A Wealth of Fable

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A Wealth of Fable is an informal (and indispensable) history of fandom in the 1950s written by Harry Warner, Jr., a sequel to his earlier history of the 1940s, All Our Yesterdays.

It was even more controversial than his first book. Both volumes drew a wide range of reaction. Warner’s experience as a journalist shows throughout. On the other hand, the Hermit of Hagerstown was not present for the events he recounted, and he took his version of what happened almost entirely from fanzine accounts, some of them by fanwriters never inclined to let the truth get in the way of a good story.

This approach was troublesome even about the ’40s, when most fanac still occurred on paper, but in the 1950s, fans began to meet in person much more frequently, and many club and con fans never wrote for fanzines at all. Warner did not interview fen who were there for the incidents he described — but relied on the viewpoints that made it into the zines of the time.

The normally mild-mannered Roger Sims, who was very active in the 1950s, exclaimed after reading the book, “I don’t like Harry Warner, and if I see him, I’m going to punch him in the nose!”

A Wealth of Fable was first published in a three-volume softcover set by Joseph D. Siclari in 1976-1977. An index to the set was published in 1990 by Nancy Atherton.

A hardcover edition was published in one volume in 1992 by SCIFI Press, Van Nuys, California, edited by Dick Lynch and with an introduction by Wilson Tucker.

The 1992 edition adds hundreds of photographs of SF fans. Copies are still available from NESFA Press.

Publication Reasonator 1976
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