Up To Now: The Heyday of Fantasy Magazine

Up To Now by Jack Speer, 1939

Previous: The ISA-SFL Clash

For yet a while Fantasy Magazine ruled the field. In the later stage of the old period, various vagrant fan magazines began to crop up again, but none attempted to enter into competition with FM. Jim Blish's Planeteer, based on an old suggestion of Wollheim's to Street & Smith, put fiction first and Esperanto, etc, second. The Phantagraph went thru a number of changes of format under Shepherd & Wollheim, at first mainly club news and ultra-"fan" discussions, and later purely literary. The International Observer apparently was not considered to be in direct competition with Fantasy Magazine, its contents being mostly science and fan doings rather than news on the pros. Numerous individual publications, single issue and single-copy "pass arounds" were being done, but of course could not threaten FM's primacy. The boys were feeling around.

Even then, pseudonyms ran riot among the fans. The Greater New York Science Fiction League was said to be populated mainly with pseudonyms, half of which were Frederik Pohl. Willy the Wisp flitted around, always wherever Wollheim had been, reporting doings from a suspiciously Wollheimish point of view, as in the fight that resulted in George Gordon Clark's quitting the field.

The SFL continued, gaining new members every month, tho how interested most of the members were is problematical. Two or three B Stf tests were conducted, in all, the returns on the last one never being published. Superficially, all was serene.

Then things began to happen.

Next: The Decline and Fall of the Era