William Rotsler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William "Bill" Rotsler
William Rotsler.jpg
Born (1926-07-03)July 3, 1926[1]
Los Angeles
Died October 8, 1997(1997-10-08) (aged 71)[1]
Cause of death
throat cancer[1]
Awards Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist (1975, 1979, 1996, and 1997)

William Charles Rotsler (July 3, 1926 - October 8, 1997) was a prolific pornographer and science fiction author. Rotsler was a four-time Hugo Award winner and one-time Nebula Award nominee.


Since 1958 Rotsler had been involved in the pornography industry, first as a still photographer on the set of adult films and later as a film director. He created Adam Film Quarterly (later called Adam Film World) in 1966 as a sibling magazine to Knight Publishing's Adam magazine.[2] Adam Film Quarterly, functioned as an advertisement for sexploitation films which featured narratives for the male ego with much female nudity but only simulated sex acts.[3] Rotsler's magazine also provided commentary about this pornography, halfway between the content of high-end Playboy and hardcore magazine Hustler, which other media would not cover.[2] Because of the modular quality of these sexploitation films, Rotsler's stills from could be paired with his own text for a different narrative or used to illustrate a narrative for a nonexistent movie. [4] Rostler earned reputations both as a writer creating novelizations from sexploitation and as a prolific pornographic photographer second only to Marv Lincoln.[5] Because Rotsler became such a major player at Adam Film Quarterly playing so many roles in production he began to use pseudonyms including "Shannon Carse", "Cord Heller", "Clay McCord", "Philip Dakota" for various cast and crew credits and even interviewed himself as these characters in the magazine.[6] Rotsler commented "99% of the credits were pseudonyms. On the 'lesser' productions, I'd direct as Shannon Carse and if I acted, I’d be Barney Boone. If I acted in a Rotsler-directed film, I'd be Shannon Carse."[7] In 1969 Rotsler moved his focus to science fiction at the urging of author Harlan Ellison, although Rotsler had been a cartoonist for fanzines since he designed the cover for National Fantasy Fan volume 7 issue 2 in 1948.[8]


Rotsler wrote, directed, or acted in some two dozen pornographic films during his career with Boxoffice International Pictures.[8] He also wrote Contemporary Erotic Cinema in 1973, published by Ballantine and Penthouse about pornographic movies from an aesthetic point of view.[9]

Title Year Role Notes Source
Agony of Love 1966 The Beatnik (credited as Shannon Carse) director, writer, and producer [10]
The Girl with the Hungry Eyes 1967 Brian (credited as Shannon Carse) director, writer, and producer [8][11]
Mantis in Lace 1968 director [8]
The Enormous Midnight 1968 director [12][13]
Shannon's Women 1969 Shannon credited as Shannon Carse [14]
House of Pain and Pleasure 1969 director [12][15]
Street of a Thousand Pleasures 1972 director [8]

Science fiction[edit]

Rotsler was known for his illustrations for fanzines, many of which he gave away for free. He won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist four times: 1975, 1979, 1996, and 1997.[16] He also won a "retro-Hugo" for his work in 1946 and was runner-up for 1951.[17] Rotsler's best known novelette, Patron of the Arts, was published in 1972 and was a finalist for the 1973 Nebula Award, losing to Goat Song.[18][19] Rotsler was a well-known fixture at west coast science fiction conventions where he would give away his illustrations.[20] He is also the author of "Rotsler's Rules for Costuming" to address the cosplay often found at these conventions.[21] [22] He regardless quipped that "people are making rules for themselves and always finding loop-holes."[23] Through his illustrations Rotsler also helped perpetuate the image of science fiction fans wearing propeller beanies.[24] In 1982 Rotlser published through Wanderer Books canonical backstories for the characters of Star Trek: The Original Series. In the process he gave Uhura her first name, Nyota.[25] Rotsler devised with the title of Harlan Ellison's short story "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream." This was adopted, with permission, from a caption of a Rotsler cartoon of a rag doll with no mouth.[26]

The Rotsler Award, named for Rotsler, is given annually at Loscon by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests to recognize "lifetime work of outstanding fan artists." The award comes with a US$300 honorarium.[27] [28]

Rotsler's papers including unpublished manuscripts and sketchbooks of original artwork are part of the Eaton collection at University of California, Riverside.[29] [30]



  1. ^ a b c Lubell, Samuel (ed.). "William Rotsler Dies". The WSFA Journal (Washington Science Fiction Association). ISSN 0894-5411. 
  2. ^ a b Church 2014, pp. 111-113.
  3. ^ Church 2014, p. 106.
  4. ^ Church 2014, pp. 113,115,124-125,128.
  5. ^ Resnick, Mike (2002). Once a Fan... Wildside Press. p. 290. ISBN 9781592240197. 
  6. ^ Church 2014, pp. 132-133.
  7. ^ Warren, Bill (Summer 1994). "William Rotsler's Women". Psychotronic Video: 65–66. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Church 2014, p. 128.
  9. ^ Baxter, John (2005). A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict. Macmillan. p. 294. ISBN 9781466839892. 
  10. ^ Munden 1997, p. 14.
  11. ^ Munden 1997, p. 405.
  12. ^ a b Church 2014, p. 132.
  13. ^ Munden 1997, p. 303.
  14. ^ Munden 1997, p. 105.
  15. ^ Munden 1997, p. 499.
  16. ^ "Hugo Awards Winners by Category". Locus. 
  17. ^ "1951 Retro Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  18. ^ Dozois, Gardner, ed. (1998). The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fifteenth Annual Collection. Year's Best Science Fiction. Macmillan. p. lx. ISBN 9780312190330. 
  19. ^ "Nebula Awards Listings". Locus. 
  20. ^ Fahnestalk, Steve (February 6, 2015). "ROTSLER REVIVAL: Review of THE FAR FRONTIER and PATRON OF THE ARTS". Amazing Stories. 
  21. ^ "Costuming Dawns". Starlog (143): 54. June 1989. 
  22. ^ "RULES FOR MASQUERADES". Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  23. ^ Crisp, Tom (2009). The Book of Bill: Choice Words Memorable Men. Andrews McMeel Publishing. p. 68. ISBN 9780740779121. 
  24. ^ Schweitzer, Darrell, ed. (2002). Speaking of the Fantastic. Wildside Press. p. 134. ISBN 9781592240012. 
  25. ^ Davidson, Steve (January 30, 2015). "Amazing Things: DPS Publishes Rotsler's The Far Frontier". Amazing Stories. 
  26. ^ Robinson, Tasha (June 8, 2008). "Harlan Ellison, Part Two". The A.V. Club. 
  27. ^ "About the Rotsler Award". Southern California Institute for Fan Interests. May 13, 2014. 
  28. ^ "LASFS History". Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. May 18, 2014. 
  29. ^ Milenkiewicz, Eric (November 2013). "William "Bill" Rotsler". The Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction. Volume 1.2: 117. 
  30. ^ "Guide to the William Rotsler papers". Online Archive of California. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 


External links[edit]