A. Langley Searles

Arthur Langley Searles (August 8, 1920 - May 7, 2009) was an American chemist, a science fiction enthusiast and bibliographer and historian of the field, from Bronxville, New York.

Searles is best known for the scholarly science fiction fanzine Fantasy Commentator, which he published and edited. Searles published twenty-eight issues of Fantasy Commentator between 1943 and 1953, then resumed publication in 1978 with number 29; the last issue appeared in 2004.[1] It was nominated for the 1946 Hugo Award for Hugo Award for Best Fanzine.[2] The Immortal Storm, 1954, Sam Moskowitz' pioneering history of science fiction fandom, was originally serialized in Fantasy Commentator between 1945 and 1952. It was also the venue for publication of Searles' bibliographies of topics such as "Science Fiction in Blue Book" and "Science Fiction in the Munsey Magazines". Following the 1978 revival of his journal, he published it annually until 1990 and semi-annually thereafter. This incarnation of the Commentator was noted for the series of articles which eventually became two works on the genre by Eric Leif Davin, Pioneers of Wonder: Conversations With the Founders of Science Fiction, in 1999, and Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, 1926-1965, 2006.

Searles was a chemist and professor of chemistry, having obtained his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from New York University, the latter in 1946. He began teaching at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, The Bronx in 1956, and taught there until his retirement.[3] He married Elizabeth Dew, a librarian, in September 1946;[4] he divorced her in 1969 and married Mary Alice McFall Becker, a physician, on July 20, 1969. He died on May 7, 2009 of prostate cancer.


  1. ^ Tymn, Marshall and Michael Ashley (eds.), Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Weird Fiction Magazines, p. 822.
  2. ^ 1946 Retro Hugos List
  3. ^ College of Mt. St. Vincent 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalogue, p. 220.
  4. ^ Alumni Notes University of Michigan Dept. of Library Science, p. 1943.

External links

Esoteric Order of Dagon

The Esoteric Order of Dagon is a fictional cult in the Cthulhu mythos of H. P. Lovecraft.

Fantasy Amateur Press Association

The Fantasy Amateur Press Association or FAPA ("FAP-uh") is science fiction fandom's longest-established amateur press association ("apa"). It was founded in 1937 by Donald A. Wollheim and John B. Michel. They were inspired to create FAPA by their memberships in some of the non-science fiction amateur press associations, which they learned about from H. P. Lovecraft. (It is also fandom's longest-running organization of any kind, preceding the founding of the runner-up, the National Fantasy Fan Federation, by nearly four years.)

Like other APAs, FAPA is primarily an agency for distributing to its members publications published by its members at their own expense. FAPA has "mailings" every three months. Members are required to be active in some way — writing or publishing — and produce at least eight pages of activity a year. When needed, there are elections (in August) of a secretary-treasurer and official editor. Other officials have included Official Critics, a Laureate Committee, President, Vice-President, and ballot counters. The first two positions were abandoned by the mid-1940s, and in 2009 the positions of President and Vice-President were also eliminated. The President Emeritus is the author Robert Silverberg, who was the last serving President and who has been an active member of FAPA longer than any other current member. When necessary, a teller for the annual officer elections is appointed by the secretary-treasurer.

FAPA's original constitutional limit was 50 members to accommodate publishers using hectographs. There were 21 members listed on the roster of the first mailing in August 1937; it took until the November 1938 mailing to fill the 50-member roster. The membership limit was raised to 65 in 1943 and has remained at that level ever since.

The early years of FAPA were stormy with party politics and sociological feuds (as recounted in the late Jack Speer's pioneering fan history, Up to Now). In 1947, Speer reformed the constitution, and the Insurgents quashed the last inactive OE, Elmer Perdue. Since then official troubles have mostly not disturbed FAPA, and red tape has been held to a minimum. The constitution was again revised in 1958 (also by Speer) to incorporate amendments, bylaws, and practices adopted since 1947. Another major revision occurred in 2001 under the oversight of Robert Lichtman (Secretary-Treasurer since 1986 and still holding that office), clarifying and conforming constitutional requirements with actual practice.

During the 1950s and 1960s FAPA was so popular and membership so sought after that the waiting list grew to monumental proportions, for a period of time exceeding the number of membership slots on the FAPA roster. A waiting list fee was instituted to cover the cost of sending the Fantasy Amateur to so many fans awaiting membership, and a requirement that waiting listers periodically acknowledge receipt of the Fantasy Amateur was begun in order to weed out those who lost interest during the long wait. By the '70s the waiting list became much smaller, and in recent years (since the mid 1990s) has disappeared altogether. Additionally, the number of members has also shrunk as existing members died or otherwise dropped off the roster. As of August 2018, there were 20 active participants (including one joint membership).

Fritz Leiber

Fritz Reuter Leiber Jr. (December 24, 1910 – September 5, 1992) was an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He was also a poet, actor in theater and films, playwright and chess expert. With writers such as Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, Leiber can be regarded as one of the fathers of sword and sorcery fantasy, having coined the term.

Garrett P. Serviss

Garrett Putnam Serviss (March 24, 1851 – May 25, 1929) was an American astronomer, popularizer of astronomy, and early science fiction writer. Serviss was born in upstate New York and majored in science at Cornell University. He took a law degree at Columbia University but never worked as an attorney. Instead, in 1876 he joined the staff of The New York Sun newspaper, working as a journalist until 1892 under editor Charles Dana.

