John B. Michel

John B. Michel (1917–1969) was a science fiction author (sometimes publishing under the name Hugh Raymond) and editor associated with the Futurians, of which he was one of twelve founding members. He was elected Director of the Futurians in 1941. He was widely known for his Left-wing, utopian politics, which came to be known in SF fandom as "Michelism," or the belief that "science-fiction should by nature stand for all forces working for a more unified world, a more Utopian existence, the application of science to human happiness, and a saner outlook on life." Debates over Michelism and its association with Technocracy and Communism were an object of controversy in fanzines in the late 1930s, and its influence can be seen in much science fiction of the period, including Isaac Asimov's Foundation series.[1]

Michel was a member of the Young Communist League, and later joined the CPUSA, although he was asked to leave in 1949 for absenteeism.

In the early 1940s, Michel was briefly romantically associated with Judith Merril.

John B. Michel
New York
Other namesHugh Raymond
Occupationauthor, editor


  1. ^ Winter, Jerome (November 2013). "The Michelist Revolution: Technocracy, the Cultural Front, and the Futurian Movement" (PDF). Eaton Journal of Archival Research in Science Fiction. 1 (2).

External links

Cosmic Stories and Stirring Science Stories

Cosmic Stories (also known as Cosmic Science-Fiction) and Stirring Science Stories were two American pulp science fiction magazines that published a total of seven issues in 1941 and 1942. Both Cosmic and Stirring were edited by Donald A. Wollheim and launched by the same publisher, appearing in alternate months. Wollheim had no budget at all for fiction, so he solicited stories from his friends among the Futurians, a group of young science fiction fans including James Blish and C. M. Kornbluth. Isaac Asimov contributed a story, but later insisted on payment after hearing that F. Orlin Tremaine, the editor of the competing science fiction magazine Comet, was irate at the idea of a magazine that might "siphon readership from magazines that paid", and thought that authors who contributed should be blacklisted. Kornbluth was the most prolific contributor, under several pseudonyms; one of his stories, "Thirteen O'Clock", published under the pseudonym "Cecil Corwin", was very successful, and helped to make his reputation in the field. The magazines ceased publication in late 1941, but Wollheim was able to find a publisher for one further issue of Stirring Science Stories in March 1942 before war restrictions forced it to close again.

Other well-known writers who appeared in the two magazines included Damon Knight and David H. Keller. Knight's first published story, "Resilience", appeared in the February 1941 issue of Stirring Stories, but the story was ruined by a misprint in a crucial word in the first sentence. Keller was an established writer in the field, but Wollheim was aware that Keller occasionally donated material to fanzines, and was able to obtain a story from him. The quality of the artwork was variable; it included Elliot Dold's last artwork in the science fiction field, for the cover of the July 1941 issue of Cosmic Stories, and several covers and interior drawings by Hannes Bok, who later became a well-known artist in the field.

Donald A. Wollheim

Donald Allen Wollheim (October 1, 1914 – November 2, 1990) was an American science fiction editor, publisher, writer, and fan. As an author, he published under his own name as well as under pseudonyms, including David Grinnell.A founding member of the Futurians, he was a leading influence on science fiction development and fandom in the 20th-century United States.Ursula K. Le Guin called Wollheim "the tough, reliable editor of Ace Books, in the Late Pulpalignean Era, 1966 and ’67, " which is when he published her first two novels, in an Ace Double.

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).

John Michel (disambiguation)

John Michel may refer to:

John Michel (1804–1886), British Army officer

John B. Michel, (1917–1969), science fiction author, member of the Futurians

John Michel (television), director of at least two episodes of the TV series Scrubs

John Michel (1660-1739), MP for Sandwich between 1698 and 1713

John Michel (Belfast MP) (1765–1844), British Army general and MP for Belfast 1816–18


Philcon, also known as the "Philadelphia Science Fiction Conference", is an annual science fiction convention, which has been held in or near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, nearly every year since 1936. The convention is run by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society (PSFS). Usually held in November, its programming features a mixture of literary, science, gaming, film, anime, and costuming. There is usually an open Meet the Authors/Artists Party on Friday and a Masquerade on Saturday, as well as the usual programming mixture of literature, art, costuming, and gaming panels, an art show, a dealers' room, a masquerade, and movies.

Uncanny Tales (Canadian pulp magazine)

Uncanny Tales was a Canadian science fiction pulp magazine edited by Melvin R. Colby that ran from November 1940 to September 1943. It was created in response to the wartime reduction of imports on British and American science-fiction pulp magazines. Initially it contained stories only from Canadian authors, with much of its contents supplied by Thomas P. Kelley, but within a few issues Colby began to obtain reprint rights to American stories from Donald A. Wollheim and Sam Moskowitz. Paper shortages eventually forced the magazine to shut down, and it is now extremely rare.

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