Dan McPhail

(January 22, 1916 — September 25, 1984)

Daniel Lawrence McPhail was a prominent Oklahoma fan in the early days of SF fandom, having discovered fandom in 1929. (See Most Senior Fan.) In grade school he co-edited a magazine titled The Original Idea with Jim Speer (Jack Speer’s older brother).

At one time he was a member of Fantasy Fans Federation, OCSFL (its founder), and the Phantasy Legion, among other clubs. In addition, in 1936 he was the founder and first president of the Oklahoma Scientifiction Association.

He was an early member of FAPA (and the first VP) where he was part of the Progressive bloc (see Parties) and where he introduced the Mailing Comment. His fapazine was Rocket which was quickly retitled Phantasy Press. He attended the OSA Pow-Wow. He published the fanzines Science Fiction News (1931-1936) (which may have been the first newszine) and Nite Cry (1954-1955), Science Fiction News, and wrote for several others, sometimes using the penname of Lawrence Paschall. His publishing house was Choctaw Publications (he himself was part Choctaw).

In his Who’s Who in Science Fiction Fandom entry, he reported: “My special interest is early fandom history.” He was a member of First Fandom and wrote “Small Town Fan” for First Fandom Magazine #5 (February 1962). He invented Sodacon.

After his marriage in 1940, he gafiated, only returning in 1953 when he discovered the existence of an Oklahoma club that was planning a con in Oklahoma City. He spoke at that event, and again became active in fandom. His obit appears in the November 1984 issue of Locus (No. 286).