Thursday, October 22, 2020


Sad news. Richard Lupoff, science fiction writer, mystery author, radio celebrity, non-fiction writer, and friend, passed away October 20 at the age of 85. I'm still reeling from the news, but I'll update this post shortly.

Richaard Lupoff's Detective Fiction
  • The Comic Book Killer (1988)
  • The Classic Car Killer (1992)
  • The Bessie Blue Killer (1994)
  • The Sepia Siren Killer (1994)
  • The Cover Girl Killer (1995)
  • The Silver Chariot Killer (1996)
  • The Radio Red Killer (1997)
  • One Murder at a Time (associated short fiction) (2001)
  • The Emerald Cat Killer (2012)
  • Rookie Blues (one-off) (2012)
  • Killer's Dozen: Thirteen Mystery Tales

Read Richard Lupoff's post on Mystery Fanfare.

From Locus:

Richard Allen Lupoff was born February 21, 1935 in New York. He met Pat on a blind date in 1957, and they were married the following year. The Lupoffs were active in comics and SF fandom starting in the 1960s, hosting meetings of the (Second) Futurian Society in Manhattan and helping to found the Fanoclasts. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1970 he worked in the computer industry, including for IBM. The Lupoffs soon settled in Northern California.

A series of Lupoff’s articles on comics from Xero became the basis for essay collection All in Color for a Dime (1970, co-edited with Don Thompson). The Best of Xero, with Pat Lupoff, appeared in 2004 and was a finalist for the Best Related Book Hugo Award.

Lupoff’s debut novel was SF adventure One Million Centuries (1967). He published numerous novels in the ‘70s, including Sacred Locomotive Flies (1971), Nebula Award finalist Sword of the Demon (1977), The Triune Man (1976), The Crack in the Sky (1976; as Fool’s Hill, 1978), Sandworld (1976), Lisa Kane (1976), and Space War Blues (1978), the latter expanding his Nebula Award-nominated story “With the Bentfin Boomer Boys on Little Old New Alabama” from Again, Dangerous Visions (1972). Into the Aether (1974) was adapted as comic The Adventures of Professor Thintwhistle and His Incredible Aether Flyer with Steve Stiles for Heavy Metal in 1980, collected in 1991.

In the ‘80s he wrote the Twin Planet series, Circumpolar! (1984) and Countersolar! (1987) terms. The Sun’s End series had Sun’s End (1984) and Galaxy’s End (1988). Standalones include alternate history Lovecraft’s Book (1985) and SF The Forever City (1987). An early version of Lovecraft’s Book, long thought lost, was discovered and published as Marblehead in 2007.

A master of pastiche, Lupoff wrote a series of short parodies of other SF writer under the name Ova Hamlet, collected as The Oval Hamlet Papers (1975). Notable stories include Hugo Award finalist “After the Dreamtime” (1974) and Hugo and Nebula Award nominee “Sail the Tide of Mourning” (1975). His time-loop story “12:01 PM” (1973) became short film 12:01 PM (1990) and TV movie 12:01 (1993). Some of his stories were collected in Before… 12.01… And After (1996), Claremont Tales (2001), Claremont Tales II (2001), Terrors (2005), Visions (2009; expanded 2012), Dreams (2011; expanded 2012), Dreamer’s Dozen (2015), and The Doom that Came to Dunwich (2017).

Lupoff was an expert on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, helping to bring his work back into print in the ‘60s and writing about him extensively. He also wrote Buck Rogers tie-ins under the name Addison E. Steele. He contributed novels to Philip José Farmer’s shared world project The Dungeon and to Daniel Pinkwater’s Melvinge of the Metaverse series. His non-fiction includes The Reader’s Guide to Barsoom and Amtor (1963), Edgar Rice Burroughs: Master of Adventure (1965), Barsoom: Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Martian Vision (1976), essay collection Writer at Large (1998), autobiographies Writer, Volume 1 (2014) and Writer, Volume 2 (2014), Where Memory Hides: A Writer’s Life (2016), Writer, Volume Three (2016), and Writer, Volume Four (2020).

He edited numerous collections and anthologies, including The Comic-Book Book (1973, with Don Thompson, expanded 1998), What If? #1: Stories that Should Have Won the Hugo (1980) and two additional volumes in 1981, and The Two-Timers (1981, with Fender Tucker). He co-hosted literary-focused radio show Probabilities in Berkeley CA from 1977 to 1995, when it was renamed Cover to Cover; he left the show in 2001.


Sally Richards said...

He was such a good person and an extraordinary writer - always willing to put in his honest .02 and have a conversation. He was a really grand conversationalist because he was a bit of an expert on everything. He loved research and finding some new fact that had eluded him was always a surprise. He was also giving of his time to new writers. When Pat passed it was so hard for me to imagine him without her. It must have been a wonderful time in the cosmos when they found each other again.

Todd Mason said...