James V. Taurasi

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James Taurasi

(December 8, 1917 – April 11, 1991)

One of the creators of fandom as we know it. In the late 1930s, James Vincent Taurasi -- Jimmy Taurasi -- was one of the Triumvirs and part of the leadership of the First Worldcon, one of the originators of New Fandom, founding member of the QSFL and the GNYSFL. He was generally on the opposite side of fan feuds from the Futurians. (At one point, John Michel called Turasi "il Duce of Flushing Flats".)

He was an avid reader, following the prozines closely. He had many letters and essays published in SF prozines, including Astounding, Amazing, Startling Stories, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Comet, and Super Science Stories.

In the 1940s through the ’60s, he was editor of Fantasy Times and Science Fiction Times an important newszine which was the Locus of its day (in fact, Locus was started to fill the vacuum left by the ending of Science Fiction Times). It which received the 1955 Best Fanzine Hugo, the 1957 Best Fanzine Hugo and nominations for the 1956 Best Fanzine Hugo, the 1959 Best Fanzine Hugo and the 1960 Best Fanzine Hugo under his editorship).

He was part of the Scientifilmakers, an early fannish attempt to create a true SF (or, rather, stf) movie. He was involved in the following publishing houses: Taurasi-Thompson Publications, United Publications, and Cosmic Publications, which became Fandom House. He was one of the leaders of the Fanvets. He was a member of ESFA, the Lunarians, FAPA and the Silvercon committee, attended the 1938 Philadelphia Conference, and received the Big Heart Award in 1963.

He was active in fandom from the mid-30s to the mid-60s.

He was fond of using pennames, including Herman Von Tok, Lane Stannard and J. Harry Vincent.

For an early short biography, see Who's Who in Fandom 1940, page 13.

Fantasy-News 85 (February 4, 1940) reported that Taurasi was engaged to Rose Alberti, Frances Alberti Sykora’s sister, but we haven’t found any evidence the marriage came off.

Fandom House[edit]

Founded in June, 1937 by Taurasi, Fandom House was his publishing house. Fandom House seems to have been more real than most fannish publishing houses. Like the others, it published fanzines, though Taurasi affected that they were of a kind with the prozines.

It was not always named Fandom House. It began as Cosmic Publications (which see) and by 1945 had gone through the names Allied Publications, Fantasy News Publishing Company, Fantasy Times Publishing Company, and Flushing-Taurasi Publishing Company before going back to Cosmic Publications which he kept until 1948 when he settled on Fandom House.

The switch to Fandom House was triggered by the attempted merger of the monthly Fantasy Times with Will Sykora's Fantasy-News with Fantasy News being weekly and Fantasy Times being a monthly recap. This fell through, but Taurasi kept Fandom House.

Since Fantasy Times was the Locus of its day, it seems clear that Fandom House, while still essentially a fannish publishing house, was easily the largest of them.

Fandom House publications included:

Fancy 2 reports (under Legal Matters) that "Taurasi was threatened in '56 by Random House, which alleged that JVT's use of the name "Fandom House" in publishing Fantasy Times constituted unfair competition. Tho somewhat flattered, Jas decided not to fight it, having learned that simply bringing the case to court would rock him $300." Not only did he use the name (which he probably could have gotten away with), but for a time he used a logo which looked suspiciously like Random House's.

Fanzines and Apazines:

Person Reasonator 19171991
This is a biography page. Please extend it by adding more information about the person, such as fanzines and apazines published, awards, clubs, conventions worked on, GoHships, impact on fandom, external links, anecdotes, etc. See Standards for People and The Naming of Names.