"Rotsler's religion is the joy of life"
- Robert Silverberg

"...a genius and a remarkably gifted talent dealing in evocative symbolism"
- Robert Bloch

"To say Bill Rotsler is a remarkable man is a sad bottom-line indeed; inadequate"
- Harlan Ellison

"...amazing and a great talent"
- Stan Freberg

Random Rotsler

As a way of celebrating William Charles Rotsler's incredible creative diversity (writer/sculptor/photographer/filmmaker/cartoonist) we're featuring random samplings of his work ... enjoy!


Authorized Star Trek biographer's epic tale of a man in quest of a lover who vanished literally before his eyes, of asteroid spaceships, of a quest across Mars, of a strange destiny he never dreamed. A Nebula and Hugo Award Finalist, now a free rental for Kindle Unlimited, or own for only $2.99.

Click here to get William Rotsler's Patron of the Arts free on Kindle unlimited.


From the author of Star Trek II: Biographies, the man who gave Uhura her official first name: Nyota Uhura (Swahili for "star").  

"A fine novel!" –Harlan Ellison (tm)

Random Rotsler

As a way of celebrating William Charles Rotsler's incredible creative diversity (writer/sculptor/photographer/filmmaker/cartoonist) we're featuring random samplings of his work ... enjoy!

Read 5 Time Hugo Winner William Rotsler's Patron Of The Arts ($2.99 - Free on Amazon Unlimited) and The Far Frontier ($2.99)

Announcing the Republication of William Charles Rotsler's PATRON OF THE ARTS

Digital Parchment Services

Is Proud to Announce the Republication of William Charles Rotsler's Nebula, Hugo and Locus Award Finalist Saga

(with bonus content)

For Immediate Release

Digital Parchment Services, through its Strange Particle Press science fiction imprint, and the estate of William Charles Rotsler are proud to announce the exclusive publication of an enhanced edition of Rotsler's 1974 novel Patron of the Arts ... based on his triple-award nominee fiction novelette of the same name.

Born in 1926, William Charles Rotsler was truly a renaissance man: acclaimed novelist and short story writer, photographer and filmmaker, much-admired artist and illustrator and – how he is perhaps best remembered – and as a warm and special part of science fiction fandom.  Star Trek fans particularly owe Rotsler a debt for giving Lt. Uhura the first name of Nyota.

Rotsler had a hand in locating the fossils, crystals and stones for the Nebula Award trophies as well as receiving five Hugo awards for his cartoon work that appeared in fanzines, convention program books, and magazines such as Locus. To honor Rotsler, The Southern California Institute for Fan Interests created the William Rotsler Art Award in 1998.  William Rotsler died in southern California in 1997.

"Patron of the Arts gives us a future where art is a major driver in the culture. He envisions new technologies that deepen our arts and alter how we see our world. Rotsler at the top of his form." –Gregory Benford

Brian Thorne was a billionaire. There were only two things he cared about: women and art. And because he could afford it, he paid the world's finest artist to combine the two, to make a work of art of the unforgettable, incomparable Madelon in the new and extraordinary artform: the sensatron. Then Madelon and the artist disappeared – through the sensatron. And all the money in the world could not help Brian Thorne. To solve the secret of the sensatron, he was strictly on his own...

That is how Brian Thorne, billionaire, found himself helpless—caught in a magnificent crystal creation that grew on Mars, and without any resources even if he could get away from the killers who trapped him there. For although they knew he was Brian Thorne, he couldn't prove it. To find Madelon and the sensatron, he had gone to considerable trouble to cover his tracks. Now he wished he had not been so thorough in turning his back on the luxury-lined and very well-guarded life he lived back on Earth. Now, when it was too late!

"A fine novel!" –Harlan Ellison

This new edition of Patron of the Arts features special bonus content – including a foreword by Nebula winner Gregory Benford, an afterword by Lambda finalist M.Christian, and a biographical sketch written by the author himself. The enhanced ebook version is available now – and a premier trade paperback edition will be coming in January, 2015.

Coming soon from Digital Parchment Services will be new releases of William Rotsler's novels To the Land of the Electric Angel, Zandra, The Hidden Worlds of Zandra, and Far Frontier, as well as a collection of Rotsler's short stories.

Read the ebook edition of this enthralling science fiction saga now only $2.99 for Kindle at Amazon (free for Kindle Unlimited).

Memories Of William Rotsler

In celebration of the republication of William's Rotsler's novels (and more!) be sure and check out these interviews about Bill and his amazing life with some of his great friends, including acclaimed novelist Tim Powers and fandom legends Bjo and John Trimble ... with more coming very, very soon!

