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Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

M. Horvat National Fantasy Fan Federation Collection
MsC 886
Collection Dates: 1942-2008

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: Most of the materials in this collection were acquired from Mike Horvat in December 2004. Copies of the 2004-2008 "National Fantasy Fan" were acquired from Jon D. Swartz, N3F Historian, in December 2008 and added to the Horvat N3F Collection. The collection was processed in early 2009.

Photographs: None









Scope and Contents

This collection consists of various materials produced by the National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) through much of its existence and assembled by Mike Horvat. Materials include administrative materials such as membership rosters, records relating to N3F bodies such as the Collector's Bureau and the Tape Bureau, and assorted fannish informational items produced by the N3F.

Most of the collection consists of N3F publications, particularly the club's organizational organ "National Fantasy Fan" and the letterzine "Tightbeam". The club also produces an apazine, entitled the "Alliance Amateur", issues of which are housed in the M. Horvat Collection of Genre Apazines (MsC 825).

Biographical Note

Martin M. (Mike) Horvat is a printer and collector in Stayton, Oregon. For many years, his collecting focused on general circulation science fiction magazines and fanzines. Horvat founded the American Private Press Association and, during the 1970s and 1980s, published South of the Moon, a catalog of publications of amateur press associations. As a result of this endeavor, and because Horvat himself was a prolific amateur publisher and apa contributor, he ended up collecting a vast archive of apazines as well.

Historical Note

In 1941 science fiction author and fan Damon Knight published an article entitled "Unite or Die!'. In it Knight, a member of the New York-based Futurians, proposed the creation of a national organization of science fiction fans, that would facilitate communication and social contact among fans separated by distance.

Until Knight's proposal, fannish activities were generally limited to local or regional organizations (i.e. the Futurians or the Boston-based Stranger Club). Major methods of communication between fans involved written exchanges in the letter columns of SF prozines such as "Astounding Science Fiction" and "Amazing Stories". In this highly fragmented, individualized and relatively inefficient atmosphere, Knight's proposal was enthusiastically welcomed, and the N3F was born, established initially by elements of the Stranger Club and containing 64 charter members. It continues to thrive today as a forum for fans to meet, organize, and participate in a number of fannish activities.

The N3F was, and is, a highly structured organization, with a written constitution, a president, a board of directors, a secretary and a treasurer. It consists of a number of subsidiary bureaus that organize and operate fannish activities: these bureaus as of 2009 include Art, Birthday Cards, Blind Services, Computer Gaming, Convention Coordinator, Correspondence, Fan Clubs, Future Fandom, Gaming, Kaymar and Neffy Awards, N3F Bookworms, N'APA (the club's apa), Short Story Contest, Mangaverse, Teaching Science Fiction, Welcommittee (the bureau for new members), and Writer's Exchange. Other bureaus relate to more specific organizational matters such as membership cards and drives and the e-mail directory.

One of the N3F's more popular activities is its Round Robins. Round robins are groups of members with interest in a specific genre topic. Each RR has a Robin Master, who starts the group by sending a letter or e-mail to one of the other members; that person adds their contribution and sends both items on to the next person in the group. Each time the packet returns to a member, they remove their previous contribution and insert a new one, often containing responses to what other RR members have written.

The club's official/organizational publication is the "National Fantasy Fan" (it had been preceded for the first few years of the club's existence by "Bonfire"). The club's apa is called N'APA (Neffer Amateur Press Alliance, and its apazine is entitled "Alliance Amateur". For many years the N3F published a letterzine entitled "Tightbeam"; this zine served the same purpose as the old prozine letter columns and ongoing apazines - as a forum for the exchange of letters and ideas among fans.

Related Materials

Horvat, M. The M. Horvat Collection of Science Fiction Convention Materials, 1943-2000.
Materials produced for or relating to numerous science fiction conventions, including progress reports, advertisements, newsletters, and assorted ephemera. MsC884. (Finding Aid)

HORVAT, M. The M. Horvat Collection of Science Fiction Fanzines, 1925-2002. 96 ft.
A large collection, stretching across the 20th century, of science fiction fanzines, together with some assorted "genzines" (general issue magazines concerned with SF). MsC791. (Finding Aid)

Box Contents List

Box 1

Author Indexes to Prozines, 1963-1964

Background and Historical Information, 1972-1974, n.d.

