BEYOND FANDOM - additional notes

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BOOKS

Other works of fanhistory are referred to throughout. These can be found here, with ebook versions being free to download:

BOSSES' SONGBOOK (chapter 15)

As well as those mentioned in the book, SF fans Shel Deretchin and Dick Eney also contributed songs. Internal illustrations were by Trina Robbins who was then with Art Castillo and using his name, though they never actually married. The first link below is to an article by Boyd Raeburn about the session he taped at the Riverside Dive.


Jill Adams, Shel Deretchin, Dave Cohen at the 1957 Worldcon in London.

New York fan Deretchin, who died young, is almost certainly the Shel in this account in Terri Thal's autobiography of how she and Dave Van Ronk first met:

I was 17 and at a party in a huge apartment on Riverside Drive with a zillion large rooms. Most of the people there were science fiction fans - this was my first experience with 'sci fi fandom.' A young man named Shel had been patting my hand, insisting that we go to a bedroom to "experiment." It was clear to me that Shel wasn't looking for sex but wanted me to smoke grass [...]

Shel pushed hard. I was becoming annoyed. Suddenly, a tall, scruffy guy appeared and said, "Shel, leave her alone." Then, to me: "You don't have to do anything you don't want to." This tall, scruffy guy was Dave Van Ronk, and we spent the rest of the evening holding hands.

- My Greenwich Village: Dave, Bob and Me (McNidder & Grace, 2023)

In re Van Ronk and SF, Elijah Wald notes that:

He remained deeply enamored of SF/Fantasy to the end, with a large collection. His all-time favorite writer in that world was Fritz Leiber, a taste I never acquired, but whom he would defend against anyone in any genre.

- email to Hansen, 18 Dec 23

CIA PILOT (chapter 20)

Art Wilson's fanzines can be found here:

LESBIAN PIONEER (chapter 4)

There's much more information about Tigrina on this website, and also about the informer the FBI had in the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society while she was a member.

MANHATTAN PROJECT (Foreword)

At the top of this article is a photo taken in 1945 of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the other physicists who were working on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. The two at the end - Victor Weisskopf and Richard Dodson - have connections to SF and to fandom. The first is slight - Victor Weisskopf is the great-Uncle of Toni Weisskopf, the current publisher of Baen Books - but not so Richard Dodson to whom E. E. 'Doc' Smith confided his frustrations as a writer, Clark Ashton Smith discussed spirituality and weird fiction, and Julius Schwartz introduced to fanzines. In 1932, Dodson was one of the first subscribers to THE TIME TRAVELLER, a candidate for first fanzine. We know this about Dodson from his correspondence, which is freely accessible at the University of Idaho, link below. My thanks to Mike Saler and Curt Phillips for bringing this to my attention.

NAZI OCCUPATION MOVIE (chapter 17)

This is better known than I realized as witness this scene from a comicbook where a regular train departs from Edinburgh but something else arrives in London:

PACIFISTS (chapter 2)

POLITICAL SCIENTIST (chapter 29)

Rainer Eisfeld's many books and essays:

POLITICAL SPEECHWRITER

No, your copy of the book isn't missing a chapter; this is someone who almost made the cut but didn't.

Frank Robinson (see BIXELSTRASSE) was an editor, vintage magazine collector, and novelist (several of his books were turned into movies). He was also the speechwriter for murdered San Francisco politician Harvey Milk. He played himself in the eponymous movie biopic starring Sean Penn. Unfortunately Robinson's autobiography Not So Good a Gay Man: A Memoir (2017) makes no mention of fandom.

RIVERSIDE DIVE (chapter 15)

The Riverside Dive lasted barely a year. UK fan and pro Ken Bulmer and his wife Pamela visited New York in 1955 during the former's TAFF trip. This was before fans moved into the Dive, but it still features in Ken's report:

I believe everyone knows of the reputation that Central Park has. You just don't go near there after dark. [...] There were six of us. We were going downtown to our apartment and skirting the Park. We'd been warned many times that if we contemplated an evening stroll then to steer clear of the Park; but the devil got into the four guys with us, and they suggested we might like to see the notorious Park by night. There were Danny Curran, Art Saha, Bill Donaho and Dick Ellington, plus Pamela and me. We said nervously "Yes."

As soon as we entered the gates and began to stroll along the path, with bushes black on either hand, my fears left me. Hell - this quartet could do a great of damage before they might be swamped by any gang of hoodlums. In the fracas, Pamela and I could skedaddle out of there. So, feeling very daring and very brave, we wandered along, singing.

Maybe it was a silly thing to do and maybe the dangers of the Park had been exaggerated just so Pamela and I wouldn't do anything silly. But, still, with these four tough hombres - and believe me, they were tough - it seemed OK. Although I have no proof of this, one of them, I believe, habitually carried a nasty weapon of offence - knife, cosh, etc. - with him at all times. Reason was that he'd been mixed up with other characters who were just as unfriendly at times. This wasn't on the Ellison juvenile delinquent level, either - politics had reared its ugly head.

We'd been up to have a look at the building into which this quartet was moving, the famous place that became known as "Riverside Dive". Walking back in the night - and where we stayed in NY, to find a dark spot wasn't easy - gave a sort of shivery feeling quite unrelated to the dangers, real or imaginary, of the surroundings. The glow in the sky was phenomenal. Light forms such a part of the NY nightscape that we noticed the lack of it as soon as we returned to England.

WORLD WAR TWO (chapter 3)

i) The 'Hump'

ii) Forry's tribute to his fallen brother:

iii) Howard DeVore's war - more Sgt Bilko than Sgt Rock:

More here (click on cover):

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