ALBERTA SCIENCE FICTION SOCIETY
— Science Fiction club based at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary circa 1971/1972. Meetings often held “high atop the science building in the penthouse lounge at SAIT”. Members included John Mansfield, Randy Thomas, Michael Roberts, Bill Gemmill and John Byrne. Beginning in 1971 published a newsletter titled THE GREAT NOR-WESTERN NEWS, switching with #5 to the title ALTAEGO. Also in 1971 the club held their first convention, on July 1st, called THE ALBERTA SCIENCE FICTION SOCIETY OPEN HOUSE with Guests of Honour Forrest J Ackerman, A.E. Van Vogt and J.B. Clarke. 75 fans attended. A second open house was held in August of 1972. Club apparently faded as members graduated.
However, “a new club formed from the remnant, including Bob Gibson, Gordon McNab, Eric Tilbrook, and Grant Thiessen (Owner of Pandora’s Books). Eric Tilbrook and Amin Bhatia produced the radio play “Cattlefarm Galactica” and it has been popular ever since (when it appears).” This club (name ?) also faded from view, in 1978. But in 1979 some former members got together and created yet another club, DEC. (Source: Garth Spencer.)
[ See ALTAEGO, THE GREAT NOR-WESTERN NEWS, DEC ]
— A branch of ESFACAS, sharing the same mailing address, consisting mostly of University of Alberta ( in Edmonton ) students active on the University Computer Bulletin Boards, circa 1980s. Met once a week on Thursday nights beginning 9:00 PM. Published NEOGENESIS on occasion. Probably the originator of the VirusCon concept, a sort of mini-relaxicon within a major con, first at NONCON, CONVERSION & ONOCON, then later at VCON.
[ See NEOGENESIS ]
— Calgary SF club circa 1979 to 1983 at least. Kathleen Moore-Freeman says DEC stands for “Delenda est Carthago!” which is Cato’s old battle cry, i.e. “Destroyed must be Carthage!” Garth Spencer wrote that DEC stood for “Digital Equipment Corporation.” I suspect an unknown 3rd alternative more likely, though Cato’s oft repeated declaration at the end of his every speech in the Senate ultimately resulted in the destruction of an entire civilization and thus might reflect the hidden agenda of DEC, university students being what they are.
DEC put out a newsletter titled DUO DEC, and apparently sponsored the 1983 NonCon (Alberta Regional Convention). Garth Spencer stated that DEC “hosts NonCon on alternate years”. Alan Dewar & Bonnie Liesemer were on the exec.
[ See DUO DEC ]
GANG OF FOUR
— The multiple Faneds of THE MONTHLY MONTHLY in the early 1980s. They were: Dave Vereschagin, Michael S. Hall, Bob Weir, Robert Runté, Rosanne Charest, Christine Kulyk, John Durno, Karole Ishida, Randy Reichardt & John Mcbain.. A takeoff of ‘The Gang Of Four’, prominent Chinese including Mao’s wife who were tried for treason after the death of Mao, it implies these faneds are in some way dangerous outcasts. They were, in turn, spoofed by the creation of ‘The Ganglion Of Four’ in Victoria.
[ See THE MONTHLY MONTHLY, GANGLION OF FOUR ]
EDMONTON SF SOCIETY
— Founded in November 1952. Promptly affiliated with the Canadian SF Association. I don’t know anything more about it other than it lasted at least as long as the CSFA did, perhaps dying off in the mid 1950s?
The CANADIAN FAN DIRECTORY published by the CSFA in fall of 1952 lists a few Edmonton fans. Most of them, I assume, since the CSFA was aware of them, joined the Edmonton SF Society.
Their names are: E.L. Arksey, Norman G. Browne (Editor of ‘VANATIONS’), N.R. Griggs, Bill Morse, Gilbert Rolland, & Ethel Trupp.
[ See CANADIAN SF ASSOCIATION ]
— The Edmonton Science Fiction And Comic Arts Society, a University of Alberta club founded in 1976. Produced a clubzine the ESFACAS NEWSLETTER (1976 – 1978) and then with namechange NEOLOGY (1978 – 1992). ESFACAS spawned three offshoot organizations: ESFOG ( Edmonton Science Fiction Old Guard ), VIRUS CLUB, and a weekly writer’s workshop ‘Writers of the Lost, Inc’ chaired by Steve Fahnestalk. Members worked actively on NONCON and other Alberta conventions, and even produced their own TV show, ORBIT SF, which aired on public cable channels circa 1980. They also maintained a large paperback library which members could borrow from free of charge.
In the version of the ESFACAS Guide to Science Fiction and Fandom published in 1981 ( 2nd edition ), ESFACAS is described as : “the largest science fiction club in Canada, and one of the most active. ESFACAS meets every Thursday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 in room 14-9 of the Henry Marshall Tory building on the UotA campus…The emphasis at meetings has always been on informal conversations, but we also show films, listen to panel discussions, hold workshops, and pitch in to help work on various club workshops.”
[ See ESFACAS NEWSLETTER, NEOLOGY, ESFOG, VIRUS CLUB ]
— Acronym for “Edmonton Science Fiction Old Guard”, self-described as “the radical inactive fan-group that began in Edmonton and has since spread out to someplace else, maybe.” Formed in 1985, ESFOG consisted mostly of fans who had graduated from the University of Alberta; fans originally from somewhere else such as Steve Fahnestalk from Moscow, Idaho, Michael Skeet from Calgary, and Bill Wallace from Toronto, as well as local fans like Jane Starr, Marcel Chichak, and Lorna Toolis.
My impression is that these ‘ Old Guard’ fans, being either very busy senior students or recent graduates, founded ESFOG as a kind of offshoot of ESFACAS in order to maintain social contact without being handicapped by the enthusiasm of the ‘New Guard’ . This short-lived (lack of) organization devoted to inactivity and humour met every Friday evening at Inger’s Lounge ( Chickey’s ). ZOOLOGY was their equally short-lived clubzine. Short-lived, I say, because inevitably these alumni moved away from Edmonton to pursue careers elsewhere.
[ See ZOOLOGY ]