87
- 1987 -- Rivercon XII
- 1988 -- Lucon I
- 1989 -- Picocon 7, Swancon 14, toastmaster at Swancon 14, toastmaster at VCON 17
- 1990 -- DeepSouthCon 28
- 1994 -- DeepSouthCon 32, Rebel Award
- 1995 -- Confabulation, Novacon 25, Loscon 22
- 1996 -- Past president of the FWA, Nova Award for Best Fan
Also involved: - 14 Bob the Bushel - 1967 Best Short Story Hugo - 1969 TAFF Race - 1976 FAAn Awards - 1977 FAAn Awards - 1978 FAAn Awards - 1979 Best Fan Writer Hugo - 1979 FAAn Awards - 1980 Best Fan Writer Hugo - 1987 Best Novel Hugo - A Load of Old BoSh - BSFA Award - Beccon Publications - Bob Tucker - Bosh Goes South - By British - Christopher Priest - ConFederation - Cypher - DNQ (Vayne) - Eddie Jones - Empties - Enchanted Duplicator - Energumen - FAPA - Fanhistorica - Fen Crittur Comical Books - File 770 Poll Results 1978 - Focal Point (McInerney) - Fred Robinson - Jacob Blake - John Berry - Knights of St. Fantony - LEXICON - Lee Hoffman - Lilapa - Mainstream - Munich Round Up - Nancy Tucker Shaw - Nebula (UK) - Noreascon 1 - Past President of the Fan Writers of America - Picocon 8 - Protoplasm - SCI-CON 70 - Star*Rockets - The Best of Fandom 1957 - The Space Wastrel - The Tucker Hotel - Trap Door - Tyne Capsule - Warhoon - When Yngvi Was a Louse
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Also- 1967 Best Short Story Hugo - 1976 FAAn Awards - 1977 FAAn Awards - 1978 FAAn Awards - 1979 Best Fan Writer Hugo - 1979 FAAn Awards - 1980 Best Fan Writer Hugo - 1987 Best Novel Hugo Also- BSFA Award - Knights of St. Fantony - Past President of the Fan Writers of America