Donald H. Tuck

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Donald Henry Tuck (born December 3, 1922 in Launceston , Tasmania ; died October 11, 2010 in Melbourne ) was an Australian bibliographer in the field of science fiction literature.

Together with the bibliographies of Everett F. Bleiler, his work is considered to be groundbreaking and is still, even if no longer up to date, indispensable in some areas and formed the basis for current reference works.


Tuck was an early member of the Australian SF fandom and editor of the first Tasmanian SF fanzine Profan , of which three issues appeared from April to September 1941. The war ended the project and Tuck was signed up for the Australian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers (AEME), trained as a radio technician and served on Thursday Island and Horn Island on Torres Strait . After the war he studied at the University of Tasmania in Hobart and after graduating he joined the Electrolytic Zinc Company , where he worked in various positions until his retirement in 1982.

His constant interest in the bibliographical collection of science fiction literature led him to amass an extensive file over the years, with SF fans and collectors from around the world contributing information. This card index was the basis for the self-published Handbook of Science Fiction and Fantasy in 1954 , which was published in a second, expanded edition in 1959. Like Bleiler, he did not set any narrow genre boundaries, but instead included SF in the narrower sense of the word, fantasy, weird fiction and mainstream literary authors such as Wyndham Lewis and Virginia Woolf , a practice that is also supported by current reference works such as the Encyclopedia of Science fiction is practiced.

In 1974 the first volume of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy through 1968 was published , which was to remain the standard bibliographical and biographical work of science fiction for many years. The work was received very positively, discussed with praise and received several awards. As far as bibliographic information is concerned, it has meanwhile been integrated into online databases such as Internet Speculative Fiction Database , but the short biographies contained therein are still a valuable source in many cases, especially since online lexicons such as the SFE concentrate on works and hardly offer any life data.

After retiring in 1982, Tuck and his wife moved to Melbourne to live closer to their grandchildren. In 2010, six weeks after his wife's death, Tuck died at the age of 87.

His estate is in the Fryer Library at the University of Queensland and Murdoch University in Perth .


In 1975 he was invited as a guest of honor at the Aussiecon I , but could not take part.


  • A Handbook of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Hobart 1954.
  • A Handbook of Science Fiction and Fantasy: 2nd Edition, Revised and Enlarged: April 1959: A Collection of Material Acting as a Bibliographic Survey to the Fields of Science Fiction and Fantasy (Including Weird), Covering the Magazines, Books, Pocket Books, Personalities , Etc, of these Fields up to December 1957. Hobart 1959.
  • The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy through 1968: A Bibliographic Survey of the Fields of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction through 1968. 3 Vols. Advent, Chicago, Illinois.
    • Volume 1: Who's Who, A – L. 1974.
    • Volume 2: Who's Who, M – Z. 1978.
    • Volume 3: Miscellaneous. 1983.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. He married Audrey Jean Cranston in May 1954.