Walter H. Gillings

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(February 19, 1912 – July 17, 1979)

Wally Gillings (full name Walter Herbert Gillings) was a UK journalist and editor, active in fandom from October 1930 when he founded the Ilford Science Literary Circle (the UK's first club). He published seven issues of Scientifiction, an important early British fanzine.

At some point before 1927 he published a proto-fanzine, Merry-Go-Round Magazine. After the Ilford group effectively ended in summer 1931, he claimed in a letter to Wonder Stories in November 1931 that it had 'blossomed out' into the British Science Literary Association, an essentially non-existent organisation although seemingly H. R. Hand may have led a proto-group in Manchester.

He attended the 1937 Leeds Convention and the Second British Convention. Because of this, he was selected to edit the pioneering prozine Tales of Wonder from (1937-1942). He was "Convention President" for the 1944 Eastercon. He chaired Whitcon and Loncon, the first two Eastercons in 1948-49.

After the war, along with Benson Herbert, he founded Utopian Publications which published sf, fantasy and some soft-core pornography. He then edited the three issues of Fantasy, followed by the professional-looking fanzine Fantasy Review (later named Science Fantasy Review) which was incorporated into the new prozine Science Fantasy when he became editor in 1950.

After Ted Carnell became editor of Science Fantasy in late 1950, Gillings mostly gafiated. He lost the 1954 TAFF race to Vin¢ Clarke. He was a member of the International Fantasy Award judging panel.

Starting in 1969, he published three issues of Cosmos, another fanzine, and also appeared regularly in Vision of Tomorrow with articles about the History of SF in the UK, and as a columnist in Science Fiction Monthly (1974-1976).

In 1978, the First Fandom club set up the Walter Gillings Travel Fund to bring him to Noreascon Two.

He had three SF stories published using his pen-names Thomas Sheridan and Geoffrey Giles.

Bibliography at ISFDB

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

Person 19121979
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