Art Widner

(September 16, 1917 — April 17, 2015)

Art Widner was one of the founding members of The Stranger Club, the pioneers of Boston fandom, and chaired Boskone I and Boskone II (1941 and 1942), the first two Boston SF conventions. He was one of the five people attending Boskone IV.

In 1941 he organized a car pool from the East Coast to Denvention I, a very adventurous undertaking in those days which was immortalized as the Widneride. (He was an old practitioner of the ancient fannish practice of naming cars, having driven the Skylark of Foo, the Skylark of Woo-Woo, and the FooFoo Special (and he published Cruise of the Foo Foo Special.) In his younger days he was reported to be Built Like a Gorilla.

He has published over 160 fanzines, the longest running of which was YHOS (1940-45 and 1979-2001). He helped to published The Stranger Club fanzine Fanfare. He helped found the N3F edited Bonfire in 1941 and 1944, and was president in 1947. He briefly ran Bodacious Publications and published Poll Cat. He investigated the Pseuicide. He was a member of the FAPA Brain Trust.

He invented one of the first science fiction board games, Interplanetary. It was never published commercially, but handmade versions were played at Boskone III and many later conventions.

A member of First Fandom and the First Fandom Hall of Fame, he was honored with the Big Heart Award in 1989, was the 1991 DUFF delegate and, in 2001, was selected as Past President of the Fan Writers of America for 2000. Along with the other members of The Stranger Club, he was Fan Guest of Honor at Noreascon 3. He was nominated for the 1946 Best Fan Writer Retro Hugo at L.A.con III in 1996. He received a Special Lifetime Achievement Award at Corflu in 2011.

He often signed his name with a variation of R. Twidner (R! Twidner).

In 1998 the [tributezine Art Appreciation was published by Andy Hooper in his honor. ArtCon and ArtCon Millennium Edition were held in his honor. He is a long-time member of FAPA and in 2014 was made its first (and so far only) Life Member. On August 19, 2011, while attending a birthday party for Randy Smith at Renovation, he claimed to be the World's Oldest Living Fan.

A remembrance of Widner by Jon D. Swartz was published in the May, 2015 issue (Volume 74, Number 5) of The National Fantasy Fan. An illustrated "In Memorium" by Swartz was also published in the New Series #44, 2nd Quarter 2015 issue of Scientifiction: The First Fandom Report.

Other GoHships:


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