FAPA (1937-present)

Formed in 1937, FAPA - the Fantasy Amateur Press Association - was the first APA in SF fandom and is the one all others are modelled after whether they know it or not. British fans were involved in it from the very beginning. Below is a piece by Don Wollheim detailing its creation, followed by a list of zines run through FAPA by UK fans in the years up to 1980.

Don Wollheim - photo Ted Carnell album

In 1936 fan magazine publishing first began to enter into the phase of growth that marked the transition from the club organ period to that of amateur journalism. Prior to that year only few fan publications were attempted, and outside of the famous Fantasy Magazine and two or three less successful ventures, the only fan publications were club organs, often of a local nature. But the growth of fandom and its gradual acquisition of certainty in itself and independence of mind resulted in a larger and larger output of fan publications everywhere. Fandom took on something of the aspects of today with new magazines appearing on all sides and old ventures collapsing or combining. A certain amount of chaos grew.

In that year, while corresponding with the late H. P. Lovecraft, I first heard of the existence of national amateur press associations where persons interested in publishing and editing for the fun of it and not for profit would exchange magazines in general mailings. I joined the National, the United, and several local Amateur Press Associations. Likewise some of the New York fans, primarily John B. Michel and Frederik Pohl.

Gradually it grew upon me that an amateur press association modeled after the decades-old national types and specializing in fantasy amateur journalism would be an excellent thing. So many fans wanted to bring out magazines "for the hell of it" and for indefinite periods. They did not like to have to depend upon dubious subscription lists which they might never be able to live up to or to repay. They did not want the bother of commercial fan publishing. They wanted to bring out fanzines for the fun of it. In cautious discussions with various fans, it became clear that fandom would welcome the creation of an organization for the free exchange of amateur non-subscription fantasy magazines.

I discussed this at length one night in the Spring of 1937 with fans Bill Miller and Jim Blish and it was there that the Fantasy Amateur Press Association was first formulated, named and planned. However, affairs having to do with the dissolution of the I.S.A. kept me from further work on it until June.

In June John B. Michel and I decided to start definite work on the organization of the F.A.P.A. We decided to have a simple clear workable constitution already written, to have an emblem prepared, to get a nucleus of enthusiastic members and to prepare a first mailing with which the campaign for organization would be formally started. We determined to start it with a bang in order to give it the best chance for survival.

After studying the constitutions of existing general amateur press groups, I took the Constitution of the New England Amateur Press Club as the simplest and best model, and wrote the first FAPA Constitution. It followed the wording and organization of the NEAPC in most particulars. The present revised FAPA Constitution is still essentially the original document in general.

After correspondence, the following accepted the posts of organizers: I took the presidency as it was my job to direct the work and co-ordinate things. Michel undertook the Editorship so he and I could work together on that. Bill Miller agreed to handle the secretarial work of registering applicants and collecting dues. Daniel McPhail undertook the Vice-President's task of booming up membership.

I wrote Morris Dollens, at that time foremost fan artist, requesting designs for an emblem. He sent three of which Michel and I picked the one which has remained official. I then had engravings made of this emblem and we printed membership cards on the Michel-Wollheim press. One of these engravings I kept, the other cut I presented to the FAPA to remain in the custody of each Official Editor. When last heard of Milton Rothman had this cut.

Correspondence was beginning to bear fruit and we had a few applications in before any mailing appeared. The first fan to pay dues and raceive a card was Frederik Pohl. Among the original members of pre-first mailing status appear the names of Edward Carnell, Harry Dockweiler, J. M. Rosenblum, Robert A. Madle, Robert W. Lowndes, and James Taurasi.

The first mailing was due to come out in July 1937. Time did not allow Michel and I to prepare a first Fantasy Amateur so instead I mimeographed a three page magazine entitled "The FAPA Fan" the third page of which was an application blank, the first two pages of which contained an explanation of the FAPA and a request for members. The FAPA Fan did duty as a semi-official organ until the appearance of the first Fantasy Amateur, which was not until after the first regular election.

