- William Rotsler
William "Bill" Rotsler (
July 3, 1926- October 8, 1997) was an American author of several science fiction novelsand short stories; televisionand film novelizations; and a number of non-fictionworks on a variety of topics, ranging from " Star Trek" to pornography; a prominent member of science fiction fandom; and an artist and sculptor, primarily in metal, who contributed to the art at the entrance to the Los Angeles Police Departmentheadquarters.
Rotsler's novels include "Patron of the Arts" (1974), "To the Land of the Electric Angel" (1976), "Zandra" (1978), and "The Far Frontier" (1980). He was also a sculptor (he located the fossils, crystals and stones for the
Nebula Awardtrophies), and filmmaker, and contributed to the 1994 computer game "Inherit the Earth: Quest for the Orb". He also directed several sexploitation movies for Harry Novak, including "Mantis in Lace" and "Agony of Love".
He was known in
science fiction fandomfor his decades as a cartoonistand fan artist, winning five Hugo Awards in that category. He was famously willing to provide artwork for free to even the most obscure or struggling fanzines. Rotsler also devised a sort of friendly "cartoon duel", in which he crossed swords (or, rather, pens) with various other cartoonists, as follows: Rotsler and another cartoonist would each draw some sort of cartoon figure (human, animal or monster) simultaneously, with neither artist knowing what the other was drawing. The two figures would then be placed side by side to form one picture. Rotsler and the other cartoonist would then equip each of the two cartoon figures with a comic-strip "speech" balloon: each cartoonist creating and lettering the cartoon for the other artist's drawing.
Rotsler came up with the title of
Harlan Ellison's famous short story " I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream." This was taken, with permission, from a caption of a Rotsler cartoon of a rag doll with no mouth. [ [http://www.avclub.com/content/interview/harlan_ellison_part_two/2 Harlan Ellison, Part Two | The A.V. Club ] ]
Rotsler was Fan Guest of Honor at Torcon II (the 1973
Worldcon); winner of the 1977 Down Under Fan Fund; and in 1996 was voted Past President of the Fan Writers of America.
For ten years, he was the cameraman for
Bill Warrenas they traveled about Los Angeles shooting segments for the French TV series, "Destination séries". Rotsler, like Warren, also appeared on camera in this series. He died in his sleep of complications from the radiation therapytreatment he had been undergoing for cancer.
The annual Rotsler Award "for long-time wonder-working with graphic art in amateur publications of the science fiction community" was established in 1998. The Award is ordinarily announced at
Loscon, the Los Angeles science fiction conventionheld over the U.S. Thanksgiving Day weekend in November.
Rotsler was also known for his spontaneous cartooning, which would appear not only on paper, but on tablecloths, curtains, and anything near him. Hotels were often upset at this at science fiction conventions, and surprised when a "defaced" tablecloth brought in money at auction.
Rotsler was also known for "Rotsler's Rules of Order" and "Rotsler's Rules of Costuming", which contained, among others, these rules:
* If you kill it, you eat it. (a weapons policy)
* Don't go to bed with anyone crazier than yourself.
* The shoes gotta match.
* There should be a weight limit for the purchase of leotards.
* No peanut butter. (a costuming rule)
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* [http://www.scifiinc.org/rotsler/ Rotsler Award website]
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