Lynn Hickman

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Lynn Hickman. Drawing by Joe Mayhew
from the DSC 50 PB

(June 5, 1926 – October 30, 1996)

Lynn Arden Hickman, a longtime Midwestern fan and huckster from Wauseon, Ohio, founded Little Monsters of America in 1951. He was elected president of the ISFCC later that year.

He was a member of the Midwest Nomads, the Alien Science-Fantasy Club, and was one of the founders of Pulpcon and the founder of the Pulp Era Amateur Press Society (PEAPS).He was a collector of pulps. He chaired Illwiscon. He used the pennames of Plato Jones and Arden Cary.

He was publisher of Who Killed Science Fiction? and Why Is a Fan?.

Harlan Ellison called him a “true ‘craftsman’ of the field” of fanzine art in Sol IX.

In Nolacon II’s PR 1 (Spring 1987, p. 16), Fred Chappell recalled hitching a ride to Nolacon, the 1951 Worldcon, with Lynn:

I traveled to New Orleans in the company of that sweet and humorous man, Lynn Hickman, a North Carolina fan who had put together an organization called The Little Monsters of America. We had corresponded and I had contributed some poems to his fanzine. From correspondence he had surmised that I was older — about 30 years older — than I was.

When he hunted me up on our family farm deep in the mountains of western North Carolina, he must have been dismayed to learned that I was indeed a Little Monster of America, but he gave no sign. A born salesman, he charmed my parents into letting me accompany him to the New Orleans convention. The man who could do that could probably sell Deep Throat to Jerry Falwell as a Sunday school instructional film.... And I never forgot the exam­ple of Lynn Hickman’s smiling patience with young people. 
Lynn Hickman visiting Ron Graham’s library, while in Australia for Aussiecon, 1975.
Photo by Ned Brooks.

Lynn became active in fandom after joining ISFCC in 1948 and attending Cinvention in ’49, but he claimed to be a member of First Fandom based on a loc he had written on the first, May 1939, issue of Fantastic Adventures, writing in Vega 7 (1953, p. 4): “I didn’t write in to a pro magazine until the first issue of of Fantastic Adventures hit the stands. My immortal words were published and I became a halfway fan.” Unfortunately, there is no evidence of such a letter.

However, page 93 of the third (September) issue of FA features a letter from Keith Hickman commenting on the second (June) ish. George Keith Hickman (January 10, 1923–November 30, 1944), was Lynn’s older brother; a second lieutenant in the 9th Air Force 397 Fighter Squad 368 Fighter Group, he was killed at age 21 in an air crash over Belgium during World War II.

So we are left to ponder whether Lynn misremembered where his early prozine loc appeared, whether he borrowed his sibling’s name as a penname in 1939, or whether, in the ’50s, he took credit for his dead brother’s letter in order to establish his First Fandom bonafides. The mystery deepens when one considers that, in 1959, when Lynn and others founded the club, First Fandom, they set the cutoff date for membership as fan activity by December 31, 1937, on which day Lynn would have been 11 years old.

The brothers were the sons of Pauline and George Edgar Hickman of Napoleon, OH. In 1946, Lynn married Beatrice Stump. It didn’t last long — he married Carolyn Hickman in the early 1950s. They had a son, Mark.

Lynn and Carolyn were fixtures at Midwestcon. Born in Mount Corey, Ohio, Lynn lived in Mississippi, North Carolina and downstate Illinois before returning to Ohio, where he spent most of his life. A lean, lanky man, Lynn was a chain smoker, he suffered from emphysema, and he ultimately succumbed to lung cancer.

See also:

Fanzines and Apazines:

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 19261996
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.