ASFDAP, and such wonderful other things as the Australian SF wiki, and the Meteor foundation are by no means fandoms first attempts at keeping records of Australian SF history and making it available to people. While I won’t make any claims to knowing how long this activity has been going on, I do know that one person championing this activity in the 1990s was Sue Ann Barber. When she relocated from Perth to places further east she passed on some of the materials that she had collected.
These materials have been lurking in the back of a cupboard, moving house with me (more than once), and snuck out this week to trip me up. At first glance, it looks like Sue Ann did much brainstorming, and had many things I should have followed up on, such as a list of clubs for consideration. Some of these (UniSFA*, The West Lodge, UniGames) are definitely still running as I write, but I’m sure at least some of them were defunct at the point that the list was written. What is on the list? (groupings are approximate, based on the group memory Right Now)
General SF – WASFA (Western Australian Science Fiction Association), SAFFA
University clubs – UniSFA, CIA, MARS (Murdoch Alternate Reality Society)/SAGA (Southern Area Gaming Association)
Fandom specific clubs (TV/movies) – The West Lodge (Doctor Who), Westrek (Star Trek), Dark Star, JAFWA (Japanese Animation Fans of Western Australia), The West Lodge Sherlock Holmes Society, The Neutral Zone (Star Trek), Perth Blake’s Seven Club**, Sam and Friends (Jim Henson***), Northern Anime Megazone, Jump Point (Star Trek?)
Gaming – Gamer’s Guild, UniGames, Hills War Gaming Club
Historical re-enactment – Grey Company, SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism)
Misc I don’t recognise – Area A, SICCO, Network 23, Fannish Monthly, Cappucino Bar, Menalis Folding Society, Active Imagination, Starbase Perth, Club Asimov, Gamma Quadrant, Ten Forward, Shada, Free for All, Twonks Anonymous, AD Police, NAGA (Northern Area Gaming Association).
There are also some crossed out – DWAS, Dr Who Bunch.
We’d love to know more about some of these. Were you involved? Do you have materials that relate to one or more of them? I know I went to one of the largest fannish events ever out at Murdoch Uni, run by the Neutral Zone, when the Star Trek: The Next Generation Tribbles episode came out. I can’t be sure, but I think that there were something like 600 people across multiple lecture theatres (I’m fairly sure that the two 300+ seat ones were full. Then again, I may have wandered in and out of the same lecture theatre multiple times, thinking it was a different one)
* website here, although it hasn’t been updated in some years. Given that I have wandered in to the active clubroom in recent months, I’m pretty sure it is still functioning.
** This one has a question mark after it – not sure if this means ‘did it really exist’?
*** I vaguely remember this one, but in fact I may have two different groups smooshed together, and this might have been a completely different fandom.