First Fandom

First Fandom is an informal association of early, active and well-known science fiction fans.

First Fandom Patch
Patch belonging to First Fandom member Emil Petaja

In 1958 a number of fans at Midwestcon realized amid table-talk that they all had been active in fandom for more than 20 years. This inspired the creation of an organization for longstanding fans under the initial chairmanship of Robert A. Madle. Originally only those fans who were known to have been active in fandom before the cutoff date, January 1, 1938, were eligible. Such fannish activity (or "fanac") including writing to letter columns in science fiction magazines, having been published in fanzines, or having participated in science fiction oriented clubs, or just generally doing fannish things.[1]

The term itself is an oblique reference to Olaf Stapledon's classic science fiction epic Last and First Men. In this book the stages of mankind are enumerated. Thus early 1950s historian of fandom Jack Speer began to label successive generations of fans as First Fandom, Second Fandom, Third Fandom, and so forth... all the way to Seventh Fandom and beyond.

Currently the organization allows several classes of membership. For example, a Dinosaur is a member who was active before the first Worldcon (World Science Fiction Convention) held on July 4, 1939, while Associate Membership requires provable activity in fandom for more than three decades.

First Fandom annually presents its First Fandom Hall of Fame award and Sam Moskowitz Archive Award for excellence in science fiction collecting. at the beginning of the Hugo Awards Ceremony at the World Science Fiction Convention.

There is an analogous informal society in Finnish fandom called the Dinosaur Club; the cutoff being the first major Finnish con Kingcon.


  1. ^ Madle, Robert A. "Bob Madle's American Letter" Nebula 40 (May 1959)

1. Bob Madle's American Letter Nebula Science Fiction 1959.

External links

21st World Science Fiction Convention

The 21st World Science Fiction Convention, also known as Discon I, was held August 31–September 2, 1963, at the Statler-Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., United States.

Following the convention, Advent:Publishers published The Proceedings: Discon, edited by Richard Eney. The book includes transcripts of lectures and panels given during the course of the convention and includes numerous photographs as well.

The chairman was George Scithers. The guest of honor was Murray Leinster. The toastmaster was Isaac Asimov. Total attendance was approximately 600.

71st World Science Fiction Convention

The 71st World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as LoneStarCon 3, was held in San Antonio, Texas, on August 29-September 2, 2013, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and Marriott Rivercenter. The convention committee was chaired by Randall Shepherd. The convention was organized by Alamo Literary Arts Maintenance Organization, Inc. (ALAMO) which had previously organized LoneStarCon 2, the 55th World Science Fiction Convention, held in San Antonio in 1997.

72nd World Science Fiction Convention

The 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), also known as Loncon 3, was held 14–18 August 2014 at ExCeL London in London, England. The convention committee was co-chaired by Alice Lawson and Steve Cooper and organized as London 2014 Limited. Loncon 3 sold the most memberships (10,833) and had the second largest in-person attendance (7,951) of any Worldcon to date.

Arthur W. Saha

Arthur William Saha (October 31, 1923 – November 19, 1999) was an American speculative fiction editor and anthologist, closely associated with publisher Donald A. Wollheim.

Bob Leman

Robert J. Leman (1922 – August 8, 2006) was an American science fiction and horror short story author, most associated with The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. He was not published until he was 45, but had been a member of First Fandom before that.His best-known story is "Window," which has often been reprinted and which was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story. It was adapted for an episode of Night Visions, directed by and starring Bill Pullman.

All of Leman's published stories—including the previously unpublished "How Dobbstown Was Saved", which was to have appeared in the Harlan Ellison anthology The Last Dangerous Visions—are collected in the volume Feesters in the Lake and Other Stories (Seattle: Midnight House, 2002. ISBN 0-9707349-5-6). His story "Instructions" was reprinted in chapbook form in 2001 by Tachyon Publications

Leman graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in political science after he returned from service in Europe, as a field artillery officer, during World War II.

Charles Hornig

Charles Hornig (May 25, 1916 - October 11, 1999) was one of the earliest contributors to the science fiction genre. He not only created one of the very first fanzines in 1933, as a teenager, he became the managing editor for Wonder Stories magazine from November, 1933 to April, 1936.

Donald E. Ford

Don Ford (1921–1965) was an influential American science fiction fan from Ohio.

Don began reading science fiction in 1930, and his lifelong love of the genre led him into fandom where he made many notable contributions in fan writing, fanzine editing and convention-running. He possessed a notably large SF magazine collection. He was a leading member of the Cincinnati Fantasy Group (CFG) and a founder member of First Fandom. He attended the 1948 Worldcon in Toronto and in 1949 he chaired Cinvention, the seventh Worldcon in Cincinnati. In 1950 he founded and chaired the first Midwestcon. Well connected to fans in both the UK and US, he worked with Walt Willis to develop TAFF and he was the first TAFF US administrator. He won the 1959 TAFF race, attending the 1960 Eastercon in London. He died unexpectedly on 2 April 1965 at the age of 44 from cancer.

E. F. Bleiler

Everett Franklin Bleiler (April 30, 1920 – June 13, 2010) was an American editor, bibliographer, and scholar of science fiction, detective fiction, and fantasy literature. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he co-edited the first "year's best" series of science fiction anthologies, and his Checklist of Fantastic Literature has been called "the foundation of modern SF bibliography". Among his other scholarly works are two Hugo Award–nominated volumes concerning early science fiction—Science-Fiction: The Early Years and Science-Fiction: The Gernsback Years—and the massive Guide to Supernatural Fiction.

