Famous Forteans

Justin_Anstey

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1. Neil Gaiman.

(From Sunday, September 02, 2001)
http://www.neilgaiman.com/archive/2001_09_01_archive.asp

"And while we're waiting for the FAQ etc thing to get up and running (ho! says older-but-wiser author in a hollow and sceptical voice) I thought I'd answer a few more questions. My favorite recent one was that someone wanted to know about me and Charles Fort, and whether I considered myself a Fortean. I suppose I do. I had to hunt down my Charles Fort books when I was a young teenager, after reading some article in an old SF magazine trashing him (from memory, the article was called something like Lo! The Bold Forteans and was by someone like Willy Ley, and I realised that this was the same Fort that Eric Frank Russell and R. A. Lafferty talked about), and I went down to my bookshop and ordered a copy of the Dover books Complete Charles Fort. And was struck by the poetry, and the delight in ideas. The pickle people. The jelly in the sky (which is why stars twinkle, of course.) Maybe we're property. How to measure a circle. Raining Fish (which one day I was to have a lot of fun with in Good Omens although I'm pretty sure it was Terry who first popped Fort into Adam's hands in the book -- I remember the sheer joy of writing the Fortean version of Radio 4's perennial Gardener's Question Time...) I read him with the same delight, and with the same part of my head, and at the same time as I read E.E. Cummings' prose essays.


There's a story about Charles Fort and Karl Marx that sits in my head in the attic of unwritten stories, on the same shelf in my mind as the one about Kenneth Williams and Kenneth Halliwell. One day..."
 
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Anonymous

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Two famous Forteans,and fellow Indiana natives,were popular late 19th and early 20th Century writers Theodore Dreiser and Booth Tarkington.Dreiser convinced his publisher,Boni & Liveright,to publish"The Book of the Damned"in 1919.He was also a founding member of the original Fortean Society,and Tarkington was an early member,too.

Dreiser was instrumental in Fort's early career as well as being one of his best friends.Tarkington is perhaps best known now as the author of"The Magnificent Ambersons",which was made into a film by Orson Welles.
 

Yithian

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i enjoy Neil gaiman's writing a great deal (not really intersted in graphic novels to be honest) and interestingly enough i recently found out that he is an escapee from the church of $cientology as his father was apparently a very senior scientologist in the UK.

Edit: Big correction! Neil's father is not merely big in UK scientology it seems but is a major player in the organisation:

David gaiman; Deputy Guardian for PR W/W, who in the 1970s ordered the planting of false information in US Security Agency computers "to hold up American security to ridicule." He was a GO official for the whole period of the GO's existence (1966-83), was briefly purged in the 1980s but is now rehabilitated and is currently active in Russia. As a profitable sideline, he provides UK Scientologists with Hubbard's chemical concoctions (such as GUK) from his East Grinstead business, G&G Foods.
Source: http://xenu.net/archive/go/whoswho.htm
Note: GO = Guardian Office: Scientolgy's secret police/internal security branch. (Remeber this is allegedly a religion! - Not under Uk law luckily!)
 
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FT recently had a quote from William Gibson on the front cover. Faggus enquired about it in the FT Sightings thread, but didn't get an answer.

Checking Gibson's blog on his website, I found he had this to say:

"Am at least equally boggled at FORTEAN TIMES putting my "I am a Fortean" quote on their cover. You can't mess around with this stuff, can you? (However, I actually do consider myself a Fortean, and FT really is my favorite magazine.)"

What's going on?!
 

James_H

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Alan Moore, another graphic novelist, I believe said that FT is the greatest publication on the earth :))or words to that effect) and uses events popularized in Fort (I have only read From Hell, but near the end a rain of blood in 1888 around the mediterannean is involved)
 

James_H

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Big Picture said:
FT
"Am at least equally boggled at FORTEAN TIMES putting my "I am a Fortean" quote on their cover. You can't mess around with this stuff, can you? (However, I actually do consider myself a Fortean, and FT really is my favorite magazine.)"

What's going on?!
Didn't TVgeek post that he met him and was told that he was a Fortean? maybe the editorship got it off the board ;)
 

Melf

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i wonder matt groening is a fortean aswell
in the 1st episode of futurama where fry and bender are having a drink to gether for the first time bender picks up a bottle of old fortean

so i wonder if matt groening could get back to us? to comfirm
or deney?
 

Anome

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Just watched the relevant scene (complete with commentary) on DVD. It's actually "Old Fortran" - a reference to the programming language.

Still, he does (or rather, his shows do) reference many fortean subjects and urban legends.
 

Melf

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but it did look like "old fortean" when i 1st saw it
oh well never mind then
but thanks anome
 
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Eric Frank Russell

I was looking up some information about a science fiction novel from the Fifties, Wasp (1957), by Eric Frank Russell, when I discovered that:
From Shadow Man: Eric Frank Russell Website:
...

Fortean Mysteries and SF Fandom

Russell was a long time follower of Charles Fort and was an active member of the Fortean Society. His book, Great World Mysteries, is an anthology of Fortean-type tales. He was also a founder member of the British Interplanetary Society and was involved in early science fiction fandom in Britain, having attended the first British Science Fiction Convention in Leeds in 1937 and also the London Convention in 1957.

...
Wasp is a great Fifties sf book about psychological warfare, sabotage and terrorism. It may be based on some first hand knowledge of such techniques being used during the Second World War. It was re-issued recently, as were many of Russell's short stories.

Has anybody read Great World Mysteries (1957)?
 
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Emperor said:
I'm fairly sure that he has.

Jeremy Beadle being another famous Fortean, with an enormous Fortean library (according to Ken Campbell, another famous Fortean).

But, that's not quite what I meant.

:)
 

Mighty_Emperor

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AM: Sorry it wasn't really an answer to your question - I was just dropping his name into the list of famous Forteans. ;)
 

WhistlingJack

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Is Arthur C. Clarke too obvious to mention here?
 
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Whistling Jack said:
Is Arthur C. Clarke too obvious to mention here?
Is he actually a Fortean, or did he just do the programmes and front the books?

And Colin Wilson.
 

escargot

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And Reg Presley of the Troggs, who wrote 'Love Is All Around'.
He is a ufologist and I belive has experience of 'phantom broadcasts'.
 

WhistlingJack

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AndroMan said:
Whistling Jack said:
Is Arthur C. Clarke too obvious to mention here?
Is he actually a Fortean, or did he just do the programmes and front the books?
At the end of each chapter/episode, he voiced his own opinion on that particular subject and was, I recall, equally balanced between belief and scepticism so yes, I'd regard him as having a Fortean outlook, certainly...
 

Yithian

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Timble said:
Does Julian Cope and his work on megaliths count?
Must say from what i've read of his writing he's closer to an evangelical shamanist than a balanced Fortean.

Not that he's not a dude. 8)
 

oll_lewis

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I'm quite surprised that the Lib Dems shadow Welsh secratary Lembit Opic hasn't been mentioned yet, well he has been now and he dose know quite a bit about UFOs.
 

gerardwilkie

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What about the Troggs' Reg Presley ? He is obsessed with crop circles and is one of the leading experts in the field . (Pardon the pun)
 

giantrobot1

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Speaking of famous Forteans, Father Lionel Fanthorpe appears to live around the corner from my new flat. I've seen him in the local paper shop.
 
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