Claire P. Beck
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(September 14, 1919 – March 20, 1999)
Claire Beck, a reclusive fan known as the Hermit of Lakeport (California), was active in the 1930s. He edited the fanzine Science Fiction Critic, which published in four issues the first work of criticism devoted to American SF: “Hammer and Tongs,” written by his brother, Clyde F. Beck. Their publishing house was Futile Press.
The P wasn’t a real initial — it stood for “poverty.”
He was a member of the SFAA and the Esoteric Order of Dagon. 1936 saw him pubbing his ish from Reno, NV. About 1938–39, belying his hermit status, he hitchhiked to and from New York on a visit to the Futurians and consequently folded his fanzine, according to Speer, after which he dropped the fake initial.
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