Three Irish fanzine fans living in Belfast who had achieved worldwide renown and popularity in fandom fairly early in the 1950s – Walt Willis, Bob Shaw and James White. Willis & Shaw co-wrote The Enchanted Duplicator while Willis & White co-wrote the sequel, Beyond the Enchanted Duplicator – to the Enchanted Convention/. As the group grew to include the venerable George “A.T.W.” (for All The Way) Charters and John Berry (an English fingerprints expert living in Belfast), they were more often referred to as spokesmen (they were big on puns) of The Wheels of IF. The Wheels of If was the title of a classic whimsical fantasy novel by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, but the “IF” in their group name was short for Irish Fandom.
John Berry was so prolific that some fans began to question whether or not a fan publication could be considered a “real” fanzine if it did not contain one of his “factual” articles, and George Charters claimed he wasn't really so old and the rumor that he was must have sprung from the fact that as a school child he’d carried little girls’ stone tablets to school for them. Bob Shaw and James White went on to become professional sf writers, but neither ever abandoned their joyful participation in fandom.
Contributors: Dr. Gafia
|from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959|
|The fans of Northern Ireland back when Walt Willis, Bob Shaw, and James White were the only ones.|