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Encyclopedia > Futurians

The Futurians were an influential group of science fiction fans, many of whom became editors and writers as well. The Futurians were based in New York City and were a major force in the development of science fiction writing and science fiction fandom in the years 1937-1945. Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is the community of people actively interested in science fiction and fantasy literature, and in contact with one another based upon that interest. ... Science fiction has been shaped as a literary genre by both science fiction authors and science fiction editors. ... Note that this partial list contains some authors whose works of fantastic fiction would today be called science fiction, even if they predate, or did not work in that genre. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is the community of people actively interested in science fiction and fantasy literature, and in contact with one another based upon that interest. ... Year 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ...

Contents

Origins of the group

As described in Isaac Asimov's autobiography In Memory Yet Green, the Futurians spun off from the Greater New York Science Fiction Club (headed by Sam Moskowitz, later an influential SF editor and historian) over ideological differences, with the Futurians wishing to take a more overt political stance. Other sources indicate that Donald A. Wollheim was pushing for a more left wing direction with a goal of leading fandom toward a political ideal, all of which Moskowitz resisted. As a result, Wollheim broke off from the Greater New York group and founded the Futurians,[1] the fans following Moskowitz reorganizing into the Queens Science Fiction Club. Isaac Asimov (January 2?, 1920?[1] – April 6, 1992), pronounced , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов [1], was a Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ... In Memory Yet Green is the first volume of Isaac Asimovs two volume autobiography. ... Sam Moskowitz (1920-1997) was an early fan and organizer of interest in science fiction and, later, a writer. ... Donald Allen Wollheim (October 1, 1914 – November 2, 1990) was a science fiction writer, editor, and publisher. ... Left wing redirects here. ...


Frederik Pohl, in his autobiography The Way the Future Was, said that the origins of the Futurians started with the Science Fiction League founded by Hugo Gernsback in 1934. The New Your City local chapter of which was called the "Brooklyn Science Fiction League" or BSFL, and headed by G. G. Clark. Frederik George Pohl, Jr. ... Hugo Gernsback (August 16, 1884 - August 19, 1967) was an inventor and magazine publisher who also wrote science fiction and whose publication included the first science fiction magazine. ...


Wollheim, John Michel, and Robert A. W. Lowndes were also members of the BSFL. Along with Pohl, the four started calling themselves the "Quadrumvirate". Pohl commenting about that time said "we four marched from Brooklyn to the sea, leaving a wide scar of burned out clubs behind us. We changed clubs the way Detroit changes tailfins, every year had a new one, and last year's was junk". Robert Augustine Ward Doc Lowndes (September 4, 1916 - July 14, 1998) was an American science fiction author and editor. ... Motto: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes - this motto was adopted after the disastrous 1805 fire that devastated the city) Nickname: The Motor City and Motown Location in Wayne County, Michigan Founded Incorporated July 24, 1701 1815  County Wayne County Mayor...


There were several club names during that period of time, before finally the founding of the Futurians. In 1935 there was the "East New York Science Fiction League" (ENYSFL), later the "Independent League for Science Fiction" (ILSF). In 1936 came the International Cosmos Science Club (ICSC) which also involved Will Sykora. Pohl then says that "on reflection 'Cosmos' seemed to take in a bit more territory than was justified, as we changed it to the International Scientific Association (it wasn't International either, but then it also wasn't scienctific)". The ISA then was renamed New York Branch-International Scientific Association (NYB-ISA).


In 1937, after the falling out with Will Sykora and others, the "Quadrumvirate" went on to found the Futurians. Will Sykora then founded the Queens Science Fiction League with Sam Moskowitz and James V. Taurasi. Later the QSFL changed into New Fandom. Pohl said as the conflicts between New Fandom and the Futurians were "Addicted to Feuds" and that "No CIA nor KGB ever wrestled so valiantly for the soul of an emerging nation as New Fandom and the Futurians did for science fiction". Sam Moskowitz (1920-1997) was an early fan and organizer of interest in science fiction and, later, a writer. ... CIA redirects here. ... This article is about the KGB of the Soviet Union. ...


Most of the group's members also had professional ambitions within science fiction and related fields, and collectively were very effective thus, as the roster of members below suggests. At one point in the earliest 1940s, approximately half of all the pulp sf and fantasy magazines in the U.S. were being edited by by Futurians: Frederik Pohl at the Popular Publications offshoot Fictioneers, Inc. (Astonishing Stories and Super-Science Stories); Robert Lowndes at Columbia Publications, most notably with Science Fiction and Future Fiction (though through the decade to come Lowndes's responsibilities would expand to other types of fiction magazine in the chain), and Donald Wollheim at the very marginal Albing Publications with the short-lived, micro-budgeted Cosmic Stories and Stirring Science Stories (Wollheim soon moved on to Avon Books; Doë "Leslie Perri" Baumgardt also worked on a romance fiction title for Albing). Most of these projects had small editorial budgets, and relied in part or occasionally entirely on contributions from fellow Futurians for their contents. Popular Publications was the largest publisher of pulp magazines during its existence. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Avon is a paperback imprint of HarperCollins. ... Leslie Perri (died 1970) was the pen name of Doris Marie Claire Doë Baumgardt, an American science fiction fan, writer, and illustrator. ...


