Mike Glicksohn

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(May 20, 1946 – March 18, 2011)

Mike Glicksohn and Leah Zeldes, ca. 1979.
Photo by George R. R. Martin.

Michael David Glicksohn, a UK-born fanzine and convention fan from Toronto, was active from 1966 until his death in 2011. He one of Midwest fandom's favorite trufen. Short in stature, Mike was a striking figure with his full head of long hair and a bushy beard. He usually wore an Australian bush hat and carried a handmade leather shoulder bag. He lived large and seemed so unconventional that it was always a surprise to people to find out that in mundane life he was a math teacher at Toronto's Humberside Collegiate high school.

In 1966, after attending his first convention, Tricon in Cleveland, which he read about in an ad in Famous Monsters of Filmland, Mike became a founding member of the Ontario Science Fiction Club, Glicksohn was a member of the Torcon 2 concom, which he attended with his boa constrictor, Larson E. Glicksohn.

He was a regular at many Midwestern conventions, and attended every ConFusion up until the year before he died. At A2 Relax Icon, he was one of the four "Secret Masters of Fandom" who came out wearing nothing but red bath towels around their waist and paper bags over their heads. One of fandom's greatest auctioneers, he was always willing to step up to the auction bloch for art shows or fan funds.

He was an avid poker player, and could be found at the poker table at any con he attended. In Larry Tucker's fannish video Faans, Mike played himself, simultaneously playing poker with a group of fans and cribbage with one femmefan while snogging with another. He was a lusty drinker, but he always took February off to rest his liver. Mike drank scotch and beer and smoothed Beam's Choice with Bob Tucker, and popularized the Spayed Gerbil as a fannish libation, which he described as "the only drink you can leave on the counter anywhere in fandom, go off to the can, and come back to find it still sitting there untouched."

Mike was a co-founder of Ditto, and served on the bidcom for Toronto in 2003. Annually, he and Michael Harper hosted a party called MikeCon over Memorial Day weekend for more than a quarter century.

He and Susan Wood, who had married in 1970 and separated by 1974, published the brilliant and impeccably mimeographed fanzine Energumen, which won the 1973 Best Fanzine Hugo. Despite their divorce, they were jointly Fan GoH at Aussiecon in 1975 for which Mike published a trip report, The Hat Goes Home. Energumen had also garnered nominations for the Best Fanzine Hugo in 1971 and 1972, and Mike was a nominee for Best Fan Writer in 1977. Mike and Susan later published the fanzine Xenium, which evolved from their joint apazine for APA-45 to his solo genzine.

Mike was among the fans who were instrumental in the WSFS Business Meeting motion that resulted in splitting off the Best Semiprozine Hugo from the Best Fanzine award. He was a member of the Niagara Falls in '98 Worldcon bid.

He sold one short story, a parody, “Dissenting” as by Gardner R. Dubious, to Ted White for Fantastic (February 1975).

Until his second marriage, Glicksohn was a noted letterhack. From the late '60s through the turn of the 20th century, no faned felt as if a zine was complete without locs from Mike Glicksohn and Harry Warner, Jr. Mike's mailing addresses of 141 High Park Avenue and, later, 508 Windermere Avenue were nearly as famous as the 423 Summit Avenue address of the Hermit of Hagerstown. Mike's locs were always colorful, and above all, encouraging. For years, even the direst crudzine could count on getting something thoughtful and worth printing from Mike, and if he wrote that you'd pubbed a "damn fine fanzine," there was no higher accolade.

He contributed to several apas and had a long-running WO3W correspondence with Skel and Dave Locke.

What Mike was perhaps best known for was his great good humor. He was never a feuder; he was always smiling and congenial. The motto he lived by: "If fandom isn't fun, it's futile."

Glicksohn died of a stroke in 2011 after battling cancer since 2006. He was survived by Susan Manchester, his wife of almost 18 years.

More Reading[edit]

Fanzines and Apazines:

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Promotional art for AutoClave 1 by Jackie Causgrove, depicting Mike Glicksohn (driver), Gene Wolfe and Donn Brazier (in rear).

Person 19462011
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