Our LOSCON Program Book AD - Featuring SF Books Distributed By DPS and Futures-Past Editions By LASFS Members

Check this out: the lovely Digital Parchment Services/Futures-Past Editions ad we will be running in the LOSCON Program Book ... featuring many SF books by current and past LASFS members ... like William Rotsler!

Tim Powers On William Rotsler!

We are very pleased to be able to bring you this wonderful interview with the celebrated author Tim Powers ... featuring some touching reminiscences about his experiences with William Rotsler:

Tim Powers is the author of numerous novels, including Last Call, Declare, Three Days to Never, and On Stranger Tides, the inspiration for the blockbuster film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, starring Johnny Depp and Penélope Cruz. 

Tim Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare.
1.  How did you first meet William Rotsler?

It was at a Westercon in San Francisco in 1971, when I was nineteen. I had gone there with the rare book dealer Roy Squires, and he introduced me to Rotsler and Paul Turner, and they asked me if I'd be interested in working for them when we were all back home in the L.A. area. The work sounded informal and irregular and paid in cash, so I said sure. I was of course already aware of Rotsler's drawings in fanzines.

2. What was your first impression of Bill?

He seemed big and confident and worldly and humorous -- the sort of guy you're flattered (especially if you're nineteen) will pay attention to you.

3. Can you share some fun anecdotes about Bill?  We know that he was (ahem) quite the character....

I remember one time we went to a Mexican bar to hire guys to dress up as Arabs and be extras in "The Street of a Thousand Pleasures" - the offer was five bucks a day and the opportunity to see naked women dance, and there were lots of takers. On the way back to the van, while we were crossing a bridge over a culvert, Bill felt a hand lifting his wallet out of his back pocket; Bill spun around and rolled the guy right over the rail. I don't know how the would-be pickpocket fared, but Bill kept his wallet. I was enormously impressed.

4.  Our mutual great friend, Paul Turner, and fantastic pal to Bill Rotsler, asked us to ask you about Bill's (ahem) 'adult' film Street Of A Thousand Pleasures ...?

I carried equipment around and helped build lots of sets for it - cutting walls and turrets out of plywood and painting them with a mix of paint and sand - but I wasn't there when they were filming. I think that was out of consideration for my impressionable youth. But I got to spend a number of nights at their house up on Ridpath in Laurel Canyon, and I vividly remember swimming in the pool, and hanging out with Norman Spinrad and George Clayton Johnson, and drinking beer and eating spaghetti with chili while Cat Stevens' "Tea For the Tillerman" played on the stereo.

5.  Can you please share with us some thoughts about Bill's amazing creativity?  His work as an author, cartoonist, photographer, filmmaker, etc?

Well, the guy was the complete artist, in every form I can think of except maybe needlepoint. Actually, I think he'd have been more successful if his skills had been limited to one or two areas! But they were all things he was very good at, and he wanted to play with them all.

6.  Last, but not least, could you share with us how William Rotsler affected your life ... personally as well as professionally?

He, along with Philip K. Dick, impressed me with the chaotic life of a freelancer - stretches of wonderful idle time interspersed with periods of intense work, and how you have to be able to fully enjoy both. Financial reverses pass, and recur, and pass again. Roll with the punches and don't give up.

Read 5 Time Hugo Winner William Rotsler's Patron Of The Arts ($2.99 - Free on Amazon Unlimited) and The Far Frontier ($2.99)

Out Now: The NEW Edition Of William Rotsler's PATRON OF THE ARTS!

Digital Parchment Services (distributed by Futures-PastEditions), through it's Strange Particle Press science fiction imprint, and the estate of William Charles Rotsler is extremely pleased to announce the publication of a brand new edition of William Rotsler's Nebula and Hugo finalist novel, Patron Of The Arts. 

This new edition features never before seen content – including a forward by the Nebula winning Dr. Gregory Benford.  The enhanced ebook version is available now – and a premier trade paperback edition will be coming out in January, 2015.

Coming soon, also from the author's estate and Digital Parchment Services, will be William Rotsler's To The Land Of The Electric Angel, Far Frontier, a collection of his short stories, and a book of interviews by and about William Rotsler.

"Patron of the Arts gives us a future where art is a major driver in the culture. He envisions new technologies that deepen our arts and alter how we see our world. Rotsler at the top of his form." –Gregory Benford

Brian Thorne was a billionaire. There were only two things he cared about: women and art. And because he could afford it, he paid the world's finest artist to combine the two, to make a work of art of the unforgettable, incomparable Madelon in the new and extraordinary artform: the sensatron. Then Madelon and the artist disappeared – through the sensatron. And all the money in the world could not help Brian Thorne. To solve the secret of the sensatron, he was strictly on his own...

