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Rob Hansen

TAFF Books


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The SF Fan Community of 1940s Los Angeles
Rob Hansen

ISBN 978-1-4583-1305-8 (trade paperback)
ISBN 978-1-913451-82-0 (ebook)

Bixelstrasse front cover

Ansible Editions, April 2022

Cover photo: 1941 LASFS Xmas Party – Forrest J Ackerman in front row with Action Stories. See also Rob Hansen’s 1940s LASFS Gallery.

By popular demand, this 2021 ebook title is now available as a fat trade paperback: 429 pages, 194,000 words, with a map on the back cover. All proceeds from sales go to the TransAtlantic Fan Fund.

Rob Hansen compiled this history of the 1940s Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society from contemporary fanzine accounts, so the story emerges from the participants’ own words. Besides such famous or notorious fans as Forrest J Ackerman, Charles Burbee, Claude Degler, Francis Towner Laney, “Morojo” and “Tigrina”, we meet well-remembered professionals including Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Harryhausen, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, Fritz Lang, Fritz Leiber and A.E. van Vogt.

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From Rob Hansen’s Foreword

The Bixel Street era of LASFS has fascinated me since I first read about it in Harry Warner Jr’s All Our Yesterdays. Yes, there have been other occasions on which fans have shared premises in varying degrees, but to have a community of fans centred around a clubroom and living in nearby rooming houses on the same street gave rise to all-week, around-the-clock fanning of a sort not seen before or since. [...]

This set-up, the whole “fannish village” they established, was immensely appealing to me in my twenties (though seeing so much of each other inevitably exacerbated personality clashes, of course). Add in the large numbers of fans from around the country who passed through Los Angeles thanks to the war, many of them processed via the Induction Center at nearby Fort MacArthur before being sent off to fight, and you have something unique in the history of fandom, a saga featuring fans and pros, communists and homosexuals, madmen and mystics, Hollywood stars and spies.