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Last updated 14 October 2023 17:51
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Rob Hansen (editor)
In this compilation, Rob Hansen surveys the early presence of women in UK science fiction fandom, identifies our first known female fan, and shows the lead-up to the fanzine Femizine (1954-1960) – the first true rallying point for female British fans. Each major contributor is represented by a mini-biography and a photograph, followed by a selection of her writings in Femizine and/or contemporary fan publications. Rob Hansen supplies necessary context and commentary, tells how it all ended, and adds appendices dealing with the male response (reviews in professional sf magazines), the Great Hoax, the full bibliographical details, and an international listing of “Female Fannish Firsts”.
First published as an Ansible Editions ebook for the TAFF site on 29 September 2023. The cover photograph of – from left to right – Ethel Lindsay, Frances Evans and Frances Glynn at the Supermancon (Eastercon 1954) was taken by Eric Bentcliffe. Over 67,000 words.
A printed paperback edition is also available, released simultaneously with the ebook: click here for more. All proceeds from paperback sales go to TAFF.
From Rob Hansen’s Foreword
Femizine (not to be confused with the later similarly-titled US zine Femzine) was launched at SUPERMANCON, the 1954 Eastercon, held that year in Manchester. The idea of an all-female fanzine had been bubbling up for a while and several letters had passed between Frances Evans, Joan Carr, and Ethel Lindsay shortly before the convention in which they decided it was time. Carr volunteered to edit the zine and a flyer was produced in time for the con, with the first issue appearing soon afterwards. As can be seen from the cover photo (taken at the event by Eric Bentcliffe) there was a certain amount of excitement among female fans at this finally happening.
As is now widely known, “Joan Carr” did not exist (see Appendix 2). She was created as a hoax to be played primarily on the Nor’west Science Fantasy Club (NSFC), who then met regularly in Manchester....