That is how Brian Thorne, billionaire, found himself helpless—caught in a magnificent crystal creation that grew on Mars, and without any resources even if he could get away from the killers who trapped him there. For although they knew he was Brian Thorne, he couldn't prove it. To find Madelon and the sensatron, he had gone to considerable trouble to cover his tracks. Now he wished he had not been so thorough in turning his back on the luxury-lined and very well-guarded life he lived back on Earth. Now, when it was too late!

"A fine novel!" –Harlan Ellison

Special introductory price $2.99 in Kindle at Amazon (free for Kindle Unlimited.)

ISBN: 9781615085828



By William Rotsler

William ("Bill" to his friends and fellow fans) Rotsler was a science fiction author, whose novelette, later expanded as a novel, Patron of the Arts, was a finalist for both the Hugo and Nebula awards. The following is part 1 of a letter Rostler wrote in response to The Best of Trek 10, a paperback from New American Library/Signet, reprinting material of interest from the legendary fanzine Trek. The letter was then printed in The Best of Trek 13

In part it is a response to complementary, but occasionally erroneous pieces about Rotsler's own Star Trek books written for Wanderer, a young readers imprint of Simon & Schuster publishing. Rotsler had followed Star Trek from the beginning, and approached the work both as a fan and a professional science fiction writer. (Check this blog for part 2 of this fascinating missive, "More than You may Have Ever Wanted to Know about My Writing Star Trek Books.")

I was thumbing through The Best of Trek #10 when I discovered—to my surprise—not one but three references to my book Star Trek II Biographies. I thought you might be interested in reading a few words on these books, and on the references to them.

  First of all, the very fact anyone knows about the book is astonishing to me. I've gone up to dealers at conventions (but not Star Trek cons) who are selling tables of nothing but Trek material and they've never heard of the book. This is not to beef up my royalties, for I get none—it and the six other Star Trek books were all "buy-outs" as they say in the trade. But that book, over the other six, I thought would be of more than ordinary interest to Trekkies. I've done about three dozen books for Wanderer Books, which is a division of Simon & Shuster, just like Pocket Books. This includes the first six of the "new" Tom Swift series (with Sharman DiVono, who wrote the Star Trek comic strip for a while), also movie novelizations and originals based on franchised characters. Some of them, including two Star Trek books, were interactive (kinda), or "plot-your-own-adventure" books, as the publisher calls them.

The distribution on these books is terrible. In checking over one hundred book stores in Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Baltimore, San Diego, Chicago, and Los Angeles, I saw a few of the Tom Swifts, but only one or two copies of two or three books.

Anyway, me doing the books was a big surprise to [my then publisher] Pocket Books, who thought they had a lock. But they do novels, which left me plot-your-own (2), real-little-kiddy-books (2), short stories (2), and the biographies (1). This all was my editor's idea, not mine. So there you have one correction, as one of your writers had me doing novels.

The other correction comes on Uhura's name. I read The Best of Trek backward, and so did not come to Nicky Jill Nicholson's "The Naming Game" until I had seen several references to "Penda" Uhura. I totally agree with Nicky's uncompromising statement ... but perhaps for different reasons.

My editor, Wendy Barish, wanted me to do the biographies of the Starfleet characters and I liked that idea, but I simply did not want to rehash old material. I wanted to give the fans something new . . . and I didn't want to bore myself doing it. So I conceived the "dossier" format. This included full name, serial number, birth place, dates, commendations, etc.

Another thing you must understand is that Star Trek is licensed individually; that is, the series is licensed separately from each film, each of which is licensed individually, etc. Theoretically, since this book was Star Trek II, I could only use material in the second movie. Obviously, you couldn't do the bios on that film alone, so everyone simply paid no attention, tactfully, and firmly.

This format, then, required the addition of first names, family, serial numbers, and so on where they had not previously been noted. I used (1) my own memory; (2) Bjo Trimble's Star Trek Concordance; (3) Bjo's memory; (4) other obvious sources. I did not read any but the one Star Trek novel I had already read—there were simply too many; I had neither time nor inclination. I was, after all, licensed, ordered, and restricted to Star Trek II (sorta). So if it wasn't in the series, the two movies, the Concordance, or behind-the-scenes-"well-established"-fact, I ignored it.

Example: I had made up a whole history for Sulu, but Pocket Books (who had bowed to the inevitable and the "resident Trekkie" read it and approved) said that Vonda McIntyre had given Sulu a history, so I used that. My whole idea was to use all reasonable sources, to make it fit in. I used some starship names from another book.

