Michifen

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(Did you mean The Michifan fanzine?)


“Michigan is never a dull place to conduct your fan activity.”
Bob Tucker, Science Fiction News Letter (March 1952).

Michifen (Michigan fandom) have hosted Michicon, Detroit Triple Fan Fair, ConFusion, AutoClave, ConClave and Penguicon, plus a Worldcon, Detention, and a NASFiC, Detcon 1.

Detroit, Ann Arbor and Houghton have been its principal fan centers, with some activity, especially more media-centered groups, in Kalamazoo and Lansing. Battle Creek and Jackson, MI, were important in the 1940s, and Saginaw, home to Art Rapp, in the ’50s.

The propeller beanie was invented there, and the original Slan Shack was located there. The 1940s and ’50s were especially active, with the Misfits as a major force. Nydahl's Disease originated in the U.P.

See also: Midwest Fandom, Blowup.

From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
Fans in Michigan, nacherly. Most of them live in or near Detroit, if you can call that living, tho formerly the MSFS blanketed the state. Their chief recent organization, the Detroit SFL, is a notorious example of how not to run a local fanclub.

The Detroit fans were visitors at the old Slan Shack in Battle Creek, but didn't form the Detroit Science Fictioneers till 1943. In 1945 they became the Hyperboreans, who discussed small amounts of stf and played a lot of chess. Ben Singer broke up the club by leaving atheistic pamphlets lying about the meeting-place (a public library) and by some atheistic tirades in public. When Art Rapp and Bill Groover met the remnants of the Hyperboreans 30 January 1948 the Michigan Science Fiction Society was formed, Singer doing most of the organization work. (George Young promptly formed the name "Misfits" for the group.)

The uniqueness of the MSFS among Michifan groups lay in attempting to provide fan activities for everybody in the state, not just the Detroit area. During its two years of life MSFS members coined expressions (Fanspeak, Real Soon Now), pioneered in fannish publishing and philosophy (Spacewarp, Sexocracy), set fashions for the Microcosm ("Home of the Original Helicopter Beanie") and were involved in such antics as Singer's attempt to cross the Canadian border during a Red hunt carrying a prominently displayed copy of Banish Gods From the Skies and Capitalists from the Earth. After the Blowup and Rapp's resignation local Detroiters formed the DSFL, which existed in a fashion for several years, giving off splinter groups like the Morgan Botts Foundation. Return of some members from service after the Korean War led to a renascence in which the 1959 convention was held in the Motor City. What will come after your scholiast knows not.

from Fancyclopedia 2 Supplement ca. 1960: The actual title of the book Singer carried thru customs during that witch-hunt was The War Between Christianity and Communism. It was, however, decorated with a livid red jacket, and the outstanding blurb on this was the quoted "Banish Gods from the Skies and Capitalists from the Earth".

A Michifen Timeline
Year Events
1941 First Michiconference held in Jackson, MI.
The Galactic Roamers, a southern Michigan Doc Smith club formed by fans from Jackson, MI, and Battle Creek
Bridges and Richard Kuhn begin pubbing Eclipse
1943 Slan Shack formed in Battle Creek
Walt Liebscher pubbed first ish of Chanticleer from Battle Creek
Detroit Science Fictioneers formed
1944 SI/ASFA founded in Detroit
Detroit Hyperborean Society club formed
1946 Ray Nelson invents the Propeller Beanie in Cadillac, MI
Andy Porter born
1947 Carl Lundgren born
1948 Michigan Science Fiction Society (Misfits) formed
Detroit Hyperborean Society club ends
DeCon held
Larry Tucker born
1949 The Blowup in Saginaw, MI
DSFL formed
Roger Sims discovers fandom
1950 Martin Alger coins “Real Soon Now
Randy Bathurst born
1952 Detroit in '53 Worldcon bid fizzles
1953 Joel Nydahl gafiates
1954 Detroit in 1955 Worldcon bid fails
mid-50s Beerfandom founded by Art Rapp
1957 Octocon founded as a collaboration among fans in Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland and Cincinnati
1958 Detroit in '59 Worldcon bid wins at Solacon beating Big 'D' in '59 and Chicago: 1959
1959 Detention (Worldcon) held
TAFF winner John Berry visits
late 50s Misfits has become a bowling league
1960-65 The Fanzine Foundation operated by Alan J. Lewis and stored in Detroit by Howard DeVore
1963 MSU Fantasy & Science Fiction Society formed
mid-60s Wayne Third Foundation founded
1964 Cleveland in '66 bid begins as an inchoate thing including Detroit
1965 Detroit Triple Fan Fair held
1966 Tricon (Worldcon) held in Cleveland with Detroit as co-host
1968 fl Neo-Numenor
Hal Shapiro pubs Harlan Ellison: The Man, The Writer
1970 Dum-Dum Banquet held in Detroit in conjunction with Detroit Triple Fan Fair
1970s Oak Park High School Science Fiction Club active, Permanent Floating Riot Club formed.
1973 Stilyagi Air Corps founded in Ann Arbor
Leah Zeldes finds fandom
Novacon launched
1974 A2 Relax Icon held in Ann Arbor
KWEST*Con held in Kalamazoo, MI
mid-70s Sid Altus becomes active
1975 ConFusion 13, the first annual, held
Larry Tucker finds fandom and starts videotaping it
MiSHAP founded
1976 Detroit in '79 hoax Westercon bid
EMUSFS formed
Martin Alger dies
AutoClave 1, the first fanzine convention, held
ConClave I held
1977 Final Detroit Triple Fan Fair held
Contagion II held
Great Combined Milford and Clarion Decennial Jubilee, Colloquium and Beer Bash held in East Lansing
1978 Phantasia Press founded
late 70s Wayne Third Foundation ends as a formal club
Ann Arbor Science Fiction Association created by Nancy Tucker, Jean Barnard, Larry Tucker and Leah Zeldes
1980 Detroit in '82 Worldcon bid loses to Chicago in 1982
FilkCon II (in Toledo) organized by Ann Arbor fans
1983 Larry Tucker premieres Faans at ConFusion 101
Detroit in '85 NASFiC bid loses to Austin in '85 at Constellation
AASFA War
1984 Genuine ConFusion, the 10th annual and last under the original AASFA auspices, held
1985 Leah Zeldes Smith moves to Chicago
ConClave X held
1989 Phantasia Press shuts down
1994 ConFusion XX held
Ditto 7 held in Ann Arbor
1995 ConClave XX held
2000 Nancy Tucker Shaw dies
ConClave XXX held
2003 Penguicon launched
Midwest Construction held in Ann Arbor
2004 ConFusion XXX held
Mythcon XXXV held in Ann Arbor
2005 Howard DeVore dies
2009 Randy Bathurst dies
2012 Ben Singer dies
SFRA Conference held in Detroit
2013 Detroit in 2014 NASFiC bid wins at LSC3 beating Phoenix in 2014
Larry Tucker dies
2014 Detcon1 (NASFiC) held
Legendary ConFusion, 40th annual, held
2016 Fred Prophet dies
ConClave 40 held
2017 The Continuum held
2020 Tom Barber dies of Covid-19



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