Kenneth Sterling

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(July 29, 1920 – January 12, 1995)

Kenneth J. Sterling, an early New York fan and pro, active from the 1930s, was member #4 of the SFL. For being among the first tensome to sign up after the club was announced in May 1934, Sterling got his name in the July ’34 issue of Wonder Stories, and, having sent appropriate letters first to the prozine and then to Dr. David H. Keller, received an autographed letter and the original manuscript of “The Ivy War” from the good doctor, as announced in the September 1934 issue.

He was present at the meeting Charles D. Hornig planned in June 1935 at the offices of Wonder Stories to meet visiting members of the Chicago branch (but the Chicago delegates arrived a day late and missed the meeting). He attended the First Worldcon in 1939.

His locs appeared in the prozines by 1932. He used the pseudonym Leviticus Wilmington Postlethwaite, D. T. G. Don Wollheim dubbed Sterling the Exalted Grand Booleywag of his Great Staple War army and named the month Sterl on the Ghuist calendar after him.

He was a friend and collaborator of H. P. Lovecraft's.

In mundane life, Sterling was a medical doctor.

In “After the Atom,” Joe Kennedy recalled Sterling speaking at an ESFA meeting in the late 1940s:

On one occasion the club heard a talk by Kenneth Sterling M. D., an oldtime member of the Futurians and a close friend of H. P. Lovecraft. Sterling spent about an hour lecturing on the chief causes of death in the United States, giving statistics for fatalities due to cancer and heart disease in great profusion. As the hour dragged to a close, he remarked, "Well, I'd intended to discuss my friendship with Lovecraft, but I see my time is just about up, so I thank you all for your kind attention," and sat down.

Sterling's speech was reported on the spot by Ron Maddox, who had lugged his bulky Speed-o-Print mimeo all the way from Greenwich Village and struck off the latest issue of his newszine, Fan Spectator.



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