Jack Speer

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(August 8, 1920 -- June 28, 2008)

John Bristol Speer was one of the fathers of fandom and perhaps the first really important fanhistorian, writing Up to Now: A History of Science Fiction Fandom as well as the first Fancyclopedia in 1944. In 2004, he was Fan GoH at Noreascon 4 in Boston.

Jack Speer became became a fan around 1935 and was responsible for a long series of firsts:

Originally from Oklahoma, where he started reading sf at in 1928 at age 8. He found fandom through the letter columns of Wonder in the early 30s where he started a correspondence with Don Wollheim. He lived in DC during the War and later moved to the Pacific Northwest before retiring to Albuquerque.

By inventing the John Bristol persona he perpetrated one of the more successful hoaxes in the history of fandom. He was also known by the nicknames Juffus and the Hily Magnified Woggle-Bug

Winner of the First Fandom Hall of Fame award. He was brought to Ditto 14/FanHistoriCon 11 by the Don Ford Fund.

His fanzines included A, Allegory, Antaios, Avalon, Demeter, Deukalion, Eos, Epimetheus, Hesper, Oduooeus, Olympus, One Fingers Number Four Fingers Number One (with F. T. Laney, Charles Burbee, and Walt Leibscher), Phosphor, Photon, Science Fiction Forum, Stefnews, The Stefnews (with John Bristol), Stf and Nonsense (with Dan MacPhail) Sustaining Program, Synapse.

He was a member of FAPA (and was a leading member of the Brain Trust) and served in many offices, and his FAPAzines included Black and White (with Forrest J Ackerman), Blitzkrieg (with Elmer Perdue and Milt Rothman), The Cosmic Circle & Fandom , Decimal Classification for Fantasy Fiction, Full Length Articles, Investigation in Newcastle, Konan, Matters of Opinion, Please Lay This Aside,Ramblings, and To Relive Ten Years!.

Articles about Speer:

Jack was born in Comanche, Oklahoma. He became a lawyer and after WWII, he began practicing law in Washington State, where he was active in the Democratic Party and served a term in the State House of Representatives. He later moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. He continued to practice law and served two terms as the judge of the Bernalillo County Small Claims Court.

While in New Mexico he was one of the founders of Bubonicon (though he protested the name, see Bubonicon 2) and was memorialized at Bubonicon 40.

His photograph appears on page 128 of Harry Warner, Jr.'s All Our Yesterdays (1969) and on page 19 of Warner's A Wealth of Fable (1992).

An obituary by Jon D. Swartz appeared in New Series #18, 3rd quarter, 2008, issue of Scientifiction: The First Fandom Report. Speer was also the subject of a Founding Members article by Swartz in the July, 2017 National Fantasy Fan (IA).


  • Read his short history Up To Now for Jack Speer on early fandom -- and on Jack Speer
  • For an early short biography, see

Who's Who in Fandom 1940 (IA).

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person Search: Fanac, Fan, Pro, SFE, Wikipedia, Reasonator ????2008

Also involved: - 1938 Philadelphia Conference - 1942 Michiconference - 1943 Best Fan Writer Retro Hugo - 1944 Best Fan Writer Retro Hugo - 1945 Best Fan Writer Retro Hugo - A Sense of FAPA - Albuquerque Fanzine Appreciation Society - Albuquerque SF Society - Arcturus Press - Black & White - Bonfire - Boskone III - Claude Degler - Contact (Smith) - Cosmic Circle - Dan McPhail - Dixie Fantasy Federation - Dynatron - Fan History (Hoffman) - Fan-Tods - Fancestral Voices - Fanhistory (Hoffman) - Fantasy Classification System - First Fandom - Francis Towner Laney - Fred Lerner - Half Length Articles - Half-Baked Articles - Herbert Levantman - Hily Magnified Woggle-Bug - Immortal Storm - Jack Agnew - Jack Speer and Fandom - Jim Speer - John A. Bristol - Margaret Ford Keifer - Nameless Ones - Nova Press - Nycon 1 - Pacificon Combozine - Past President of the Fan Writers of America - Philcon I - Phoxphyre - Preface to the Initial Edition of Fancyclopedia II - Robert Lichtman - Roy Tackett - Science Fiction Fan - Second Fandom - Spirits of Things Past - The Science Fiction Fanzine Reader: Focal Points 1930-1960 - Up To Now: IPO - Up To Now: June 1938 - Up To Now: Later Development of Michelism - Up To Now: Michelism and the Third Convention - Up To Now: New Fan Magazines, Fly-by-Night and Permanent - Up To Now: New Fandom's Struggle for Recognition - Up To Now: One Analysis of Wollheim - Up To Now: Preface - Up To Now: The Atheism Issue - Up To Now: The Beginnings - Up To Now: The Changing Tendency Among Fan Magazines - Up To Now: The Conventions - Up To Now: The Crucial Period - Up To Now: The Decline and Fall of Wollheim - Up To Now: The Decline and Fall of the Era - Up To Now: The FAPA Campaign - Up To Now: The First Months of 1938 - Up To Now: The First Staple War - Up To Now: The Founding of the FAPA - Up To Now: The Heyday of Fantasy Magazine - Up To Now: The ISA-SFL Clash - Up To Now: The Nature of Wollheim's Dictatorship - Up To Now: The Order Begins to Crumble - Up To Now: The Reaction Against Reaction - Up To Now: The Second Convention and the Shift of Power - Up To Now: The Second Fandom Finds Itself - Up To Now: The Situation in the West - Up To Now: The Undertow - Up To Now: Then What Happened? - Up To Now: ghughu and FooFoo - WSFS, Inc. - Wollheimists

This is a biography page. Please extend it by adding more information about the person, such as fanzines and apazines published, awards, clubs, conventions worked on, GoHships, impact on fandom, external links, anecdotes, etc.

Also- 1943 Best Fan Writer Retro Hugo - 1944 Best Fan Writer Retro Hugo - 1945 Best Fan Writer Retro Hugo Also- Past President of the Fan Writers of America