First Fandom

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Confusingly, there are several groups called “First Fandom”: 1) The historical — which encompasses anyone involved in sf-related activity from the late 1920s through the first Worldcon in 1939 — though sercon fanhistorians may stick strictly to the period Jack Speer defined. 2) A club made up of a subset of those fans. And, 3) a descendant club that lets in anybody who’s been active for 30 years. Members of the last especially like to conflate the groups.

(1) The Earliest Fans[edit]

In his theory of Numerical Fandoms, Jack Speer defined First Fandom as the fannish era of 1933 through 1936. However, the term has come to encompass fandom from its earliest days — including what Speer called Eofandom, the founding of the Science Fiction League and the Scienceers in the late 1920s — through the late 1930s. Anyone involved in the microcosm, in any form of fanac up through the first Worldcon in 1939 is considered to be a member.

From Fancyclopedia 1 ca 1944
(Speer) - The period up to 1936. It was marked by interest primarily in science and science-fiction. Fanzine material consisted mainly of forecasts of lineups in the pros, interviews with prominent authors, fan fiction relating to the pros, fan science fiction, novelty fiction by groups of pro writers, new advances in science, discussions of why s-f is in a rut or sex in science-fiction or the relative important of plausibility and good style. Douglas Webster uses the term to indicate the first fans of Great Britain; Carnell, Gillings, Hanson, Mayer, et al. who continued dominant into 1938, and were mainly interested in the aforementioned subjects, and also in sociological questions.

(2) The Club, First Fandom[edit]

A club for members of the first group. Formed in 1959, the club was the brain-child of a group of Midwestern fans consisting of C. L. Barrett, MD., Don Ford, Lynn Hickman, Bob Madle, and Lou Tabakow.

In its early literature, it described itself as:

"A fun-loving organization like the Shriners and Cooties. And First Fandom is for the old-timers. The date of December 31, 1937 has arbitrarily been made the cut-off date. Anyone who can show any connection with any aspect of science fiction fandom prior to that date is eligible for membership."  

Lynn Hickman published the First Fandom Bulletin (aka First Fandom Magazine) in the 60s and Dave Kyle published First Fandom News Letter in the 80s and 90s. It presented the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award.

They have a distinctive triangular membership patch and the motto, "First Fandom is not dead, only doddering."

From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959
No direct relation to the era. Don Ford, Bob Madle and some others organized this group too close to our deadline for any of its activities to become evident. Its membership is restricted to folk who indulged in any sort of fanac before 1938, and apparently it is intended as an historical and continuity-maintaining group.

(3) The Modern Club[edit]

The group calling itself "First Fandom" today is descended from that First Fandom club, but no longer has many true First Fandomites as members and has abandoned the requirement of actually having been active during First Fandom. Membership today encompasses "dinosaurs," those very few fans left who engaged in fannish activities up through the first Worldcon, which was held over the July 4, 1939, weekend, and "associate members," who have been active in fandom for at least 30 years.

The club continues the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award for contributions to the field of science fiction -- whether as a fan, writer, editor, artist, agent or combination -- dating back more than 30 years, and the Sam Moskowitz Archive Award for excellence in science fiction collecting. They are usually presented annually during the Hugo Awards ceremony at Worldcons.

The current president of First Fandom and editor/publisher of Scientifiction: The First Fandom Report, a quarterly club newsletter, is John L. Coker III. Jon D. Swartz is the longtime Special Features editor. Coker and Swartz are the editors of the First Fandom Annual, published since 2016.

First Fandom club online (IA)

Fan history Map Search: Fanac, Fan, Pro, SFE, Wikipedia, Reasonator

Also involved: - 1968 Hugo Ceremony Transcript - 1st Fandom - 1st-fandom - Allis Villette - Anglofan - Archon - Archon 19 - Archon 24 - Art Rapp - Art Saha - Art Widner - Aussiecon One Reminiscence (Sims) - Barbara Harmon - Ben Keifer - Bill Evans - Bob Peterson - Bob Tucker - CAPA - Catherine Crook de Camp - Cats - Chicon IV Reminiscence (Kyle) - Claude Degler - Claude Held - ConFederation Reminiscence (Kyle) - Conrad H. Ruppert - Cosmic Circle - D. C. Montgomery - Dale Tarr - Dan McPhail - Darrell C. Richardson - David A. Kyle - Days of Wonder Publishers - Dirce S. Archer - Discon 1 Guide: Sunday Evening - Ditto 14 - Doc Barrett - Don Dailey - Donald Franson - Donn Albright - Ed Meskys - Edward Ludwig - Eva Firestone - FFF - Fantasy Magazine Days - Femmefans - First Fandom Hall of Fame - First Fandom Report - First Fandom club - First Fandom is not dead, only doddering - First Fandomite - First-fandom - First-fandomite - Gay Haldeman - George O. Smith - Gernsback Award - Gertrude M. Carr - Harry Warner, Jr. - History of Concave - Howard DeVore - Howard Frank - InConJunction - InConJunction XVI - Jack Agnew - Jack Cordes - Jack Robins - James Gunn - Jim Harmon - Joanie Knappenberger - Joe Martino - John Millard - Julian May - Julius Unger - June Moffatt - Keith Stokes - Ken Slater - Larry Tucker - Len Moffatt - Lesleigh Luttrell - Lester Mayer - Lloyd Arthur Eshbach - Louis Russell Chauvenet - Marcon 40 - Mark Schulzinger - Martha Beck - Mary Elizabeth Counselman - MayBelle Anshutz - Midwestcon - Midwestcon 9 - Murphy Anderson - Norman F. Stanley - Paul A. Carter - Philcon 1986 - Phoxphyre - Ray Beam - Ray Nelson - Redd Boggs - Richard Kyle - Rita Coriell - Roy Lavender - SFA - Sam Basham, Jr. - Sam Moskowitz - Second Fandom - St. Louiscon Reminiscence (Kyle) - Strangers (by Harry Stubbs) - T. E. Dikty - Tricon Reminiscence (Panshin) - Up To Now: One Analysis of Wollheim - Up To Now: The Changing Tendency Among Fan Magazines - Veterans - Virginia Kidd - Wally Gonser - Walt Cole - Walter Gillings Travel Fund - Walter H. Gillings - Warren Fitzgerald - Whithering - William C. Martin - William L. Hamling

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