Rob Hansen surveys the early presence of women in UK science fiction fandom, identifies the UK’s first known female fan, and shows the lead-up to the fanzine Femizine (1954-1960) – the first true rallying point for female British fans — in Generation Femizine, the latest addition to TAFF’s library of free downloads.
The 67,000-word book, compiled from the participants’ own words, is available in multiple electronic formats from the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund’s website, where they also hope you’ll make a little donation to the fund. Find it here.
In this compilation, 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”.
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….
A printed paperback edition is also available, released simultaneously with the ebook: click here for more. All proceeds from paperback sales go to TAFF.
[Based on a press release.]