almost went down in history as the First Science Fiction Convention. In January, 1937,
this convention was held in Leeds with an attendance of twenty. Oddly enough, the
attendance was held down by an outbreak of flu. The oddness of this situation will
be clarified as this chapter progresses.

     Some of those present at this convention, at which the original Britiah Science
Fiction Asaociation was formed; were Ted Carnell, Eric Frank Ruasell, Walter H. Hill-
ings, Maurice K. Hanson, and Mike Rosenblum. I believe Arthur C. Clarke, then an
active fan, was also present. This convention would have been the world's first, if
it hadn't been for the group that met in Philadelphia in October, 1936. Sixteen were
present at this combined New-York Philadelphia gathering, and it was Donald A. Woolheim
who suggested the group go on record as being the First Science Fiction Convention. At
this meeting, impressive plans were also formulated for the First World Science Fiction
Convention, to be held in conjunction wlth the 1939 World's Fair in New York City.

     Mike, apparently, is one of the more well-to-do (financially, that is) of the
British fans, He is a partner in the firm of Rosenblum and Newman, a real estate
agency which, as Mike's letterhead reveals, has "Everything To Do With Property". 7
Grosvenor Place is a delightful little home replete with all the necessities of
American life - many of which are luxuries in England. For instance, in America, just
about everyone has an automobile, television, electric washing machine, electric refrig-
erator and hot water plumbing. In England, there aren't too many families that have all
of these and, probably, many families that hsve none of them. But, as I said, Mike
lives off the wealth of the land - literally. (However, please don't get the idea that
Mike is so well off that he lights cigars with five-pound notes.)

     Mike has a very charming (and attractive) wife named Betty, plus two wee sma'
ones - one male and one female. Hetty, although not a science fiction fan, created
quite a discussion when she wrote an article about the King's Court Hotel which
appeared in Mike's fanzine, NEW FUTURIAN, immediately prcceding the Ioncon. Betty
described the King's Coux't as being good training grounds far panbandlers or people on
the road. (Bob Tucker wrote a similar article sbout the Ingalls Hotel in Bellefontaine,
Ohio, where thc 1954 and 1955 Midwestcons were held.) While both were somewhat exag-
gerated, both also were somewhst authentic in their descriptions.

     Mike, Ron and I no more arrived than Betty summoned us to dinner - and it certainly
was a delicious one, After dinner, Betty asked me if I noticed anything unusual about
the Pood. I honestly hsdn't - excegt for the fact that it was unusually good. She then
indicated that it was meatless - and that the Rosenblum family was a Vegetarisn group.
Some of you gals who axe collecting recipes might do well to ask Betty for some of hers,

     That evening, Mal and Sheila Ashworth were over, and we had a nice little gathering
which consisted of beer, more good food, and discussion, Ron Bennett and Mal and Sheila
ran a continuous little geme of "You insult me and I'll insult you", I gathered, from
this canstant banter that something had occurred in the recent past to cause this
friendly enmity, but I never did discover what it was. We topped off the evening by
playing a spaccship game called ASTRON, which is one of those things during which you
spin an indfcator and move epaces, get sent back to the moon for space piracy, and like

     Mike, being his own boss, was able to provide for time off by keepinghalf an eye
on his business via the telephone, So Tuesday morning, which was another cold, rainy
morning, we spent in Mike's library, In reality, he has his books spread throughout
the house, but there is one particular room on the second floor which is _all library.
In fsct, just about every square foot is library.

     I cautiously fingered many rare items that morning, Mike showed me first editions
of H. G. Wells' WAR OF THE W0RLDS and THE WARE IN THE AIR. He then passed along
Griffith's rare and legendary A HN IN SPACE and the same author's ANGEL OF THE