(November 20, 1919 – May 27, 1976)
Detroiter Martin Alger, a Michifan nicknamed “Photo-Fanatic Lensman” and active in the 1940s and ’50s, was well-known for being able to build most anything, and, per the Fancy 2 entry AHMF — “Algeristic Home Made For” — would do so — for a low cost.
When he made his own rotary mimeograph and published on it a one-shot instructing the fan how to make his own mimeo for $3.75, the renown of this feat spread till Martin became mythologically credited with infinite manufacturing potential and a mania for making things himself at the lowest possible prices, from Heironymus machines (which see) to thermonuclear devices ("AHMF $1.35 — not counting the hydrogen").
He coined Bug-Eyed Monster when he parodied the alphabet organizations of the Staple War by announcing, in a letter printed in TWS in August 1939, the formation of the Society For Prevention Of Bug Eyed Monsters On The Covers Of Science Fiction Publications, and later, in January 1941, had a letter published that first referred to the cover-critturs as BEMs.
Alger also coined the immortal phrase, “Real Soon Now” in 1950 to describe the excitement evident in the voice of George H. Young when he spoke of the con to be held in Detroit RSN. Alger was a fan historian, and tracked down the first use of “Goshwowboyohboy.”
He gafiated in the early 1960s. He died as a result of a severe asthma attack while in the hospital after surgery to corrective a deviated septum.
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