Up To Now: The Reaction Against Reaction

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Up To Now by Jack Speer, 1939

Up To Now: New Fandom's Struggle for Recognition<——

From much of the foregoing, it may be justly supposed that the retirement of many fans, including the Wollheim clique, was not as complete as had been at first thot -- and intended. Indeed, one member of the Quadrumvirate, Lowndes, after resigning his FAPA offices became even more active, with the publication of a hektographed weekly of opinion, comment, poetry, and whatnot, termed Le Vombiteur, or, following the vogue for pet names, Levy.

In late May, Wilson, Wollheim, and Michel toured the East in the first­-named's car, Maine, Canada, Chicago, and Washington their periphery, visiting fans all along the way. Gillespie and Pohl planned a hitchhike to Washington to visit Rothman, for whom Pohl had been selling stories to the pros, and Jack Speer, Pohl's rival for FAPA vice-president.

In this campaign, Rothman and Taurasi stood opposed for president, and both made mistakes which resulted in ballots being sent out to inactive members as well as active, tho prohibited by constitutional amendment and the Mailing was long delayed in being sent out. A good, old-fashion mess resulted.

Meanwhile, Pohl was busy trying to build up an alternative organization to New Fandom, in the Futurian Federation of the World, but even his comrades knew not whether to take the effort seriously, so queer did some aspects of it seem.

But Pohl got some support, and the significant thing is that it included loyal New Fandomites Warner and Avery. In other directions, too, there were signs of pullings away from the Moskowitz clique. Bob Tucker, though a member of Cosmic Publications and New Fandom, established for use of himself, Avery, and some other North Centralites a Vulcan Manuscript Bureau, in competition to New Fandom's, before all their publications were combined into the omnibus magazine, Nova. Besides the Futurian Federation support, Avery and Miske and others had other dealings with the members of the Wollheim group, but there seemed little possibility that that clique would head the new opposition building up against the ultra-classicists of New Fandom.

Only for a brief period in the fall had Cosmic been in the Center -- now they were definitely one extreme, and between them and the old Quadrumvirate at the other was a broad, hazy center group, fading out on both sides from those who had only one or two bones to pick with Moskowitz, as Bob Madle, to those, like Dick Wilson, who varied from the Wollheim line only in a few matters. Nevertheless, into this category come a good many of the new fans, tho of course the majority have gone under the leadership of Newark-Queens.

Another exception to the prevailing trend was the rising popularity of fan fiction -- fiction in which the principal characters are fans -- either synthetic, type characters, or actual personages. Cosmic Tales, under Kuslan, was foremost in this; and "Mickey" also calls to mind another exception to the main current. Tho the leading fan magazines were practically all of the "Fantasy Magazine" type, in the second level were many of the 1938, "fanny" kind. All of which indicates that the reaction will not be permitted to go to such great extremes -- The Third Fandom will not be 1935 all over again.

The End

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