Jack Speer

(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 Guest of Honor 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, he lived in DC and 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. Not hoaxes, but he was 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 memorized 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 the New Series #18, 3rd quarter, 2008, issue of Scientifiction -- The First Fandom Report.

Other Awards, Honors and GoHships: