“Tuckerism” is named after Bob Tucker, who I suppose, made putting friends and family into his prose an artform.
Most every writer I know does this to some degree or another. To the general reader, it washes over them and they are none the wiser. But if you know an author personally, you can see whom he or she is giving a shout out to.
When I need lots of names, I grab them from various sources. For A Time to Love and A Time to Hate, I needed lots of crewmen so cherry-picked liberally from the 2004 New York Mets 25-man roster, the E Street Band and the 12 finalists from the second season of American Idol.
My kids have been tuckerized over the years. Just after Kate was born, she got promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the Enterprise in Howard Weinstein’s Deep Domain. More recently, Robbie found himself a high school principal in a Michael A. Burstein short story in the I, Alien anthology. (This is actually prophetic since he’ll be attending college next year to become a teacher.)
All of this is prelude to the small thrill I received last night while sitting on the train reading Keith DeCandido’s latest novel, a Spider-Man adventure entitled Down These Mean Streets. Reference is made to the law firm Dilmore Ward & Greenberger. I stopped and laughed, pointed it out to Deb and kept reading.
I’ve been tuckerized before, but this is my second stint as a lawyer. Back in the day, there used to be a neat feature in the back of Grimjack, “Munden’s Bar.” The Bar was once of these places where people from all dimensions and time periods can come and have a brew without trouble. John Ostrander wrote most of the stories with a wide variety of artists taking a turn. In this adventure, illustrated by Colleen Doran, I wound up a lawyer and must have been a success since here I am, all these years later in partnership with the shylocks from Kansas.
(Which certainly beats the time I found my name on a tombstone in an issue of Valentino’s Normalman.)