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 This collection contains everything from original artwork and unpublished manuscripts to fanzines and sketchbooks. Manuscript drafts for unpublished works like A Pot of Pourii and early mock-ups of fanzines such as that for the Tattooed Dragon Strikes Again are included.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.
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)