In 1944, concerned by the proliferation of fan groups with 'Futurian' in their name, Donald
Wollheim wrote the following screed in
FUTURIA #2 (June 1944), the
house journal of the Futurian Society of New York, edited by Elsie Balter Wollheim:
WHEN IS A FUTURIAN NOT A FUTURIAN? - Donald A. Wollheim
This did not sit well with Mike Rosenblum, who responded thus in his FAPAzine
In the past years there have been other organizations using the term "Futurian",
nevertheless, when people speak of "Futurians", the general understanding in
fandom is the New York Futurians, not anyone else. And by "Futurian" is meant
the particular attributes and social attitudes expressed by the New York Futurians
in the past and present. Many persons, therefore, are likely to confuse these
attitudes with other, non-Metropolitan groups termed "Futurian". Let it be said to
begin with that, unfortunately as we view it, these other groups are, in the main,
Futurian in designation only.
The Futurian Society of New York makes no claim to the title, nor to
its invention. The first time it was used in fandom was by the Leeds, England,
editors of a fan magazine called The Futurian. In policy it was no more "Futurian"
than any other British fan magazine. When the group of fans in New York, who had
been cast adrift by the break-up of the New York Branch of the I.S.A., were
searching for a title for their new organization, it occurred to them that the
word "Futurian" was a natural. Further, it seemed to combine suggestion of the
particular social and world views then in vogue with those fans. Hence they took
the title of Mr. Rosenblum's Yorkshire magazine for their club, calling it the
Futurian Science-Literary Society (now FSNY).
The activities of this society eventually gave the term "Futurian" its particular
meanings to fandom - namely "pertaining to science-fiction fans with a
socially-progressive world viewpoint". But those other groups which took the
name "Futurian" in their title did not possess those attributes or that particular
approach to science-fiction that the FSNY Futurians took; to those groups,
"Futurian" Was just a nice name.
The Futurian Society of New York has never had any objection to the use of that
word by other science-fiction groups. But, at the present time, it seems opportune
to make clear that it has no responsibility whatever, or organizational bonds,
with any "Futurians" not members of the FSNY. It regrets particularly that there
are times when some of these other "Futurians" deliberately attempt to pretend a
connection and fraudulently attempt to ape even the New York Futurian views.
Needless to say, the Futurian Society of New York welcomes the acceptance - the
honest acceptance - of its viewpoint by others. We welcome the idea that such
persons should want to call themselves Futurians. But we expressly condemn the
misuse of the term on the part of persons who are merely shamming an attitude in
order to achieve support on other positions sometimes directly contrary to the
In this regard the use of the Futurian Letters, the name Futuria, and the title
Futurian Society of Indiana, and so forth, by a leader of the group called
Cosmic Circle, is deemed by us to be fraudulent and is condemned. Whatever claim
to Futurian ideals these parties have has long been negated by their revolting
sex attitudes and their thoroughly irresponsible campaigns on various fan
personages, whether pro or con.
The use of the term Futurian Society of Los Angeles by these parties in an
attempt further to split Los Angeles fandom is especially condemned. Needless
to say the emergence of a genuine, progressive, united group in that city using
that title would be greeted with pleasure. But only insofar as it did not simply
continue the present deplorable feud in that city, one in which the FSNY cannot
Other organizations have used the term honorably. We greet them, but we recognize
them only as independent fan organisations having no special attributes which
could merit them connection with our own society. Such was the Futurian Society of
Sydney, Futurian Association of Australia, Golden Gate Futurians, Philadelphia
Futurians, etc. Judgment is reserved on the Futurian Society or Alabama (Taledega)
pending information from less suspect sources.
The Futurian Society of New York has no connection with any other fan organisation.
If the day comes when the Futurian Society of New York decides to sponsor a
national organization, or other Futurian societies, you will hear about it from
us. That day has not yet come. Meanwhile, so far as we are concerned, fans are
free to use the term "Futurian" in any way that they like, but they must not
deceive themselves or others into the belief that they are in any way allied to
the New York Futurians, or are enlisting their support. They won't get it that