Chapter Four: "Fans Across the Water"
International Fandom



Fan Communities

* British fandom
  - early British fandom
    > the Leeds Science Fiction League
      -- the first prominent fan group in the U.K.
      -- existed during the 1930s, but had passed from existence by (when?)
      -- most notable achievement, and it was a big one, was when it organized
         what some people claim was the very first science fiction convention,
         in Leeds in 1937
         >> others claim, however, that the first convention was the much-
            less-organized Philadelphia convention of 1936; the controversy
            surrounding these competing claims lasted for decades afterwards,
            and this continuing controversy as much as anything has ensured
            the Leeds group its place in history
    > (other very early U.K. fan groups?  London?)
  - London Circle
    > was the first prominent post-World War Two fan group in Britain
    > came into existance in 1947, meeting Thursday nights at a fabled meeting
      spot, the White Horse tavern
      -- for most of its existence, was a very casual, unorganized group, with
         its meetings always being at a pub, starting with the White Horse
      -- frequent attendees included Arthur C. Clarke, who immortalized the
         White Horse as the `White Hart' in a series of stories
    > in 1953, meetings had moved to another famous meeting site, the Globe
      -- was a larger meeting spot than the White Horse, but turned out to be
         less of a favorite for fans
    > by late 1950s, waning interest was becoming evident, which continued to
      end of decade
    > in early 1960, controversy and personality clashes erupted when some
      members of the group, most notably Ted Tubb, wanted to organize for more
      stability
      -- for a short while, the London Circle actually decreed itself to be,
         according to Ron Ellik in FANAC, "a proper-type club, with membership
         cards and dues and an elected committee and everything", but this was
         not to last very long
      -- eventually, those who wanted no organization won out, but by then the
         seeds had been sewn for the club's eventual dissolution as the
         camaraderie that held the club together started to disappear
         >> an additional factor in the club's demise was the loss of its
            meeting spot at the Globe; the whole place was remodeled, and the
            saloon where they had met became a dining room
    > passed from existence in 1961, replaced in part by Science Fiction Club
      of London
  - Science Fiction Club of London
    > formed in 1960 by dissidents of the London Circle
      -- an invitational club
      -- earliest meetings were at Inchmery
    > Ella Parker ran club for a short while
      -- meetings at her apartment, "The Penitentiary", 151 Canterbury Road
         in London's West Kilburn
      -- Ella became known in fandom in the last half of 1950s, as a fan
         publisher, but more so for her socializing
         >> hosted Friday night fan meetings until late 1964
         >> her fanzine ORION, that she inherited from Paul Enever, won
            SKYRACK poll for best British fanzine (1961)
            --- final issue (#29) published in 1962
      -- she was popular enough that a special fan fund was created to bring
         her to the 1961 Seattle Worldcon
      -- went on the chair the 1965 Worldcon
    > club meetings moved to Ethel Lindsay's apartment at Surbiton in Surrey
      -- (short info/bio paragraph on Ethel Lindsay goes here)
      -- TAFF delegate to 1962 Worldcon in Chicago
      -- published fanzine SCOTTISHE in 1950s and 1960s
      -- published fanzine HAVERINGS in 1960s, devoted to fanzine reviews
      -- she later became secretary of BSFA and hosted Friday night open-
         house parties
    > series of open meetings begun in early 1966, continued for about a year
      -- featured talks by prominent SF pros and fans
         >> John Brunner's "The Fiction in SF" later reprinted in NEW WORLDS
    > published "Combozines" that featured writings of the club's active
      members, excerpts from other fanzines
      -- second was at 1961 Eastercon, LXIcon
    > disbanded in 1968
      -- decision to discontinue regular meetings in May 1968
         >> ATom said that after 10 years of seeing the same people, everyone
            knew what the others were going to say before they said it 
         >> had planned to hold annual meetings to keep the club alive at
            least in name, but it turned out not to be a workable idea
      -- last activity was a Minicon in November 1968
  - BSFA
    > formed in 1958
      -- origins can be traced back to a fanzine article written by Vincent
         Clarke in early 1958
      -- club came officially into existance at the 1958 British Convention
         >> Clarke was unable to attend, sending a collection of reactions to
            his article instead
         >> series of meetings at the convention brought about creation of the
            club
            --- fans who were active in the formation process included Terry
                Jeeves, Archie Mercer, and Eric Bentcliffe
      -- club experienced a difficult first year, trying to rise from
         obscurity
         >> little publicity about the club was produced at first
         >> some of fans leading the club had to cut back activity for various
            reasons
         >> de-facto leadership assumed by Bentcliffe, with Jeeves editing the
            club's publication VECTOR
      -- club finally came of age in 1959, when British National Convention
         (in Birmingham) was run under BSFA sponsorship
         >> but by the end of 1950, both Jeeves and Bentcliffe had resigned,
            and their places were taken by Bobbie Wild (who married and became
            Bobbie Gray the next year) and Doc Weir
            -- ill health forced Weir to turn the BSFA Secretary position over
               to Sandra Hall after just a few months, however
    > Officers of BSFA
      -- usual complement of Treasurer, Secretary, etc.
