Ed Martin

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(December 5, 1917 – )

Edgar Allan Martin was a fan from Connecticut active from 1938 at least to the early 1960s. He was a member of FAPA, AAPA (attending its 1939 convention),[1] BAPA, N'APA, and UAPA. He became famous for "the Ed Martin affair", which somewhat rocked FAPA internal fan politics in the early 1960s, though rather less than other "blackballing" and counter-petitions of that era.

Martin had been a member of FAPA twice before his short-lived membership in 1961: from November 1938 through April 1943 (dropped for nonpayment of dues), and from August 1952 through May 1958 (this time for nonpayment of dues and no activity). After a long climb up the waiting list, he was readmitted with the May 1961 mailing and was required to produce his first year’s 8-page minac [... within 6 months]. He had a 9-page fanzine in the November mailing which Secretary-Treasurer John Trimble disallowed credit for.

This from Robert Lichtman's useful overview much later in a loc in Fanstuff 30 (February 1, 2013, p. 12), which, however, omits the crux of contention – provided by Redd Boggs's source-rich "Theory and Practice of Chicken" in Cockatrice 1 (Summer 1962):

In the autumn 1961 mailing Ed Martin circulated Grotesque, unnumbered, dated winter 1962, his first fapazine since he became a member again in May 1961. (He had been a member several times in the past, go­ing back to 1938.) Grotesque consisted of five sexy short stories with­out byline but presumably written by Martin himself [...] simi­lar to others Martin published in FAPA during his earlier incarnations [...] The skill with which they were written was minimal, but as fiction they were at least as competent as most sex fiction sold at leading newsstands

Some FAPAns complained, either from distaste or fear about legal repercussions of mailing such stuff; Trimble then discounted the zine on the grounds of not being new as required by the rules but reprints of older material (the later discussion didn't conclusively address whether it was just "similar" like Boggs wrote). Martin couldn't or didn't want to start a petition to protest the decision immediately, and didn't even continue to pay dues, making his subsequent dropping even more final. Boggs and some other objectors threatened that the campaign for Martin's reinstatement would continue, at least in the officialdom elections; however, this was soon overshadowed by the much larger Breendoggle and its FAPA repercussions.

Further (readily findable) comments on the aftershocks are by Dick Eney in his 1963 The Alexandria Trio and Richard Bergeron in his 1964 Warhoon 21 and Serenade 4 ("in Spring 1952 when I first joined […] Number 2 on the 6 man waiting list was Edgar A Martin. […] FAPA needs fireworks like GRUE or SKHK to remind it that there's something more to fanac than bickering over the bones of an Ed Martin […] needs fresh air.").

Harry Warner, Jr. registered his principal protest and, according to Lichtman,

in the August 1964 Horizons [#99] he published the first of many years of “The Worst of Martin,” to punish FAPA for its transgressions. By then the unceremonious dumping of Walter Breen from FAPA membership was One Thing Too Many (Walter was reinstated by a petition signed by over half the membership), and Harry had to Do Something.

[Lichtman again: ... I] agree retroactively with Harry, based on seeing years of “The Worst of Martin,” that he must have been “FAPA’s most useless member.”

Well, that was a bracing dive into obscure fan history! Anyone still awake?

The department, which continued for more than 20 years, was not a selection of the worst howlers, either from the simple style or sex viewpoint, but extensive reprints of all available Martin wordage, starting with the rather dull Contributor #4 (FAPA "Spring 1939", i. e. June, Mailing 8) mostly about his activities in mundane ajays. Exact bibliography that would hopefully uncover the offending parts remains yet to be researched.

Fanzines and Apazines:


  1. In Robert Lichtman's long LoC in Vegas Fandom Weekly 84, he notes there is a group photo of attendees "in History of Amateur Journalism by Truman Spencer, published in 1957 by The Fossils" (an ajay group to which early FAPAn and AAPAn Helen Wesson belonged); sadly, Martin is not in the reprinted crop.

Person 1917????
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