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MIT's Science Fiction Society Has 60,000 Books And Some Zany Traditions

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Reason number 5,000,000,000 to wish you'd gone to MIT... There's a great article in MIT News Magazine about the MIT Science Fiction Society, with its incredibly awesome library. Which started with a wooden crate dragged between dorm rooms in 1949 and is now a massive storehouse of awesome.

According to one chemistry grad student, D.W. Rowlands, "We have complete runs of almost every science fiction magazine dating back to the 1920s. Our library keeps growing. It's a good problem to have, but it's exhausting." The titles include everything you'd expect, but also some obscure stuff, including fanzines — and some 1950s science fiction erotica that's kept out of view.


The President of the society is called the Skinner, after former president L. Court Skinner. The Treasurer is called the Lady High Embezzler, and the Honorable Secretary is the Onseck.

According to MIT News:

The current-day MITSFS is open about 40 hours per week and holds weekly meetings, usually on Friday evenings, that members admit usually feature very little business. Each meeting begins with the clanking of a two-foot steel wrench onto a massive slab of titanium, and each member of the society, collectively known as Star Chamber, can vote up to four times (once per limb) on any issues brought to poll...

In addition to a near-overflow of books, the library's shelves are strewn with bizarre trinkets, including a collection of randomly placed toy bananas that no current member can explain.

"MITSFS has a lot of inside jokes that predate current students and, it seems, most alumni," Rowlands says. "We definitely have an obsession with bananas, but no one seems to know why."


Now don't you feel slightly sad about your own alma mater, by comparison? [MIT News]