Friday, April 24, 2015

FFB: The Heirs of Anthony Boucher -- Marvin Lachman

This post originally appeared on September 6, 2005.  This is a book that shouldn't be forgotten.

Marv Lachman has written a book about mystery fandom that I predict will be on a lot of awards lists next year. In this anecdotal illustrated history, he gives capsule summaries of every Bouchercon (including attendance figures), discusses every mystery fanzine ever published, looks at mystery fandom from its beginnings to the present, and even talks a bit about fannish scholarship and the future of fandom. 

For me, reading The Heirs of Anthony Boucher was almost as good as reliving many of the best moments of the last thirty years. When Judy was reading the book last night, she said, "This is like old home week." I think that nails it for those of us who have been fans for many of the years covered in the book. 

But The Heirs of Anthony Boucher is certainly more than that. It's an invaluable documentation of the history (so far) of fandom, and it's something that everyone who cares about mysteries, mystery writing, and mystery fandom should own and read. I suggest that you order a copy now. You won't regret it.


Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Bill, I'd no idea Bouchercon was named in memory of Anthony Boucher. I have read about the sf author online.

Unknown said...

He wrote several of mystery novels and reviewed crime fiction for the New Yokr Times Book Review for many years.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Old home week indeed. Along with Art Scott's collection of photos it reminds us not only of what happened in the past but of all those friends and family who are no longer with us.


Todd Mason said...

I must've read this and meant to get the book when you first posted, Bill, but didn't. I think I might just correct that now. (Very few saw my personal and collaborative fanzines in the CF fannish community, albeit they were never solely about CF...)

Prashant, while Boucher published some science fiction, he was vastly more productive as a crime-fiction writer and critic, as Bill notes, and script-writer, particularly for radio but also for other media...and also far more likely to write fantasy and horror fiction...when not editing, or conducting writing classes or his long-running Pacifica Radio opera series, which was heard nationally on stations beyond the small core of Pacifica's network.

Cap'n Bob said...

Great choice, Bill. I read it with much enjoyment when it came out and if I can ever find it I'll give it another go.

Rick Robinson said...

My copy is here, once read, and I should reread it. It might be noted as an addition to Todd's comment, that Boucher also edited or co-edited several SF anthologies.

Todd Mason said...

Indeed, among his other anthologies and magazines, not least F&SF and the anthologies drawn from that magazine, and BEST DETECTIVE STORIES annuals...I haven't yet read the true crime magazine that Mercury Press briefly saddled Boucher and McComas with, but suspect it was good of its kind.

Since TED Klein also briefly edited a true crime magazine after his tenure at TWILIGHT ZONE magazine, clearly this is a career path for founding editors of fantasy magazines. Howard Browne escaped that fate by the skin of his teeth.