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Welcome to Jim Baen's UNIVERSE, a magazine of science fiction, fantasy, and fact.

The Tucker Circle

Tucker Circle authors have agreed to write stories including people with tuckerization rights in the Universe Club.

Among others, Tucker Circle authors include:

with more to come.

What is Tuckerization?

Tuckerization is the use of a real person's as a character name, place name, or equipment name in a story. The term is related to the term Red Shirting where a real person's name is used for a character who dies, this term taken from the tendency in Star Trek for red shirted characters to be short lived.

Note that tuckerized characters share only the NAME of the person, not their other characteristics.  There are no guarantees.

The term is derived from the works of Wilson "Bob" Tucker, who frequently incuded his friends names as characters in his stories.

Tuckerization is the opposite of the more common roman à clef story in which the characters are all real people whose names and titles have been changed (to protect the innocent) but whose background, appearance, and personality have been kept.

Being tuckerized is considered a high honor in Science Fiction fandom, and popular authors will sometimes auction off tuckerization at conventions as charity auctions, frequently bringing very large prices. The members of the Tucker Circle have agreed that Universe is important enough that they will provide the service of tuckerization of Universe Club members. We are very greatful.

We will be adding authors. Keep checking back.

Effective 10 February 2006 tuckerization privledges for new Universe club members have been reduced.

From: Eric Flint

Assuming I can extract the core question here from what looks like a bunch of silliness to a bear with a sloping forehead...

There's no "may" about it. We are adjusting the Tuckerization privileges from here on out. To be honest, if I could ethically do it -- which I can't -- I'd make the change retroactive to the beginning.

The problem we face is simple. The Universe Club, especially at the higher levels of membership where Tuckerization rights are most extensive, proved to be a lot more successful than we'd ever expected.

Yes, this is good news. Dandy news, if fact. But every silver lining has a cloud, and in this case the cloud is a real thunderstorm. We are now committed -- already -- to over 100 Tuckerizations, about half of which call for significant secondary characters, not just red shirts.

Argh. That many Tuckerizations will simply start overwhelming the pool of authors we've got available, unless we delayed many of the Tuckerizations so far into the future that the people who paid their money for it would, quite rightfully, feel cheated.

So. What to do? We're doing two things immediately.

First, as of the 10th, we're removing the provision that allowed people at the higher levels of club membership to specify which author and in what format they'd like. We will still ask for their preferences, and we'll do what we can to meet them. But henceforth, I will have final discretion on which person gets Tuckerized by which author in which story. (Which will involve negotiations with the authors, of course.)

The second thing we're instituting is a new feature of the magazine, starting with the first issue. We're launching a serialized story that we'll use, among other things, for wholesale Tuckerizations.

The series is called FISH STORY, and it's based on a novel idea that Dave Freer and Andrew Dennis and I started kicking around a couple of years ago. We developed the plot outline rather extensively, for the beginning of the story and then...

Well, it just got put on the shelf. The story was so picaresque and episodical that it seemed difficult to make a traditional novel out of it, and, in any event, we were all busy with other things.

However, it occured to me that it would make a dandy serial story for the magazine, which we could run... hell, forever, given the open-ended nature of the story.

So, we're doing it. The series will begin with the first issue of the magazine, and the first episode will be a rewrite of Andrew's "The Wandle Pike," which has periodically been posted in the Bar over the years. Um. Actually, I think it's fair to say it's become something of a cult classic among some of the Barflies.

We'll ask for volunteers to be Tuckerized in the series, among those who got their Club memberships before or on February 10. Anyone who joins after that is, well, subject to the draft. :)


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