Example: Spock had never had a serial number, so I gave him WR39-733-906, which had been assigned to me some years before by the U.S. Army. McCoy got my phone number as of that date. Kirk graduated from my high school and had my sister's birthday. Chekov had my father's. McCoy had my daughter's, and he was married on the day I was married and divorced on the day I was writing it. Scott was born on my other sister's birthday; Uhura was born on my ex-wife's birthday, which is the same as our daughter's.

Example: Ships, characters, officers are named after fans and friends. (You gotta name 'em sumpin'!)

Example: Naming Uhura was the most fun. I looked through one of those twenty-six-language dictionaries (which never seem to have the word you want) and found Nyota under "star." I got Nichelle Nichols's phone number from Bjo—I'd never met Miss Nichols—and called her, told her who I was and what I doing. She was very nice, very polite. I was careful to say I had picked a name for her character—not her—and had checked it with Gene Roddenberry.

"That's nice," she said.

"It's Nyota," I said.

"Oh, that's nice," she says, still polite.

"It means 'star' in Swahili," I said.

"Oh, wowww!" she exclaimed.

You see, I took this attitude: I was writing the official biographies. What I said goes. So "Nyota" is "official," not Penda, not anything else. (And Nichelle liked it.) I admit this is a cavalier attitude, but it was my book, so there.

I larded the book with friends, friends' books, puns, and insults (visible only to friends.).

I think the most fun of all was doing the bibliography. Once I had conceived of the format of drawing from reports, letters, official files, etc., it was an obvious step to books. If the Enterprise crew had saved the Earth that many times, it seems perfectly natural to assume there would be books (or what passed for books, rather, what will pass for books then), documentaries, etc. So I jotted down a few obvious titles, quit work, and went in to watch TV. Somewhere in the evening I thought of a title—just popped into my head—Klingon Cuisine. About one in the morning or so, my usual beddy-bye time, I stopped by my typewriter to make a note of it ... and another title occurred to me.

Next thing I knew it was 4:55 A.m. and I had written five thousand words of bibliography. I used the name of every single writer who had worked on the series; I had used most of the membership list of the Los Angeles Fantasy Society (almost always changing first names or using a first and using the street they lived on). For example, Kalisher Pelz became the author of Klingon Cuisine because Bruce Pelz lives on Kalisher Street. I used the "real" names of historians and others, mentioned in the Star Trek mythos. I switched names—Jim
Bearcloud and George Barr live together, so they became the co-authors of Art of the Stars, James Barr and George Bearcloud. There is not one author who is not based on an "authorized" Star Trek character or mixed'n'matched names of friends. Randy Lofficier becomes Randall; Lola Johnson, wife of George Clayton Johnson who we often refer to as Lola Clayton, became L. Clayton Johnson, etc.

For years I have been using the name of Gregg Calkins, ex-WW II marine sergeant, devoted SF fan,
and friend—and each time I bumped him a grade. In Biographies he is a fleet admiral. I can't get you much higher, buddy . . . except promotion to civilian.

And so on.

This was the most fun to do of the Trek books, but later they asked me to cut twenty-five hundred words, so I took it all out of the bibliography and didn't try to balance things out; so probably I lost some of the original series writers.


A Message About William Rotsler From the Eaton Collection

If you don't know about the Eaton Collection at the University of California, Riverside then you should: it's "the largest publicly accessible collection of science fiction, fantasy, horror and utopian and dystopian literature in the world."  

And the Eric Milenkiewicz of the Eaton Collection just sent along a very touching letter about William Rotsler's contribution to science fiction fandom. 

Digital Parchment Services and the estate of William Rotsler are working very hard to remind people of his amazing contributions to science fiction fandom, and this letter is a call for others to help with an academic contribution.  If you are interested, please contact The Eaton Collection.

