Detroit, MI

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This page covers Greater Detroit including the city itself, but also the surrounding suburbs. It additionally includes Ann Arbor (which see for its own article) and Detroit-associated events.

During the 1950s through the ’70s, at least, Detroit was a fannish powerhouse. In more recent years, the center of fannish activity has moved outwards to the nearby college town of Ann Arbor.

The Detroit fans were visitors at the old Slan Shack in Battle Creek, but didn't form the Detroit Science Fictioneers till 1943. In 1945, they became the Hyperboreans, who discussed small amounts of stf and played a lot of chess. Ben Singer broke up the club by leaving atheistic pamphlets lying about the meeting-place (a public library) and by some atheistic tirades in public.

When Art Rapp and Bill Groover met the remnants of the Hyperboreans 30 January 1948 the Michigan Science Fiction Society, a state-wide, though Detroit centered club, was formed, Singer doing most of the organization work. (George Young promptly formed the name "Misfits" for the group.)

After the Blowup and Saginaw-based Art Rapp's resignation from the MSFS, local Detroiters formed the DSFL, which existed in a fashion for several years, giving off splinter groups like the Morgan Botts Foundation. Return of some members from service after the Korean War led to a renaissance in which Detention was held in the Motor City.

In the late 1960s and ’70s, Detroit fandom centered on the Wayne Third Foundation.

The list below includes conventions held in Greater Detroit, clubs, and notable life events for prominent Detroit-related fans.

A Detroit Timeline
Year Events
1941 Bridges and Richard Kuhn begin pubbing Eclipse
Michiconference held in Jackson, MI.
The Galactic Roamers, a southern Michigan Doc Smith club formed by fans from Jackson, Battle Creek and Detroit
1943 Detroit Science Fictioneers formed
1944 SI/ASFA founded in Detroit
Detroit Hyperborean Society club formed
1946 Ray Nelson invents the Propeller Beanie
Andy Porter born
1947 Carl Lundgren born
1948 Michigan Science Fiction Society (Misfits) formed
Detroit Hyperborean Society club ends
DeCon held
Larry Tucker born
1949 The Blowup
DSFL formed
Roger Sims discovers fandom
1950 Martin Alger coins “Real Soon Now
Randy Bathurst born
1952 Detroit in '53 Worldcon bid fizzles
1954 Detroit in 1955 Worldcon bid fails
mid-50s Beerfandom founded by Art Rapp
1957 Octocon founded as a collaboration among fans in Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland and Cincinnati
1958 Detroit in '59 Worldcon bid wins at Solacon beating Big 'D' in '59 and Chicago: 1959
1959 Detention (Worldcon) held
TAFF winner John Berry visits
late 50s Misfits has become a bowling league
1960-65 The Fanzine Foundation operated by Alan J. Lewis and stored in Detroit by Howard DeVore
mid-60s Wayne Third Foundation founded
1964 Cleveland in '66 bid begins as an inchoate thing including Detroit
1965 Detroit Triple Fan Fair held
1966 Tricon (Worldcon) held in Cleveland with Detroit as co-host
1968 fl Neo-Numenor
Hal Shapiro pubs Harlan Ellison: The Man, The Writer
1970 Dum-Dum Banquet held in Detroit in conjunction with Detroit Triple Fan Fair
1970s Oak Park High School Science Fiction Club active
1973 Stilyagi Air Corps founded in Ann Arbor
Leah Zeldes finds fandom
1974 A2 Relax Icon held in Ann Arbor
mid-70s Sid Altus becomes active
1975 ConFusion 13, the first annual, held
MISHAP founded
1976 Detroit in '79 hoax Westercon bid
EMUSFS formed
Martin Alger dies
AutoClave 1, the first fanzine convention, held
ConClave I held
1977 Final Detroit Triple Fan Fair held
Contagion II held
1978 Phantasia Press founded
late 70s Wayne Third Foundation ends as a formal club
Ann Arbor Science Fiction Association created by Nancy Tucker, Jean Barnard, Larry Tucker and Leah Zeldes
1980 Detroit in '82 Worldcon bid loses to Chicago in 1982
FilkCon II (in Toledo) organized by Ann Arbor fans
1983 Larry Tucker premieres Faans at ConFusion 101
Detroit in '85 NASFiC bid loses to Austin in '85 at Constellation
AASFA War
1984 Genuine ConFusion, the 10th annual and last under the original AASFA auspices, held
1985 Leah Zeldes Smith moves to Chicago
ConClave X held
1989 Phantasia Press shuts down
1994 ConFusion XX held
Ditto 7 held in Ann Arbor
1995 ConClave XX held
2000 Nancy Tucker Shaw dies
ConClave XXX held
2003 Midwest Construction held in Ann Arbor
2004 ConFusion XXX held
Mythcon XXXV held in Ann Arbor
2005 Howard DeVore dies
2009 Randy Bathurst dies
2012 Ben Singer dies
SFRA Conference held in Detroit
2013 Detroit in 2014 NASFiC bid wins at LSC3 beating Phoenix in 2014
Larry Tucker dies
2014 Detcon1 (NASFiC) held
Legendary ConFusion, 40th annual, held
2016 Fred Prophet dies
ConClave 40 held
2017 The Continuum held
2020 Tom Barber dies of Covid-19


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