Karen Kruse Anderson

(b. 1932)

Her first awareness of prozines came with the discovery of some Astoundings in the garage in 1944. In 1952, after her family had moved to the D. C. area, she discovered the Washington Science Fiction Association (was its secretary for a term and worked on Disclave 3), attended the Worldcon in Chicago, and began publishing her first fanzine in SAPS. The fanzine's full name was Die Zeitschrift fur Vollstandigen Unsinn (The Journal for Utter Nonsense); that was soon abbreviated to The Zed. She overthrew Walter Coslet from being OE of SAPS for overreaching. She was a member of The Cult.

At the Chicon she had met Poul Anderson, John W. Campbell jr., Anthony Boucher, Gordon R. Dickson, and many others. Correspondence with Anderson, during one year's study in the drama department and partying with physics and engineering majors at Catholic University, convinced her that scientists1 were more fun than actors and SF writers even more; she would rather have the life of a writer's wife in California than stay in school and try for the stage.

Poul was already making his living selling science fiction to Campbell and Boucher, some of it in collaboration with Dickson, when they had roomed in the same house in the University of Minnesota district. Campbell's Astounding and Boucher's F&SF couldn't support them fully, and he also whipped out space opera for the likes of Amazing and Planet Stories. When their daughter Astrid was born, Poul took a job at the Western Research Lab of the USDA.

They were both active in the Elves', Gnomes', and Little Men's Science Fiction, Chowder, and Marching Society, and were fully involved in SFCon, the Worldcon put on in San Francisco by the Little Men. Karen appeared at the masquerade as a typical Bergey Girl cover illustration for magazines such as Planet Stories. She later joined LASFS.

She had begun her costuming career at Chicon, and later won numerous regional and world convention costume prizes, including that "Countess Dracula" at Southgate (1958) which went on to be revived into "The Bat and the Bitten" with Astrid in St Louis, 1969. Another was a "Dragon Mistress" which fortunately did not come into competition with Bruce Pelz's "Heavy Trooper." She published the long-running FAPAzine, Goliard as well as Alif and also Calmatema for The Cult. Other fanzines included Vorpal Glass as well as miscellaneous one-shots.

Over the years she staged a number of fannish plays and filk operettas, including: Mag Net in 1956, Alice in Thrillingwonderland in the late 50's or early 60's, The Birth of a Notion(by Robert Bloch) in the 50's, HMS Trek-a-Star at Baycon in 1968, and Hatty, or St. Simon's Bride in 1995.

Awards, Honors and GoHships: