Anthony Boucher

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(August 21, 1911 – April 29, 1968)

Anthony Boucher (real name William Anthony Parker White) was a fan who was nonetheless best known for his pro work as an editor and and writer. He was also heavily involved in the mystery field as well as classical music. He also used the pseudonym H. H. Holmes — presumably after the 19th-century Chicago serial killer. (He became a believer in pseudonyms when a search of the Library of Congress revealed 75 different writers already with the name "William White.")

He was a life-long Californian living in the Bay Area, a good friend of Poul and Karen Anderson, and a member of the Elves, Gnomes & Little Men's Science Fiction, Chowder & Marching Society. He attended the first Staplecon. He was interested in sf bibliography. (See also Drama.) At conventions he was a party-goer and poker player.

Along with J. Francis McComas, Boucher was the founding editor The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and remained with the magazine from 1949 to 1958, and was a pioneer in improving the literary quality of sf. He also edited the long-running Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction anthology series through 1959.

His own short SF appeared in all the major magazines and includes a number of classics (including "The Quest for Saint Aquin", selected by SFWA for The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One. His first story was for Weird Tales in 1927.

He was Worldcon GoH at the NorWesCon, FGoH at Westercon 18. He was a popular Toastmaster, performing those duties at the Clevention, Solacon, and Pacificon II. (At the Solacon, he helped mediate the end of the WSFS Inc affair.

Boucher was the friend and mentor of science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick and others. His 1942 novel Rocket to the Morgue (published as by H. H. Holmes), in addition to being a classic locked room mystery, is also something of a roman à clef about the Southern California science fiction culture of the time, featuring thinly-veiled versions of personalities such as Robert A. Heinlein, Jack Williamson, Edmond Hamilton, L. Ron Hubbard and rocket scientist/occultist/fan Jack Parsons. He was a member of the International Fantasy Award judging panel.

He was also an expert on opera, and wrote articles and presented radio shows on the subject.

After his death, Bruce Pelz and other sf fans who were also interested in mysteries founded Bouchercon, the mystery field's Worldcon and named it after him. He was memorial GoH at FOGcon 2013.

Entry in the Science Fiction Encyclopedia

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

While he was editor, F&SF won the 1957 Best American Professional Magazine Hugo and the 1958 Best Professional Magazine Hugo. He was nominated for the 1951 Best Professional Editor Retro Hugo, the 1954 Best Professional Editor Retro Hugo, the 1956 Best Book Reviewer Hugo, and F&SF was nominated for 1959 Best Professional Magazine Hugo.

Person Reasonator 19111968
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.