Serviss showed a talent for explaining scientific details in a way that made them clear to the ordinary reader, leading Andrew Carnegie to invite him to deliver The Urania Lectures in 1894 on astronomy, cosmology, geology, and related matters. With Carnegie's financial backing, these lectures were illustrated with magic lantern slides and other effects to show eclipses, presumed lunar landscapes, and much else. Serviss toured the United States for over two years delivering these lectures, then settled down to become a popular speaker in the New York area. He also wrote a syndicated newspaper column devoted to astronomy and other sciences and wrote frequently for the leading magazines of the day.Serviss' favorite topic was astronomy, and of the fifteen books he wrote, eight are devoted to it. He unquestionably was more widely read by the public on that topic than anyone prior to his time. He worked with Max and Dave Fleischer on The Einstein Theory of Relativity (1923), a short silent film released in connection with one of Serviss' books. He also wrote six works of fiction in his lifetime, all of which would today be classified as science fiction. Five of these were novels, and one was a short story.In his private life, Serviss was an enthusiastic mountain climber. He described his reaching the summit of the Matterhorn at the age of 43 as part of an effort "to get as far away from terrestrial gravity as possible." His son was the Olympic high jumper Garrett Serviss.

Henry S. Whitehead

Henry St. Clair Whitehead (March 5, 1882 – November 23, 1932) was an Episcopal minister and author of horror fiction and fantasy

Hugo Award for Best Fanzine

The Hugo Awards are given every year by the World Science Fiction Society for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was once officially known as the Science Fiction Achievement Award. The award has been described as "a fine showcase for speculative fiction" and "the best known literary award for science fiction writing". The Hugo Award for Best Fanzine is given each year for non professionally edited magazines, or "fanzines", related to science fiction or fantasy which has published four or more issues with at least one issue appearing in the previous calendar year. Awards were also once given out for professional magazines in the professional magazine category, and since 1984 have been awarded for semi-professional magazines in the semiprozine category; several magazines that were nominated for or won the fanzine category have gone on to be nominated for or win the semiprozine category since it was established.

The award was first presented in 1955, and has been given annually since except for in 1958. A "fanzine" is defined for the award as a magazine that does not meet the Hugo award's criteria for a professional or semi-professional magazine. Specifically, it must meet less than two of the five Hugo criteria for consideration as a semiprozine: that the magazine had an average press run of at least one thousand copies per issue, paid its contributors and/or staff in other than copies of the publication, provided at least half the income of any one person, had at least fifteen percent of its total space occupied by advertising, and announced itself to be a semiprozine. This is the oldest long-running Hugo award for fan activity; in 1967 Hugo Awards were added specifically for fan writing and fan art. In addition to the regular Hugo awards, beginning in 1996 Retrospective Hugo Awards, or "Retro Hugos", have been available to be awarded for years 50, 75, or 100 years prior in which no awards were given. To date, Retro Hugo awards have been awarded for 1939, 1941, 1946, 1951, and 1954, and the fanzine category has been included each year.Hugo Award nominees and winners are chosen by supporting or attending members of the annual World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), and the presentation evening constitutes its central event. The selection process is defined in the World Science Fiction Society Constitution as instant-runoff voting with six nominees, except in the case of a tie. The works on the ballot are the six most-nominated by members that year, with no limit on the number of works that can be nominated. The 1955 and 1956 awards did not include any recognition of runner-up magazines, but since 1957 all of the candidates were recorded. Initial nominations are made by members in January through March, while voting on the ballot of six nominations is performed roughly in April through July, subject to change depending on when that year's Worldcon is held. Prior to 2017, the final ballot was five works; it was changed that year to six, with each initial nominator limited to five nominations. Worldcons are generally held near the start of September, and are held in a different city around the world each year.During the 69 nomination years, including Retro Hugo years, 128 magazines run by 177 editors have been nominated. Of these, 40 magazines run by 67 editors have won, including ties. Locus has won 8 times out of 13 nominations, the most wins of any magazine. File 770 has won 7 of 31, the most nominations of any magazine. Mimosa has won 6 of 14 nominations, Ansible has won 5 out of 11, and Science Fiction Review has won 4 of 12; they are the only other magazines to win more than twice. Challenger has the most nominations without winning at 12; the next highest is FOSFAX with 7. As editor of Locus Charles N. Brown has won 8 of 13 nominations, though he shared 8 of those awards with Dena Brown. Richard E. Geis has won 6 of 15 nominations for his work on Science Fiction Review, Psychotic, and The Alien Critic; Mike Glyer has won 7 of 31 for editing File 770; David Langford has won 5 of 12 for work on Ansible and Twil-Ddu; and Richard Lynch and Nicki Lynch have both won 6 of 14 nominations for Mimosa. Guy H. Lillian III has the most nominations without winning at 12 for Challenger.

Milo Hastings

Milo Milton Hastings (June 28, 1884 – February 25, 1957) was an American inventor, author, and nutritionist. He invented the forced-draft chicken incubator and Weeniwinks, a health-food snack. He wrote about chickens, science fiction, and health, among other things. Some of his writing is available in book form and on Project Gutenberg. Hastings was married twice and had three children.

The Carnelian Cube

The Carnelian Cube is a fantasy novel by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt. It was first published in hardcover by Gnome Press in 1948, and in paperback by Lancer Books in 1967. An E-book edition was published by Gollancz's SF Gateway imprint on September 29, 2011 as part of a general release of de Camp's works in electronic form. It has also been translated into Italian and German.

The House on the Borderland and Other Novels

The House on the Borderland and Other Novels is a collection of short novels by British writer William Hope Hodgson. It was published by Arkham House in 1946 in an edition of 3,014 copies. The collection was reprinted by Gollancz in 2002, with a new introduction by China Miéville, as volume 33 of their Fantasy Masterworks series.

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