BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION
(BSFA)
   Despite their names, the British Science Literary Association (1931), organized by Walter GILLINGS, and the first British Science Fiction Association (1933-5), organized by the Hayes SF Club, failed to become much more than local groups. The UK's first truly national organizations - the Science Fiction Association (1937-9), the first BRITISH FANTASY SOCIETY (1942-6) and the Science Fantasy Society (1948-51) - were short-lived. The BSFA was established at Easter 1958 in order to counteract a decline in UK FANDOM by providing a central organization of interest to casual sf readers. The association's principal attraction was (and is) its journal, VECTOR, published intermittently since 1958. The BSFA library has since the mid-1970s been held on indefinite loan as part of the SCIENCE FICTION FOUNDATION's collection. The BSFA sponsored the annual UK Easter sf CONVENTIONS 1959-67 and also initiated the British Fantasy Award (first presented 1966; changed 1970 to the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARD). Brian W. ALDISS was the BSFA's first president 1960-64, being followed by Edmund CRISPIN, who retained the position until the BSFA became a limited company in 1967.Other periodicals published by the BSFA are Matrix (sf/fan news), Paperback Inferno (before 1980 titled Paperback Parlour; paperback book reviews) and Focus (articles on writing and selling sf). Paperback Inferno was merged into Vector in late 1992 (from Vector \# 169). Membership has been substantial for the past decade. Despite occasional administrative slumps and only lukewarm support from established fandom, the BSFA has a useful function in introducing new fans to sf discussions and controversies, and in pointing them towards specific local fan organizations.
   RH/PR/PN

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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