eFNAC edited by John Foyster

eFanzines. com is now hosting the complete archive of the late John Foyster's eFNAC.

On the Read eFNAC page each issue is listed with a brief description of its contents.

The eFNAC issue files are password protected, as John did not want them indexed on the web.

Readers should enter user name efnac and password access to view the eFNAC archive.

Read eFNAC

An introduction to John Foyster
by Yvonne Rousseau

John Foyster, assessing the raw materials for fanzines such as Satura 9, July 1964: photograph by Lee Harding.

John Maxwell Foyster (13 April 1941 - 5 April 2003) was an Australian who has been internationally famed in science-fiction fandom since the early 1970s. For example, he belonged for more than 28 years to the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA), distributor of his last sf paper fanzine: Candiru, August 2002. John's first fanzine was Emanation, February 1961. Such 'fan activity' is traditionally abbreviated to 'fanac' - one letter longer than 'FNAC', the name of a French chain store. When John published his paper fanzine, FNAC, in June and September 1994, he therefore subtitled it: 'Fanac on the cheap.'

In February 2000, FNAC's electronic successor, eFNAC, was designed to be read on screen rather than printed out. John chose portable document format (pdf), and a landscape-oriented double-column format, like an open book. Issues were intended to be monthly, and to be sendable on a 1.44 mb floppy disk. As in FNAC, John initiated and provoked lively discussion of current fannish concerns - such as the affordability of documenting fannish history in colour photographs published on screen as opposed to traditional paper/mimeographed fanzines.When Erika Maria Lacey set up eFNAC's first website, in January 2001, a password system protected traditional fanzine privacy from indexing by search engines like Google.

John Foyster, assessing a publication site
for eFNAC 6, December 2000
Photograph by Vivian Eyers.

On 28 September 2001, John became ill with an inoperable and very invasive brain tumour (a glioblastoma multiforme) on his left parietal lobe. It directly menaced his ability to express himself. From issue 15 of eFNAC onward, John's documentation of fan history was combined with a gallant determination to document his own experiences and to keep communicating, whatever the obstacles. Issue 16 contains a remarkable account of John's own impressions during the 12 days he spent, apparently unconscious, in Intensive Care. His cancer was not diagnosed until 13 December 2001, almost a month after his release from 7 weeks in hospital. As a cryptic announcement in eFNAC 17, John commissioned an illustration from his first wife, Elizabeth Darling. It showed John being menaced by a crab (signifying the zodiacal constellation, Cancer). In issues 20 and 27, he noted that few people had read this illustration.

After the diagnosis, John began a book summarising statistics (his professional work) for general readers. Serious seizures on 29 January 2002 left him unable to continue, and he eventually published the outline and his completed chapters in eFNAC 27. When his cancer prevented his using the computer keyboard, John sometimes compensated by reprinting his articles from paper fanzines. In addition, he dictated articles to the writer of this introduction, Yvonne Rousseau (John's third wife: now his widow), and then edited her print-outs. The symptoms of John's increasing illness and of Yvonne's lesser technological expertise are visible in three late issues of photographs from John's third world trip. Some appear sideways on the screen, but they are unsatisfactory for printing out. In his final, posthumously published issue (eFNAC 31, March 2003), John included recently dictated memories, as well as an earlier article written for his genealogical Foyster Update. In every phase of his cancer's encroachment (as in this final eFNAC), John was likely briefly to regain some lost abilities. As he once observed, in the poignant poetry imposed by his affliction: "It comes, and it glows."

Thanks to Erika Maria Lacey for organizing this eFNAC page,
to Yvonne Rousseau for the introduction,
and to John Foyster for eFNAC.

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