Up To Now: The Situation in the West

Up To Now by Jack Speer, 1939

The Undertow«« »»The Order Begins to Crumble

In the Los Angeles SFL-SFA was previewed the coming struggle among fans as a whole, like a Spanish Civil War of ideas as to the object of fandom.

After Shroyer and Wollheim and the various accessories had exchanged a blast or two each way, the arguments broke down mainly into repetition and restatement, as those things will, and a howl was raised, not only among the subscribers, but also within the LASFL. The situation there was a peculiar one, as the leading fans of the group, Forrest J Ackerman and Myrtle R Douglas ("Morojo"), were inclined toward sociological discussions of a Michelistic nature, whereas the majority of the whole membership was opposed to such things. The result was a disunity of feeling not present in other fan groups, but the LASFL spirit was too strong for it to be at any time threatened with dissolution.

At any rate, the anti-controversialists presently got the upper hand, and established a board of censors to keep controversial material out of Imagination! There seems to be some confusion, however, as to their actual instructions in the matter, for Ackerman told Wollheim that well-written Michelist writings would not be barred, and the board of censors included T Bruce Yerke, who is scarcely one to desire a lid on controversy.

And of course, Madge's most important feature, Voice of the Imagi-Nation, was pretty much laid open to any kind of discussions among the readers.

Charlie Hornig, one-time ed of Wonder Stories, guest-edited an issue of the [madgazine, putting into it all his ideas for improvement. The result was at first a divided opinion, but presently there was a very definite vote for a return to the Madge of simplifyd spelng, Ackermanese, scientificombinations, and a Voice of the Imagi-Nation running letters in the sequence received, with editorial comments parenthesized. The effect of Homig's fiasco was to endear the old Madge in the hearts of many fans who had formerly been very critical of her.

Very shortly after her return to her old dress, however, Madge went into a state of suspended animation. Forrie the J, who had a disproportionately large part in the work connected with publication, became employed with the Government and no longer had time to work on the magazine, and the others couldn't carry on without him. Later Ackerman is supposed to have lost his job, but there was no attempt to revive Imagination!

After Madge's demise — or suspension of animation, if you will — Los Angeles published as much material, probably, as a monthly Imagination! would have carried, but, because each group publishes the kind of material it desires, and much of it is not charged for, further clash over what should and shouldn't be published was avoided.

Then came Technocracy. When the facts about it began to be circulated, it was received with astounding enthusiasm by Angelenos from all camps, and shortly they set out to campaign fandom for the coming of the Technate.

The Undertow«« »»The Order Begins to Crumble