ESFA

A club founded in December 1945 in Rahway, NJ when George R. Fox, Sam Moskowitz, Lloyd Alpaugh, Bob Gaulin and Joe Kennedy decided to start a club and to call it the NULL-A Men. Moskowitz noted that it was the only club in history named after a story that no member liked, but was quickly re-named ESFA, the Eastern Science Fiction Association. (Harry Warner describes the Null-A Men as having been "gobbled-up" by the ESFA.) Its members were called ESFAns. Other early members included Lester Mayer, and Julius Postal.

In March 1946 it organized the FPWESFC — the First Post-War Eastern Science Fiction Conference chaired by Sam Moskowitz, who continued to lead the club. (Mike McInerney remembered that "Sam was the main force and authority in the club. His large stature and booming voice commanded attention.") In April 1946, it held a (re-)organizational meeting during which it finally adopted the name ESFA, adopted bylaws, and suchlike. There were around 15 members.

It met monthly on Sunday afternoons. During the 50s it met at Slovak-Sokel Hall, then at the (even dingier) Academy Hall and then in the 60s in the basement of the YMCA in Newark, NJ and often had New York pros as speakers. Following the formal meeting, there was usually a dinner after-meeting at a local cafeteria.

It was a very sercon organization — towards the end of 1947 meetings degenerated into bitter arguments whether there was such a thing as fantasy music or whether to boycott Amazing for printing the Shaver Mysteries. Gerry de la Ree (and a few others) quit the club in disgust over this sort of bickering. What Joe Kennedy remembered most fondly, though, was the bull sessions after the meetings.

Besides Open ESFA (see below), ESFA also ran some larger conventions including the 1959 Eastern Science Fiction Conference (put on jointly with the Hydra Club.)

Open ESFA

ESFA ran an annual convention in March called Open ESFA which the club insisted was merely an open meeting of the club with a program, but with no business conducted. For many years it was held at the Newark YMCA. The Open ESFA remained a one-day affair long after most other regionals went to two or three days. The convention usually has a main speaker or special honoree, but not always a GoH as such.

Convention Dates Honoree
FPWESFC March 1946 L. Sprague de Camp
1948 Open ESFA March 7, 1948
1949 Open ESFA March 6, 1949
1950 Open ESFA 1950
1951 Open ESFA 1951
1952 Open ESFA 1952
1953 Open ESFA 1953
1954 Open ESFA 1954
1955 Open ESFA 1955
1956 Open ESFA 1956
1957 Open ESFA 1957
1958 Open ESFA March 2, 1958 Robert A. Heinlein
1959 Eastern Science Fiction Conference 1959
1961 Open ESFA Amazing Stories
1962 Open ESFA 1962
#17 1963 Open ESFA March 3, 1963 John W. Campbell
1964 Open ESFA March 1, 1964 Virgil Finlay
1965 Open ESFA March 7, 1965 Galaxy
1966 Open ESFA March 1966 Willy Ley
1967 Open ESFA March 5, 1967 Robert Lowndes
1968 Open ESFA March 3, 1968 Murray Leinster
1969 Open ESFA March 2, 1969 L. Sprague de Camp
1970 Open ESFA October 3-4, 1970 Hans Stefan Santesson
1971 Open ESFA 1971

1949 officers
Dr Thos. S Gardner Director
Sam Bowne Secretary
Allan Howard Treasurer

from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
Eastern SF Association of New York City and New Jersey; Sam Moskowitz' group. It was first organized as the Null-A Men in December 1945 ("Just missed being named the Odd Johns", records Kennedy) with such members as SaM, Alpaugh, and Joe Kennedy. 28 April 1946, after this group had put on the FPWESFC, the club was reorganized as the ESFA, incorporating new blood turned up at the con.

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