William “Bill” Rotsler 

WILLIAM “Bill” Rotsler spent a lifetime immersed in the world of science fiction moving seamlessly from fan to published author to celebrated artist. In the more than fifteen years since his death the name Rotsler still resonates within the science fiction community and a quick review of his contributions to the genre reveals why his legacy has endured thus far. Author of four published novels as well as the novelette Patron of the Arts, which was nominated for Nebula and Hugo awards (1972-1973), publisher of numerous fanzines including Masque and Kteic Magazine, and longtime cameraman for film historian and critic Bill Warren are all items on Rotsler’s résumé. Yet, perhaps his greatest contribution to science fiction came as a cartoonist and fan artist for which Rotsler won four Hugo Awards (1975, 1979, 1996, and 1997) in the Best Fan Artist category. 
Surprisingly, there has been very little scholarly interest in Rotsler’s work following his death despite the notoriety that he had achieved in life. Albeit one of the more fascinating archival collections in the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy at the University of California, Riverside, the William Rotsler papers are also one of the most underutilized. This collection contains everything from original artwork and unpublished manuscripts to fanzines and sketchbooks. Manuscript drafts for unpublished works like A Pot of Pourii and early mock-ups of fanzines such as that for the Tattooed Dragon Strikes Again are included. Yet, it is Rotsler’s artwork that truly highlights this collection. His sketchbooks and meticulously mounted, captioned, and dated cartoons represent a variety of themes from alien profiles, landscapes, and spaceships to robotics, weapons, and the cosmos. These drawings document some of the major themes that were both influential and popular in science fiction during the mid-late twentieth century offering scholars a unique glimpse into the fan perspective. Rotsler’s cartoons also extend well beyond the boundaries of science fiction to include life, love, and interpersonal relationships, opening additional avenues for future scholarly research.
William “Bill” Rotsler’s legacy as it relates to science fiction will continue to be discussed and shaped by time. Hopefully his literary and artistic output, which will be preserved as a vital component of the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy, will lend a voice to this conversation as it is discovered and studied by future generations of science fiction scholars. 

Eric Milenkiewicz
Rivera Library
University of California, Riverside

Read 5 Time Hugo Winner William Rotsler's Patron Of The Arts ($2.99 - Free on Amazon Unlimited) and The Far Frontier ($2.99) 

Get Better Soon, Harlan

(from the Digital Parchment Services blog)

We just heard from Josh Olsen that the legendary Harlan Ellison has suffered a stroke:
My dearest of dear friends Harlan Ellison had a stroke last week. A lot of people are asking, so here’s the deal - He’s comfortable, and resting in hospital. If one was going to have a stroke, this was the one to have.

I was with him the day before yesterday when the specialist who checks verbal and memory impact was there, and it was like an SNL skit. She’s checking for slurring and loss of memory, and he’s being quintessential Harlan - talking a mile a minute, and throwing out more obscure references per minute than anyone can possibly keep up with. (He did, at one point, forget the name of an actor with a wooden leg who played a supporting part on one of his favorite radio shows back in the forties, but last time I talked to him, he couldn’t remember the name of the key grip on Passage To Marseilles, so it's probably safe to say that’s nothing to worry about. )
I can’t say he’s fine, because he’s had a stroke... but he’s as well as well can be under the circumstances, and had all of the nurses laughing. And he complained a lot. So, you know... Harlan.
If you’re the type who prays, it’s probably not worth it, because he doesn’t believe in that shit. That said, it will annoy him, so go ahead. He’s resting and cantankerous, and completely Harlan.
We wish Harlan the absolute best and a very speedy recovery - he was a immense and beautiful friend to William Rotsler ... as well as many others...

Read 5 Time Hugo Winner William Rotsler's Patron Of The Arts ($2.99 - Free on Amazon Unlimited) and The Far Frontier ($2.99)

An Interview On William Rotsler With John and Bjo Trimble

Here's a very special treat: a brand new interview with John and Bjo Trimble on their friendship with William Rotsler! 

On behalf of the Rotsler Estate we want to thank John and Bjo for this: a loving tribute to a fandom favorite from two fandom legends!

When and how did you first meet Bill Rotsler?

(John): Some time in the late 50’s, after I got out of the Air Force & back in touch with LA sf fandom.

(Bjo): I met Rotsler soon after I ‘discovered’ SF fandom, but I could not tell you exactly when. At the time, I was rather dazzled at being a rare female SF reader in a large pool of male readers, so one guy seemed pretty much like all the others. Over time, I realized that some of the males rose like cream to the top. At that time I began to actually ‘see’ Rotsler.

What was your first impression of him?

(John): He was witty, sometimes ascerbic, talented & likeable.

(Bjo): He was all those things, along with being one of the first really sensitive males I’d ever met. He came across on the surface as a wry cynic but underneath he really felt deeply for others.

How, if at all, did that impression change over the years?

(John): As I learned more about him, I realized that he was knowledgeable & talented in ways that weren’t apparent to the casual fan acquaintance. For instance, most fans were completely unaware that he had been an award-winning sculptor, working mainly in bronze, creating major pieces for individuals, churches and public buildings. He couldn’t afford a mask & respirator at that time & that was one of the things that contributed to his health problems later in life.

(Bjo): As our friendship blossomed, I realized that here was a man who liked me for me, not because I was someone’s girlfriend. That meant a lot to me. By this time I had come to appreciate what a talented and versatile artist he really was. This includes his wonderful photography; he could make any woman look beautiful and glamorous.

