Wikipedia defines it as “the act of using a person’s name in an original story as an in-joke.”
Tuckerization is one of the little perks of being an established writer. You get to attach your friends’ names to your bit characters. While I suspect it has a long, long history, the modern use of Tuckerization takes its name from science fiction editor Wilson Tucker who made a practice of it.
The most recent twist for authors is auctioning off to third parties the privilege of submitting the names to be Tuckerized.
I bring this up because Michael Swanwick (winner of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards) is offering a version of Tuckerization as part of his fund-raising gig for the Clarion West Writers Workshop Write-a-thon. For $10 sponsorships, he will write you your own short-short and post it online at his blog and on the Clarion West website.
Visit the Write-a-thon site to read excerpts of fiction from the 74 participating writers (including Swanwick, Kij Johnson, Kelley Eskridge, Cat Rambo, Eileen Gunn, Vonda McIntyre, Nisi Shawl — and me. Use the Pay Pal button on any of our pages to make a donation to support the Clarion West workshop program. We thank you!