Peter J. Vorzimer
(May 7, 1937 – January 15, 1995)
Peter James “Pete” Vorzimer (later Vorzimmer), aka Vorzy, a teenaged LA-area fan active in the 1950s, is best remembered as founder of the letter-based apa, The Cult. The Cult gave his name to an annual Peter J. Vorzimer Award for fuggheadedness in the apa.
He previously attempted to start NAPA, but despite a series of fan gatherings, the NAPAcons, it never came out. Vorzimer attempted to call Eighth Fandom into existence, although some fanhistorians accredit him with creating a focal point for Seventh Fandom instead.
He credited Jimmy Clemons with introducing him to the world of science fiction and LASFS, which he joined on December 3, 1953; he attended Westercon 6 but remembered a later 1953 meetup in San Francisco as the life-changing experience that would lead to his later work as publicity director for the Gemini Space Program at NASA. While there, he interviewed Neil Armstrong and Wernher von Braun, and began a lifelong friendship with astronaut Michael Collins.
Vorzimer killed Bertha Smith in an accident in 1954 while she was crossing Sunset Boulevard. In his notes for an unpublished autobiography, he wrote that her death, “though she had made some negligent contribution, cost me my driver’s license for one year. It also took the wind out of my senior year of high school. My lack of wheels forced me to concentrate on my writing skills—particularly my editorship of an amateur Science Fiction magazine ABstract (a fanzine, as they were called).”
He was married three times. His obituary acknowledged four children, but he documented having had 14 more with women other than his wives.
- “Fandom’s Unforgotten Fugghead”, a reminiscence by Terry Carr in Void 28 (February 1962, p. 32).
- Tales of the Living Legend, a blog about him written by his eldest son.
- The family, which had de-Germanized the spelling of their name by dropping an m in the early 20th century, decided in the early 1960s to reclaim the surname that had been imposed on them in Germany in the late 19th century.
- See “Fandom’s Unforgotten Fugghead”, a reminiscence by Terry Carr in Void 28 (February 1962, p. 32).
- Personal communication with Jeff Vorzimmer, his eldest son.
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