The first mailing appeared in July. It contained mostly excess copies of older fan magazines, some new material done for the occasion such as two or three "Mijimags" and stuff. It wasn't a bad bundle considering.

Response was very encouraging. But Secretary Bill Miller unfortunately chose that moment to lose interest in fandom. He allowed his work to lag and finally resigned in September turning material over to me. I undertook the work of Secretary-Treasurer for the rest of the year as well as the president's post. Oddly enough, it can be recorded that our first Secretary, Miller, never became a member of the FAPA.

Another organizational mailing came in October and the first election was held in December. The first Fantasy Amateur, dated spring 1938 and sent out in May 1938 contains the results. Myself and MacPhail remained in our organizational offices. Baltadonis took over the secretaryship and Fred Pohl relieved Michel as Editor. The number of ballots received reveals that by January 1938 we had about 25 members. By May 1938 we had 243 members and had reached healthy maturity. A host of new FAPA magazines were appearing and healthy discussion was permeating the ranks. A heated contest was forecast for July and the FAPA was 100% alive and kicking.

- Donald A. Wollheim, THE FANTASY AMATEUR, vol.5 no.4 (Jun '42)


Much additional historical information can be found here:


Bulletin of the Leeds Science Fiction LEeague: Harold Gottliffe.
        1    Jan/38     p       ½Q        2  d/w FAPA

Extracts From The Futurian: (Leeds).
       (-)   Win/39     p       ½Q        8  d/w FAPA 13

Fantast's Folly: C.S.Youd.
        1    Dec/44     m        Q        6  d/w FAPA 31
      **3    Aug/45     m        Q       10  d/w FAPA 33 
        4    Sum/46     m        Q        6  d/w FAPA 36
 *There may have been no issue '2'. 
**c/w Browsing 11.

The Futurian: J.Michael Rosenblum. (Leeds). 
                Formerly Bulletin Of The Leeds SF League (qv).
        1    Jun/38     p       ½Q        8  (Vol 2)  d/w FAPA 5
        2    Sep/38     p       ½Q       16  d/w FAPA 5

The Futurian: J.Michael Rosenblum. (Leeds). 
       (-) Aut-Win/38   p        -        6  (Vol 1 No.?)  d/w FAPA ?
Produced only for FAPA, size 5" x 8 


Browsing: J.Michael Rosenblum (Leeds). All issues d/w FAPA.
       (1)   Jan/43     m        Q        2
        2    Spr/43     m        Q        4
        3    Sum/43     m        Q        4
        4    Oct/43     m      USQ        4
       (5)   Dec/43     m        Q        4 
        6    Spr/44     m        Q        4
        7      ?/44     m        Q        6
        8      ?/44     m        Q        6
        9      ?/44     m        Q       10
       10    Sum/45     m        Q       14
      *11         -     -        -        -
      (12)   Aut/45     m      USQ       14  (New Ser.l)
      (13)     ?/45     m      USQ       16  (New Ser.2)
*c/w Fantast's-Folly 3 (qv).

Convention Extra: produced for the 1944 Eastercon (London).
        2    Feb/44     m        Q        2  b/w FWD 33

Directory of Current British Fan Magazines:                      
       (-)     ?/40     m        *        1  d/w FAPA ?

Nonesuch: Ron Lane.
        1    Sum/45     m        Q       10  d/w FAPA 33


The Ascent Of Next to Nothing: Mal Ashworth.
        (-)   Spr/60    m        Q      14  d/w OMPA 24 & FAPA 91

The Bull Moose: Bill Morse.
        (1)       ?     ?        ?       ?
         2   Feb/58     ?        ?       8  d/w FAPA 82 
         3   Aug/58     ?        ?       2  d/w FAPA 84 
         4   Aug/58     ?        ?       8  d/w FAPA 84 
         5   Aug/59     ?        ?       8  d/w FAPA 88
        (6)  Nov/60     ?        ?       8  d/w FAPA 93 
continues after 1960.

