( O ) — CONTENTS
OBLIQUE HOUSE / OBLITERINE / OLD DERELICTS / ONTARIO SCIENCE FICTIONEERS / OSFIC / OTTAWA SF SOCIETY / OZARK LOVE CAMP
— Was located at 170 Upper Newtownards Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Walt & Madeline Willis purchased it in 1945 and by the early 1950s it had become the epicentre of Irish, and indeed, British fandom, intimately associated with the Belfast Triangle: Walt Willis, Bob Shaw, and James White.
An unassuming three story brick house, it contained:
– a yard “in which James White’s home-made spaceship inflicted 2nd degree burns on the rest of Irish Fandom (1949)”,
– a back room “in which SLANT was hand-set and printed (1947 – 50)”,
– a back attic “home of the Shaws (1955-56)”,
– a fan attic “where HYPHEN was published and all ghoodminton matches played (1950 – 60)”,
– the back entry “scene of many firework displays”,
– the dining room “scene of major parties”,
– the spare pantry “where Bob Shaw fought life-or-death struggle with mad bottle of pale ale in 1955”,
– and the front sitting room “fan gatherings held here in last years (1960 – 65)”.
On the very last day of occupation, May 6th 1965, a fannish time capsule was buried under the cherry tree in the yard.
Next to the original Slan Shack, Oblique house is probably the most famous of all fannish dwelling places.
[ See BELFAST TRIANGLE, ENCHANTED DUPLICATOR, GHOODMINTON, TIME CAPSULE, & WILLIS, WALT ]
— The answer to a faned’s prayers. Obliterine was an Australian brand of the type of correction fluid, nicknamed ‘Corflu’, that was designed to work with the wax stencils employed in mimeo machines. Obliterine is such a wonderfully ominous name that it was used by many non-Australian fans in preference to the term corflu. Indeed, it inspired U.S. fan Jack Speer in 1944 to compose a poem in its honour:
Without you where would we have been?
To err is human and slannish too,
But we can correct our mistakes with u.
Few of man’s blessings are less unmixed”…
Here he broke off because he couldn’t think how to rhyme ‘unmixed’, but according to Dick Eney a certain LHS (?) completed the poem 1959 or earlier by adding these lines:
“If, once the error’s fixed,
The meld is good, the fresh cut clean
Where typer slices Obliterine…”
[ See CORFLU ]
— Members of the Toronto SF Society 1947 – 1959. For details:
[ See TORONTO DERELICTS ]
ONTARIO SCIENCE FICTIONEERS
— Possibly the first organized sf fan club in Canada. I suspect it was based in Toronto. Don’t know when it formed, but it disbanded in 1941 when its President, Ted White, entered the armed forces. (HWJ)
— The Ontario Science Fiction Club, founded circa 1966/67 and centered on Toronto, Ontario. Lasted at least 17 years. A newsletter produced in various incarnations throughout this period. The club now defunct.
Early members of OSFiC included club founders Mike Glicksohn & Peter Gill, plus Ken Smookler, John Mansfield, George Henderson, Derek Carter, Gar Stevens, John Douglas, Gordon van Toen, Rosemary Ullyot, Angus Taylor, Alicia Austin, Paul Doherty, Dave Price, Vaughn Fraser, and even Don Hutchinson ( an ‘Old Derelict’ from Toronto SF Society days ).
According to Taral: “OSFiC was founded in 1967 by a small number of fans who had met at the Worldcon the previous year. They organized themselves under the hopeful banner of the Ontario Science Fiction Club and, with “Capt.” George Henderson’s assistance, launched FanFair I and II. On the basis of those successes, they bid on the 1973 Worldcon. Toronto fandom also established a reputation for fanzines in those years. While not a club zine, Mike Glicksohn & Susan Wood’s Energumen was unmistakably a showcase for club talent. Torcon II was an enormously poplar Worldcon, but unfortunately burned out the first generation of the club. Energumen went on to win a Hugo the same year, and folded.”
“Then was the first of many changes of hands. The revitalized OSFiC continued a tradition of fostering talent. There were many more cons run by the club – some successes, some failures. While the club maintained a monthly flow of highly readable and attractive newsletters, many of the members pubbed noteworthy zines on their own, such as Simulacrum, Orca, DNQ, Carefully Sedated, and Thangorodrim,. Inevitably there was a third wave, and a fourth… OSFiC’s fortunes rose and fell with each wave, but inevitably the club began to lose its vitality. The newsletter changed names with every new editor, and sometimes more often. Schedules were missed, the material became wildly uneven, and editorial goals varied radically. Eventually, it was felt that there was no viable younger generation to hand the reins over to, and whether or not to disband the club became the object of the next official election. When the ballots were all counted, it turned out that the members had voted for a slate promising to refund membership fees, and close up shop. What had been, up to that time, the longest lived fan club in Canada came to an end.”
