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George Lan Laskowski with His Second Best Fanzine Hugo, Chicon 1991

George "Lan" Laskowski with His Second Best Fanzine Hugo, Chicon 1991

by Laurie D. T. Mann

The Detroit Free Press published a long obituary on 7/22/99

I don't have a whole lot to say about Lan today. I'm still kind of stunned by his death, even though I know he'd been sick for a while.

I haven't seen so much of Lan over the last few years and I missed him. It's tough when there's a messy breakup of two friends, both of whom make life changes. For Lan, it involved marrying a non-fan, Kathleen. After seeing them both a few years back at Context, I'd heard he was battling cancer, then that he was doing a little better and had gone back to teaching. We had exchanged mail around last year's Worldcon. I'd hoped to see him at Confusion this year, but he was not there.

Lan was a pretty complex person and there were times when I really wanted to punch him out. But, on the whole (and I've known him since 1976), I liked him very much and I felt he was one of the people who was uniquely a fan. Lan's Lantern had the diary, the reviews, the trip reports, the loads of fan art, lengthy letters and frequent nattering... He was almost always a joy to be around at cons, with his natural enthusiasm for life. He sheparded neos (his students and others) and made sure they were comfortable in fandom.

I have a few pictures:

Maia Cowan, Lan and Jan Brown (Story) at NorthAmericon in 1979 Maia Cowan, Lan and Jan Brown (Story) at NorthAmericon in 1979. Lan was dating Jan at the time, but soon was dating Maia. They were married from 1981 until 1995.

Cranbrook, 1983 Lan taught at Cranbrook, a private school in the tony Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. He lived in this apartment.

Lan after the 1992 Hugo Awards Ceremony with Rick and Nicki Lynch You can't see Lan's face in this photo. It was taken backstage just after the 1992 Hugo Ceremony...ahmmm...situation. Lan's Latern was announced as the winner, but Mimosa appeared on the winner's slide. Lan went up to accept the Hugo. The situation was fixed later, and Lan was very gracious about it. Nicky and Richard Lynch, the actual winners, talked to Lan when it was all over.