Robert Bloch

(April 5, 1917 – September 23, 1994)

Robert Bloch was a major early fan who was one of the people responsible for creating modern fandom who also — very successfully — turned pro. He was born in Milwaukee and in 1935 joined the Milwaukee Fictioneers. He was an early and active member of Wisconsin Fandom and Midwest fandom before moving to LA around 1960. He was one of the earliest pros to go on the Auction Bloch. He railed against the Beanie Brigade. He wrote for a large number of fanzines and some of his best fan writing was collected in The Eighth Stage of Fandom, published in 1962 by Advent Publishers.

He was Worldcon Fan Guest of Honor twice, at Torcon 1 and again at Torcon 2.

Unfortunately for fandom, after about 1960 he became so immersed in his professional career (see Vile Pro) that had little time for fanac, though he never forgot his fannish roots. He a frequent Worldcon toastmaster, Hugo presenter, or foil for his friend Isaac Asimov. He was heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft and was a member of the Lovecraft Circle.

Fannish publications included: The Birth of a Notion (a fannish play), Is Science Fiction in a Rut?, Lagniappe, Neo Fan's Guide, Science Fiction Fifty Yearly (for FAPA). He was a member of FAPA and Vanguard.

He won the 1959 Best Short Story Hugo for "That Hell-Bound Train" (and was nominated a number of times).

He received a nomination for the 1994 Best Non Fiction Book Hugo for his autobiography, Once Around the Bloch -- An Unauthorized Autobiography (Tor, 1993). He was also nominated for the 1978 Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo.

Other Awards, Honors and GoHships:

from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
The name of a vile pro. "Bloch is the Only True Ghod" was the gospel initiated by Vernon McCain, who received the Revelation in 1955 but, Bloch reports, was singularly lax in sacrificing any virgins. "Bloch is Superb" is the motto of Blochists; its popularity reached horrid heights when Dick Ellington had a rubber-stamp made with this phrase and Jack Harness had a set of pencils blazoned with the slogan. (To date no authenticated instances of tattooing have been uncovered.) This traces back to a letter in which Walt Willis was supposed to have suggested making up a rubber stamp with that legend, an obvious timesaver when commenting on any fanzine with Bloch material in it. But Dean Grennell, checking his back files, finds that in the original instance Willis' words were "Bloch was brilliant. (Will you makes me a rubber stamp for this?)" All fandom could be plunged into war [divided into two camps, the Superbists and the Brilliantinees] over a thing like this. In the mythology of congoing, Bloch, Korshak, Esbach and Evans were an inseparable fannish poker group; this idea was invented and popularized by Bob Tucker in 1952.

from Fancyclopedia 2 Supplement ca. 1960:
Dick Ellington's rubber stamp says "Bloch was superb", not "is".

See his autobiography: Once Around the Bloch -- An Unauthorized Autobiography

SF Encyclopedia entry