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Rob Hansen

TAFF Books


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Fandom in the UK 1939-1945
Rob Hansen

ISBN 978-1-7947-3065-6 (trade paperback)
ISBN 978-1-913451-64-6 (ebook)

Homefront cover

Ansible Editions, December 2022

Cover photo: The remains of The Red Bull (at left), the first pub to host London fandom’s meetings, after it was destroyed during an air raid on 16 April 1941. Photo courtesy of Holborn Library.

Homefront is published both as a free ebook and as a trade paperback: 353 pages, 164,000 words. All proceeds from paperback sales go to the TransAtlantic Fan Fund, to which readers of the ebook are encouraged to donate.

Another massive historical compilation by Rob Hansen, this time focusing on British science fiction fandom during World War Two. Homefront brings together a great many first-hand accounts of wartime experience through fannish eyes, showing how the lines of communication between fans continued during that huge national disruption – and so, somehow, despite the most strenuous efforts of Adolf Hitler and UK wartime restrictions, did the fannish sense of humour.

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From Rob Hansen’s Foreword

This is the story in their own, mostly contemporary, words of how the British SF fan/pro community fared during World War Two. It chronicles how, against all the odds, a handful of dedicated individuals was able to keep that community together in circumstances inconceivable to any who didn’t live through them; and includes, among other things, a couple of vivid descriptions of air raids and what it feels like physically to be out in the open during one of these when a high explosive bomb explodes less than three hundred yards away from you. Despite being bombed out of their homes, called up to serve in the armed forces, or facing the hostility of tribunals in order to register as Conscientious Objectors, they somehow succeeded in keeping our eventually far-flung fandom together when it could all so easily have just faded away. Many of those who feature most prominently in Homefront went on to be the first post-war generation of British SF writers and there is much here that should be of interest to scholars of their work.