Hertz: Moskowitz to Eaton, $250 to DUFF

home_eaton-collection-hours_columnBy John Hertz: An anonymous donor has given DUFF $250 to send a rare copy of Sam Moskowitz’ Immortal Storm to the Eaton Collection.

SaM chaired the first World Science Fiction Convention. Besides his fan activity he edited a Gernsback magazine, wrote s-f, anthologized, and was generally a force of nature.

The Immortal Storm is his history of s-f fandom from the 1920s to World War II. Its title indicates its impassioned style. It remains indispensable.

This copy is from the limited mimeograph edition of 1951, after the Storm burst in Langley Searles’ Fantasy Commentator, before the 1954 hardback. A knowledgeable collector has estimated it is in Very Good condition.

DUFF the Down Under Fan Fund, like TAFF the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund, sends fans on long-distance visits. TAFF began in 1953, DUFF in 1972, others followed, all sustained by donations. DUFF goes between North America and Australia – New Zealand.

Eaton, the world’s largest publicly accessible holding of science fiction, fantasy, and like that, is located at the Riverside campus of the University of California.

Last year Chicon VII the 70th Worldcon, at Chicago, had as is customary an auction to benefit the fan-travel funds. It was held in the exhibit hall, next to the Fanzine Lounge.

Some items came too late to be auctioned and will have to be used for raising money otherwise. One was this copy of Storm from Bob Passovoy (with his wife Anne, Fan Guests of Honor at Chicon VI) who could not get to the con that day but wanted to support DUFF.

Speaking as DUFF’s North America Administrator, I do not consider DUFF or its sister funds sell things.

As an Englishman once said, the exchanges which take place are measures of mutual assistance rendered by friends, in a spirit of confidence, sympathy, and good will.

A copy of this edition of Storm shows how physical production can be informative. It illustrates the art of mimeography.

The texture of the paper, the color of paper and ink, the appearance of typewriting, done by hand, teach what amateur publishing was sixty years ago, even to someone who may never have practiced slipsheeting or worked at a collating party.

Dr. Melissa Conway, head of Special Collections & Archives at U.C. Riverside and thus of Eaton, says the Storm has arrived.

Artifact as well as thought is elemental to history.