      -- President of BSFA
         >> honorary figurehead, ceremonial in purpose
         >> presidents of BSFA in the 1960s included Brian Aldiss, Edmund
            Crispin
      -- Chairman of BSFA
         >> in early part of 1960s, was the person actually in charge of club
         >> by end of 1960s, this too had become a figurehead position
         >> chairmen of BSFA in the 1960s included Terry Jeeves, Ken Cheslin,
            Roy Kay, Ina Shorrock, Phil Rogers, Roger Gilbert
      -- Vice-Chairman of BSFA
         >> by end of 1960s, was the person actually in charge of the club
    > clubzine VECTOR edited at various times by Terry Jeeves, Michael
      Moorcock, Jimmy Groves, Archie Mercer, Darroll Pardoe, Steve Oakey,
      Ken Slater & Doreen Parker, and Rog Peyton
      -- during Peyton's tenure (1964-1966), VECTOR was upgraded into a
         professionaly-printed publication
      -- VECTOR 52 was special fiction issue, with stories by Robert Holdstock
         Michael G. Coney, among others
    > additional publications
      -- BSFA NEWSLETTER
         >> begun in late 1950s
         >> edited for a time by Ella Parker
         >> died in early 1960s (when?)
      -- BSFA BULLETIN
         >> begun in 1965
         >> set up to carry news of BSFA, allowing VECTOR "to concentrate on
            wider aspects of the SF field."
         >> first editor was Archie Mercer, who stayed as editor for rest
            of 1960s
    > established a fanzine lending library in 1965
      -- by Chris Priest
      -- companion to club's existing SF library
    > held "Annual General Meeting" at the Eastercon every year
    > sponsored British Fantasy Award
      -- presented at Eastercon
      -- Dave Kyle initially appointed to oversee award's administration
      -- became the British Science Fiction Award as of the 1970 Eastercon
    > controversy erupted in late 1960 over club's purpose
      -- stated purpose was `furtherance of science fiction'
      -- actual purpose appeared to be bringing new people into fandom
      -- both sides of controversy has its supporters
         >> John Phillifent, who wrote science fiction, complained that BSFA
            was "being run by, and heavily slanted toward `fandom'", a group
            that he felt negative toward
         >> Archie Mercer wrote that it was only the fannish fans who were
            interested in doing the work necessary to keep BSFA going
      -- ongoing dialog resulted that lasted for a number of months in letter
         column of VECTOR
         >> differing positions of both sides of the argument were summed up
            by Daphne Buckmaster in VECTOR 10: "The main problem seems to be
            the fact that you [the officials of BSFA] are trying to cater for
            two separate and differing bodies of people, fans and non-fans. I
            would suggest, with all modesty, that you cannot do both in one
            magazine.  The editors and publishers in the professional SF field
            have never made any secret of the fact that they do not want or
            need any contact with fans, as such. It is my belief, therefore,
            that you will either have to decide that you are going to be a
            reputable organisation to encourage a serious and impersonal
            interest in the SF field *or* that you are an organisation for
            recruiting SF readers into the ranks of fandom. And if you want to
            do the first, you will need a more formal attitude if you want to
            be taken seriously."
