William Tenn, 1920-2010

Just a brief note here to acknowledge the passing of Penn State University English professor and science-fiction writer Philip Klass, a.k.a. William Tenn, on February 7. He was 89. I’ve been a fan of Tenn since I was a teenager, and as I’ve begun to dabble in writing myself, I consider him an exemplar of what the sci-fi short story can achieve in the hands of a master.

I featured Tenn a few months ago in my ongoing “Cool Stories” series, and the folks who manage his official website did me the great honor of linking to that article. It may only have been the result of a Google search, but they could have ignored it, and I was thrilled to be, in some tiny way, part of his tribute.

Please do visit William Tenn’s website for a slew of anecdotes and reminiscences from people who knew him well. I never had the chance to meet him, but by all accounts, he was a witty, charming, and very humble man much-loved by his family, friends, acquaintances, and students. He will be missed.

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