Fossils: Historians of Amateur Journalism
Home Awards The Fossil History Collections Contact Links
Recipient of the 2016 Russell L. Paxton Award

Martin "Mike" Horvat


From the October 2016 issue of The Fossil

Horvat Receives Paxton Award

Fossils President Ken Faig sent the folllowing letter to Martin "Mike" Horvat:

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you upon your selection as the 2016 recipient of the Russell L. Paxton Memorial Award for Service to Amateur Journalism. The handsome plaque sponsored by John Horn is enclosed with this letter. We plan to make a public announcement of your award at the Fossils’ luncheon at the Amateur Journalism Conference being held at UW-Madison on July 22, 2016. Fossils President E. Sherman Cole and his board in retrospect made a very wise decision in entrusting the Library of Amateur Journalism collection to your care in 1980. Your efforts in recovering portions of the collection from subcontractors of the bankrupt microfilming contractor went way beyond the call of duty and ensured the preservation of the collection intact. You provided space in your home and rented space in the Paris Mill for the collection over a period of nearly twenty-five years. You maintained memberships in virtually all amateur press organizations so that the LAJ collection could continue to be a complete record of the hobby. You and Stan Oliner devoted a week of your lives to packing and shipping the recoverable portions of the Keffer collection. Finally, in 2003, when notified that the Paris Mill would soon be demolished, you coordinated with the Fossils’ LAJ Committee to find a new home for the collection. You managed the loading and packing of the collection for shipment to Madison.

You served the National Amateur Press Association as official editor in 1981-82 and as president in 1986-87. In addition, your activities as a collector benefitted the University of Iowa as well as UW-Madison. Your fanzine, genzine, NFFF, and science fiction convention memorabilia collections enriched the collections at University of Iowa. As a result of your generosity, Iowa will be a magnet for fans and scholars wishing to research amateur publishing in the science fiction and fantasy fields. In addition, a significant portion of the current Fossils website owes its existence to your efforts.

Again, my congratulations to you and all your family on this important recognition of your lifetime service to the amateur journalism hobby. The Fossils thank you for all your efforts on behalf of the amateur journalism hobby. We hope that your Paxton award provides some recognition of your contribution. We think that Edwin Hadley Smith and Russ Paxton would approve of your selection.

Mike made this reply:

I have been in the hospital for a couple weeks, and got home yesterday for the outstanding award The Fossils gave me!

As you know, Russ and I were pretty good friends, even though we lived so far apart. He's the one who taught me how to pad a halftone for good repro on a letterpress. His constant hard work inspired me to print the club journal for the UAP and UAPAA for such a long time (and to help create small conventions for them here in Oregon). I was NAPA Mss manager for quite a while, but had a difficult time pulling in papers! I never did much personal printing for the groups. The only thing was “Pacifica,” four pages of poems I would talk out of people...and after a year or two of that, lots of non-ajers were sending in material (most pretty bad!). I was always proud of the little 4-pager I did about the first negro member at the 2nd convention of NAPA.

Now that my babbling has gotten around to pride, Russ’ award is at the top of my pride-list! It was so totally unexpected. You and The Fossils cannot know how much this means to me.