|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Friday, October 13, 2006 |
( 10/13/2006 02:56:00 PM ) Bill S.
FAREWELL TO WILSON – Just read that Wilson "Bob" Tucker, s-f writer, fannish legend and longtime Bloomington, IL., resident, passed away last Friday in a Florida hospital, just a few short months after the death of his wife, Fern. I never got a chance to see Tucker while he was living in Bloomington-Normal (though I did have a brief conversation with him at an s-f convention party once), but I like to think he was behind the projector at the Castle Theater (where he worked for many years) when my wife-to-be and I had our first date at that local moviehouse.
Tucker's books aren't easy to come by these days, but he was a solid journeyman whose quick-read paperback sci-fi could be plenty entertaining. His 1958 novel The Lincoln Hunters, for instance, is an amusing tale of time-travellers (one of 'em a drunkard named after writer Robert Bloch) who go back to hear a mythic anti-slavery speech that Lincoln purportedly delivered at the Bloomington train station. The writer clearly gets a kick out of imagining the pre-Civil War Bloomington – and in tweaking his longtime friend Bloch – even if the book's actual story is fairly negligible. Perhaps he and Bloch are somewhere sharing a drink together now . . .
The Bloomington Daily Pantagraph's critic and arts writer, Dan Craft, has a fine appreciation of Tucker that appeared today in the newspapers Thursday pop culture section.