Chux Own: Chuck Harris.
         2   May/58     m        Q       4  d/w FAPA 83

Clause: H.P.Sanderson.
         1   Aug/57     m        Q      22  d/w FAPA 80
         2   Nov/57     m        Q       8  d/w FAPA 81
         3   Feb/58     m        Q      26  d/w FAPA 82
         4   May/58     m        Q      46  d/w FAPA 83

Consomme: Ken Slater.
       *(-)   Oct/53    p        -       2  d/w FAPA 65
*page-size = 7½ x11"

Directory of SF Fandom: Ron Bennett.
       *(2)    Jan/57   m       Q      12  d/w FAPA 78
       *(3)    Jan/58   m       Q      14  d/w FAPA 82
       *(4)    Jan/59   m       Q      14  d/w FAPA 86
        (5)    Jan/60   m       Q      16  d/w FAPA 90
continues after 1960. NB: each issue carries the previous 
year's date (i.e, "1955", "1956", &c).

Fen Crittur Comical Books: Bob Shaw
       *(-)    Aut/52   m       -      18  d/w FAPA 61
* 8.25" x 6.75" paper

Fringe: Mal Ashworth. 
         1     May/58   m       Q      12  d/w FAPA 83
         2     May/60   m       Q       6  d/w FAPA 91
continues after 1960. 

Goontact: Joy & Vincent Clarke, H.P. Sanderson, and Chuck Harris.
       *(-)    Apr/57   m       Q        4  d/w FAPA 78
* called "13"

Haemogoblin: Fred Smith.
         4     Nov/57   m       Q       12  d/w FAPA 81 
         5     May/59   m       Q        6  d/w FAPA 87

The Happy Traveller: Norman Wansborough.
        (-)    Nov/56   m       F       10  d/w FAPA 77

The Hasty Stopgap: Mal Ashworth.
        (-)    Feb/57   m       Q        4  d/w FAPA 78

I Dreamt I Crept In Marble Crypts: Mal Ashworth.
        (-)    Nov/55   m       Q       10  d/w FAPA 73

It's Tycho's Floor In '54': Chuck Harris and Ken Slater.
        (-)    Sum/53   m      A4        6  d/w FAPA 64

The Last Fans In Town: Mal Ashworth
         (-)   Nov/55   m       Q        8  d/w FAPA 73

Lonconfidential: Chuck Harris.
         (-)   Dec/57   m       Q        16 d/w FAPA 82

Matter Of No Moment: Ken Slater.
        (1)     Aug/52   m      F        2  d/w FAPA 60
         2      Nov/52   m     A4        4  d/w FAPA 61

The March Of The Rocket Men: Norman Wansborough.
        (-)     Feb/57   m      F        2  d/w FAPA 78

Off The Cuff For Gertrude: Chuck Harris .
        (-)     Feb/58   m      Q        4  d/w FAPA 82

OMPA Flyer & Constitution:
        (-)     Nov/57   m      Q        4  d/w FAPA 81

Operation Fantast Handbook: Ken Slater.
       *(3)     Apr/53   p    ½Q        68  ("1953")
*d/w FAPA 64.

Pamphrey: Walt Willis.
        *O      Nov/51   m      -        2  d/w FAPA 57
         1      Nov/53   m      Q        8  d/w FAPA 65 
         2      May/54   m      Q        2  d/w FAPA 67 
         3      Nov/56   m      Q       16  d/w FAPA 77 
        (4)     -----
        (5)     Aug/57   m      Q       12  d/w FAPA 80 
         6      Feb/58   m      Q       10  d/w FAPA 82 
         7      Nov/58   m      Q        2  d/w FAPA 85
*7" x 8.75" page size

Qurp: Ron Bennett.
         1      May/57   m      Q       10  d/w FAPA 79
continues after 1960

