Milton A. Rothman

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(November 30, 1919 – October 6, 2001)

Milt Rothman joined the Science Fiction League as soon as it was announced in the May 1934 issue of Wonder Stories, becoming Member #34. He was co-founder of the Philadelphia SFL (which became PSFS) in 1934. He also drew fanart.

Beginning in 1939, he also published sf professionally. He initially appeared under the pseudonym Lee Gregor at the insistence of John W. Campbell, Jr., who didn’t like Jewish names as bylines in Astounding. At the beginning of Rothman's writing career, Frederik Pohl was his agent and also edited his stories before their submission to magazines.

Rothman's most famous story was "Heavy Planet," which first appeared in Astounding Science Fiction and which has been reprinted in numerous anthologies. His complete fictional works were collected in Heavy Planet and Other Science Fiction Stories from Wildside Press.

He published the fanzines Milty's Mag and Plenum from 1939–1950, and Blitzkrieg. He was a member of the Washington Worry-Warts. He was a member of FAPA and part of the Brain Trust, the Order of Dagon, and the Philadelphia Blitzkrieg, chaired the Big Pond Fund, went on the Widneride, and spoke up for Yngvi. He was deep in the fannish wars over Michelism and the Wollheimists, though he tried to avoid the feuding part. He was a charter member of the National Fantasy Fan Federation in 1941. He edited the National Fantasy Fan right after the War.

He attended the First Convention in 1936. At one point, he tried to attend every convention held in the United States. He was one of the five people attending Boskone IV.

Rothman chaired Philadelphia worldcons in both 1947 and 1953, the latter being the first convention to present the Hugo Awards. He was named Chairman Emeritus of Millennium Philcon in 2001.

In 1998, he was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame and was the fan GoH at BucConeer. He was also GoH at Philcon 1976.

Not only a fan and a published author, Rothman was a nuclear physicist. The US Army sent Rothman to Oregon State University where he obtained a BA in Electrical Engineering. In 1952, he received his doctorate in Physics from the University of Pennsylvania. Rothman went to work for the Bartol Research Center in Springfield, PA. He joined the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab where he worked for almost 10 years on the Model-C Stellerator, the largest fusion experimental device of the time. Subsequently, he became a Professor of Physics at Trenton State College. In his later years, he was a Senior Scientist at the Franklin Institute Research Laboratory in Philadelphia. He authored seven science fact books, including Discovering the Natural Laws in 1972 and a number of articles. In addition, Rothman became an active member of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, authoring A Physicists' Guide to Skepticism.

His son, Tony Rothman, also wrote sf.


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Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 19192001
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