BSFS 50 in the News

Ron Bounds and David Ettlin.

Ron Bounds and David Ettlin.

Last weekend’s Balticon prompted a lookback at the Baltimore SF Society’s 50th anniversary celebration in the Baltimore Post-Examiner.

David Ettlin distinctly remembers the winter day in 1961 when he first encountered Jack Chalker.

“We were stuck for nine hours in a snowbound BaltimoreCity transit bus.  Though we had never met, both Jack and I were students at CityCollege.  He saw me reading one of those double-sided Ace science fiction books and struck up a conversation.  Jack told me about an entire world of science fiction fandom I didn’t even know existed.”

Ettlin was hooked.  What started as an extended conversation between two strangers on a snowbound transit bus grew to a small coterie of friends who bounced between informal basement get-togethers in Baltimore and more structured meetings in Washington, D.C.  Returning from D.C. New Year’s Eve in 1962, in the back of a Trailways bus, the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS) was born.

Quite a few past and present fans are reference in the article, with quotes from Ettlin, Ron Bounds, Patti Kinlock and mentions of Jack L. Chalker, Mark Owings, Roger Zelazny, Jerry Jacks, Kim Weston, Alexander Harris, John Zaharick, Sarah Pinsker, Karlo Yeager, Eric Yount, and Ben Wang.

[Thanks to Michael J. Walsh for the story.]