David G. Potter (1947-2001) was a computer technician at California State University at Sacramento who was widely known for acerbic, scathingly humorous and knowledgeable postings to Usenet science fiction newsgroups. He assumed the name of Gharlane of Eddore as a Usenet pseudonym for Usenet postings and carefully guarded his true identity for many years before his death. He is best known for authoring the Lensman FAQ and voluminous Usenet postings. He "passed into the next plane of existence", as E. E. Smith wrote of many of his characters, on June 10, 2001 following a heart attack.
He was well known for being a curmudgeon and pedant in Usenet science fiction newsgroups (rec.arts.sf.*), frequently pointing out scientific inaccuracies.
David Potter's knowledge of "SF writing, movies and television, as well as writing in general, general science and engineering, computers and USENET history and culture", has been described as impressive and his writing on Usenet news groups described as "incredibly prolific."
He is described by the net.legends FAQ as a semi-master flamer. The Register said "no one will doubt that he was not backward in coming forward, the fact remains that he was a witty, well-read, travelled and caring man. In short, a good human being."
He is known to have posted as Gharlane from firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Up until 1992 he often posted as "firstname.lastname@example.org (Carl Kolchak)". Gharlane made his first appearance Sep 25 1992 in a posting to rec.arts.sf.written about the movie Sneakers (see below). On May 7 1993 he announced his Lensman FAQ in rec.arts.sf.written.
Pseudonyms he claimed he used in print publications include E. K. Grant and Gordon Schumway, although there is no evidence for these claims.
Employed by California State University in Sacramento for many years prior to his death.
Education: Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, BA in English Literature and Mathematics; New York, SUNY, Buffalo, New York (Linguistics); California State University Sacramento (Graduated with a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering). David continued to take graduate courses until his death. Upon his death he was still driving the 1966 Volkswagen he got for his graduation from High School.
story "The Man Who Hated Cadillacs" in The Mammoth Book of Comic Fantasy II
story "The Swords and the Stones" in the first The Mammoth Book of Awesome Comic Fantasy