Rotsler Award

Rev. 31-Jan-2014
words by john hertz, web by chaz boston baden

About the Rotsler Award

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.

Sample of Bill Rotsler's fan art Sample of Bill Rotsler's fan art Sample of Bill Rotsler's fan art

Click on images to see larger versions.

Images used by permission.

"Westercon" is a service mark of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, Inc., a California non-profit corporation. "World Science Fiction Convention", "Worldcon", and "Hugo Award" are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary association.