[ih] Fw: sf-lovers

Ronda Hauben ronda.netizen at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 05:56:16 PST 2012


Hi Chris and Alex

I have a section on sf-lovers mailing list in a paper I did on early usenet
a while ago. The url is below:

http://www.ais.org/~ronda/new.papers/usenet_early_days.txt

Here''s a quote from the paper about the beginning of the mailing list by
Richard Brodie in 1979:

   "SF-LOVERS was another of the important mailing lists on the
ARPANET which was also available on early Usenet as FA.sf-lovers.
It was for the discussion of science fiction and related topics.
In May, 1981, Jim McGrath, the new moderator of the mailing list,
posted a farewell to Richard Brodie, the originator of the
mailing list. He described how Brodie had been "the person
responsible for the first version of this mailing list almost two
years ago." (20)

    In his farewell to those on the list, Brodie describes how he
started the mailing list. He took a leave from Harvard and went
to Xerox-Parc in June 1979. Shortly afterwards, he sent out his
first SF-Lovers message. He writes:

       "Over a year and a half have gone by since the first SF-
     Lovers message went out (It was a list of the Hugo Awards
     from the 1979 Worldcom in Brighton, England). They've been a
     good one and a half years; they've shown me clearly that
     electronic communication will change the shape of our world,
     and that we'll see its effects in our lifetimes."

     "The list,"  he explained, "has grown enormously -- far
beyond my expectations -- and has reached the point where many
hundreds of people read the daily Digest." (21)

     Describing how SF-lovers began, Brodie explained, "I
started SF-LOVERS by logging into one of the public-access MIT
"Incompatible Time Sharing" (ITS) systems - probably MIT-DMS,
although it might have been MIT-AI - and editing a text file that
contained the names of all the distribution lists. I then
inserted a system announcement onto the same system announcing
the availability of the list." (22)

"Early Usenet(1981-2):Creating the Broadsides for Our Day"  by Ronda Hauben

Best wishes, Ronda
On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 9:16 PM, Alex McKenzie <amckenzie3 at yahoo.com> wrote:

>  I received this request, but I know nothing at all about the sf-lovers
> mailing list.  If any of you can help please reply directly to Christopher
> Leslie.
>
>  ----- Forwarded Message -----
> *From:* Christopher Leslie <cleslie at poly.edu>
> *To:* Alex McKenzie <amckenzie3 at yahoo.com>
> *Sent:* Wednesday, March 7, 2012 5:28 PM
> *Subject:* sf-lovers
>
>  Dear Mr. McKenzie,
>
>  I am trying to find out a little bit about the ARPANET mailing list
> sf-lovers and because of your work on the network around the time it was
> formed, I am hoping that you could tell me a little bit about it. I am
> writing a book on science fiction and I think this list demonstrates an
> interesting connection between science fiction and engineering.
>
> It's sometimes said that sf-lovers and human-nets were two of the mailing
> lists that were not directly related to defense research. I cannot get a
> hard date on when sf-lovers started, and which college it originated from,
> but in asking around I have heard that 1976 might be the right date. Do you
> know any of these details? Can you describe how similar sf-lovers was to
> what we think of a mailing list today?
>
> I have also heard that using ARPANET came under scrutiny from Congress
> because of sf-lovers, and for a while the message group was banned. In
> Janet Abbate's book, she refers to your idea that the list was allowed to
> continue because it was generating useful traffic to test the network. I
> cannot find any news reports, and I also contacted holders of Senator
> Proxmire's papers to see if ARPANET was given one of his infamous awards,
> but I am coming up empty. Do you have any details about this incident?
>
> There is quite a bit of information about sf-lovers when it is ported over
> to Usenet, but I am more interested in this early part of the story. If you
> have any information, or if you could direct me to someone who might know,
> I would greatly appreciate it.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Chris Leslie
>
>
> Christopher S. Leslie, Ph.D.
> Instructor of Media and Technology Studies
> Polytechnic Institute of New York University
> 6 MetroTech Center, RH 213h
> Brooklyn, NY 11201
> (718) 260-3130
>
>
>
>


-- 
Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet

http://www.columbia.edu/~hauben/netbook
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