(Did you mean a Minneapolis writers' group?)
This article mainly concerns World War II. The only other mainstream event to have such a profound effect on worldwide fandom is the Covid-19 pandemic. No subsequent conflict had such an impact on fandom as a whole, although U.S. fans served in the military during the Korean and Vietnam wars (and other fans protested the latter or left the country). Among other things, Worldcon was postponed for four years, with Pacificon shifted from 1942 to 1946.
The 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia has had a devastating effect on fandom in that part of the world, with fallout among former friends across the border, as well as controversy over Chengdu WorldCon’s Russian pro goh and resolutions by the Chicon 8 Business Meeting.
Kindrat, a fan since the Soviet time, a member of one of the clubs I organized (Pereval, 1988). He moved from Kyiv to Lviv, and after the war started he joined territorial defense, and now he is actually at the front line. Danila is another fan who I have known since the Eighties, he was a publisher and book seller and joined the army in the first days of the war. Olexander Surkov was a career officer with the Ukrainian Army, but is a Fan, writer, blogger, he rejoined twice, in 2014 and then rejoined in 2022 with this invasion. I think of them often, and welcome you all to think of Ukraine....
(From File 770, February 14, 2023. “First names only or pseudonyms used to identify frontline fighters”)
- Le Zombie list of 77 fans in the military, spring 1943.
- Homefront — Fandom in the UK: 1939-1945 ed. by Rob Hansen.
- Photo gallery of UK fans in uniform.
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959|
|On the outbreak of hostilities between Britain & France and Germany in 1939, Gallet's plans for a French stf prozine were abandoned, the SFA and BIS were suspended for the duration and their official records placed in safety, and several members living outside London who would likely still be in the same place after the war were named as members to contact after it was over so that things could be set going again. Tucker and others over here expressed the feeling that British fandom had had it.
As a means of keeping Anglofandom in contact with itself, Chris Youd started chain letters circulating. Even at the height of the German bombings, fan activity continued, minor get-togethers were held, several old and new fans continued publishing, and new proz were set on foot. BFS was organized; BREs appeared. Ackerman and, later, Cunningham's British SF War Relief Society [an American organization], were active in sending bundles of proz and fmz to the Anglofan.
Amerifans' opinions about the war had fluctuated at such events as the Sitzkrieg, the invasion of Finland, the fall of France, and the invasion of Russia. After the Pearl Harbor incident, however, most of them supported the war; some who had held pacifist ideas before the war registered as conscientious objectors. Altho no study has been made, it seemed that more fans were deferred from conscription than was true of their age group on the average. Defects included: fallen armpits, hypertension, insanity, homosexuality, osteomyelitis, deafness, defective vision, heart murmur, a short foot, asthma, Twonk's disease, and over- and under-agedness.
Be that as it may, fans of fandom were found in all branches of the United States and British armed services and other places such as merchant service, CO camps, Government war offices, and war industries. One had gone to Iceland before Pearl Harbor and another was in Hawaii; still another was on the way to the Philippines on 7 December, and ended up in Australia. French, British, and American fans took part in Dunkirk, Guadalcanal, North Africa, Normandy, Leyte and other operations.
Inside the various countries fen of war were shifted from place to place, trying to contact fellow fen whenever they came near them; many landed near Shangri-LA. Several service fans went into Army Specialized Training Programs and all in all the fans ranked above average in the service, as was natural with their higher intelligence. Those fen who were deferred, and those sweating out the call, kept up activity in fandom and in some cases did work for servifans and supplied them with fanzines gratis. If anything, activity per capita increased, and serious discussion seemed to be stimulated; not only those related to war problems, but on universal principles. The N3F went into its coma and subzines declined in numbers for a while, as FAPA grew in importance. (FAPA members in the armed forces stationed overseas were exempted from activity requirements.)
The Korean War produced no particular difficulties for fans to surmount and provoked little discussion once it became evident that it would not precipitate a general war. It was remarkable for the high percentage of fans in uniform who came from Michigan -- about 25-30%.