    > in 1969, club's purpose again became point of discussion in Archie
      Mercer's fanzine PERTINENCE
      -- BSFA divorced itself from sponsorship of Eastercons in late 1960s
         >> many fans thought this a mistake, as Eastercon was the major
            annual event of British fandom
      -- suggestions put forth by Chris Priest and Bob Rickard on how to
         rejuvenate the club
         >> Priest suggested a strategy on how BSFA could expand membership
            sufficiently to have the resources to bring in a full-time
            secretary to actually run the club
         >> Rickard thought club's image was that of chaos and anarchy, and
            needed change before any improvements could happen
      -- unfortunately, discussions had no effect on BSFA, and club decline
         gradually continued until its collapse in the mid 1970s
         >> it was, however, successfully revived and continued as a centrex
            for British fandom for decades after that
  - late 1960s London fandom
    > by 1969, only activity was weekly meetings at The Globe
  - Young Science Fiction Readers Group (YSFRG)
    > formed in 1960
    > for BSFA's under-25 members
    > club's stated purpose was to introduce new people into fandom
    > Jim Linwood founding member of this group
    > ads for group appeared in NEW WORLDS magazine
    > about 30 members
    > members from U.K. included Darroll Pardoe, Mary Munro, Brian Jordan
    > members from U.S. included Peggy Rae McKnight, Robert Lichtman, and
      Andy Main
    > published YSFRG NEWSLETTER (2 issues, last in 1961)
    > group died soon after appearance of last YSFRG NEWSLETTER
  - Cheltenham Circle
    > began in 1955
    > passed from existence in 1963
      -- 25th issue of VECTOR noted it's expiration
    > had organized the 1961 Eastercon
    > prominent members were Eric Jones, Bob Richardson, and Peter Mabey
    > perhaps best known as the organization that originated the Knights of
      St. Fantony
  - Bristol and District SF Club (BaD)
    > formed soon after Loncon II in 1965
      -- first meeting, Sept. 1965, had 14 people show up
    > leading force behind the club was Tony Walsh
      -- apparently hosted many of the meetings, including the first
    > other prominent members included Peter Roberts and Graham Boak
    > comprised of some of the ex-Cheltenham Circle members
    > published a clubzine, BADINAGE, edited by Graham Boak
      -- first issue contained a letters column, from fans who had been 
         persuaded to comment on the non-existent issue number zero
      -- five issues total, the last in July 1968
    > club folded in mid-1968
      -- Boak left Bristol University for job in aerospace industry
         >> moved to Hertfordshire
      -- Roberts left to go to Keele Univ.
  - Birmingham Science Fiction Group
    > formed in 1961
      -- did not contact rest of British fandom until 1963, when one of its
         members journeyed to Peterborough for the 1963 Eastercon
    > founded by Roger Peyton and Cliff Teague
    > other members included fan artist Mike Higgs
    > Ken Cheslin became early mentor to group
    > Tony Ventris-Field, a reporter from Erdington News, joined club in 1962
      -- newspaper would give free publicity only to local organizations
      -- club became "The Erdington SF Circle" to con the paper's editor
         >> little paper slips advertizing the ESFC were put in SF books at
            Birmingham Rag Market: "Are you interested in SF?  Join the
            Erdington SF Circle."
      -- Ventris-Field wrote article that appeared on paper's front page in
         January 1963 
      -- no indication that newspaper story had much of an effect on club's
         membership roster
      -- one of book inserts found by Peter Weston, then 19 years old
         >> had been solitary reader of SF for 6 years
         >> attended meeting two weeks after finding notice, became regular
            attendee
         >> would go on to publish one of Britain's best fanzines
    > peak of its existence was the 1965 Eastercon, which the club sponsored
    > Meeting sites for group during its history
      -- met at book store at first
      -- Sunday meetings then held at Victorian house where Teague lived
      -- later, met at home of Charlie Winstone, in Erdington
         >> Winstone had bad time at 1966 Eastercon, ejected the group soon
            after that
      -- after 1966 Eastercon, club meeting site became `The Old 
         Contemptibles' pub in Birmingham
         >> pub was not really suitable as a meeting site, however
         >> one of last few meetings had only 3 people
    > club passed from existence on Sept. 25, 1966 (H.G. Wells's birthday)
      -- Darroll Pardoe and Martin Pitt met to toast Wells, then declared the
         club dead
      -- Birmingham fandom would not organize again until the 1970s
  - Stourbridge Circle
    > located in a small town near Birmingham
    > active in the early 1960s, first becoming visible at the 1959 Eastercon
    > notable fans and fanzines from the group included LES SPINGE, which
      started as a clubzine and took life of its own as a fine general
      interest fanzine, (who else?)
