Beyond Fandom

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Beyond Fandom: Fans, Culture & Politics in the 20th Century edited by Rob Hansen and published in November 2023 by Ansible Editions is another TAFF free ebook (soon followed by a PoD trade paperback) on fanhistory. It has over 72 thousand words and ISBN 978-1-916508-15-6.

Stirred to action by a particularly stupid and dismissive media generalization about science fiction fans, Rob Hansen has prepared this collection of brief biographies and essays that tell – both in his words and in their own – the stories of fans who have made some impact on the mundane world. Not so much traditional SF-inspired careers in writing, editing, publishing or Big Science, as the less predictable options indicated in the contents list.

The end of the Glossary (after the Foreword) mentions "Many of the people featured herein have entries in the Science Fiction Encyclopedia and/or Fancyclopedia 3". Of course, the book presents deeper research than available here (by the time of publication); on the other hand there is no simple list of fans described even within the book, so it is added below. (Note that the book does not fully adhere to the format "one chapter – single subject", so in the group chapters some discretion must be applied and not every name mentioned or even quoted is listed.)


  1. The Anti-Fascist (Clifton Amsbury; also mentioned is the UK’s Bob Richardson)
  2. The Pacifists (Mike Rosenblum and Charles D. Hornig, a. o.)
  3. The Warriors (letters by Joe Gibson, Earl Kay, Ted Carnell, Georges Gallet and Herbert Häussler, misspelled Haussler here; with a longer list of fans fallen in the War)
  4. The Lesbian Pioneer (Tigrina)
  5. The Voice of America (Willis Conover)
  6. The Futurists (some of rarer visitors at the White Horse, inc. Doris Lessing)
  7. The Painters (John Grossman and Mike Hinge)
  8. The Record Company (as briefly founded by James Blish and Doc Lowndes; also music articles by Francis T. Laney)
  9. The Folkzines (Lee Hoffman et al.; reprint of long reports by Mike Moorcock, who also contributed comments throughout the book)
  10. The Aldermaston Marcher (John Brunner)
  11. The Political Prisoner (Chan Davis)
  12. The Beat Generation (various, longest reprint by Dave Rike)
  13. The Film Critic (Roger Ebert)
  14. The Film Director Swami (Mike Wilson)
  15. The King of Greenwich Village (Dave Van Ronk and the Riverside Dive)
  16. The Friend the Beatles Wrote For (Bill Harry)
  17. The Nazi Occupation Movie – chapter by Jim Linwood on It Happened Here by Pat Kearney and Kevin Brownlow
  18. The Playwright (Jeff Wanshel)
  19. The Kings of Pornography (Earl Kemp et al.)
  20. The CIA Pilot (Art Wilson)
  21. The Counterculture (Paul Williams et al.)
  22. The Musicians (Graham Charnock and others)
  23. The Music Mogul (Greg Shaw)
  24. The Punk Promoter (Jonh Ingham)
  25. The Senior Civil Servants (long letters by "Walter A. Willis"; in the endotes Leroy Kettle is mentioned)
  26. The Anti-Nuclear Activists (Joseph Nicholas, Judith Hanna and others)
  27. The Government Minister (Race Mathews)
  28. The Trans Icon (Roz Kaveney)
  29. The Pope’s Astronomer (Guy Consolmagno)
  30. The Professor of Law (Lilian Edwards)

Appendix: As Others See Us (selected from the same department in Ansible, largely dating from the 21st century)

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