Ted Carnell

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(April 8, 1912 – March 23, 1972)

Ted Carnell at Indian Lake, Ohio, in 1949.
Photo by Don Ford.

Edward John “Ted” Carnell (also called John Carnell and E. J. Carnell) was a UK fan and later prozine editor, bookseller and agent. He attended the 1937 Leeds Convention, the Second British Convention and the Third British Convention.

Carnell was a regular contributor to Novae Terrae from its second issue in April 1936. In its final issue in January 1939 editor Maurice K. Hanson announced that:

It will be followed in February by Volume 1, No.1 of New Worlds, a new magazine which will be its successor as monthly organ of the Science-Fiction Association. Ted Carnell will be the editor and the magazine will be mimeographed on quarto paper.

Carnell produced four issues of this New Worlds in 1939. He was then approached by W. J. Passingham who had identified a potential publisher for a new British sf magazine. After some initial meetings, and with Carnell and Passingham each putting up £50 towards startup costs, the publishers went into liquidation. Carnell was called up in 1940 but was able to attend the 'Bombcon' gathering in 1941. He also started the fanzine Sands of Time distributed with Futurian War Digest.

After the War, he was successfully founder and first editor of the New Worlds prozine from 1946. He also edited Science Fantasy from its third issue in 1949, and Science Fiction Adventures from 1958. The latter ended in 1963 and new editors took over New Worlds Science Fantasy from 1964. Carnell then edited 21 issues of the New Writings in Science Fiction anthology from 1964 to 1972. He helped launch the careers of Brian W. Aldiss, J. G. Ballard, Damien Broderick, Michael Moorcock, and James White.

In 1949, he was the recipient of the Big Pond Fund, the first fan fund, to bring him to the Cinvention, where he was Fan GoH. A CFG post-con party for him at Doc Barrett’s place on Indian Lake, Ohio, was the origin of Midwestcon. Carnell was a member of the London Circle. He He was a member of the International Fantasy Award judging panel and the committees of Festivention and London SF Conchaired. He chaired the first UK Worldcon, Loncon, in 1957 and was GoH at the 1960 Eastercon.

In 1960 in a seemingly unpublished letter to Eric Bentcliffe, Carnell said that he had 'quit fandom because of being publicly ridiculed at the London World Con' while adding that he doubted anyone remembered the incident and he'd not previously stated that he'd quit. In Who Killed Science Fiction? (also 1960), Doc Barrett said that Carnell was 'behind in correspondence, The reason now is that he is so interested in forming a new Masonic Lodge that he is spending a lot of time with that. He has given up all except his professional activities.' He added that 'He expects to come back in again but will probably take him two or three years'.

He was married to Irene Carnell. After his death she took over the Carnell Literary Agency along with Les Flood.

Fanzines and Apazines:

Bea Mahaffey, Ted Carnell and Carrie Tabakow, from left, at Doc Barrett’s post-Cinvention party in 1949.

Awards, Honors and GoHships:


Person 19121972
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