Opus

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Opus
Issue 4 May 1952
Cover art by Ray Nelson

Opus was a science fiction fanzine by W. Max Keasler.

At least 20 issues of Max Keasler's fanzine were released in the 1950s from Poplar Bluff, Michigan, U.S.A. It had originally been called Fan Variety, edited by Keasler and Bill Venable.

Issue 4 was published in May 1952. The Associate Editor is Marie Louise Share (Hodge-Podge, Cameo, Caprice), and the Assistant Editor is Nan Gerding (Nandu). The front cover art work is by Ray Nelson, and back cover art work is by Max Keasler. Contributions of writing included a chapter of Harry Warner, Jr.'s All Of Our Yesterdays. Included are small tipped in photographs of fans such as W. Paul Ganley (Fan-Fare), Lynn Hickman (TLMA), Marie-Louise Share, and Walt Willis (Hyphen). Letters came from Robert Bloch, Fred Chappell, Richard Elsberry (ODD), Lee Hoffman (Quandry), and Dave Ish.

Issue 20 (Vol. 2 No. 7) appeared in January 1953. The cover art was by Ray Nelson, Interior art work was by Jack Gaughan. Contributions included Richard Elsberry's Convention report for the 1952 Chicon II/Worldcon 10. This was the last issue.

Opus was a member of "Fanvariety Enterprises", an affiliation of fan publishers put together by Max Keasler and Bill Venable. It included such publications as Ian Macauley's Cosmag, Bill Venable's The Pendulum, Norman Browne's Vanations, Harlan Ellison's Science Fantasy Bulletin, Dave English's Fantasias, Bob Farnham and Nan Gerding's The Chigger Patch of Fandom, Norbert Hirschhorn's Tyrann, SF by John Magnus, Joel Nydahl's Vega, and Starlanes by Nan Gerding and Orma McCormick.

In a widely quoted paragraph, Lee Hoffman described Max Keasler: “Max was the personification of Sixth Fandom in America: young, witty, enthusiastic. He openly avowed that he never read science fiction. He blazed across the fan skies, speaking in interlineations, publishing monthly, filling the world with Ray Nelson drawings. Then he disappeared.”