The Evening Session Science Fiction Society of the City College of New York (ESSFSCCNY -- pronounced just like it's spelled) met on Friday evenings in CCNY's Finley Student Center. The club's cumbersome name was routinely abbreviated to "Sci-Fi," evidence perhaps of its less-than-sercon attitude toward science fiction.
Like other college-based SF clubs of the time, its business meetings were considerably more drawn out than necessary, prolonged by punning, mock parliamentary procedure, and other manifestations of young fans reveling in their eccentricity. But there was more to the club than fooling around.
The subsidy that Sci-Fi received from the CCNY student government was generous enough to allow inviting the occasional guest speaker. This was more often than not Randall Garrett under one of his many pseudonyms; after his talk he would translate the five dollars allotted to buy him dinner into a few pitchers of beer at the HiLite Bar a few blocks away on Broadway, home of Sci-Fi's convivial post-meeting gatherings. Sometimes the evening's program was a film, usually a Republic serial with a title something like "Flying Disk Man from Mars." All twelve episodes would be shown in one evening, with the bridge fanatics in the audience scrambling between reels to a makeshift card table to get in a hand or two while the projectionist was getting the next part ready. Toward the end of the school year members would argue passionately how to cast the club's corporate vote for the Hugo Awards.
Few of Sci-Fi's members were actually enrolled at the School of General Studies of the College of the City of New York, but there were enough genuine Evening Session students to hold the required offices. This guaranteed meeting space and speaker fees. Otherwise the club had little contact with the college, and less interest in the internal politics of its student government. Its members were interested in science fiction, in Fandom, and in each other.
Jake Waldman (a high school student!) was president of the club during the early 1960s. Other active members included Al Schuster, Belle Dietz, Amy Wolfthal, Fred Lerner, Elliot Shorter, Jake Waldman, John Boardman, Ed Meskys, Bruce Newrock, Charlie Brown, Marsha Elkin (later Brown), Stew Brownstein, Judi Sephton, Barry Greene, and Joan Neufeld (later Serrano).
It published a clubzine, also named ESSFSCCNY, edited by Al Schuster.
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