Earl Kemp

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(November 24, 1929 – February 6, 2020)

A fan, publisher, SF editor, and critic, Earl Kemp won a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine in 1961 for Who Killed Science Fiction?, a collection of questions and answers with top writers in the field. Next, he produced Why Is a Fan?, with opinions from dozens of fans.

A Chicago fan, Kemp was president of the Chicago Clubs#University of Chicago Science Fiction Club for almost a decade, and was probably responsible for the science fiction lecture series that brought Robert Heinlein, C. M. Kornbluth, Robert Bloch and Alfred Bester to campus and resulted in The Science Fiction Novel: Imaginative and Social Criticism (Advent:Publishers, 1959), which he edited.

He served as chairman of the 20th Worldcon, Chicon III, held in Chicago. He edited The Proceedings Chicon III (Advent:Publishers, 1963). Before winning with the Chicago in 1962 bid, he led two failed bids: Chicago: 1959 and Chicago in '60. He was involved in the semi-serious Tijuana in '69 Westercon bid and was the subject of The Kemp Fund to bring him to Chicon IV in 1982.

He was a member of the N3F and the (1962) Chicago SFL (II). He led production of The Purple Pastures at Pittcon.

In the 1950s, he compiled four lists of "The Science Fiction Book Index" that appeared in various publications.

Kemp helped found Advent:Publishers, a small press publisher focused on SF criticism, history, and bibliography.

Kemp worked as an editor under Algis Budrys at Blake Pharmaceuticals in Evanston, IL, producing pornography for William L. Hamling. During the 1960s and 1970s, Kemp was involved in publishing a number of erotic paperbacks, including an illustrated edition of the Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. This publication led to their both being sentenced to prison for "conspiracy to mail obscene material," but they served only the federal minimum of three months and one day.

After many years of inactivity, he published the electronic fanzine e*I from 2002 to 2012.

He was married to fellow fan Nancy Kemp. Their son, Earl Terry Kemp, is also a fan and a sf historian.

Fanzines and Apazines:

Awards, Honors and GoHships:



Person Website(IA) Website(IA) Reasonator 19292020
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