Brooklyn SFL

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The BSFL was Chapter #1 of the Science Fiction League, announced in the January 1935 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. The club was formed by George Gordon Clark and met in his basement. When Clark heard about the creation of the SFL, he moved quickly and became chapter #1. Its clubzine was The Brooklyn Reporter.

Members included Clark, Fred Pohl, Harry Dockweiler, Donald A. Wollheim, John B. Michel, Robert W. Lowndes and Arthur L. Selikowitz.

Fred Pohl wrote about it:

The Brooklyn Science Fiction League met in the basement of its chairman, George Gordon Clark. ...We outgrew Clark’s basement pretty quickly; there was only room for about four of us, in with his collection of sf magazines. 

We moved to a classroom in a nearby public school. What I mostly remember about those meetings is surprise that I couldn’t fit into the grammar-school desks any more—after all, it was only a couple of years since I had been occupying desks just like them every school day. I remember we talked a lot about how to interpret Robert’s Rules of Order and spent quite a lot of time reading minutes of the previous meeting. If anything else substantive took place, I have forgotten it entirely.

But, ah, the Meeting After the Meeting! That was the fun part. That was when we would adjourn to the nearest open soda fountain, order our sodas and sundaes and sit around until they threw us out, talking about science fiction.

It was always a soda fountain. Not always the same one; over the years we fans must have staked out and claimed dozens of them, all over the city. But we were addicted to ice cream concoctions, so much so that a few years later, in a different borough of the city, after the meetings of a different club, we finally designed our own sundae, which we called the Science Fiction Special, and persuaded the proprietor of the store to put it on his menu. 

We were a young bunch, as you can see. Except for Clark, who must have been in his early twenties, the old man of the group was Donald A. Wollheim, pushing nineteen. John B. Michel came with Donald; and a little later, down from Connecticut, Robert W. Lowndes; the four of us made a quadrumvirate that held together for—oh, forever, it seems like—it must have been all of three or four years, during which time we started clubs and dispersed them, published fan magazines, fought all comers for supremacy in fandom and wound up battling among ourselves. The fan feud is not quite coeval with fandom itself, but it comes close.

Club 1935
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