RIP: SFWA Author Emeritus 1999 William Tenn

William Tenn, the pen name of Phillip Klass, died at home on today at the age of 89. Tenn was named Author Emeritus by SFWA in 1999.

Primarily known for his humorous short stories and essays, he wrote only two novels both published in 1968. Theodore Sturgeon said of his fiction:

It would be too wide a generalization to say that every SF satire, every SF comedy and every attempt at witty and biting criticism found in the field is a poor and usually cheap imitation of what this man has been doing since the 1940s. His incredibly involved and complex mind can at times produce constructive comment so pointed and astute that the fortunate recipient is permanently improved by it. Admittedly, the price may be to create two whole categories for our species: humanity and William Tenn. For each of which you must create your ethos and your laws. I’ve done that. And to me it’s worth it.

He leaves his wife Fruma and his daughter Adina. Our thoughts are with them both.