( H ) — CONTENTS
HALCON SF & FANTASY SOCIETY / HALCON SF SOCIETY / HEKTOGRAPHER’S HANDS ( Hectographer’s Hands ) / HEKTOGRAPHY ( Hectography ) / HEKTOZINE ( Hectozine ) / HERKANOS / “HERE IS THE RACE THAT SHALL RULE THE SEVAGRAM” / THE HIBITED MEN / HYDRA NORTH
HALCON SF & FANTASY SOCIETY
— “At the moment, Maritime fandom looks to be a pretty busy scene. Along with the hectic activity centering on this year’s Halcon, there is an active SF&F Society meeting on the first Sunday of every month, showing slides, holding trivia contests, and just generally rapping about the field.” – Anne Marie Feetham, Dec 1984. (Detail to be added as research continues)
HALIFAX SF SOCIETY
— An SF club founded in late 1948 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Probably the first Maritime region SF club. Affiliated with the Canadian Science Fiction Association. I don’t know if the HSFS published a newsletter or clubzine, but if it did, it would mean that BOREALIS was NOT the first fanzine pubbed out of Halifax. At the very least members were probably active in the exchange of correspondence which was one of the main attributes of the CSFA. However, when the Hamilton SF Society (which functioned as the CSFA executive) ceased publishing the CSFA newsletter, & then went belly up early in 1950, the Halifax SF Society collapsed as well. (JBR)
A few Halifax fans are listed in the CANADIAN FAN DIRECTORY published by the Canadian Science Fiction Association in 1952. Since the membership lists of the affiliated clubs past & present formed the core of the directory, it is probable that most of the Halifax fans listed had belonged to the HALIFAX SF SOCIETY. They are:
Eraina K. Collins, Pearl Collins, Lionel R. Crocker, Alan Haris, Charles R. Johnston, W.B. McManus, William H. Murphy, Clarence J. Reeves, Bill Roscoe, Richard Tufts & Donald Ward.
[ See CANADIAN SF ASSOCIATION & BOREALIS ]
HEKTOGRAPHER’S HANDS ( Hectographer’s Hands )
— Anyone doing hektography or dittoing is liable to wind up with the legendary purple ink blotched all over their hands and forearms and, depending how absentminded they are, on the tip of their nose, around their eyes, in their hair, and perhaps on the nape of their neck. Not to mention clothes and furniture. The Ditto company put out a less than successful soap specifically designed to remove hektograph ink but this was perilously close to false advertising. Hektographer’s hands, a rare disease nowadays, was generally considered a badge of honour. One wonder’s if experienced faneds didn’t splash some on prior to a club meeting just to convey that active faned aura to the envious neofans…. (DE) (HWJ)
HEKTOGRAPHY ( Hectography )
— A simple, inexpensive form of offset reproduction which became popular in the mid 1930s ( the very first fanzine to be hektographed was THE INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FICTION GUILD’S BULLETIN pubbed out of Oakman, Alabama in May/June 1934. The first Canadian hektozine — at least in part — was Frome’s SUPRAMUNDANE STORIES #2 pubbed out of Fraser Mills, B.C. in February 1938. ). The HEKTOGRAPH process is rather unusual.
First, hektographic dyes or pigments are typed or drawn on a master sheet consisting of a plain sheet of ordinary paper. Hektograph pencils were used to draw art directly on the master, and text was produced using a hektograph ribbon — instead of the normal ink ribbon — in one’s typewriter, or more commonly, and possibly cheaper, by inserting a hektograph carbon between the striking keys and the master.
Then, or just prior to typing the master, a bed of gelatin was prepared in a hectograph pan ( as far as I know, just using store-bought gelatin, and perhaps any pan would do ).
Next, the master sheet was placed on top of the gelatin and firmly — though not too firmly, we’re talking about a jelly printing press here! — smoothed flat in order to transfer the hectograph pigment on the master to the surface of the bed of gelatin, creating a mirror image of the content of the master.
And then, and this is the incredible part, a plain sheet of paper was laid down on the gelatin, smoothed flat to contact the pigment evenly, then lifted clear, taking some of the pigment or dye with it in the form of an exact — if ever so slightly blurred — duplicate of the content of the master sheet. Even better, up to 50 legible copies of a given page were virtually guaranteed, and with luck, maybe as many as 70 before the pigment on the surface of the gelatin became so depleted as to produce copies too faint to read.
This was a quantum leap forward compared to the labour-intensive carbonzines ( cramming as many carbons under the keys as your typewriter could handle and laboriously typing the same pages over and over till you had enough copies ) and contemporary mimeograph machines which were much more expensive to purchase and operate.
Even better, many colours were available in addition to the standard blue-purple carbons and ribbons, with ‘extra’ colours and shades of colour in pencil form. In the hands of a talented artist artwork of surpassing delicacy and subtlety was possible, as per example the wonderfully impressionistic works of Mae Strelkov who, working from her cattle farm in Argentina — with ‘fresh’ gelatin she made rendering down beef bones — produced entire portfolios of art right up till she passed away from old age around the turn of the century.
