How did science fiction begin? Who were the pioneers that defined the genre? What would it have been like to be a fan of this incredible new genre in the 1930s?
Welcome to First Fandom Experience. We are a cooperative publishing project whose goal is to honor, preserve, and bring to life the history of science fiction and science fiction fandom. We aim to connect modern science fiction fans with the rich history of the genre, and to give readers a visceral sense of what it might have been like to be one of the “first fans”. We seek to explore questions like “what is the purpose of science fiction?” and “what does it mean to be a fan?”
This project is a historical archive wrapped in a story. Our team of collectors, historians, and librarians have compiled and curated one of the world’s leading collections of science fiction material from the origins of the genre, with a focus on the scarce material produced by the first fans of the 1930s and early 1940s. Our mission is to tell the history of science fiction and fandom through these artifacts, many of which have never before been republished or seen by anyone except a few collectors.
In pursuit of this mission, we are publishing a variety of works both in print and online. Our current publications include:
- A Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom: Deluxe Preview Edition
- 100 pages of content telling the story of the origins of science fiction fandom in the 1930s. This history creates a narrative thread through the early years of fandom with a focus on the historical artifacts of the time, such as fanzines and correspondence. See the earliest fan-produced magazines. Learn how legendary authors like Ray Bradbury, Frederick Pohl, and Isaac Asimov got their start. Uncover how early fans went on to establish the Golden Age of science fiction and comics. Enjoy new, original illustrations and graphic novelizations that bring this history to life.
- The Complete Science Fiction Digest and Fantasy Magazine
- Reproduced in its entirety in print for the first time, this three-volume set contains the complete run of the seminal fan magazines Science Fiction Digest and Fantasy Magazine, including the serialized novel Cosmos.
In addition to these works, we are intending to publish two new volumes in early 2020:
- A Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom: A Tour of the 1930s
- This 300+ page volume is the full version of the preview Edition. This volume celebrates the history of science fiction fandom with never-before seen artifacts from the time, detailed context to place and explain those artifacts and draw together the narrative story of the decade, as well as new, original graphic novel and illustrated segments that revitalize and retell key scenes from the history.
- A complete facsimile reproduction of The Planet, The Time Traveller, and Science Fiction: The Advance Guard of Civilization
- These seminal fanzines were among the first of their kind and are essential pieces of the history of science fiction fandom. Discover the earliest-produced fanzines, including the fan mag of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
First Fandom Experience is a passion project run by fans who care about the history of science fiction. The project is funded almost entirely out of pocket, and all the money earned through sales of our publications are put right back into the project.
In order to help offset the cost of production, we are seeking to raise $10,000 through Kickstarter with a campaign set to launch November 1. If this history fascinates you or if you value the archival and preservation efforts of our project, please consider supporting us by purchasing one of our publications or supporting our Kickstarter. An outline of rewards for supporters is below.
We would like to thank all the fans and contributors who have helped us so far. We look forward to continuing this project to honor, preserve, and bring to life the history of science fiction and the first fans.
We will post an update to this entry and a new blog post once the Kickstarter project is live.
Prize Structure for Kickstarter Support
- Receive an FFE team Pin
- Copy of Deluxe Preview
- FFE team pin
- Receive a copy of Cosmos, a facsimile reproduction of a seminal round-robin novel.
- FFE team pin
- Choice: Reserve a copy of the Visual History of Science Fiction Fandom or receive a copy of The Complete Science Fiction Digest and Fantasy Magazine facsimile volume
- FFE team pin
- Earn both a copy of The Visual History as well as The Complete SFD and FM
- FFE team Pin