The effects of the pre- and post-Korean Cold War are difficult to distinguish from what might be called "normal", since they affect so many areas of national life. Noteworthy, however, is the shocking expansion of the lunatic fringe in the proz; a certain growth of anarchism in the sense of a belief in the incompetence of all governments; and a deal of debate pro&con whether defeat of the Communist Empire does not involve our adoption of undemocratic repressive techniques like those we're supposed to be fighting against. Some fans even profess to detect a touchiness and acerbity previously little-known in fandom, which they attribute to the tensions of our unshooting hostilities.
|From Fancyclopedia 1, ca. 1944|
|Immediately Great Britain and France declared war on Germany in 1939, Gallet's plans for a french stf pro were abandoned, the SFA and BIS were suspended for the duration, their official records were placed in a safe place, and several members living outside London who would likely still be in the same place after the war were named for members to contact after the duration so that things could be set going again. Several leading British fanzines were suspended, and some fans called into service.
As a means of keeping British fandom in contact with itself, Chris Youd started chain letters circulating. Young fans kept coming in, eventually making the BFS; even at the height of the German bombings, fan activity continued, minor get-togethers were held, several old and new fanzines continued publishing, and new pros were set on foot. It was prohibited to import American stf pulp in quantity (because of shipping shortage) into British nations, or to send money outside those countries, so Britishers had to get American fanzines and pros by using credit previously established, exchanging British periodicals and books, etc; small reprint editions of some of the pros were issued inside the countries. Ackerman, and later the BSFWRS, were active in sending bundles of pro and fan magazines to the British.
As the great debate in America over intervention grew hotter, some bad feeling arose between such British fans as Youd, who had come to support the war, and American fans, who were predominantly noninterventionist. American Futurians later expressed dislike for Gallet's collaboration with Vichy in becoming a censor in the unoccupied zone.
Amerifans' opinions about the war had fluctuated at such events as the Sitzkreig, the invasion of Finland, the fall of France, and the invasion of Russia. After Pearl Harbor, however, most of them supported the war. Certain fans not subject to the draft, such as Tom Slate and Russell Chauvenet, expressed weariness and gloom, and others who had held pacifistic ideas before the war registered as conscientious objectors and either were sent to work camps or let alone -- these included Rosenblum, Hornig, and Joquel. The later Pvt Ack-Ack felt he could not conscientiously be a conscientious objector, but disliked the army intensely, especially at first. Altho no study has been made, it seems that more fans were deferred from conscription than was true of their age group on the average. Defects included fallen armpits, hypertension, insanity, homosexuality, underweight, osteomyelitis, deafness, heart murmur, a short foot, asthma, Twonk's disease, and over- and underage.
Be that as it may, fans of fandom were found in all branches of the armed services, the Air Forces, Ground Forces, Service Forces, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and auxiliaries, not to mention the merchant marine, CO camps, Government war offices, and war industries. One had gone to Iceland before Pearl Harbor and another was in Hawaii; still another was on his way to the Philippines on 7 December, and ended up in Australia. French, British, or American fans took part in Dunkirk, Guadalcanal, North Africa, and other operations.
Inside the various countries, fans of war were shifted from place to place, trying to contact fellow fen whenever they came near them; many landed near Shangri-LA. Several service fans went into the Army Specialized Training Program, and all in all the fans ranked much higher in the services than average inductees, as was natural with their higher intelligence. Those fen who were deferred, and those anxiously awaiting call, kept up activity in fandom and did work for the dogfans and in some cases supplied them with fanzines gratis. If anything, activity per capita increased, and serious discussions seemed to be stimulated, not only those related to war problems, but on universal principles. The NFFF failed and subscription magazines declined in number for a while, and the FAPA grew in importance. FAPA members in the armed forces stationed abroad were exempted from activity requirements.
- In fact, Alvan Mussen died on the Bataan Death March on June 23, 1942.
Other fans/writers who died in the military during World War II include:
- Blaine Dunmire, late April or early May 1944, ship sunk in the Mediterranean.
- Walter Sullivan, May 23, 1944, air crash in China.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, June 30, 1944, air crash (likely shot down) over the Mediterranean.
- Bob Madsen, July 4, 1944, submarine sank in the Pacific.
- Harvey Greenblatt, August 5, 1944, killed in France.
- E. F. De La Roi, September 14, 1944, ship sank in the Great Atlantic Hurricane.
- Orville Kerkow, November 26, 1944, MIA in Germany.
- George Keith Hickman, November 30, 1944, air crash in Belgium.
- David Wright O'Brien, December 11, 1944, shot down over Berlin.
- Alden Ackerman, January 1, 1945, killed during the Battle of the Bulge.
- Lee Eastman, April 7, 1945, died while taking Cologne, just a month before the end of the war.
- Earl Kay, May 1945, MIA in Germany, just days before the war's end.
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