Vector #10

There is no Secretarial Report this time due to pressure of work.

Front matter

I have one serious criticism to make and that came to me almost as soon as I started reading the two to me almost as soon as I started reading the two latest issues of VECTOR. In both there are apologies for lateness of publication, of both the OO and the Newsletter. The reasons given (by Ella) are that the officials are only doing it as a spare time job, that they have lots of private correspondence to attend to and that they have family commitments and social engagements to deal with. Now I submit that this is not the right attitude. If anyone takes on an official job for any organisation, it is their duty to the members to put that job before their own private circumstances (with the exception of illness, of course). There is nothing wrong with an ordinary fanzine being late because the editor usually does not promise his readers a regular schedule and they don’t expect one. But the members of the BSFA have paid their dues and are entitled to a regular OO. This applies especially to those sf readers, not belonging to fandom and living in remote places, to whom theh arrival of BSFA literature must bring a great deal of pleasure.

A more appropriate reason for having a regular schedule, and one I should have put first, is that if the BSFA wishes, as it states, to influence responsible people in the professional sf world, then it won’t be listened to unless it first shows that it or editors were arranged and then one of the officials failed to turn up on the grounds that he/she “had a houseful of fans who had to be shown some hospitality” (as on p.7. V.9). If a person has these other responsibilities then they have no business taking on an office. Unless that is they are prepared to arrange these other things to leave time for their duties.

There is another thing that gives a rather irresponsible air to the magazine and that is the intensely personal atmosphere about it. I notice that all concerned with VECTOR have an implicit attitude that it is on a higher level than a mere fanzine and yet there is a great deal of mentioning of names present at social gatherings, private announcements such as marriage engagements, etc. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with this – I am sure many readers enjoy it – I merely suggest that this puts VECTOR on the level of the ordinary fanzine.

Daphne Buckmaster

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