Ray Van Houten
(August 26, 1919 – November 29, 1963)
Raymond Van Houten, a New Jersey fan, started reading SF in the early 1930s with Astounding. He became a fan in 1936 when he got a copy of Tesseract. By 1937, he was a director of the Science Fiction Advancement Association which he merged into New Fandom in 1938. He was on the committee for Nycon 1, the first Worldcon and chaired Fanvet Convention 2.
He was in the Army during the War. After the War, he was an officer of the Fanvets and became an editor of Fantasy Times and was credited by James Taurasi with many of the ideas which helped Fantasy Times win two Hugos for Best Fanzine. (It was nominated for the 1959 Best Fanzine Hugo and the 1960 Best Fanzine Hugo, and won the 1955 Best Fanzine Hugo and the 1957 Best Fanzine Hugo.)
Sometime, probably in the early ’50s, he proposed a complicated scheme for awards for the field involving a panel of pro editors, pros and fans, but it never gained traction. He edited the first Science Fiction Yearbook and was working on The Original Science Fiction Stories, an attempted revival of Science Fiction Stories at the time of his death. He tried to be a pro writer, but was unable to sell his stories.
He married Cornelia Van Biert Systma in 1959 and acquired a step daughter Ruth Systma. He died in 1963.
- There was a long obituary in the December 1963 issue of Science Fiction Times.
- For an early short biography, see Who's Who in Fandom 1940, page 14.
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