Fanorama by Walt Willis
WALTER A. WILLIS
Looks at British fandom
When I wasn't notified of any deadline for this issue, I unassumingly asumed I had been given the push. I didn't even console myself with the reflection that shortly hordes of enraged readers would be marching on Glasgow shouting for Peter Hamilton's blood. Most of them, I realised, would do no more than sob broken-heartedly for a few days over the demise of this column—after all there are, as you may have noticed, stories and things in the magazine as well; the rest of this high quality paper is not there just to keep my column from being soiled. I decided to wait with quiet dignity until John W. Campbell or Horace Gold cabled me and then start again under another name. I never did like that Electric Fan title anyway.
But I've just bad a hurried note from Pete and it seems I'm still on the payroll after all. It was just a clerical error in the vast Nebula Organisation. (I suppose they call it a clerical error because it could happen to a bishop). Anyhow it means I have to do this instalment in a hurry and I mention the fact so that literary critics won't complain of the absence of the usual polished b,brilliance of style or fan editors that I've ignored their magazine. I haven't time to get out the polishing rags or search my friends' bookcases for my fanmags.
BEM No. 3, Tom White & Mal Ashworth, 3 Vine St., Cutler Heights, Bradford 4, Yorks, 40 pages. 9d. per copy.
ALPHA, No. 7, Dave Vendelmans and Jan Jansen, 130 Strydhoflaan, Berchen, Antwerp, Belgium, 22 pages, 9d per copy.
PHANTASMAGORIA, No. 2 (New Series), Derek Pickles and Stan Thomas, 197 Cutler Heights Lane, Bradford 4, Yorks, 24 pages (small size), no price asked, but send 6d for sample.
OPERATION FANTAST No. 16, Ken Slater, 22 Broad St., Syston, Leics., 22 pages, 7/-for four issues, including membership of the OF organisation. Printed.
I've also received a copy of THE IMMORTAL STORM, a history of science fiction fandom by Sam Moskowitz, published by the Asfo Press at 713 Coventry Road, Deatur, Georgia, U.S.A., at $5.00 a copy. You should be able to get it through Ken Slater (address above). There are two reasons why you might like to. In the first place, if you are interested in the origins and development of this strange and fascinating microsm you'll find all the answers here.
The second reason is that although...or perhaps because... Moskowitz has no sense of humour, he has written here what is in some ways one of the funniest books ever. He accomplishes this remarkable feat by treating his subject with deadpan seriousness throughout, as if the events he described were of world-shaking significance. A random quotation will show you what I mean. "But again stark drama was preparing her lines.. . and what was to follow...was to deal catastrophe to fandom as a whole. Ragnorak had caught the entire fan world napping!" Fascinating.
From Nebula No. 11, December 1954
Last revised: 1 October, 2006
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