Madeleine Willis

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(???? – )

Madeleine Willis at Loncon, 1957. Photo by Norman Shorrock.

Madeleine Bryan Willis was a Northern Ireland fan and member of the Wheels of IF.

She was married to Walt Willis and lived in Oblique House. She coined the name of Hyphen. (Willis had known her for some time without realizing she was a fan. But when he saw her rush into a new shop to buy a copy of Astounding, he decided to marry her!) She and Walt were at the heart of Irish Fandom.

Madeleine wrote a trip report, “The DisTAWF Side,” after the couple’s 1962 visit to the United States under the auspices of the Tenth Anniversary Willis Fund. It was published in installments by Bruce Pelz in The SpeleoBem and collected in an ebook omnibus, TAWF Times Two (Ansible Editions, 2022).

In Distaff 1 (September 1958, p. 2), Ethel Lindsay described her:

Madelaine {sic} got the nickname of 'hostess with the mostest', because she went out and bought a teapot big enough to feed the hungry hordes that descend upon Oblique House. She has a lilting, Irish accent, and easily the most beautiful complexion among the femmefans, on this side at least. She knows as much about fans and fandom as her husband Walt, and as delightful a sense of humor.  She is inurred to puns.

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