John Purcell

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(1954 –)

John Anthony Purcell is a fanzine and convention fan originally from Minneapolis, MN. After discovering fandom at Minicon 7 in 1973, he became active in Minn-stf (the Minnesota Science Fiction Society, Inc.) and began publishing fanzines in 1976 with This House. Eventually he began writing for other fanzines, notably Rune, the Minn-stf clubzine, and This House ran for 15 issues, eventually ending in 1988 as part of an Ace-doubled fanzine with his personal-zine, Bangweulu #6.

In the 1970s and ’80s, John didn’t always know where his towel was. (See “The Towel Goes Stateside,” p. 4.)

Life basically derailed his fan career as of 1992: this is what happens sometimes when a fan gets married and has children. "A very dangerous situation," John noted in a LiveJournal entry in 2007.

Still, since 2003, he began publishing online fanzines, hosted at, with the key titles of In a Prior Lifetime (2003–07), ...and Furthermore (2006-2007), and the current fanzine, Askance (since 2007), which has now reached 54 issues (as of the end of 2022). A paper-only personalzine, Askew, was begun in early 2013 and is continuing publication in that format, although issues 17, 18, and 19 were also posted on during the 2017 TAFF Race to help promote John's candidacy. With its 21st issue (October 2017), Askew returned to paper-only publication upon request, but is also available in PDF format on

A regular attendee at Minicon from 1973–92, Purcell only managed to get to two World SF ConventionsMidAmeriCon (1976) and Iguanacon (1978) — before hosting the Fanzine Lounge at LoneStarCon 3, the 71st World SF Convention held in San Antonio, TX, in 2013. This was his first Worldcon in 35 years (That's Not Too Many), even though in 2006, he went to his first convention in 14 years, AggieCon XXXVII, the student-run sf convention held on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where John has lived since the summer of 2001. He has been married for 33 years to Valerie Purcell (née Prochaska), who is an artist and crafter, and they have three children and two grand-children.

His sanity was called into question because John chaired Corflu 37, which was held March 13–15, 2020, in College Station, Texas, the last “live” sf con held the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fanzines and Apazines:

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 1954
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