Jack Speer: 1920-2008

In 2004, Jack Speer was one of two Worldcon Fan Guests of Honor at Noreascon 4 in Boston, Massachusetts. To accompany Robert Lichtman's recent new edition of Up To Now (below), Geri Sullivan has prepared this extract from the Noreascon 4 Souvenir Book in Jack's memory.

Geri writes:

The excerpt contains the front cover — Jack is the leftmost guest carved in rock. The splash page and table of contents are included for context. Then there are four pages of appreciations, art, and photos, and four pages with the script to Jack’s one-act play, “The Last and First Fen.”

Jack Speer at Noreascon 4 (927KB PDF)


Up To Now
A History of Fandom as Jack Speer Sees It

            By far the most unobtainable fan history (until now) has been the first, Jack Speer’s 1939 Up To Now, published as the second in his six-issue Full Length Articles series that started in 1938 with Samuel Clemens, Scientifictionist and concluded in 1965 (after a 17-year gap)  with The Breenigan After One Year.  As Speer notes in his introduction, this series was normally distributed only to FAPA but some extras were made of Up To Now to pass out at the first worldcon in 1939.  This would imply a total circulation of around 100 copies. 

            The original publication was mimeographed (somewhat spottily, at least in my copy) with cardstock front and rear covers, and was brad-bound rather than stapled.  (I don’t know if this was because of the Staple Wars or the limitations of Jack’s stapler.)  It has been reprinted twice in similarly limited quantities:  as part of Dick Eney’s mammoth A Sense of FAPA in 1962 and as an attractive booklet by Richard Newsome in 1994.  The latter’s colophon states that 100 copies were produced; no information is available on Eney’s print run.

            The impetus for this electronic version of Up To Now started in the Southern Fandom Classic e-group, where a discussion on the availability of fan history texts took place in April 2008.  It was noted that Warner’s and Moskowitz’s books were available via NESFA Press—current editions of Harry’s two histories and a 1988 hardcover reprint of Sam’s.  But Jack’s pioneering fan history was elusive.  List member Patricia Rogers—who like Jack lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and sees him at local fan gatherings—offered to ask his permission for this reprint, and she got it.  I confirmed this with Jack at Corflu Silver, and this PDF is the result.

            In this presentation, I have given a nod to modernity by replacing typewriter quotes and apostrophes with typeset ones as well as replacing dual-hyphen punctuation with emdashes.  But I have not altered Jack’s text in any other way, including leaving all titles of fanzines and prozines unitalicized.  I have used the cover of the original edition for this one, so that those wishing to print it out will have a bit of timebinding on their hard copies.

            Thanks to Patricia Rogers for her legwork in approaching Jack about this edition, to Jack for graciously granting permission, and to Bill Burns for making space available for this production.

—Robert Lichtman, May 2008  

Up To Now (1MB PDF)

This 2008 edition has the original 1939 cover


Below are scans of the 1962 edition of Up To Now:
the cover, lead page, and first text page

Last revised: 30 June, 2008

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