[written by Mark R. Leeper and modified by Evelyn C. Leeper]
The following describes the origins of the MT VOID through the 1990s. Currently the "Mt. Holz Science Fiction Club" is completely independent of AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Avaya, or any other part of what used to be "The Phone Company" and is just the mailing list of the MT VOID, which is open to any and all who have an email address. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/mtvoid and subscribe, or just send email to email@example.com.
Science fiction at Lucent Technologies? It seems like a natural, doesn't it? Lucent Technologies are the people who build those impressive bulbous buildings at World's Fairs and places like the Epcot Center. Bell Laboratories has a reputation for being the starting point of the future with the invention of nice little gizmos like the transistor and the laser and discoveries like the background radiation from the Big Bang. Well, in 1978 when Mark and Evelyn Leeper (your humble authors) came to Bell Labs, science fiction activity was a handful of people who shared a subscription to the Science Fiction Book Club and traded off books. It wasn't that there was a lack of interest, but nobody wanted to take on the awesome responsibility of organizing a club for AT&T employees. It was something of a struggle to find ten people to say they were interested.
Today the Mt. Holz Science Fiction Club is, as far as we know, the largest science fiction society in New Jersey (please hold your applause till the end) with 250 members. Sponsored by Lucent Technologies, through good times and divestiture, as an unadvertised fringe benefit for its employees (Lucent Technologies, incidentally, contributes only space--they take no responsibility for the actions of the Science Fiction Club, just as the Club takes no responsibility for the actions of Lucent Technologies--it's a comfortable relationship), the Club has members in ten countries at three dozen Lucent Technologies locations and activities at one (Middletown, New Jersey). At Holmdel and Middletown there are also active science fiction lending libraries packed into whatever spare office space we can muster. There are also tri-weekly meetings, typically to discuss a book chosen at a previous meeting, but we also show videotapes, sponsor book exchanges, listen to radio recordings, and generally do what we can to keep out of mischief over lunch hour.
The binding thread of the Club is the weekly science fiction notice, the MT VOID, which features slanted editorials, more slanted book and film reviews by members, tidbits of juicy gossip gleaned from members attending science fiction conventions, and arguments between members.
Older back issues are available at Lysator and fanac.org.