Entry updated 18 June 2021. Tagged: Fan, Publication.
The journal of the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA). There have been 281 issues from 1958 to Winter 2015-2016.
Vector has been published since the foundation of the BSFA in 1958, fairly regularly since the 1970s. E C Tubb was its first editor (#1), and it has had many editors since then, including Terry Jeeves (#2-#4, 1958-1959) and Michael Moorcock briefly as co-editor (#5-#7, 1959-1960). Both production and literary quality have fluctuated severely from editor to editor, and Vector has appeared variously as an association newsletter, a typical Fanzine and something like an academic journal. It had a strong period under the editorship of Roger Peyton in the mid-1960s (#26-#39), was briefly jointly edited by Doreen Parker and Ken Slater 1966-1967 (#41-#42) and has been much more consistent ever since 1972 when Malcolm Edwards took over (#59-#68, 1972-1974), his successors including Christopher J Fowler (#69-83), David Wingrove (#84-#94, 1977-1979), Geoff Rippington (#108-#123), Paul Kincaid (#124/125 as sole editor, #126-#127 as co-editor, 1985), David V Barrett (#126-#150, 1985-1989), Kev McVeigh and Boyd Parkinson (#151-#160, 1989-1991), Kev McVeigh and Catie Cary (#161-#165, 1991-1992), Catie Cary (#166-#184, 1992-1995; but Kev McVeigh returned for #169 only and Paul Kincaid edited #183), Maureen Speller (#185-#187, 1995-1996), Tony Cullen (#188-#251, 1996-2007), Liz Batty (#252-#259, 2007-2009; with Anna Feruglio dal Dan #258-#260), Niall Harrison and others; the official bibliography [see links below] has unfortunately not been updated since #265 (Winter 2011) edited by Harrison, dal Dan and Martin Lewis. The page size varied between large and small for many years, but since 1984 (#122) it has been large-format A4.
Since the late 1970s, when some of Vector's functions were hived off into other BSFA publications – paperback-book reviews in Paperback Parlour (soon renamed Paperback Inferno, and then re-incorporated into Vector from #169), fan news – reduced over the years in favour of media news – in Matrix (whose print edition ceased in 2007, continuing online until cancellation in 2011), and advice for new writers in Focus – Vector has sometimes looked less useful than it once was, but it has continued to print good interviews, major articles and substantial reviews, often approaching or equalling professional standards. An occasional past tendency to lapse into fannish polemic – quite proper, since the magazine's original function was to act as a kind of central clearing house and recruiting station for UK Fandom – has generally been replaced by commentary on commercial sf issues and controversies. There are substantial annual reviews of the past year in sf. Almost every UK sf writer of note has appeared in its pages, and many US and Australian writers too. [PN/PR/DRL]
- Paul Kincaid and Maureen Kincaid Speller, editors. Best of Vector: Vol 1: The State of the Art (no place given: British Science Fiction Association, 2015) [nonfiction: anth: chap: selections from Vector: pb/www.graphicstock.com]
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