Bleiler worked at Dover Publications from 1955, becoming executive vice-president of the company from 1967 until he left in 1977; he then worked for Charles Scribner's Sons until 1987. He edited a number of ghost story collections for Dover, containing what the genre historian Mike Ashley has described as "detailed and exemplary introductions".Bleiler received the Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction scholarship in 1984, the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1988, the First Fandom Hall of Fame award in 1994, and the International Horror Guild Living Legend award in 2004.In the 1970s Bleiler wrote two works of fiction, which were not published until 2006: the fantasy novel Firegang: A Mythic Fantasy, set in the tree of Yggdrasil as well as moving across time and space, and Magistrate Mai and the Invisible Murderer, a detective story set in ancient China, similar to the work of Robert van Gulik.

Bleiler's son, Richard, is also a science fiction historian and assisted his father on several of his works.

Earl Kemp

Earl Kemp (born November 24, 1929) is an American publisher, science fiction editor, critic, and fan who won a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine in 1961 for Who Killed Science Fiction, a collection of questions and answers with top writers in the field. Kemp also helped found Advent:Publishers, a small publishing house focused on science fiction criticism, history, and bibliography, and served as chairman of the 20th World Science Fiction Convention. During the 1960s and '70s, Kemp was also involved in publishing a number of erotic paperbacks, including an illustrated edition of the Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography. This publication led to Kemp being sentenced to one year in prison for "conspiracy to mail obscene material," but he served only the federal minimum of three months and one day.

First Fandom Hall of Fame award

First Fandom Hall of Fame is an annual award for contributions to the field of science fiction dating back more than 30 years. Contributions can be as a fan, writer, editor, artist, agent, or any combination of the five. It is awarded by First Fandom and is usually presented at the beginning of the World Science Fiction Convention's Hugo Award ceremony.

Frank Belknap Long

Frank Belknap Long (April 27, 1901 – January 3, 1994) was an American writer of horror fiction, fantasy, science fiction, poetry, gothic romance, comic books, and non-fiction. Though his writing career spanned seven decades, he is best known for his horror and science fiction short stories, including early contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos. During his life, Long received the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement (at the 1978 World Fantasy Convention), the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement (in 1987, from the Horror Writers Association), and the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award (1977).

George O. Smith

George Oliver Smith (April 9, 1911 – May 27, 1981) (also known by the pseudonym Wesley Long) was an American science fiction author. He is not to be confused with George H. Smith, another American science fiction author.

Harry Warner Jr.

Harry Warner Jr. (December 19, 1922 – February 17, 2003) was an American journalist. He spent 40 years working for the Hagerstown, Maryland, Herald-Mail.He was also an important science fiction fan and historian of fandom and Washington County, Maryland, as well as a classical musician.

John Baltadonis

John V. Baltadonis (February 7, 1921 – July 19, 1998) was elected to First Fandom's Hall of Fame in 1998 for his early contributions to science fiction, including being a founding member of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society.

Ray Bradbury

Ray Douglas Bradbury (; August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery fiction.

Widely known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953), and his science-fiction and horror-story collections, The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951), and I Sing the Body Electric (1969), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th- and 21st-century American writers. While most of his best known work is in speculative fiction, he also wrote in other genres, such as the coming-of-age novel Dandelion Wine (1957) and the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, White Whale (1992).

Recipient of numerous awards, including a 2007 Pulitzer Citation, Bradbury also wrote and consulted on screenplays and television scripts, including Moby Dick and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works were adapted to comic book, television, and film formats.

Upon his death in 2012, The New York Times called Bradbury "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream".

Raymond A. Palmer

Raymond Arthur Palmer (August 1, 1910 – August 15, 1977) was an American editor of Amazing Stories from 1938 through 1949, when he left publisher Ziff-Davis to publish and edit Fate Magazine, and eventually many other magazines and books through his own publishing houses, including Amherst Press and Palmer Publications. In addition to magazines such as Mystic, Search, and Flying Saucers, he published or republished numerous spirtualist books, including Oahspe: A New Bible, as well as several books related to flying saucers, including The Coming of the Saucers, co-written by Palmer with Kenneth Arnold. Palmer was also a prolific author of science fiction and fantasy stories, many of which were published under pseudonyms.

Redd Boggs

Dean Walter "Redd" Boggs (1921 – 9 May 1996) was a science fiction fanzine writer, editor and publisher from Los Angeles, California.Beginning with his editing of the 1948 Fantasy Annual, and through his fanzines such as Sky Hook, he raising the standards for fan writing and fanzine production. Sky Hook published both fannish and critical material, including early criticism by James Blish. His fanzine Discord was nominated for the Best Fanzine Hugo in 1961. His personal fanzine Spirochete for the Fantasy Amateur Press Association lasted for 76 issues. Boggs was nominated for the Retro Hugo for Best Fan Writer, and Sky Hook was nominated for Best Fanzine. Boggs was also a member of First Fandom.

Russ Chauvenet

Louis Russell "Russ" Chauvenet (February 12, 1920 – June 24, 2003) was a champion chess player and one of the founders of science fiction fandom.

T. E. Dikty

Thaddeus Maxim Eugene (Ted) Dikty (June 16, 1920 – October 11, 1991) was an American editor who also played a role as one of the earliest science fiction anthologists, and as a publisher.

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