Monday, August 20, 2007

SF Fantasy Cardiff (SFFC)

SF Fantasy Cardiff (SFFC) was a Cardiff-based group that evolved from the DWAS (Doctor Who Appreciation Society) Cardiff Local Group (CLG). I was a member in the early days and even helped to organise it a bit before I finally lost interest in about 1992! I designed a logo and poster (pictured) which was used to advertise the group locally. They were primarily displayed in Cardiff's central library and in the Forbidden Planet shop.

The Cardiff Local Group became the SFFC in an attempt to boost membership. Interest in Doctor Who had waned considerably following the cancellation of the series in 1989, and it was decided that we should "branch out" into general Science Fiction and fantasy in order to survive. Most members already liked Star Trek: The Next Generation and Blakes 7 so why not? Personally I wasn't so passionate about much apart from Doctor Who, but the idea made sense. And so the Cardiff Local Group was reborn as the SFFC. Admittedly it was a wasn't a great name, and it made us sound like some kind or regulatory authority rather than than a a group of teenage sci-fi enthusiasts, but for some reason it stuck, and I believe that it continued for a few years after my departure from the group. Eventually the SFFC transformed into a group called Timeless, that is still running to this day. A much better name I think!

SF Fantasy Cardiff publications

The SFFC had two regular publications when I was a member. Firstly, it had its own fanzine called CSO, named after the usually dodgy Colour Separation Overlay effect used in many episodes of Doctor Who for back-projection (by the way, CSO was refered to as Chromakey by the entire world apart from the BBC for some strange reason). I put together the first issue of CSO myself (pictured) with the aid of contributiors from the group, I don't know who designed/edited the second issue. I'm pretty certain that there was a second one, but it was after I left the group and I never saw it. If anyone one has a copy, please email me some .jpegs and I'll update this post.

The second publication was simply called The Newsletter (pictured), this was simply a continuation of the CLG's former publication of the same name. As with CSO, I put together the first SFFC one (issue 13) - a really simple 2 pager, and somebody else handled the more substantial future issues after me. The cover of issues 16 and 17 are also pictured below as examples.

Above: "The Newsletter". L-R: Issue 13 (my issue), issue 16 and issue 17.


john campbell rees said...

Shortly before SFFC disintegrated, I took over the editorship of the group Newsletter, and retitled it The Oracle. Back then, in the early days of the web, I even created an animated GIF based on your logo for the group, for use on a web page. Then the group went pair-shaped and The Oracle and the proposed web site disappeared. As you say, the group re-emerged as TIMELESS and is still going strong. If ever you are in Cardiff on one of the Tuesday nights TIMELESS meet, why not pop along.

DrGaz said...

Thanks John. Good to know what happened. It's nice to know that my logo stuck for a bit too! I'm not around in Cardiff much these days, but I'll certainly bear in mind your invite next time I am.