Robert Madle’s suggestion to purge the membership of First Fandom prompted my observation that it’s impossible to be “fannish enough” for everyone. It’s worth remembering that Madle himself hasn’t managed to do it.
In 1957, Madle won the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund. Immediately, “there was a strident clamor from those who felt that fanzine fans were losing control of what they had started,” wrote Harry Warner, Jr. in A Wealth of Fable.
Madle, you see, was perceived as being merely a “convention fan.” (Wow, him too?) While his Fantascience Digest had been a leading fanzine in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, in the years just before he stood for TAFF Madle was primarily active in conventions, clubs, and in writing the fan departments of prozines.
Warner says the storm of controversy subsided because Madle made an excellent impression on people he met overseas during his TAFF trip. It also helped that he started writing for fanzines again. What did he write? Con reports.