Collector's Bureau, 1967-1968, 1970, n.d.

Constitutions, 1970, 1972-1974, 1977, 1979

Information Pamphlets, 1951, 1957-1958, 1962-1963, 1965, 1971

Membership Applications, n.d.

Membership Rosters, 1955, 1959, 1962-1965, 1968-1972, 1976, 1984

Miscellaneous Materials, 1956, 1958, 1964-1966, 1971-1972, 1974, 1978-1979, 1981, n.d.

Bonfire [Bulletin of the N3F]: April 1942, May 1981

Bullzine [N3F Welcommittee]: November 1958, August 1965

Bullzine [N3F Welcommittee]: Issues #2 - 4, 6 - 7, 9 - 10 (1968)

Bullzine [N3F Welcommittee]: Issues #61 - 67 (January-November 1969)

Bullzine [N3F Welcommittee]: Issues #69 - 72 (March-September 1970), February 1978, April 1979

Collector's Bulletin [N3F Collector's Bureau]: November 1967, June 1968, April 1969

Diplomania [N3F Games Bureau, Diplomacy Division]: November 1971

The Gamesman [N3F Games Bureau]: Issue #1 (n.d.)

Ionisphere [N3F Fan/Pro Coordinating Activity]: November 1978, August 1979, February 1980

Kaymar Trader [N3F Trade Bureau]: May 1953, March 1954, October 1954, June 1955

Miscellaneous Publications, 1966, 1978, n.d.

The National Fantasy Fan: February 1964, June-December 1964

The National Fantasy Fan: June 1966, October 1966, December 1966, January 1967, August-December 1967

The National Fantasy Fan: January-December 1968

The National Fantasy Fan: February-April 1969, August-December 1969, June 1970, August 1970, October 1970

The National Fantasy Fan: February-December 1971, February-December 1972

The National Fantasy Fan: February-August 1973, December 1973, February-December 1974

The National Fantasy Fan: February-December 1975, April 1976

The National Fantasy Fan: April 1977, October-December 1977

The National Fantasy Fan: February-August 1978

The National Fantasy Fan: February-December 1979, April-October 1980, February-April 1981, August-October 1981

The National Fantasy Fan: February-December 1982, June 1986, June 1987

The National Fantasy Fan: September-December 2002, December 2003, March-June 2004, December 2004

The National Fantasy Fan: March 2005, March - June 2006, June/September 2008

The National Fantasy Taper: September/October 1962, January-February 1963, August 1963

Newsletter: Issues #1 - 2 (n.d.), January 1971

NFFF Collector [N3F Collector's Bureau]: Winter 1976

Replay [N3F Tape Bureau]: Issue #2 (1968), Issues #3 - 13 (1969), Issues #14 - 17 (1970)

Replay [N3F Tape Bureau]: Issues #19 - 23 (1970), Issues #27 - 31 (1971), Issues #32 - 35 (1972)

Replay [N3F Tape Bureau]: Issue #36 (1973), Issue #41 (1975), Issues #45 - 47 (1978)

Box 2

Tape Bureau Newsletter: July 1965, December 1965, September 1966, January 1967

Thru The Haze [Art Hayes: Nonofficial N3F Publication]: Issue #3 (1961?), Issue #2, #4, and #16 (1962), Issue #30 (1964), March - December 1968, January - April 1969, August 1969

Tightbeam: December(?) 1963, September 1964, January - August(?) 1966, November 1966

Tightbeam: January - November 1967, January - December(?) 1968

Tightbeam: January - November 1969, January/March - July/August 1970, November/December 1970

Tightbeam: January/February - November/December 1971, January/February - September/October 1972

Tightbeam: May/June(?) 1974, March/April(?) 1976, July/August 1976

Tightbeam: January - November 1978, January 1979, July 1979, September - November 1979

Tightbeam: March - November 1980, January - March 1981

Short Story Contest, 1961, 1963-1964, 1969-1970, 1974, 1981, 1995, 1999

Tape Bureau: Library Contents, 1969-1975, n.d.

Writer's Exchange, n.d.

Writer Handbooks, 1970, n.d.