Every so often some hard core fanzine fan will proudly declaim that science fiction fandom invented fanzines. My reaction to this is to remind them that the idea of the APA dates all the way back to the 19th Century. H.P. Lovecraft was a keen APA contributor in his day. Mostly when I point this out I get ignored, so I am delighted to see the same point being made by Patrick Nielsen Hayden over at Tor.com as part of their Cthulhu Month celebrations (yes, Cthulhumas is coming, you can all have your sanity back in the new year, provided you have been good and don’t get your brains eaten by Ssantha). What is more, Patrick actually suggests a causative link through HPL’s friendship with Donald A. Wollheim, the founder of FAPA. If only Lovecraft had lived a few more years, he might actually have attended the first Worldcon. There’s an alternate history idea for you.
Those of you who have no idea what an APA is, click through to Patrick’s article where he explains all.