Science Fiction Association

Tagged: Community | Fan

This first attempt at a genuinely national UK organization devoted to furthering the cause of sf in Britain was proposed and launched at the Leeds sf Convention of January 1937. It was initially headquartered in Leeds, with E J Carnell's Novae Terrae adopted as the official organ. Another official publication, intended as a respectable front to entice non-fans, was the quarterly Tomorrow, first published in February 1937 and edited by Douglas W F Mayer; the seventh and last issue appeared in Autumn 1938. In that year membership reached its peak of more than 200. The SFA was unfortunately plagued by various controversies and power struggles, and faded away in World War Two, but not before London members (after meeting for a time at the flat shared by Arthur C Clarke and William F Temple) had established a tradition of regular London pub meetings which still continues. Other known members included Sydney J Bounds, Walter Gillings, E C Tubb and John Wyndham. Ultimately, the SFA was a tentative precursor of the British Science Fiction Association. [DRL]

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