Sunday, September 19, 2010

Asimov and the Futurians, pt 12

The Futurians met again on December 26, 1938. Apparently it was discovered at the last moment that the meeting room at 182 Bergen Street was not available. Asimov wrote in his diary:

The meeting there did not materialize, and we all trooped over to Michel's house. It's a nice one, and I had simply a devil of a time. I smoked two cigarettes. * Doc Lowndes came over. He's here for Christmas. There was the largest gathering of the year, I think, about fifteen to twenty, of which several I had never seen before, including two girls. They raided the icebox, and I cleaned out a nut dish.

This aparently marks the first appearance of women in the Futurian Society - probably Doris Baumgardt and her friend Rosalind Cohen. Pohl remembers that the Futurian Society was the first fan organization he knew of that had any women at all in it, but the proportion was never large. Wollheim says that years later, whenever he and his wife Elsie were in a restaurant and saw a large party with only one or two women in it, they'd tell each other, "There's a typical Futurian bunch."

*Reading this passage to me [Damon Knight] in 1975, Asimov said, "Good lord! I would have offered myself up to slow torture as a guarantee that I had never smoked a cigarette. Gee, that's a shocking thing. There's such a thiung as going too far in a diary."

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