Describing the end of the Ontario SF Club, Garth Spencer reported in MAPLE LEAF RAG #10 (Dec 1984): “Bee Stuckless, former Secretary of OSFIC, has sent around a circular announcing the dissolution of OSFIC. The decrease in membership, attendance, meeting quality and interest in executive positions, as well as the rise in the cost of LUNA AND…., have forced this move. A caretaker committee (Bob Hadji, DoMing Lum, and Taral) are returning outstanding membership fees.”
[ See (in order of publication) OSFIC MAGAZINE, OSFIC SUPPLEMENT, OSFIComm, OSFIC QUARTERLY, NOR, OSFIC EVENTUALLY, SYNAPSE, NIT WIT, MIMEOGRAPHED LONDON SUNDAE THYMES, THE TORONTO STELLAGRAM, LAST WHOLE OSFiC LONDON SUNDAE THYMES, INPUT/OUTPUT, ISHUE, OSFIC NEWSLETTER FOR THIS MONTH, OSFIC MONTHLY, GOOGLE, OSFiC UNCONSTITUTIONAL NEWSLETTER, ANOTHER UNOFFICIAL OSFiC NEWSLETTER, UNNAMED OSFiC NEWSLETTER, DAZZELATIONS, A VERY SHORT OSFiC NEWSLETTER, CHRONIC, OSFiC ELECTION BULLETIN, GATEWAY, ALL AGOG, LUNA & BEYOND, LUNA AND…, DEAR OSFiC MEMBERS ]
[ See also NEW DERELICTS, TORONTO DERELICTS, TORONTO INSURGENTS, TORONTO SF SOCIETY ]
OTTAWA SF SOCIETY
— The first organization with this name formed in late 1948 and promptly affiliated with the Canadian Science Fiction Association (of fan clubs). “The President was Lew Holland, with Ron Anger as Secretary, & Jack Bowie-Reed as Liaison Officer.” – (HWJ)
Alas, the OSFS “quietly declined to nothing early in 1951.” (JBR)
Since both Ron Anger & Lew Holland are listed in the CANADIAN FAN DIRECTORY published by the Canadian SF Association in Fall of 1952, it is possible the other Ottawa fans listed may have been members of the OSFS. They are: Ronald J. Albert, Stuart Brown, Margaret Byagate, A.M.W. Carter, Henry Eastwood, David W. English, Stuart Fenton, Kenneth Stanley Freedy, Moe Gencher, H.C. Green, A.S. Jones, Dr. Lloyd McDermot, Don McLeod, Barbara C. Molins, J.A. Obarue, Joe V. Pelisek, & Dr. S.D. Simpson (who worked in the Dept. of Defense Research Chemical Labs).
–– The second organization by this name was founded in 1977 by Marc “Star-Wolf” Gerin-LaJoie who was President for the first two years, Vice President in 81, President again in 82, and frequent clubzine editor.
“The original membership of OSFS expanded explosively to roughly 150 in the first year. But it went down due to scholastic and job-move attrition to the 80-100 level after a couple of years, and pretty much stayed there since.” – writes MGL in the March 1984 issue of THE MAPLE LEAF RAG.
“Back in 1978 I decided the club needed a ‘direction’. After our first year (quite successful), it was getting time to try our hand at a con. A 150 member club needs something to tie it together from year to year, and to draw new blood.” (Thus MAPLECON was born in 1978.)
“See, we drew attention to ourselves, and other people grew interested. The next year, the local comics club joined in, and it became a joint venture.”
Next, Marc describes the effect of MAPLECON on the club, which I include as a precautionary tale, especially since it seems applicable to VCON/BCSFA today, and perhaps other club/con relationships:
“In a sense, Maplecon was partially responsible for OSFS never quite getting back up to the old level of membership. Now, the con overshadows lesser efforts such as OSFS monthly meetings, and the latter don’t get the same coverage as they once did. Also, people who might once have spent their sparse shekels on club memberships.. now wait to spend it on Maplecon. Maplecon also drains away enthusiastic help and promoters and supporters whose efforts could help maintain OSFS in the public eye.”
OZARK LOVE CAMP
— Another name for the Cosmic Camp where, as planned by Claude Degler, fans were to mate and produce the next step in human evolution ( pretty poor pickup line if you ask me…)
[ See COSMIC CAMP ]