Were you around when he was making any of his famed "nudie" movies or photo shoots?

(John): I wasn’t present at the shoots, but met some of the models and saw some of the pictures before they saw print.

(Bjo): He would often introduce himself as a “naked lady photographer” just to see people’s reactions. I wasn’t at any of his nudie shoots, but I did show one of his models how to use makeup more effectively, since I did makeup in college theater. Rotsler’s Christmas cards were always photos of him, looking profoundly smug, surrounded in some artistic manner by nude women. The cards were so beautifully done that we could tape them to our walls along with other cards, and few people thought the cards were prurient.

Did you ever collaborate with him on any projects?

(John): Bjo & I worked with him on “Little Red Riding Hood” (Bjo was the title character & adman Ken Soule was the Big Bad Wolf). We also helped with “Rock Fight” a stop motion cartoon film.

(Bjo): He & I would get into cartoon duels (on rolls of shelf paper!) anywhere we could make room to get down on the floor and draw. This was especially popular at Forry Ackerman’s annual birthday parties & we’d leave the results for Forry to send to overseas fans. Even when other and far less talented cartoonists than Rotsler would horn in on the game, he was always kind to them.

He seems to have been a kind man. Did you ever have any experiences in that regard?

(John): After an all night prepwork session for the backgrounds for “Little Red Riding Hood,” Bjo, Rotsler & I (& fellow fan Ernie Wheatley) went to Cantors (the iconic Jewish deli on Faifax Ave) for breakfast. As we were finishing up & preparing get up to go pay our tab, Bill noticed a man sitting alone in a booth not far from us. It was Mel Blanc, the voice Bugs Bunny & Elmer Fudd among other characters. He was recovering from a horrible auto accident & was only just beginning to go out again. Rotsler grabbed a placement, turned it over and he & Bjo turned it into a “We appreciate Mel LeBlanc” certificate, which we slipped onto his table as we passed by toward the cash register. We looked back to see him looking around with a big grin on his face.

(Bjo): Unknown to many, he was always ready to help a friend, or even an acquaintance, down on their luck. Though he was never a wealthy man, he probably gave more money away than many a rich man ever did. It was a custom for fans to go for snacks after a LASFS meeting. When he knew that a student SF fan didn’t have much money, the kid’s bill was somehow handed to Rotsler. He always waved off grateful thanks.

Were you in contact with him when he was writing Patron of the Arts? If so do you have a story or two to share?

(John): He told us he was writing a novel, but we weren’t really involved.

(Bjo): We were very interested, however our copy of Patron of the Arts disappeared from our house before we ever had a chance to read it. We had to track down someone else’s copy to read. 

He also wrote some Star Trek books, did you have any contact with him during that period. If so, can you tell us a bit about that?

(John): He used Bjo’s “Star Trek Concordance” as a primary reference when he was writing those books & complimented her on how skillfully she had reconciled the many unavoidable inconsistancies in filming the series.

(Bjo): He consulted with us on several facets of the Trek universe that he planned to introduce through his Trek books. He liked to sit around with both of us, talking about it. One thing that always bothered him, for some reason, was that neither Sulu nor Uhura had a first name. Chekov did, so why not these two? So he carefully researched some names for them. They were so right for the characters that the names were subsequently adopted into the Star Trek canon, and used by other Trek authors.

Bill was also a fan, can you talk about that side of him?

(John): Rotsler contributed thousands of drawings and cartoons to fanzines over his many years, demanding nothing in return. He participated in club activities and conventions without ever getting involved in the politics of any of them; a great (& rare) achievement.

(Bjo): He thoroughly enjoyed most fans, though he was not always an active participant. This was due more to time and money than anything else. His impromptu cartoons were freely given to anyone who wanted them. However, he had little use for malicious gossips and downright mean fans, and always stepped in to encourage someone who had been put down by another fan.

Bill was certainly a renaissance man – and a huge SF fan as well as a friend of fandom – might you have a few stories of conventions and events you shared?

(John): “Rotsler’s Rules” were pointers he wrote for masquerade participants (“Those who are well larded should not go leotarded”), hoping to make them better. They hold as true today as when he wrote them. He also ran a few panels to try to teach fans how to flirt with the opposite sex without being overbearing or crude. He loved having our (then teenaged) daughter Lora on those panels as a prime example of someone who knew how to flirt without any serious side to the flirting.

At one convention where the coffee shop food was terrible, Harlan Ellison was served a sunny-side up egg that was positively ossified. He was outraged. Rotsler took the egg, turned drew on it to turn it into a cartoon and we hung it up in the Art Show. The hotel management was not amused and tried to make us take it down, but we all pointed out that it was now a work of art.

