William Tenn Bibliography Examples

The Official Home Page of
Science Fiction Writer William Tenn

Comments to Laurie Mann

Phil Klass, who usually wrote as William Tenn, was a teacher, satirist and essayist,
who lived from May 9, 1920 - February 7, 2010.


William Tenn, self-portraits by Phil Klass, 1964 and 2002

About Phil
  • Orthopedic Horseshoes interview with William Tenn, 7/2009 (search on "Tenn" for a link to the podcast)
  • Photos of Phil from his Noreascon IV GOH Exhibit; all material, except where noted, is from the Klass family.
  • Remembrances
  • Science Fiction Writers of America blog
  • The Passing of William Tenn by Deb Geisler, chair of Noreascon IV
  • Phil, the Teacher by Kevin Riley, one of Phil's former students and designer of the NESFA Press Tenn dust jackets (also posted on the SFWA blog)
  • Phil and Me by Alexandra Textor (also posted on the SFWA blog)
  • Phil Klass and the Meaning of Chutzpah by Laurie Mann (also posted on the SFWA blog)
  • On Earth, Have We Got a Writer by Obadiah
  • RIP Phil Klass by Josh Lukin (Josh conducted the shorter interview collected in Dancing Naked)
  • Phil Klass Has Left Us...and So Has William Tenn by Steve Miller (great photo of Phil and his brother Mort at the 1999 Nebula Awards Banquet)
  • Rememberance of Professor Klass, by Tom Dulaney
  • William Tenn Dies by Andy Porter for File 770
  • William Tenn 1920-2010 by Jo Walton, Tor.com
  • Phil Klass aka William Tenn by Kenneth Chiacchia
  • In a Klass by Himself by Bud Webster (Jim Baen's Universe)
  • RIP William Tenn/Phil Klass by Jed Hartman
  • Memories of my Fathers by Amy Rule
  • William Tenn has Died by Jesse Willis, SF Audio
  • Philip Klass, aka sf author William Tenn, dies by Ian Randal Strock
  • Phil Klass (1920-2010) by Heather Houlihan
  • Failing Better: Phil Klass by Scott Edelman
  • Pulpster Phil Klass has died by William Lampkin
  • A Few Words About Phil Klass Tom Marcinko
  • RIP William Tenn, dark sf satirist by John McDaid
  • William Tenn by Scott at Polite Dissent
  • RIP William Tenn at Library Thing
  • William Tenn (1920-2010) by Chris y at Wis[s]e Words
  • Croation Forum on William Tenn by Zdeslav Benzon
  • Russian Forum on William Tenn
  • Master Class by David Morrell (2004)
  • William Tenn's Influence on American Popular Culture by Laurie Mann (2003)

Obituaries in the Press

  • UK Telegraph
  • The New York Times: William Tenn, Satirical Science Fiction Author, Dies at 89 by Gerald Jonas
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Philip Klass/Major Science Fiction Writer in the 1940s, 1950s by Bob Hoover
  • Wired: Farewell William Tenn. And, Thanks by Steven Levy (yes, that Steven Levy was one of Phil's students)
  • The Penn Stater: Philip Klass and William Tenn, RIP by Ryan Jones
  • Locus: Philip Klass (William Tenn), 1920-2010
  • io9: Remembering Golden Age Science Fiction Author William Tenn by Alasdair Wilkins
  • Centre Daily Times: Ex-PSU Professor, scifiwriter dies at 89 (regional newspaper for the State College area, where Phil lived and taught for many years)
  • About.com, William Tenn is Dead
  • UPI: William Tenn is Dead
  • The Brooklyn Daily Eagle: William Tenn, Author of Brooklyn Project Sci-Fi Story, Is Dead by Harold Egeln

If you post anything on Phil, please send me a link (or a copy of your remembrance) and I'll post it here.

There was a "Remembering William Tenn" panel at Boskone 47 with David Hartwell, Jim & Laurie Mann.

On the Origin of the Pseudonym William Tenn

From the Solstein Interview in Dancing Naked, the Unexpurgated William Tenn:

I found that I could write while commuting: I would write in the two-and-a-quarter, two-and-a-half hours each way. I began writing, and when I got home I would try to type it up. I would type it up on Sundays-in those days you worked Saturdays. And I wrote a tremendous number of things. I wrote anything I could think of that might pay off: I wrote science-fiction stories; I wrote Western stories; I wrote love stories; I wrote investigative articles. And I sent them off. I sent off each piece under a different pen name. When I'm asked frequently these days, when I lecture, why I write under a pen name, why I use the pen name "William Tenn," I ask the people who ask me the question, "Do you want the short answer, which only takes a few minutes and is a lie, or do you want the long answer that takes about an hour, and I brush new tears at the end?" The reason is, I don't know why I use a pen name. Fact: I began using a pen name, and I used a different pen name for every story I sent out. I knew that "Twain" had been a pen name; I knew that "O. Henry" had been a pen name. I took for granted that most writers used pen names. So for everything I wrote, I used a different pen name, and one day I wrote a science-fiction story called "Alexander the Bait," and I used a pen name "William Tenn," which is part of the reason, the way I selected pen names: "William" like "Philip," a two-syllable name, with accent on the first syllable; "Tenn"-I wanted a memorable name, and I wanted it to end in two consonants like my own name, "Klass," which ends in two s's, and "Tenn" struck me as being a memorable name. I made up names like that when I sent out stories, but for my first science-fiction story I used the pen name "William Tenn," and that particular story was my first published science-fiction story. Of course I sent it out, I didn't know it would be published.