  - Liverpool Group (LiG)
    > formerly Liverpool Science Fantasy Society (LaSFaS), founded in 1951
    > prominent members included Norman and Ina Shorrock, John Roles, Eddie
      Jones, and Norman Weedall
    > published the fanzine BASTION
      -- edited by Eric Bentcliffe, published by Norman Shorrock, artwork
         by Eddie Jones
      -- three issues total, last in 1962
         >> last issue contained article by Dick Lupoff describing formation
            of a new New York fan group, The Fanoclasts
    > 1962 visit by Dave and Ruth Kyle after 1962 Eastercon
    > 1964 trip to the German National Convention by group of British fans,
      many from Liverpool Group
  - Oxford University Science Fiction Club
    > formed in 1962
    > founded by Chris Miller, Mark Wigan, and John Pewsay
    > outside guarantors were Brian Aldiss and C.S. Lewis
      -- Aldiss's house was center of activity for club
    > officially the O.U. Speculative Fiction Group, for purposes of
      respectability
      -- however, often met in pubs
  - Cambridge University Science Fiction Society
    > founded in 1963 by Charles Platt
      -- at the time, a student in economics at Cambridge's Churchill College
  - NotFans fan group of Nottingham University
    > some of fans in organization were Jim Linwood, Bob Parkinson, John Dyke,
      and Jacqui Bratton
    > held regular Wednesday night meetings
    > disbanded in mid-1962 after Parkinson and Dyke graduated and left
      Nottingham
    > club's fanzine, JETSTREAM, lasted just one issue
      -- Linwood published 2 more issues on his own, through the apa OMPA
  - A second Nottingham fan group, Forest Fields Science Fiction Society
    > formed in late 1962
    > comprised of schoolboys
    > published short-lived fanzine, ICARUS, that ran for 7 issues
    > best-known fan in the group was Dave Wood, not the same Dave Wood who
      had been active in the 1950s
  - Sheffield University Union Science Fiction and Fantasy Association
    > briefly existed in early 1960s
    > according to one of the founders, Brian Jordan, the organization had
      "a committee of eight and a membership of one"
  - Herts Science Fiction and Fantasy Fan Group
    > formed in April 1969
    > members included Graham Boak (elected as first chairman), Arthur
      Cruttenden, Keith & Jill Bridges, Mary Reed, Chaz Legg, Brian Hampton
      -- Gardner Dozois, who was visiting, listed as an honorary member
    > one of club's very first activities was to buy a duplicator 
  - Northern Science Fiction and Fantasy Group
    > Manchester area group
    > formed in 1964
    > chairman was Charles Partington
    > initial meetings held in a room overtop of a fish and chips store
    > showed silent 8mm movies at meetings, interested in films
    > Partington and some other club members also part of The Delta Group,
      which produced a number of SF-related amateur films in the 1960s
  - Faculty of Technology SF Society (TechSFSoc) of Manchester
    > a university group run by Martin Pitt
    > founded in 1967
    > as many as 115 members, though there were no scheduled meetings; no
    > group apparently survived through end of decade
  - Leeds University Science Fiction Group
    > founded by Bill Burns in 1966
    > lasted two years
    > was mostly a social group that had little contact with other fan groups
  - Leeds and District SF Group
    > organized by Barbara Mace in 1967
    > met on altenate Monday evenings in Victoria pub behind Leeds Town Hall

* Australia  {{note: this entire section needs complete re-working}}
  - Melbourne fandom
    > Melbourne Science Fiction Club
    > The Nova Mob
  - Sydney fandom
    > Sydney Futurian Society
  - sercon fanzines established
    > SF COMMENTARY
      -- edited by Bruce Gillespie
         >> (mini-bio goes here)
    > AUSTRALIAN SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW
  - Oz fandom establishes internatinal outlook and links
  - Other notable fans (NOTE: THESE WILL BE WORKED INTO OVERALL DESCRIPTIONS
    OF AUSTRALIAN FANDOM AND AUSTRALIAN CONVENTIONS, IF POSSIBLE)
    > John Bangsund
      -- first contacted fandom in 1963
      -- edited AUSTRALIAN SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW between 1966-1969
    > John Baxter
    > Ron Clarke
      -- published first fanzine in 1964
      -- attended first convention in 1966
      -- one of founders of SSFF and ANZAPA
    > Mervyn Barrett
      -- New Zealand fan who lived in Australia during first half od 1960s
    > Mervyn Binns
      -- member of Melbourne SF Club from its outset
      -- later, proprietor of Space Age Books
    > Leigh Edmonds
      -- one of founders of ANZAPA
      -- in 1970s, was first Australian DUFF winner
    > John Foyster
    > Margaret Duce (a.k.a. Helena Roberts in the 1970s)
      -- fan artist
      -- (need more info)
    > Robin Johnson
      -- was living in England in 1968
         >> had attended a few conventions and London fan gatherings
      -- on way to visit relatives in Tasmania (when?), changed planes in
         Melbourne
         >> happened across McGills, where Merv Binns worked (how?)
         >> was given Ron Clarke's address by Binns
      -- in early 1968, on way to visit relatives in Tasmania and Sydney, 
         met at airport by Ron Clarke
         >> taken to fan party, met some SSFF people
      -- in 1969, decided to move to Australia, attended 1969 Natcon (in 
           Melbourne)
      -- became active in fandom starting in 1970, went on to be chairman of
         first Australian Worldcon
         >> replaced John Foyster as bid chairman in 1972
  - later, in 1970, committee forms to bid for 1975 worldcon
    > Robin Johnson later attended the 1970 Worldcon in Heidelberg,
      representing the A-in-75 bid

* New Zealand
  - prominent fan Bruce Burn emigrated to U.K. in 1960
    > was greeted by members of the Science Fiction Club of London, twice,
      since his ship was a day late
    > returned to New Zealand in 1963
  - (Nigel Rowe should help research)

Back to Chapter Three - - - - - - Part 2