This directory is intended as a research and reference resource for those
interested in Science Fiction fandom rather than as a collection of individual
home pages. (Though where a fan already has a home page, we're happy to establish
a link to this.) As such it emphasises hard data on the fan in question rather
than, say, anecdotes about that persons cat, as amusing as these doubtless
are. This being so, we're being pretty hard-nosed about the format of these pages
and the information we want to see on them. To be
included in this directory, you must have been active in SF fandom, by which
we mean you must have written or drawn for fanzines, or been on the committees of SF
conventions, or played an active role in your local fan group, etc. Merely being
a passive consumer of SF books or TV is not sufficient. If you would like to be
included in this directory and believe you meet these criteria, please
text of your entry (which must resemble those already here), including the URL of
any existing home page, to Rob Hansen, who maintains this site. We will do the
HTML mark up on your entry and reserve the right to edit it to conform to our
format or to reject it entirely if you have failed to supply appropriate and/or
Unless otherwise stated, the information on a given page can be assumed to
have been provided by the person in question. Obviously, compiling pages for
dead or gafiated fans is a major task and we'd appreciate help with this. Those who
who compile the information on that fan will of course be credited on the page.
Also, please bear in mind that this is - and always will be - a work in progress. If
you spot any errors or omissions we want to know about them so they can be
- What is SF fandom?
- Science Fiction fandom grew out of the lettercolumns of the pulp SF magazines of
the 1920s and 30s. Amazing Stories editor Hugo Gernsback was the
first to start printing the full addresses of letter writers, which led to them
writing to each other, setting up meetings, and to the beginning of a sense of
community. The first ever SF fan group - the Scienceers - was formed in New
York in 1929, while the first British SF fan group - the Ilford Science Literary Society -
formed in 1930. Fanzines and conventions eventually followed.
- What was the first fanzine?
- This is generally accepted as being The Comet, first published by
Ray Palmer for the Science Correspondence Club in May 1930.
- Why are they called 'fanzines'?
- 'Fanzine' is a contraction of 'fan magazine'. The term originally used was 'fanmag'.
The term 'fanzine' was coined by US fan Louis Russell Chauvenet circa 1940 and
swiftly superceded the older term. It has since spread beyond the confines of
- When and where was the first SF convention held?
- This is a matter of some contention. In 1936, UK fans announced their
intention to hold a convention in Leeds early the following year, and duly hired
a hall to host it. Knowing this, a group of New York fans visiting their
counterparts in Philadelphia on 22 October 1936, decided to declare their
meeting in the home of one of the latter to be the first SF convention. Many commentators,
this writer included, view this claim as absurd. In contrast, the Leeds convention was held in
public function premises on 3 January 1937, attracted 20 or so fans from all
over the country, and had a planned programme.
- What are APAs?
- An APA, or Amateur Press Association, is a group whose members send in
a set number of copies of a fanzine (usually produced specifically for that
APA and generally referred to as APAzines) to the APAs OE (Official Editor),
who then collates these into mailings containing a copy of each zine, which
are then mailed out to the members. Members pay an annual fee to cover post
and packing costs, and deadlines are set for a given number of mailings each
year. Most APAs set 'minac' (minimum activity) requirements in order to
encourage contributions from members. Failure to meet annual minac usually
means expulsion. APAs are an idea fans copied from amateur journalism groups, the
first fannish APA being FAPA, which was founded by Donald A.Wollheim in 1937.
- What are fan funds?
- Fan funds exist to send fans from one country to conventions in another. Some,
such as TAFF, DUFF, & GUFF, run 'races' in which candidates stand and are voted
on by fans in the sending and receiving countries, while others are one-offs
set up to raise funds to bring a particular fan to a specific convention. The
fans so honoured act as ambassadors for their home fandom and help strengthen
the international bonds of friendship that are one of fandom's most
admirable features. The first one-off international fan fund, the Big Pond Fund,
was established to get E.J.'Ted' Carnell to the 1947 Worldcon, though it was
the 1949 Worldcon he eventually ended up attending. The first continuing fan
fund, TAFF (Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund), was established in 1953.
Over the years, many histories of SF fandom have been written. The major ones
are listed below:
THE IMMORTAL STORM - Sam Moskowitz (1954)(1974, Hyperion). This covers
fandom in the 1930s.
ALL OUR YESTERDAYS - Harry Warner Jr (1969, Advent). This
covers the 1940s.
THE FUTURIANS - Damon Knight (1977, John Day). The story of the
celebrated 1940s New York fan group.
A WEALTH OF FABLE - Harry Warner Jr (1992, SCIFI Press). This covers the 1950s.
THEN: A HISTORY OF UK FANDOM 1930-80 - Rob Hansen. This is
APA - Amateur Press Association
AWA - A Woman's APA (US)
DUFF - Down Under Fan Fund (Australia/US)
FAPA - Fantasy Amateur Press Association (US)
FHAPA - Fan History Amateur Press Association (US)
Gafia/Gafiate - Get Away From It All. To leave fandom
Gen - Gen(eral)zine. A fanzine not written by the editor alone
Group - Groupzine. A fanzine done by/for a particular fan group
GUFF - Get Under/Up-and-over Fan Fund (Australia/Europe)
News - Newszine. These are the newspapers of fandom
OMPA - Off-trails Magazine Publishers Associaton (UK)
Pers - Personalzine. A fanzine written by the editor alone
TAFF - Trans Atlantic Fan Fund (Europe/US)
TWP - The Women's Periodical (UK)