Monday, March 26, 2012

Index to autographs

For a general introduction to my collection of author autographs, click here. For a note about the science fiction authors, click here. Here is a complete alphabetized link list:

Autographs - Ray Bradbury



Besides enjoying his work, I've always admired Ray Bradbury for living in Los Angeles without driving a car. (See also my note on Frank Herbert.)

On the other hand, I'm with Cory Doctorow on Bradbury's silliness about others riffing on his titles

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Frank Herbert




I heard Frank Herbert speak at Rice University while I was an undergraduate there, probably around 1971. What I remember best about his talk was that he asked everyone to pledge never to buy a new internal combustion engine automobile. (Search for "combustion" on this web page, and you'll find the pledge.) I've always been known for my hatred of automobiles, and I jumped at the chance to take the pledge. (I've honored it, too, only buying used cars until 2006, when I bought my first new car, a hybrid Prius.)

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Samuel R. Delany


Samuel R. (Chip) Delany is one of my favorite writers. I own more books by him than by any other author. I've read his science fiction, his memoirs, his other non-fiction, his literary criticism, and his porn.

On a visit to New York City, I happened to spot a notice that he was going to be signing this new book at a Manhattan bookstore while I would still be in town. I bought the book, got his autograph, and asked if he ever visited Los Angeles. He basically said, "Not if I can help it."

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Philip José Farmer




Philip José Farmer

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Fritz Leiber


Fritz Leiber

(Index of autographs)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Autographs - Roger Zelazny





I'm pretty sure Roger Zelazny was one of the group of SF authors I went to hear at UCLA. He hid his annoyance well when presented with four books to sign.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - A. E. Van Vogt


A. E. Van Vogt

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Theodore Sturgeon



Theodore Sturgeon was one of the group of SF authors I went to hear at UCLA.
I'm also a believer in Sturgeon's Law: "90% of everything is crap."

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Norman Spinrad



Norman Spinrad

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Robert Silverberg



Robert Silverberg

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Thomas Disch



Thomas Disch

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Science Fiction authors

I have autographs from 14 science fiction authors, on 28 paperback SF books, one non-SF book, and one business card.

With some exceptions, I can no longer remember where I got each autograph. Almost all were collected in the 1970s and early 1980s. Here are four locations where I got multiple SF autographs:

  • A woman who was planning to publish an SF magazine organized a series of evening sessions at USC with SF writers. There were just a handful of us who regularly attended, so the talks were quite informal. I loved them, and gathered quite a few autographs, too. I do specifically recall Harlan Ellison and Larry Niven. Maybe A.E. Van Vogt. We also took a group field trip to Forrest J. Ackerman's Hollywood home, the Ackermansion.

  • An event at UCLA's Ackerman Union with several SF authors on stage, including Theodore Sturgeon and Robert Silverberg, maybe also Roger Zelazny.

  • Once (or was it twice?), I hung around outside the annual SFWA Nebula Awards Banquet with a bag of books, collecting autographs. I remember Ray Bradbury. I also remember Robert Heinlein, who looked so frail in his wheelchair with an attendant that I couldn't bring myself to bother him and ask for his autograph!

  • Book signing events at A Change of Hobbit bookstore.

Here's an alphabetized link list of the SF autographs I have:

(Complete index of autographs)

Autographs - Larry Niven




Larry Niven was one of the authors who came to the informal USC SF series I attended. Because we were a short distance from USC's Doheny Library, I remember Niven telling us that he was a descendant of the Dohenys.

(Index of autographs)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Autographs - Howard Cruse

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I always loved Howard Cruse's Wendel.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Stuart Timmons and Harry Hay

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Stuart Timmons is a personal friend. When The Trouble With Harry Hay was published, Stuart as biographer and Harry Hay as subject jointly signed the book at a bookstore event.



Stuart talked about and signed Gay L.A. at a get-together of our book discussion group. Stuart has attended the group irregularly. On this occasion, he brought a laptop computer and narrated a slide show about some of the stories in the book.

(Note: Years later, I got the co-author's autograph as well.)

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - MeatMen cartoonists

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A Different Light bookstore held a mass signing event for several of the contributors to this book. I've always loved cartoons and comic strips, both mainstream and not. This collection ranges from innocent to X-rated.



The above spread shows autographs by Gregoire, Jerry Mills, and Tim Barela. Of course, hand-drawn cartoons such as the one here by Mills are always a treat.



The above spread has an autograph by Sean and two autographs by Brad Parker. Parker's drawing on the left was printed in the book, and he added the personalized caption. Then, on the right, he drew the creature as I watched, and autographed it. Of all the autographs I collected that day in this book, the two by Parker are my favorites.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Nancy Freedman


I knew Nancy Freedman through her husband and frequent writing partner, Ben.

Ben Freedman interviewed and hired me as adjunct faculty at Occidental College, where I continued to teach part-time for 33 years. I met Nancy socially on several occasions. When The Seventh Stone was published, she again visited Oxy and signed the book for several of us. Ben's faculty office and mine were both in Fowler Hall, and adjacent for part of the time.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Ivy Bottini

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I think I first knew Ivy Bottini through the successful "No On 6" battle to defeat the 1978 Briggs Initiative. Later, in the 1980s, I worked with her and others to organize several conferences at Occidental for Whitman-Brooks (an LGBT organization of that era).

