F. Towner Laney

(1914 — June 8, 1958)

Francis Towner Laney (known as FTL) moved to LA in late 1943 or early 1944 and was an important fan there in the 1940s. His death was one of those which marked 1958 as the Year of the Jackpot.

His best-known fanzine was The Acolyte (14 issues, 1942-1946) [with Duane W. Rimel and later Samuel D. Russell], devoted to the memory of H. P. Lovecraft, but he is most remembered for his gafiation zine, the autobiographical Ah! Sweet Idiocy! (1948) that reported what Laney saw as the seamy side of fandom. He published the fanzine Facts in the Case of W. Dunkelberger.

He was one of the Insurgents. Other fannish publications included Fan-Dango, Wild Hair, One Fingers Number Four Fingers Number One (with Charles Burbee, Walt Liebscher and Jack Speer), and Shangri L'Affaires. He also tried to recognize fuggheadedness with the Fan-Dango Awards.

Laney was active in the Fantasy Amateur Press Association, (and was a member of the Order of Dagon), but left SF fandom in the late 1940s, and embraced Dianetics in 1950.

Ah! Sweet Idiocy! was reprinted in 1962 by Richard H. Eney.

Laney was nominated for the 1946 Best Fan Writer Retro Hugo.