For the next month or so (for that matter, for the next four years, off and on), I spent some part of every weekend at the Hardings’. I don’t remember much about conversations, except that they were largely about music. Lee assured me that every time he tried to talk about sf I’d talk about Thomas Hardy or Thomas Love Peacock. Sometimes we got onto philosophy, and this proved my undoing. One night he gave me a paperback and said, ‘There: you’re pretty hot on theology (I had, in fact, spent a couple of years in theological college) – read that story and tell me what you think of it.’
So I took the book out onto the verandah, and read Arthur C Clarke’s THE STAR. And the foundations of my antipathy to sf began to crumble. Here was as fine a dramatic presentation of a theological difficulty as I had ever come across, as a story, and as stimulus to thought, it was first-rate.
— A WAY OF LIFE The Confessions of an SF Addict, John Bangsund,
from Apastron 1, published for the 1968 Easter SF Conference.
Full article reprinted in Leigh Edmond’s iOTA 9, a work in progress on a history of SF fandom in Australia pre 1975. Worth a read, as the issue also includes a convention review by John Foyster, Lee Harding’s notes on Ursula K LeGuin’s visit to Sydney and Denis Stock’s piece about Arthur C Clarke’s visit to Brisbane.