Tom Reamy

Tom Reamy (1935–1977) was an award-winning American science fiction and fantasy author and important figure in 1960s and 1970s science fiction fandom. Tom Reamy died prior to the publication of his first novel. His works are primarily dark fantasy.

Life and work

Tom Reamy was born Thomas Earl Reamy on January 23, 1935 [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Reamy&GScid=1174386&GRid=20020959&] in Texas. While still in his teens in the early 1950s, he became active in science fiction fandom's fanzine and convention culture. It was also sometime during this period that Reamy began to experiment with writing fantasy and science fiction. He was never quite satisfied with or confident enough to submit his stories to the editors of the professional genre magazines of that era, despite encouragement from various friends who felt he had talent. Reamy continued to quietly hone his craft for many years, while always finding a variety of other expressions for his growing creativity.

Reamy, along with fellow Texan Orville Mosher, founded the first large organized science fiction fan club in Texas: The Dallas Futurian Society. Its founding was in the late fall of 1953, and the club was active until July 6, 1958, when it died in a rather colorful fashion. During that active five-year period, Reamy edited the club's professional-looking fanzine "CriFanac", always attracting to its pages a variety of contributors, both local and from greater science fiction fandom.

With fellow Dallas Futurians Greg and Jim Benford, Reamy eventually organized the first science fiction convention held in Texas. A rotating regional convention, Southwesterncon VI, was held on the weekend of July 5th, 1958, concluding the next day, July 6th. The Pro Guest of Honor was writer and then well-known fan Marion Zimmer Bradley. Noted longtime science fiction fan personality, collector, and literary agent Forrest J Ackerman came all the way from Los Angeles as a surprise attendee.

On the last day of that convention, The Dallas Futurian Society officially imploded, dissolving their organization at Southwestercon VI's business meeting. During that fateful meeting, co-founder Orville Mosher, the man behind much of the club's behind-the-scenes intrigue, was dragged from the shadows and finally elected unanimously by its members as the new president of the Dallas Futurians. Then, just moments later, to his astonishment, the club was officially dissolved around him forever, never to return. Some of its former members soon went off to college, while others continued to gather socially for years, having finally dispensed with the annoying fan politics and intrigues that had divided them as a structured fan club. Mosher, to one's surprise, was never heard from again, though there were always rumors of Mosher sightings around Dallas from time-to-time.

Greg Benford later moved to California, where he became a physicist and astronomer at the University of California, Irvine and a famous, award-winning science fiction writer.

During the mid-to-late 1960s, while working as a draftsman for aerospace contractor Collins Radio in Dallas, TX, Reamy became the editor and publisher of the slick, professionally printed fanzine "Trumpet". Between 1965 and 1969 ten issues appeared. In 1966, it received enough nominations for inclusion on that year's final Hugo ballot. Ultimately, it was ruled as being ineligible that year because it hadn't published quite enough issues to meet the rules' requirements for nomination. The next year was a different story. In 1967 and then again in 1969, "Trumpet" made the final ballot for science fiction's prestigious Hugo Award in the Best Fanzine category.

Early in the 1970s, having honed his craft for many years, Reamy felt confident enough to begin submitting his fiction to the genre's magazines and original story anthologies. He began to sell his work almost immediately to those markets. During this same time, Reamy became one of the founders of the Dallas area's Turkey City Writer's Workshop. Many fine new Texas genre writers emerged from this experience, eventually giving birth to the all-Texas original speculative fiction hardcover anthology, "Lone Star Universe". Prior to this, in the late 1960s, Reamy also organized and became chairman of Dallas fandom's long-running but ultimately ill-fated "Big D in '73" bid to host the 31st World Science Fiction Convention. He was also the editor and designer of the bid's official publication, "The Dallascon Bulletin". Nothing quite like it had been seen before. It polarized support for Texas fandom, pro and con, all over science fiction fandom. Ultimately, the bid collapsed for complex reasons just months before the final vote was taken. But Dallas' high-profile bid and its innovative "Dallascon Bulletin" proved to be, several years later, the inspiration for and catalyst needed in the formation of Kansas City fandom's bid for the 1976 convention. Reamy's "Big Bid" concept informed much of KC's aggressive strategy. He joined the KC committee, at the chairman's request, shortly before their victory, filling two key department head positions. The ill-fated Dallascon had been reborn as MidAmeriCon.

Following his move to Kansas City, MO, in the summer of 1974, Reamy retired "Trumpet" and began publishing the equallyslick "Nickelodeon". There, with a business partner, he had started a typesetting and graphic design business, Nickelodeon Graphics. He also created the publications division for KC's now official MidAmeriCon, the 1976 World Science Fiction Convention. Reamy established a strong editorial style and modern graphic design approach to the convention's publications, which proved to have a permanent influence on all Worldcon publications that followed. He was also the department head of the convention's film program department, organizing a comprehensive, first-ever, all 35mm film program for a World Science Fiction Convention.

His only novel "Blind Voices", published posthumously, has earned critical comparisons with the works of Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury, and Harlan Ellison. The novel deals with the arrival of a strange and wonderful “freak show” at a rural town in Kansas during the 1920s and its effects on the lives of the residents. While not quite as polished as those authors’ works, critics have regarded "Blind Voices" as an exceptional first novel, causing fans and critics to ponder how important a figure he could have become if he had lived.