In 1990, Ivy was my real estate agent who helped me look for and then buy my first house, where I still live today.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Harlan Ellison


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Harlan Ellison was one of the authors who came to the series I attended at USC. Explanation of the first autograph above: At the end of the evening, I was juggling his two books and some other papers and asked for his autograph. He didn't have a pen, so I pulled a pen out of my pants pocket, used my teeth to pull off the cap, and, pen cap in teeth, handed him my pen.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Andrew Hodges


First, some background: Since my college days, I have always been interested in Alan Turing and his work. His premature death by apparent suicide always made me wonder whether he might have been gay. By 1981, there were a couple of published mentions that he was.

In his May 1981 Metamagical Themas column in Scientific American, Douglas Hofstadter wrote, "[Turing] was homosexual and was much persecuted for it. In the end it apparently got to be too much and he killed himself."

A few months later, when I found an email address for Hofstadter, I wrote and asked him about his sources. (Yes, I've been on email a very long time!) He replied, "A fellow named Andrew Hodges, in London, is writing what will probably be the definitive biography of Turing, and it will give all the details ... Why don't you write to him? His [postal] address is ..."

I struck up a correspondence with Hodges, and after his book was published in 1983, I helped arrange some of his speaking engagements about it in the U.S. He even stayed in my apartment in L.A. one time.

By the way, this is the centennial year of Turing's birth. There are many activities. Click here for details.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Bruce Lemerise

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Bruce Lemerise was a personal friend. He was a talented commercial illustrator. I crashed on his couch on several short visits to New York City. Bruce died of AIDS in 1989.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Gilbert Shelton


I must have obtained Gilbert Shelton's autograph at a bookstore when this book came out, but I can't remember! I was a fan of his from work such as the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and Wonder Wart-Hog.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Arthur C. Clarke


This is one of the few authors whose autograph I have without having met them in person. (Others are Allen Ginsberg and Paul Hawken.) This is also one of the few author autographs I have that's not in a book! In this case, my father attended a conference and briefly met Arthur C. Clarke. Knowing I would love it, my dad asked for Clarke's autograph for me. Not having a Clarke book handy, he used his name badge.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Steve Wozniak and Larry Wilde


In the early 1980s, I spent half of every summer in Palo Alto. A nearby bookstore held a book signing with the authors, Steve Wozniak and Larry Wilde, when this book came out. There was a crowd, but not as big as I was expecting. I guess seeing Woz in person wasn't as unusual for local folks as it was for me.

(Index of autographs)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Autographs - John Rechy


I'm pretty sure I got John Rechy's autograph when he spoke at USC (where he later taught creative writing for many years), and not at a bookstore. And I think it was a speech for the public, but it might have been for the Gay Student Union.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy

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I got Christopher Isherwood's autograph on two different occasions. I helped arrange a speaking engagement for him at USC's Gay Student Union. He agreed if we would provide transportation. I did the driving. My friend Kieran Prather (long ago dead of AIDS and still missed) and I went to Isherwood and Bachardy's Santa Monica Canyon home, where they invited us in for drinks. I remember Bachardy's paintings and drawings everywhere. Happily for me, Kieran provided most of the conversation while I drove. The GSU turnout was light, but Isherwood didn't seem to mind. Sometime during the evening, I got him to autograph The Berlin Stories.



Isherwood and Bachardy both came to A Different Light bookstore when My Guru and His Disciple was published. I bought a hardbound copy (gasp!) and got Isherwood to autograph it. When I saw the dedication and saw Don Bachardy quietly wandering the store's shelves, I asked for his autograph, too.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - David Hockney


I got both of these autographs when David Hockney appeared at A Different Light bookstore. As you can see, when Hockney autographs a book, he crosses out his printed name, "replacing" it with his autograph. (The cover of this book shows the results of being in a stack of books, with sunlight hitting only part of the cover over many months. It's still in a stack these days, but out of the sun.)



This is a tiny book, maybe 2 inches by 3 inches and about 60 pages, with black and white Hockney etchings every page or two.

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Jorge Luis Borges

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I heard Jorge Luis Borges speak at USC's Bovard Auditorium. I asked for his autograph after the speech. Borges was blind. His assistant positioned my book and Borges' hand, and Borges scrawled the illegible autograph you see here.

(Index of autographs)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Autographs - Isaac Bashevis Singer

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In August 1966, when I was 15, I spent two weeks at a Jewish arts camp in the Catskills. I was one of four "campership" winners at Temple Beth-El in San Antonio. I think it was because I was in my high school band and a good student generally.

Isaac Bashevis Singer, later to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, was one of several distinguished visitors who stopped by the camp. I bought this book at the camp and asked for his autograph. As you can see (click the image to enlarge), he misread my name from the inside front cover, signing to "Rooney J Hoffman"

(Index of autographs)

Autographs - Ken Kesey

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I went to hear Ken Kesey speak at USC's Dedeaux Field baseball field - an unusual venue. I had a number of items I hoped to get him to autograph, starting, of course, with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Before the talk began, I walked onto the field and asked him to sign the book.

When he finished, I handed him the second one:



He grinned and asked my name, and gave me one of my most treasured autographs. You must click the image to read what the page is about and what he wrote.

Now that we were on intimate terms, I asked for two more autographs:


(Index of autographs)