Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sarah Prince

or S.S. Prince as she often bylined herself, was an old fannish friend, or at least good acquaintance, who died last week. I encountered her off and on in various contexts, but knew her best as a long-time member of ALPS, the Amateur Long-Playing Society, a music apa (amateur press association) that flourished in the 1980s and early 90s.

I remember her from there less for her writing, which tended towards the gnomic, or for her musical tastes, than for her passionate interest in art and design. She would critique other members' zine layouts (I remember her approbation when I finally taught my word processor to make curly quotes), created a number of covers and other art projects for ALPS, mostly collages, and designed and manufactured the large ALPS lapel buttons she sent to all of us so that we could identify other ALPSians at conventions. They were very useful. I still have mine.

Of Sarah at conventions, I remember particularly one when she wasn't there. It was a small con she'd intended to attend, but had to cancel. So she lay down on a large sheet of butcher paper, had someone draw an outline around her, and sent that in her place. This was typical of her style. The paper was hung up on the wall in the con suite, and we all wrote greetings to her inside the life-size outline.

When she was present, she tended to be quiet, but she had a chipmunk-toothy smile it was always cheering to see.


  1. Gordon Garb shangaiied me into AZAPA, and she was there, so she has pretty much "always" been present in fandom for me. She even came to our house when we lived in Massachusetts. She allowed our four-year-old daughter (also a Sarah) to walk her dog, who was larger than she was at the time, while we watched closely.

    I miss Sarah's quiet sense of absurdity, and her raised-eyebrows smile of discovery (and the glance that brought one into the joke). I miss her idiosyncratic lettering. I miss the possibility of her showing up.

  2. Hey, I was in ALPS for a while. Sarah was one of two ALPSians I met in the flesh, along with Ken Josenhans, who brought me in. I was never active in fandom, so I never met the rest of you.