Collector by Howard DeVore

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Howard DeVore, long-time Michigan science fiction fan, collector, and dealer, died on 31 December 2005. By kind permission of his daughters, here is the very last issue of Howard's SAPS fanzine, Collector. Thanks to Robert Lichtman for the introductory essay below, and for creating the PDF file.
--Bill Burns

The Last Collector (241 KB)

Robert Lichtman writes:

Howard Devore was an active fan since the late ’40s or early ’50s, but according to Curt Phillips, “He was an SF reader and collector since at least the mid ’30s, and when he went off to fight in WWII he moved all his books and magazines into a spare room of his house and padlocked the door shut so that he’d never have to worry about what was happening to his collection while he was away. The key went with him to Europe and flew with him on all his combat missions over France and Germany.”

Howard straddled a number of fannish worlds.

He was active as a fanzine publisher, joining the Spectator Amateur Press Society (SAPS) in 1952 and maintaining a continuous membership. Later, in 1964, he joined the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA) and was continuously active there as well. He also participated in a number of other amateur press associations.

He attended dozens of conventions, and is one of only two people to have attended every MidWestCon (55 of them!) since its inception. He was involved with the committees of the 1959 and 1966 Worldcons. He was fan guest of honor at more than a few conventions.

He was a long-time member of the National Fantasy Fan Federation (NFFF) and was one of the founders of the World Science Fiction Society in the ’50s. He was also active at various times in the International Science Fiction Correspondence Club (ISFCC), First Fandom, and possibly others.

In addition, he was a consummate dealer of science fiction and fantasy—setting up shop at many conventions as well as selling out of his legendary garage. As he wrote, “For many years I have operated a small mail order business, dealing only in science fiction and fantasy. Whatever money I made I simply spent to buy more books. I do not issue catalogues but people are invited to send me a letter listing titles they wish to buy. Anything you buy will be that much less my daughters have to haul away.”

That quote is taken from his introduction to a book that’s another one of his signal achievements: The Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. This was published by Advent in 1998, but it began life as a mimeographed publication in 1970 which was updated frequently as the years passed.

His final fanzine was an issue of Collector which appeared posthumously in the January 2006 SAPS mailing. It’s a typical issue, full of stories of his adventures and exploits interspersed among mailing comments to other SAPS members. Howard seldom bothered to correct his typos even though this bothered his daughters. As Karol, one of them, wrote to me: “To be honest, it has always personally bothered me when our dad sent things out without corrections! For years I have proofed many of the thing he wrote. He would usually send his things with me to my job, I would correct typos, then make the photocopies for him. He always thought this was silly, and would say ‘Oh Karol, don’t bother—they know what I mean.’”

I don’t think I ever met Howard—if I did, it would have been in passing at a Worldcon—but through his many fanzines I felt as though I knew him well. Both FAPA and SAPS—and fandom at large—lament his loss.

Last revised: 3 February, 2006

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