My first encounter with club tales was in the second issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction I had ever read. December 1976, Sterling Lanier’s fine Brigadier Ffellowes story, “Ghost of a Crown,” featured on the cover. The neighborhood I grew up in was a model of banality, so the notion that if I rode my bike far enough I would come upon a club devoted to imagination and adventure was enthralling.
“And, of course, there he was. Leaning against the end bookcase in the alcove, just as if he’d been there all evening, and none of us, as usual, had even seen him come in!”