Notes on Canadian Fan History

From: Garth Spencer

I may or may not have indicated to you, a gentleman in Calgary named Dale Speirs runs Canadian fanhistory articles in his fanzine, Opuntia. As it works out I have written the majority of them. Until recently I didn't think it necessary to explain that other articles were welcome and solicited, but a few "fans" (quote unquote) weren't clear on the concept. Nor aware that corrections and amplifications and feedback were expected. *Sigh*

Not too long ago Dale published an index of articles in preceding issues. I had already pieced together an incomplete bibliography of fanhistory articles in Opuntia, BCSFAzine, Ottawa SF Statement, Maple Leaf Rag, and Torus.

R. Graeme Cameron, whose postings by now you will have already seen in rec.arts.sf.fandom, has run some local and very detailed articles in the clubzine he edits, BCSFAzine.

Taral Wayne, whom I seem to have gotten published once in Opuntia (he appaered also in Torus and several times in New Canadian Fandom), has a large unpublished history of Toronto fandom up to 1980/81. He seems to have declined to publish this in Opuntia.

Dale Speirs is not online; he can be contacted at P.O. Box 6830, Calgary, AB T2P 2E7. (City, provincial abbreviation and postal code can all be put on the same line in Canadian addresses, by the way, but you're probably best advised to hard return after the provincial abbreviation, type CANADA, two spaces, and then the postal code. Works for me.)

So far I have constructed chronologies of fan groups in Canada, going city by city. I have yet to cover Ontario, Quebec, or Maritimes fan groups. Before doing so I departed from regional and started covering national fan enterprises, such as the Canadian SF and Fantasy Awards history. Dave Panchyk, who was responsible for Saskatchewan fandom (such as there was), wrote a short piece thereon.

You can see the way this is going. Keep it up and I could have a book manuscript. Not that I can even publish my next fanzine edition yet! *Sigh*

I have been contemplating doing a personal-history article for my zine, which keeps on not coming out. Maybe soon I'll try e-mailing my zine, but it'll have to be condensed. No great long essays this time.

It's quite clear that I, and other Canadians who did national newszines, had a personal stake of some kind in their fanac, and some ideology or vision of fandom driving their participation. I am thinking mainly of Robert Runte, but also of other people who worked on the Candaian SF and Fantasy Award. That sort of thing tends to colour our fanhistory writing.