Alistair Paterson

Vince Clarke

In May 1956 Vince Clarke published DUPLICATING WITHOUT TEARS, a compendium of all the techniques, tricks, and short cuts fans had developed over the decades as they duplicated their fanzines. However, this publication had a long gestation, as Vince explains in his introduction:

While this was going on fannish socialising continued as usual and, on Saturday 7th November 1953, Vince attended MEDCON a one-day convention run by the Medway group. This was an important one for him. Not only would he meet Joy Godwin, the future Joy Clarke (though she took his name they never married), but also Alistair Paterson, editor of the forthcoming VARGO STATTEN SCIENCE FICTION MAGAZINE. Eleven days later Vince would write to Paterson, a letter that resulted in his 'Inquisitor' column in that magazine:

((carbon copy illegibly feint, so letter retyped - all sic))

16 Wendover Way,

Jan. 1st, 1954.

Dear Mr. Paterson,

I was hoping to see you at the Globe last night, but apparently you were celebrating Hogmanay elsewhere. Quite a group of us went along to Picadilly to see the New Year in, and no doubt there'll be an echo of the event in future fiction... I've noticed that quite a number of us are writing or thinking of writing incline more and more to regard everything in the light of background material for stories....

But keeping to the point, many thanks for your two letters of the Christmas week period which I forebore to answer immediately,,, in the circumstances. Thank you for the second acceptance; I'm enclosing an invoice herewith. All right concerning the deletion of the item; I'm enclosing a couple of short items herewith in case you have difficulty in making up space. The BBC item is rather a bow at venture, as I've only the authority of a radio critic that Journey Into Space will end on the 19th, but they can't possibly fiddle about with it much longer.

In regard to your kind offer of fan-magazines, I subscribe or contribute to all at present being published in Great Britain, but in case anyone outside the usual circles produces it might be as well for me to accept your offer with many thanks. Incidentally, as I do various types of fan writing and publishing I'm much obliged to you for the use of a pseudonym on those VSM articles; it's as well to keep professional and amateur stuff separate, and I shall also derive some amusement from the reactions of various friends (including one Walter A Willis of Nebulae to them.

Hoping to see you next Thursday...and, by the way, although we have been introduced I don't think the introduction 'took' with you in light of one or two happenings at the Globe and remarks in your letters.

With best wishes for the New Year,

Yours Sincerely,

A.Vincent Clarke