Political tendencies

At the time the Futurians were formed, Donald Wollheim was strongly attracted by communism and believed that followers of science fiction "should actively work for the realization of the scientific world-state as the only genuine justification for their activities and existence".[2] It was to this end that Wollheim formed the Futurians, and many of its members were in some degree interested in the political applications of science fiction. This article is about the form of society and political movement. ...


Hence the group included supporters of Trotskyism, like Merril, and others who would have been deemed far left for the era (Frederik Pohl became a member of the Communist Party in 1936 but was subsequently expelled). On the other hand several members were political moderates or apolitical, and in the case of James Blish arguably right-wing. Damon Knight in The Futurians indicates that Blish at that time felt Fascism was interesting in theory, if repellent as it was then being practiced. More solid evidence is that Blish admired the work of Oswald Spengler. Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ... The term far left refers to the relative position a person or group occupies within the political spectrum. ... Frederik George Pohl, Jr. ... The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) is a Marxist-Leninist political party in the United States. ... James Benjamin Blish (East Orange, New Jersey, May 23, 1921 – Henley-on-Thames, July 30, 1975) was an American author of fantasy and science fiction. ... “Right wing” redirects here. ... Damon Knight (September 19, 1922 – April 15, 2002) was a science fiction author, editor, and critic. ... Fascist redirects here. ... Oswald Arnold Gottfried Spengler (Blankenburg am Harz May 29, 1880 – May 8, 1936, Munich) was a German historian and philosopher, although his studies ranged throughout mathematics, science, philosophy, history, and art. ...


Fredrick Pohl, in The Way the Future Was said Wollheim voted for Republican Presidential Candidate Alfred Landon in 1936. GOP redirects here. ... Alfred Mossman Alf Landon (September 9, 1887 - October 12, 1987) was an American Republican politician from Kansas, notable nationally for his 1936 nomination as the Republican opponent of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. ...


Members included

Isaac Asimov (January 2?, 1920?[1] – April 6, 1992), pronounced , originally Исаак Озимов but now transcribed into Russian as Айзек Азимов [1], was a Russian-born American author and professor of biochemistry, a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. ... James Benjamin Blish (East Orange, New Jersey, May 23, 1921 – Henley-on-Thames, July 30, 1975) was an American author of fantasy and science fiction. ... Hannes Bok (1914 - 1964 April 11) was the pseudonym of an American illustrator and writer of fantasy fiction, mainly of pulp science fiction novels and magazines. ... Virginia Kidd was born in Pennsylvania, in the USA on June 2, 1921. ... Damon Knight (September 19, 1922 – April 15, 2002) was a science fiction author, editor, and critic. ... Cyril M. Kornbluth (July 23, 1923 - March 21, 1958 -- pen-names: Cecil Corman and S.D. Gottesman) was a science fiction author and a notable member of the Futurians. ... David Kyle is a New York-based fan since the earliest days of organized science fiction fandom. ... Robert Augustine Ward Doc Lowndes (September 4, 1916 - July 14, 1998) was an American science fiction author and editor. ... Judith Merril (January 21, 1923, New York, New York - September 12, 1997, Canada) was an North American science fiction author and anthologist. ... Frederik George Pohl, Jr. ... Leslie Perri (died 1970) was the pen name of Doris Marie Claire Doë Baumgardt, an American science fiction fan, writer, and illustrator. ... Arthur William Saha (October 31, 1923 – November 19, 1999) was an American speculative fiction editor and anthologist, closely associated with publisher Donald A. Wollheim. ... Lawrence Taylor Shaw (November 9, 1924–1985) was a Hugo Award-winning science fiction author and editor who usually published as Larry T. Shaw. ... Richard Wilson (author) (1920 - 1987) was a Nebula Award winning American science fiction writer and fan. ... Donald Allen Wollheim (October 1, 1914 – November 2, 1990) was a science fiction writer, editor, and publisher. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Kyle, David (Dec. 1997). "SaM -- Fan Forever". Mimosa (21): 7-10. Retrieved on 24Apr2007. 
  2. ^ Carr, Terry (1979). Classic Science Fiction: The First Golden Age. Robson Books. ISBN 0-86051-070-0.  p. 430

See also

Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is the community of people actively interested in science fiction and fantasy literature, and in contact with one another based upon that interest. ... During the first Worldcon, fans took the opportunity to visit Coney Island: Front: Mark Reinsberg, Jack Agnew, Ross Rocklynne Top: V. Kidwell, Robert A. Madle, Erle Korshak, Ray Bradbury The First World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) was held in the Caravan Hall in New York 2-4 July, 1939, in...

References

  • In Memory Yet Green by Isaac Asimov (1979)
  • The Futurians by Damon Knight (1977)
  • The Way The Future Was by Frederik Pohl (1978)
  • All Our Yesterdays by Harry Warner, Jr. (1969)

Harry Warner, Jr. ...

External links


 
 

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