Reason: Norman Wansborough.
        (-)     Aug/58   m      Q        2  d/w FAPA 88

Rot: Mal Ashworth.
         2      May/57   m     Q        22  d/w FAPA 79
         3      Jun/59   m     Q        20  d/w FAPA 88 
Rune : Norman Wansborough.
        (1)     Feb/57   m      F        8  d/w FAPA 78 
         ?      Mar/57   m      F        8  d/w FAPA 79 
         ?      Feb/58   m     AQ        2  d/w FAPA 82 
         ?      Aug/58   m      Q        2  d/w FAPA 84
         ?      Aug/59   m     AQ        8  d/w FAPA 8?

Slant: Walt Willis.
      **(-)     Win/51   ?      ?        ?  d/w FAPA 57
 *called Pages From Slant 6      

Stone Age Stories: Ken Slater.
         1      Sum/53   m     A4        4  d/w FAPA 64
         2      Feb/54   m     A4        4  d/w FAPA 66

Surd: Chuck Harris.
        *1      may not exist
         2      Feb/57   m      Q        6  d/w FAPA 78 

Swan Song: Chuck Harris.
         1      Spr/59   m      Q       10  d/w FAPA 87 

Terra Welcomes You: Norman Wansborough.
        (-)     Aug/57   m     AQ        6  d/w FAPA 80 single-sided

This Goon For Hire: Chuck Harris & John Berry
        (-)     Feb/56   m      Q       18  d/w FAPA 74

Through Darkest Ireland: Chuck Harris.
        (-)     Dec/54   m      Q       30  d/w FAPA 70

To Wm. Danner Esq: Bill Morse.
        (-)     Nov/59   p      Q        2  d/w FAPA 89

Tucker Hotel: Vincent Clarke, Chuck Harris, Bob Shaw, 
              Ken Slater, James White, & Walt Willis.
                             (Bob Tucker - USA)
        (-)     Nov/52   p      -        2  d/w FAPA 61 (11"x17" page)

Twin Set: Ken Slater.
        (-)     Aug/54   m      F        2  d/w FAPA 69

        (-)     Aug/54   ?      ?        4  d/w FAPA 68

Willis Discovers America: Walt Willis.
        (-)     Jun/55   ?      Q       24  d/w FAPA 72

Yrautibo: Mal Ashworth.
        (-)     Nov/56   m      Q        6  d/w FAPA 77


Bletherings: Ethel Lindsay.
      ***1    Feb/69   m        Q        8  d/w FAPA 126
         2    Mar/69   m        Q        8  d/w FAPA 127
         3    Dec/69   m        Q       12  d/w FAPA 130
continues after 1970.
***new series for FAPA.

Directory of SF Fandom: Ron Bennett.
(first published 1956)
       *(6)   Jan/61   m        Q       16  d/w FAPA 94
       *(7)   Jan/62   m        Q       16  d/w FAPA 98

Fringe: Mal Ashworth.
(first published 1958) 
         3    Feb/63   m        Q        8  d/w FAPA 102
Qurp!: Ron Bennett.
(first published 1957)
        2     Feb/63   m        Q        8  d/w FAPA 102
        3     May/64   m        Q        8  d/w FAPA 107

Running, Jumping, & Standing Still Magazine: Mal Ashworth.
        1     May/61   m        Q       18  d/w FAPA 96


Bletherings: Ethel Lindsay
      (first published 1961)
         4      Apl/71	m       Q       10  d/w FAPA 135

Erg: Terry Jeeves
	(first published Apl.1959)
      * 46	Apl/74	m	Q	20 
      *	47	Jul/74	m       Q	22  
      *	48	Oct/74	m       Q	26  
      *	49 	Jan/75  m       Q	22
      * 50	Apl/75  m       Q	22
      *	51	Jul/75	m       Q	22
* separate editions were published for these issues, for OMPA or 
  FAPA or general distribution. Page count & contents differed