Joe Fillinger, Ken’s longtime friend from his early days in the Buffalo, New York area, was kind enough to forward a copy of a tribute to Ken that will be published in the program book for the upcoming EerieCon 12, which will be held April 23 – 25, 2010 in Niagara Falls, New York. Herewith is that tribute:
We Remember Ken
Without Kenneth J. Krueger (1926-2009), there would not be a Buffalo Fantasy League, nor an Eeriecon. He (together with several others) co-founded the BFL back in 1949.
In 1939 he attended the first World SF Con. A member of First Fandom, he lived in the famous “Slan Shack” for a few weeks when he was 16. He helped form the Buffalo Book Company with Grant and Hadley. The first books published by them were THE TIME STREAM, by John Taine. and THE SKYLARK OF SPACE by E. E. Smith.
When he came back to live in Buffalo with his first family, he worked as a truck driver for Denver-Chicago, while buying and running the Buffalo Bookstore, co-founding the BFL, and publishing. Under the Shroud name, he published the first book edition of Lovecraft’s DREAM QUEST OF UNKNOWN KADATH, as well as Burks’ LOOK BEHIND YOU, McDougal’s THE FEMALE DEMON, and Chambers’ MAKER OF MOONS. The Space Trails series (under the Pegasus imprint) included items by Wilson Tucker, Basil Wells, Toby Duane, E. E. Evans, Betsy Curtis, and others. His later “Fantasy Classics” series from the seventies included stories by Machen, Stoker, Blackwood, et al.
Ken was also instrumental in setting up BUFFLOCON, the first local science-fiction convention, in the early fifties… a time when very few SF cons existed.
After his marriage ended, he moved to California, married again and started a second family, operated a number of bookstores, published a lot more books and magazines, and was well prepared to co-found Comic-Con, which is enjoyed annually by up to 150,000 comics fans. In his last years, he moved back to the Buffalo suburbs and back to the Buffalo Fantasy League.
Hey, Ken – we’ll miss seeing you wearing your “first fandom” red coat at future Eeriecons!
You can read more about EerieCon at http://www.eeriecon.org/.