Even today, at VCON, Kathleen Moore-Freeman, a former faned of Edmonton’s NEOLOGY, sometimes demonstrates the process to uncomprehending contemporary fans, usually in the form of a multi-coloured page of text as a one-shot hektograph zine. I recall they are hand lettered, which would suggest she is using hektograph pencils or some close modern substitute suitable to the process. Must remember to ask her next time I talk to her. ( These are working notes, remember? )
The downside of hektography, apart from the limited number of copies and the need to prepare a fresh bed of gelatin for each page to be reproduced, is that the pigments fade with time. Exposure to light and air accelerate the process of decay. As a result, a vast number of early fanzines are gone forever, never to be retrieved.
Note: my earliest sources ( Speer, Moskowitz, Eney ) spell Hektograph with a k, but beginning possibly as early as the 1950s the letter ‘c’ is substituted for ‘k’. My 1962 Award Illustrated Dictionary gives only the ‘c’ form. Possibly the original ‘Hekto’ was a brand name? Or a preferred fannish variant? I have no idea. But early fandom, 1930s fandom, embraced HEKTOGRAPHY as their salvation — it was responsible for the first huge expansion of the number of fanzines — and so I choose to use the ‘k’ form out of respect for our origins. (JS) (SM) (DE) (HWJ) (RB)
[ See CARBONZINE, DITTOGRAPHY ( DITTOING ), GESTETNER, LITHOGRAPHY, MIMEOGRAPHY, REPRODUCTION ]
HEKTOZINE ( Hectozine )
— A fanzine printed by means of HEKTOGRAPHY.
[ See HEKTOGRAPHY, REPRODUCTION ]
— Pen name often employed by Nils Helmer Frome, Canada’s second faned, when writing & contributing to other fanzines in the 1930s, 1940s & 1950s, especially when writing letters. As Sam Moskowitz wrote: “I reproduced these letters in the Frome book, only in a much more readable form than his microscopic script in green and blue inks, which makes H.P. Lovecraft’s notes look like large-type books.”
[ See FROME – NILS HELMER, SUPRAMUNDANE STORIES, & FANTASY PICTORIAL ]
“HERE IS THE RACE THAT SHALL RULE THE SEVAGRAM”
— Beloved quote taken from THE WEAPON MAKERS by A.E. Van Vogt. Usually printed as an interlineation, with the understood implication that fans are the ‘race’, the only race, capable of ruling the Sevagram, thus justifying the fannish belief that “Fans are Slans” ( also based on Van Vogt, namely his novel SLAN ). Much depends, of course, on the meaning of the word ‘Sevagram’.
[ See SEVAGRAM ]
THE HIBITED MEN
— When Norman G. Browne founded the Vancouver SF Society in 1951, ‘The Hibited Men’ became the informal name of the club. ‘Hibited’ is the opposite of ‘inhibited’, so I guess this was a declaration that the Vancouver SF Society was not composed of introverts such as are usually found in SF clubs.
On the other hand, the term may well derive from a short story by L. Sprague de Camp, titled ‘The Hibited Man’, which appeared in THRILLING WONDER STORIES in Oct 1949. I’ve not read the story, but an illustration from it appears on pages 214/215 of THE VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION (Harmony Books 1977). It depicts 14 bare-breasted women, possibly showgirls in their dressing room, recoiling in horror from a man wielding a paint brush. This smacks of excessive prudery rather than lack of inhibition, so I’m at a loss to see how it relates to the Vancouver SF Society.
If anyone knows why the club picked that ‘nickname, or what the de Camp story was actually about, please let me know.
[ See VANATIONS, VANCOUVER SF SOCIETY, PAPA, CONCUPISCENT TALES, PAR, TORATIONS, DAMN!, FILLER, NORMAN G. BROWNE, HIBITED HAPPENINGS, SEVENTH FANDOM & DOCTOR OF FANOLOGY]
— A loose-knit unorganized social gathering of SF writers, editors & such to meet & discuss various aspects of their genre. Founded in 1984. Members included Judith Merril, John Robert Columbo, Robert Sawyer (who was appointed sole exec at the first meeting), Bob Hadji & others.
Wrote John Robert Colombo in MAPLE LEAF RAG #9 (Oct 1984): “It is a social group that brings together people interested in discussing… ‘fantastic literature’. There is no programming. It was decided right from the beginning that as fans had their own scene, and con-goers their venue, writers & editors should have theirs, albeit in each other’s homes. It is a centripetal group, meant to offset the centrifugal forces in a city the size of Toronto.”
In the same issue of MLR, Judith Merril commented: “Authors organize: by no means. Authors meet, yes…. Professional writers’ group: no. Professional-level involvement in SF, yes: writers, artists, booksellers, teachers, librarians, editors, etc…. People invited to attend… included everyone I knew of at that time professionally involved in the field in the Toronto area… credit the idea of a social club for people with certain SF interests, a club with no power-game goals, and no plans to host, publish, or sway opinions. At this stage, at least, that is precisely what Hydra North is.”