Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society

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The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society or LASFS is a private club in North Hollywood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, California. It is the oldest continuously operating science fiction club in the world, helped considerably in that record by being one of the few to own a clubhouse.

Motto: De Profundis Ad Astra: From the Depths to the Stars.

Significant Activities

Regular Thursday night meetings. Dues are 2 dollars per person per meeting.

The club maintains private lending libraries for books and videos, for use by members.

The club has hosted the World Science Fiction Convention several times, initiated the regional science-fiction convention Westercon, and hosts a yearly science fiction convention called LosCon.

It maintains a web site and publishes (at irregular intervals) an amateur magazine called Shangri L'Affaires and hosts the collations of a weekly amateur press association apa, named APA-L.

History

In 1934 Hugo Gernsback, editor of the then-prominent science fiction magazine Wonder Stories, established a correspondence club for fans called the "Science Fiction League." Local groups across the nation could join by filling out an application.

By 1936, the League had begun to fail. New management was less interested in the League, and the members grew up and lost interest. One charter group, number four, in Los Angeles, had an active member named Forrest J. Ackerman. Local authors also helped by coming to meetings now and again.

By 1940, the group had broken with the Science Fiction League, changed its name, and begun to meet every Thursday. In this decade, the club published a fanzine, (an amateur magazine for fans) Shangri L'Affaires. "Shaggy" has died and been revived many times. When published now, it is photocopied.

World War II had few effects. Most members were below draft age, and many fans visited en route to the war.

In the 1950s, many members took turns at writing professionally.

In the 1960s, the counterculture added some factions, including some fans of J. R. R. Tolkien. Many members were Trekkies (organized fans of Star Trek). David Gerrold, screenwriter for the show, served as director. Bjo Trimble, a member, was instrumental in organizing to revive the series.

Member Paul Turner made a silly suggestion: that the club establish a building fund. Over many years, the fund, overseen by Bruce Pelz, grew large.

The club moved from meetings in downtown Los Angeles, further west until it ended in Santa Monica, as far west as it could go and remain dry.

In 1968, LASFS incorporated as a nonprofit literary corporation.

By 1973, LASFS had enough in the building fund to buy a clubhouse, so it did, on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. In 1977, the club needed a newer, larger clubhouse, so it relocated to its present North Hollywood, California digs.

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