Biography: Bill Bowers

Bill Bowers, Fan Guest of Honor (sponsored by the Friends of Roscoe)

Bill Bowers began publishing fanzines in 1961, but it wasn't until October of 1962 that he began, with his friend Bill Mallardi, the title that would attract people's attention: Double:Bill.  It was a mixture of fannish humor and serious consideration of science fiction, and spawned The Double:Bill Symposium, in which 94 writers and editors responded to a questionnaire, creating a fascinating picture of the field.

The Symposium appeared in 1969, about the same time that Double:Bill ceased publication.  Bill wasn't resting, however.  Instead, he started Outworlds, which recently saw its 70th issue.  (Bill likes to number the pages from the first issue; issue 70 ends with page 2,720.)  Outworlds is often fat, always lovingly designed and written, and generally provocative and entertaining.  Some of the finest writers and artists of science fiction fandom and prodom have contributed to its pages, and Bill has always orchestrated them into a satisfying whole.

Bill has also published a number of smaller fanzines for amateur press associations, and at one time started a small press that produced several collections of cartoons and artwork.  He has organized several conventions, including the fanzine-oriented conventions Corflu and Ditto.  (The highlight of his Corflu was the program, designed as an issue of Outworlds: in addition to the live version, it appeared on audio tape, on video tape, and in print.)

Bill has been honored by the SF community several times.  He was selected as the Trans Atlantic Fan Fund winner in 1976 (it was a tie with Roy Tackett, and Bill withdrew in Roy's favor).  The 1978 Worldcon in Phoenix made him its Fan Guest of Honor.  He also won several Fanzine Activity Achievement Awards (FAAN Awards) in the mid-70s.  He's deserved them all.

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