William Tenn was the pen name of Philip Klass. He wrote dozens of short stories, many essays, and had three collections in print from NESFA Press. He also taught English at Penn State for many years.

He was a guest of honor for the 2004 Worldcon.

His collection of essays, Dancing Naked, was a Hugo nominee for Best Non-fiction Work in 2005.

Fruma Klass, Phil's wife, won a Templeton Prize for an essay on her family.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette interview.

She won a second place in 1996 in the Writers of the Future competition.


Fruma Klass, photo by Laurie Mann


Photo by Adina Klass

Noreascon 4 GoH William Tenn, with his Wife Fruma Klass and Two of his Editors, Jim and Laurie Mann


Photo by Laurie Mann

He was the guest of honor at Capclave in 2003.


Photo by Laurie Mann

Nebula Toastmaster Harry Harrison and Author Emeritus Katherine MacLean chat with old friends Fruma and Phil Klass (William Tenn) at the 2003 Nebula Awards Weekend in Philadelphia.

More 2003 Nebula Pictures


Photo by Laurie Mann

William Tenn, Former SFWA President Sharon Lee and her husband Steve Miller autograph at Boskone 40

Phil Klass was born in London on May 9, 1920, and immigrated to the United States with his parents, settling in New York. He began writing in 1945 after being discharged from the Army, and his first story, "Alexander the Bait," was published a year later. His stories and articles have been widely anthologized, a number of them in best-of -the-year collections. He is a Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at The Pennsylvania State University, where he taught, among other things, a popular course on science fiction. In 1999, he was honored as Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America at their annual Nebula Awards Banquet.

Tenn was best-known as a satirist, and by works such as "On Venus Have We Got a Rabbi" and "Of Men and Monsters."

Phil Klass was married to Fruma in 1957. They lived in suburban Pittsburgh. Their daughter, Adina, lived in eastern Pennsylvania.

A stage adaptation of "Winthrop Was Stubborn" was performed during the 2006 Three Rivers Arts Festival. Post-Gazette review.


Photo by Laurie Mann

Fruma Klass on a Panel at Capclave 2003 with Brenda Clough


Photo by Laurie Mann

Fruma Klass and William Tenn at the Millennium Philcon, Worldcon 2001

This Philip Klass was not the same the same person as Philip J. Klass, who debunked UFOs. To add to the confusion, both Philip Klasses were born about the same time. Philip J. Klass was the avionics editor of Aviation Week and Space Technology for many years, and died in Florida on August 9, 2005.

Phil Klass, Richard Adams (Watership Down, Plague Dogs) and Frank Perdue (the chicken guy, died 2003) were all born the same day: May 9, 1920.

William Tenn/Phil Klass died on Sunday, February 7, 2010 at age 89 at his home outside of Pittsburgh, PA. He leaves his wife, Fruma and his daughter, Adina Klass Lamana [later Johnson], and his sister, Frances Goldman-Levy.

© 2003-2016 by Laurie Mann.

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William Tenn


Born

in London, England, The United Kingdom

May 09, 1920


Died

February 07, 2010


Website

http://dpsinfo.com/williamtenn/


Genre

Science Fiction & Fantasy, Nonfiction


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William Tenn is the pseudonym of Philip Klass. He was born in London on May 9, 1920, and immigrated to the United States with his parents before his second birthday and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. After serving in the United States Army as a combat engineer in Europe, he held a job as a technical editor with an Air Force radar and radio laboratory and was employed by Bell Labs.

He began writing in 1945 and has written academic articles, essays, two novels, and more than 60 short stories.

His first story, 'Alexander the Bait' was published in Astounding Science Fiction in 1946. Stories like 'Down Among the Dead Men', 'The Liberation of Earth', and 'The Custodian' quickly established him as a fine, funny, and thoughtful satirist.

Tenn is bestWilliam Tenn is the pseudonym of Philip Klass. He was born in London on May 9, 1920, and immigrated to the United States with his parents before his second birthday and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. After serving in the United States Army as a combat engineer in Europe, he held a job as a technical editor with an Air Force radar and radio laboratory and was employed by Bell Labs.

He began writing in 1945 and has written academic articles, essays, two novels, and more than 60 short stories.

His first story, 'Alexander the Bait' was published in Astounding Science Fiction in 1946. Stories like 'Down Among the Dead Men', 'The Liberation of Earth', and 'The Custodian' quickly established him as a fine, funny, and thoughtful satirist.

Tenn is best-known as a satirist, and by works such as "On Venus Have We Got a Rabbi" and "Of Men and Monsters."

His stories and articles have been widely anthologized, a number of them in best-of -the-year collections. From 1966, he has been a Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at The Pennsylvania State University, where he taught, among other things, a popular course on science fiction.

In 1999, he was honored as Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America at their annual Nebula Awards Banquet.

Phil Klass has been married to Fruma since 1957. They live in suburban Pittsburgh. Their daughter, Adina, lives in eastern Pennsylvania.

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