Science Fantasy Correspondent
Conover proved to be a nova in fandom, a go-getter who flared with unprecedented brilliance for a short time and then faded from sight, scarcely ever to be heard from again. Since interesting himself in fan activities, Conover had written dozens of leading fantasy authors, artists, editors and fans. His list of contacts was of extremely wide extent, and he was on good terms with both the second and third fandoms, as well as the older Fantasy Magazine group. The fifteen-year-old Stickney was apparently markedly above average in intelligence. He had struck up an association with Frank S. Bogert, an elderly printer in Belleville, New Jersey, and in exchange for setting type for the latter was permitted to print his Science-Fantasy Correspondent for the cost of its paper. Bogert became interested in the sheet, and offered to help subsidize it if he were allowed to handle its advertising, a field in which he had had previous experience. The editors consenting, he took over this branch of the work----with surprising results. In the very first number the Correspondent carried many well-paying advertisements of a general nature, and throughout its entire period of existence thus always managed to stay out of the red, despite the fact that several thousand free copies of every number were mailed out regularly to build up circulation for the benefit of advertisers. The first issue of the Correspondent was a revelation to the fan world. Almost overnight there had arisen the most serious competition Fantasy Magazine had encountered since the advent of The Fantasy Fan. The ultra-neat format of the Correspondent, impeccably printed on fine quality paper by Stickney (who throughout the entire life of the magazine made only one typographical error, and that one in the first issue), coupled with excellent material by David H. Keller, H. P. Lovecraft, Jack Williamson, Henry Kuttner and others, ranked it second only to Fantasy Magazine, whose background, acquired after many long years in science-fiction circles, was not easily equalled. This first issue sold out, and subscriptions continued to pour in. Subscribers then received an unexpected notice. The ten-cent, three for a quarter price was to be halved. Bogert had ordered this in an attempt to build up circulation, for the more subscribers, the more advertising. He planned to operate the magazine on the same principle as the slicks and the newspapers, garnering operating costs from subscriptions, and letting advertising pay for the other expenses. Intrinsically this was extremely sound (as later events proved), though fans at that time loudly deplored the inclusion of non-fantasy advertising in a fan magazine.
|V2.1||May 1937||30||Now titled Amateur Correspondent, now edited by Corwin F. Stickney alone|
|V2.3||September 1937||30||Final issue|
A detailed, retrospective review of Amateur Correspondent, Volume Two, Number One was published in the Summer, 2002, issue of Scientifiction: The First Fandom Report.
Willis Conover reprinted material from it in a fanzine in 1975.
Science Fantasy Correspondent online at fanac.org
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