(Bjo): One major thing about Rotsler is that when he enjoyed himself, he showed it. So at conventions, it was common to see him sitting around with SF writers and artists, watching the passing parade, and delighting in the event. He would often draw and toss out cartoons as fast as his felt-nib marker could go across paper. Or a saucer. Or a woman’s breast. Whatever was handy to draw on. The egg art was a prime example of his pixie sense of humor.

If you could leave SF fandom with a memorial to Bill Rotsler what would it be?

(John): Perhaps a book showcasing all the man’s incredible talents, but even that wouldn’t be adequate.

(Bjo): A book would have to be a marvelous ‘coffee table’ deal, full of surprises on every page. It could be done, but a very talented person would have to take on this project. I’d hate to see it in the hands of someone who never knew Rotsler. After seeing the Dr. Seuss sculpture garden, with life-sized Seuss critters, I think it would be highly appropriate to have such a thing for Rotsler, with bronzes of his main characters. Perhaps not a full garden of them, but a set of miniatures would be just fine. It would suit Rotsler’s sense of humor.

BTW: We knew of Rotsler’s daughter, but never knew he had a son. Just goes to show….


Wonderful Rotsler Strip from Vertex Magazine Vol. 2 #25, December 1974

From the great Paul Turner comes this scan of William Rotsler's cartoon strip from the December 1974 issue of Vertex magazine:


The Books Of William Rotsler (A Work In Progress)

Here's a work-in progress list covering the phenomenal number of books that William Rostler wrote in his career.



Patron of the Arts
To The Land of the Electric Angel
The Far Frontier 
Science Fictionisms (Editor)
The Zandra Trilogy:
1. Zandra
2. The Hidden Worlds of Zandra


Inside the Golden Age of Erotic Cinema Trilogy:
1. Contemporary Erotic Cinema
2. Girls Who Do Stag Movies
3. Superstud: Men who Do Stag Movies
All About Swinging
Super Tongue


Shiva Descending


1. Grease 2
2. Iron Man: And Call My Killer...MODOK!
3. Doctor Strange: Nightmare
4. Star Trek III: The Vulcan Treasure
5. Star Trek II Short Stories
6. Star Trek III Short Stories
7. Star Trek II: Distress Call
8. Star Trek II Biographies
9. A-Team: Defense against terror
10. Vice Squad [movie tie-in]
11. Arachnophobia: Official Movie Adaptation
12. Staying Alive [sequel to Saturday Night Fever]
13. Shipwrecked [movie tie in]
14. Secrets (Joanie Loves Chachi, Book 1)
15. Arachnophobia
16. The Pirate Movie
17. Mr. Merlin, Episode 2: An Original Novel
18. Maui Mystery: A Magnum, P.I. Plot Your Own Adventure Based on the Television Series
19. Mr. Merlin, Episode 1
20. The Love Boat #1: Voyage of Love
21. The Goonies
22. Mr. Merlin, Episode 2: An Original Novel
23. The Goonies
24. Maui Mystery: A Magnum, P.I. Plot Your Own Adventure
25. Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger [as by John Ryder Hall]
26. Blackhawk
27. Futureworld [as by John Ryder Hall]

Return to the Planet of the Ape:
1. Visions From Nowhere [as by William Arrow]
2. Man, the Hunted Animal [as by William Arrow]

Tom Swift:
1. The City in the Stars (1981) with Sharman DiVono [only as by Victor Appleton]
2. Terror on the Moons of Jupiter (1981) with Sharman DiVono [only as by Victor Appleton]
3. The Alien Probe (1981) with Sharman DiVono [only as by Victor Appleton]
4. War in Outer Space (1981) with Sharman DiVono [only as by Victor Appleton]
5. The Astral Fortress (1982) with Sharman DiVono [only as by Victor Appleton]
6. The Rescue Mission (1982) with Sharman DiVono [only as by Victor Appleton]\

Read 5 Time Hugo Winner William Rotsler's Patron Of The Arts ($2.99 - Free on Amazon Unlimited) and The Far Frontier ($2.99)


In addition to his own novel, Patron of the Arts, based on his Nebula and Hugo finalist novelette, and his Zandra trilogy, William Rotsler wrote a number of books based on motion pictures and television shows, including Iron Man, Planet of the Apes, Futureworld, and Star Trek.

In this 3-part series, we take a look at books set in the Star Trek universe. The first part focuses on the two books of short stories he authored, one set in the universe of Wrath of Khan and the other in the universe of The Search for Spock. Below are the original blurbs and contents pages of each book.


