Columbia University Science Fiction Society

FSFSCU was succeeded by the Columbia University Science Fiction Society (which sometimes called itself the Barnard-Columbia Science Fiction Society). It was organised in October 1975 by Dani Eder, Richard Lanpin, and Harold Lehmann. It published a short-lived fanzine called Sol III, produced radio and television programs on campus stations, and sponsored speakers and a film series.

In September 1978 the first issue of its newsletter Quandry appeared; with issue #5 (dated “Finals, Fall Semester, 1978”) the title was changed to CUSFuSsing. It was edited by Charles Seelig. Over the years it mutated from a single page bulletin to a substantial fanzine. (An incomplete archive of back issues can be found at http://dbr.nu/cusfs/).

In that period CUSFS met weekly, hosted frequent film screenings in campus spaces, and maintained a large library in Ferris Booth Hall, the student activities center. On 1 April 1978 CUSFS put on a one-day convention called Apricon that attracted about 200 people. Several further Apricons were held at various times until the end of the 1980s.

When Ferris Booth Hall was demolished in 1996 CUSFS lost most of its library space. (Much of the collection went into permanent storage.) Membership dropped steeply and the club was in crisis for a while, but it recovered with coverage by the Columbia Daily Spectator and collaboration with the NYU Science Fiction and Fantasy Club.

In 2014 CUSFS president Flo Doval launched a speaker series that brought Gail Carlson Levine, Naomi Novik, John Joseph Adams, and writers, editors, and artists to Columbia. These attracted large audiences. CUSFuSsing, which had ceased publication sometime in the 1990s, is being relaunched in 2017 as "more of a literary magazine". A catalog of the club library is available on the CUSFS website (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cusfs/). Less formal club traditions include an end-of-year banquet, a celebration of Bilbo Baggins’s birthday, and a sacrifice to Cthulhu – an event that "manages to bewilder and amuse many unknowing bystanders".

See Fandom at Columbia for a history of fandom at Columbia University.


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