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 & later Samuel D. Russell], devoted to the memory of H. P. Lovecraft.

He was one of the Insurgents. Other fannish publications were Fan-Dango and his famous autobiographical Ah! Sweet Idiocy! (1948) that reported the seamy side of fandom. He also tried to recognize the fannish fuggheadedness with the Fan-Dango Awards. Other fanzines he edited included Wild Hair, One Fingers Number Four Fingers Number One (with Charles Burbee, Walt Liebscher and Jack Speer), and Shangri L'Affaires.

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.

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