Futurians

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The Futurians were a group of science fiction fans, many of whom became editors and writers as well. The Futurians were based in New York City and were a major force in the development of science fiction writing and science fiction fandom in the years 1937-1945.

Contents

Origins of the group

As described in Isaac Asimov's autobiography In Memory Yet Green, the Futurians spun off from the Greater New York Science Fiction Club (headed by Sam Moskowitz, later an influential SF editor and historian) over ideological differences, with the Futurians wishing to take a more overt political stance. Other sources indicate that Donald A. Wollheim was pushing for a more left-wing direction with a goal of leading fandom toward a political ideal, all of which Moskowitz resisted. As a result, Wollheim broke off from the Greater New York group and founded the Futurians in September, 1938.[1][2][3] The fans following Moskowitz reorganized into the Queens Science Fiction Club.

Frederik Pohl, in his autobiography The Way the Future Was, said that the origins of the Futurians started with the Science Fiction League founded by Hugo Gernsback in 1934, the New York City local chapter of which was called the "Brooklyn Science Fiction League" or BSFL, and headed by G. G. Clark.

Wollheim, John Michel, and Robert A. W. Lowndes were also members of the BSFL. Along with Pohl, the four started calling themselves the "Quadrumvirate". Pohl, commenting about that time, said "we four marched from Brooklyn to the sea, leaving a wide scar of burned out clubs behind us. We changed clubs the way Detroit changes tailfins, every year had a new one, and last year's was junk".

There were several club names during that period, before finally settling on the Futurians. In 1935 there was the "East New York Science Fiction League" (ENYSFL), later the "Independent League for Science Fiction" (ILSF). In 1936 came the International Cosmos Science Club (ICSC), which also involved Will Sykora. Pohl then says that "on reflection 'Cosmos' seemed to take in a bit more territory than was justified, so we changed it to the International Scientific Association (it wasn't International either, but then it also wasn't scientific)". The ISA then was renamed New York Branch-International Scientific Association (NYB-ISA).

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