The history of science fiction fandom is fairly well documented. Fortunately many of the early figures survived long enough to tell their stories. Unfortunately, many of the original fan publications have been lost, or are preserved only in university library collections. They were often fragile mimeographed sheets to begin with, and were acquired to be read rather than collected.
I’m fortunate to have collected over the years complete or nearly complete runs of several of the key fanzines. Wherever possible, I’ve drawn directly from these sources for the material on this site. They include:
Science Fiction Digest / Fantasy Magazine (September 1933 – January 1937
The Fantasy Fan (September 1933 – February 1935)
Fanscient (September 1947 – Spring 1951)
Fantasy Commentator (Volume 1, spanning December 1943 – Fall 1946)
IF! (January, 1949)
The original correspondence and manuscripts found on the site (here and elsewhere) have been sourced from various university libraries. Deep thanks are due to the very helpful Research Assistants and Librarians who aided in this search.
Lloyd Eshbach Collection, from the Special Collections Research Center, Samuel Paley Library at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Otto Binder and Sam Moskowitz Collections, from the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
In an online article in Tangent, author, editor, collector and sci-fi historian extraordinaire Robert Weinberg wrote the story and published images of the one-of-a-kind bound volumes of Cosmos that were created for the five original editors. His wonderful article can be found here.
I’ve also used several books to source the history of these publications and piece together the overall story. The principal works I’ve referred to are:
The Immortal Storm by Sam Moscowitz, Hyperion Press, 1974
(The original publication of this was in Vol 1 of Fantasy Commentator)
The Gernsback Days by Mike Ashley and Robert A.W. Lowndes, Wildside Press, 2004
Tales of the Time Travelers, John L. Coker, III, editor, Days of Wonder Publishers, 2009
(One of 26 limited edition copies)
The Man from Mars – Ray Palmer’s Amazing Pulp Journey by Fred Nadis, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2013
All Our Yesterdays by Harry Warner, Jr., Advent:Publishers, Inc., 1969
Some photographs on this site are from the collection of Robert A. Madle and are used with his kind permission.
The documentary film The Sci-Fi Boys is a must-see for any fan of the genre, and in particular shows the disproportionate impact of “superfans” such as Forry Ackerman.