Wilson Tucker

Author and critic that expanded the boundaries of science fiction.

November 23, 1914 – October 6, 2006

Wilson “Bob” Tucker played an active role in science fiction beginning in the 1930s, as an author, dedicated fan, and superlative critic. He coined the term “space opera” and was the long-time publisher of seminal genre fanzine Le Zombie.

While an avid fan, Tucker also wrote fiction, publishing his first story in 1941. Though he eventually wrote more than 20 novels, half of them science fiction, he always considered them a pastime and was employed as a film projectionist for most of his adult life.

Tucker expanded the boundaries of genre science fiction with his downbeat and realistic variations on old material, in particular the use of time travel as a narrative device. Though time travel in science fiction can often feel clichéd, Tucker transformed the concept into an instrument of vision, tying its use to virtual archaeologies of the worlds exposed by the journey.

2003 Inductee