Other than "Blind Voices", the only other book by Tom Reamy is a collection of his shorter fiction, "San Diego Lightfoot Sue and Other Stories", also published posthumously. "San Diego Lightfoot Sue," the individual story, won science fiction's Nebula Award as the Best Novelette of 1975.

Only one original Reamy short story remains unpublished after all this time: "Potiphee, Petey, and Me" will someday be published in Harlan Ellison's now legendary "Last Dangerous Visions" original anthology, the third and final book of that series. Those few friends and colleagues who have read the original manuscript report that it is one of Reamy's finest works.

Tom Reamy died on November 4, 1977 [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Reamy&GScid=1174386&GRid=20020959&] at age 42 from a heart attack while at his home in Independence, MO. He was found at his typewriter, seven pages into a new story for editor Ed Ferman at "The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction". Prior to this, Reamy and artist George Barr had begun working again on their graphic novel adaptation of Poul Anderson’s fantasy novel "The Broken Sword", which had begun appearing a decade before in the pages of Reamy's "Trumpet". The project languished after his untimely death.

Works

*Novels:
** "Blind Voices" (1978)

*Collections:
** "San Diego Lightfoot Sue and Other Stories" (1979)

*Anthologies containing stories by Tom Reamy:
** "Orbit 17" (1974)
** "Nova 4" (1974)
** "New Dimensions 6" (1975)
** "Nebula Award Stories 10" (1975)
** "Lone Star Universe" (1976)
** "The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction #22" (1976)
** "Nebula Award Stories 11" (1976)
** "Six Science Fiction Plays" (1976)
** "The Thirteen Crimes of Science Fiction" (1980)
** "New Voices 4" (1981)
** "Sci-Fi Private Eye" (1984)
** "Light Years and Dark" (1984)
** "A Treasury of American Horror Stories" (1985)
** "Demons!" (1987)

* Published short stories:
** "Beyond the Cleft" (1974)
** "Twilla" (1974)
** "San Diego Lightfoot Sue" (1975)
** "Under the Hollywood Sign" (1975)
** "Dinosaurs" (1976)
** "Mistress of Windraven" (1976)
** "The Sweetwater Factor" (1976)
** "The Detweiler Boy" (1977)
** "Insects in Amber" (1978)
** "Waiting for Billy Star" (1978)
** "2076: Blue Eyes" (1979)
** "M is for the Million Things" (1981)

* One upublished short story sold to "The Last Dangerous Visions":
** "Potiphee, Petey and Me"

* Screenplays:
** "The Goddaughter" (produced 1972, only credited as Assistant Director)
** "The Mislayed Genie" (produced, 1973)
** "Sting" (1975) (unproduced)
** "The Screaming Night: A Screenplay" with Howard Waldrop (?) (unproduced)

* Hollywood Film Crew:
** Served in the Art Department as Property Master on the cult-movie "Flesh Gordon" (1974)

Awards and Nominations

* Hugo: Best Fanzine nominee (1967) for "Trumpet"
* Hugo: Best Fanzine nominee (1969) for "Trumpet"
* Nebula: Best Novelette nominee (1974) for "Twilla"
* Nebula: Best Novelette winner (1975) for "San Diego Lightfoot Sue"
* Hugo: Best Novelette nominee (1976) for "San Diego Lightfoot Sue"
* John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: winner (1976)
* Nebula: Best Novel nominee (1978) for "Blind Voices"
* Hugo: Best Novel nominee (1979) for "Blind Voices"

External links

*
*
* Tom Reamy's [http://www.freesfonline.de/authors/Tom_Reamy.html online fiction] at Free Speculative Fiction Online


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  • Tom Reamy — Thomas Earl „Tom“ Reamy (* 23. Januar 1935 in Woodson, Texas, USA; † 4. November 1977 in Kansas City, Kansas, USA) war ein amerikanischer Science Fiction und Fantasy Autor. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Werk 2 Bibliografie 2.1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Reamy — Thomas Earl „Tom“ Reamy (* 23. Januar 1935 in Woodson, Texas, USA; † 4. November 1977 in Kansas City, Kansas, USA) war ein amerikanischer Science Fiction und Fantasy Autor. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Werk 2 Bibliografie 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas Earl Reamy — Thomas Earl „Tom“ Reamy (* 23. Januar 1935 in Woodson, Texas, USA; † 4. November 1977 in Kansas City, Kansas, USA) war ein amerikanischer Science Fiction und Fantasy Autor. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Werk 2 Bibliografie 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Thomas Reamy — Thomas Earl „Tom“ Reamy (* 23. Januar 1935 in Woodson, Texas, USA; † 4. November 1977 in Kansas City, Kansas, USA) war ein amerikanischer Science Fiction und Fantasy Autor. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Werk 2 Bibliografie 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Amerikanischer Schriftsteller — Dies ist eine Übersicht in den USA geborener bzw. zum größten Teil publizierender Schriftsteller. A Edward Abbey (1927–1989) Walter Abish (* 1931) Kathy Acker (1947–1997) Forrest J. Ackerman (1916–2008) Mercedes de Acosta (1893–1968) Oscar Zeta… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Liste amerikanischer Schriftsteller — Dies ist eine Übersicht in den USA geborener bzw. zum größten Teil publizierender Schriftsteller. A Edward Abbey (1927–1989) Walter Abish (* 1931) Kathy Acker (1947–1997) Forrest J. Ackerman (1916–2008) Mercedes de Acosta (1893–1968) Oscar Zeta… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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