Not Dead Yet

Even now, new local sf clubs are popping up. An Edmonton group founded just two years ago has been profiled by a local entertainment publication, Gig City, in “Edmonton Sci-Fi fans boldly go where everybody knows their names.”

[The] Edmonton Science Fiction Appreciation Society was established with a radically different philosophy: bring fans of many different kinds of science-fiction together, and bring them together face-to-face. Also in the philosophy: do it at Tim Hortons, because aspiring Arthur C. Clarkes are often broke.

“There’s a broad range of people from all walks of life who have nerd-dom in common,” explains Laura Snow, 28, who founded the group nearly two years ago.

Snow, who grew up in a remote part of Newfoundland and says she read just about every book her tiny local library had, looked for a science-fiction club when she moved to Edmonton. Surprised she couldn’t find one, she set about starting her own group by advertising on the website Meetup.

David Klaus sent me the link because he still remembers “Is Your Club Dead Yet?”, my 1998 article about the fading of many famous sf clubs formed in the Seventies. I was inspired to do that overview of the field by a spate of doom-filled statements from club members around the U.S., although I refrained from predicting wholesale extinction because even then few of these dwindling clubs seemed about to give up meeting. Indeed, a great many of them are still with us in 2011. On that account a couple of friends at Renovation suggested I write a follow-up.

David thinks I will find a surprisingly healthy sf club scene:

With the economy dropping, fans are going to want less expensive entertainment, and a club meeting and the attendant socializing will provide that, so I think we’ll see a resurgence of s.f. clubs.

[Thanks to David Klaus for the story.]

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