Travel with your favorite Star Trek II characters into six new and original short stories written especially for you!  Join James T. Kirk in "The Blaze of Glory" as he struggles to avoid galactic war with the Klingon Captain Kang. In "Under Twin Moons" Lieutenant Uhura finds an unusual way to relax from starship duty. In "Wild Card" an unknown enemy threatens the very existence of the Enterprise and its crew. In "The Secret Empire" incredible creatures struggle for their freedom over slavery; while in "Intelligence Test" Chekov fights for his life. And join the entire crew in "To Wherever" -- a place from which they may never return. 

A treasure trove of adventure for all Star Trek fans! 

The Blaze of Glory
Under Twin Moons
Wild Card
The Secret Empire
Intelligence Test
To Wherever


Travel with your favorite Star Trek III characters into five new and original short stories. Join the Enterprise crew as they take their crippled starship into orbit around Azphari, where they meet the strange and dangerously curious people of that planet in "The Azphari Enigma." Go with Lieutenant Commander Uhura to her home in the United States of Africa where she finds her past and present colliding in a life-and-death struggle in "The Jungles of Memory." And on the drab and frozen planet of Osler, meet 7-year-old Pandora, sole survivor of an experiment gone wrong, a child with powers and the willingness to use them to protect her privacy and the secret she must hide in "As Old As Forever." These stories and more will thrill and enthrall all Star Trek fans!

The Azphari Enigma
The Jungles of Memory
A Vulcan, A Klingon, and an Angel
World's End
As Old as Forever

And watch for the new edition of WILLIAM ROTSLER'S own science fiction novel PATRON OF THE ARTS, coming this Fall from Digital Parchment Services' Strange Particle Press, distributed by FuturesPast Editions.

William Rotsler's Wire Sculptures

While a lot of folks know about William Rotsler's beautiful artwork that's used for the Nebula Awards (as well as for the work in front of the Los Angeles Police Headquarters) he also did some amazing wire sculptures that he offered for sale through a printed catalog!

Click on this link to see a pdf of the catalog - but here are some nice images from it as well (from Williamrotsler.com)

These scans come from the collection of Robert Lichtman - to whom we are very grateful!

Amazing, March 1972

Check this out: the glorious cover of Amazing, March 1972 - featuring "Star Level" By William Rotsler - and drawn by the legendary Vaughn Bode

About the Rotsler Award

(from http://www.scifiinc.org/rotsler)

The annual Rotsler Award is for long-time wonder-working with graphic art in amateur publications of the science fiction community. Established in 1998, sponsored by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests (SCIFI), it carries a $300 honorarium. The Award is ordinarily announced at Loscon, the Los Angeles s-f convention held over the U.S. Thanksgiving Day weekend in November. The current judges are Mike Glyer, John Hertz, and Claire Brialey.

Bill Rotsler (1926-1997) knew everyone and did everything. He went house-hunting with Marilyn Monroe. He wrote s-f. He sculpted with welded steel rods. He celebrated the West Coast Science Fantasy Conference (Westercon) as his birthday. In the s-f community he was best known for graphic art, mostly in the amateur publications by fans, for fans, which we call fanzines. The name fanzine was coined by Russell Chauvenet in the 1940s.

The highest achievement award in the s-f community is the Hugo, named for s-f pioneer Hugo Gernsback, voted annually in several categories by members of the World Science Fiction Convention. Rotsler won the Hugo Award as Best Fan Artist five times, in 1975 and 1979, 1996 (when he also won the Retrospective Hugo for 1946) and 1997, a remarkable span. His cartoons were deft, his serious drawing fine, his fluency downright breathtaking. On this page, four samples.

Rotsler Award winners
1998: Steve Stiles1998: Steve Stiles
1999: Grant Canfield1999: Grant Canfield
2000: Arthur Thomson2000: Arthur Thomson
2001: Brad Foster2001: Brad Foster
2002: Kurt Erichsen2002: Kurt Erichsen
2003: Ray Nelson2003: Ray Nelson
2004: Harry Bell2004: Harry Bell
2005: Marc Schirmeister2005: Marc Schirmeister
2006: Alexis Gilliland2006: Alexis Gilliland
2007: Terry Jeeves2007: Terry Jeeves
2008: Taral Wayne2008: Taral Wayne
2009: Dan Steffan2009: Dan Steffan
2010: Stu Shiffman2010: Stu Shiffman

2011: (no award given)

2012: Ross Chamberlain

2013: Jim Barker

Read 5 Time Hugo Winner William Rotsler's Patron Of The Arts ($2.99 - Free on Amazon Unlimited) and The Far Frontier ($2.99)