Fancyclopedia I : sfn - Sydcon

sfn - (Hasse) - Abbreviation for scientifiction, favored by many over the official one, stf.

S-F Rocket Car #1 - An auto belonging, your author believes, to some fan in the mid-East; maybe Liebscher.

Shaggoth 6 - At the Third Eastern Convention in 1937, Pohl and Dockweiler and some spiritus frumenti pirated an elevator and gave it this Lovecraftian name. The operator and building manager went up & down, up & down chasing it. This continued for some quarter of an hour.

shaggy dog stories - The original shaggy dog story was about a man in Great Britain who advertized he'd lost a shaggy dog. (This is clean, so read on. OK, then, don't.) An American found a dog which he thot was the one, and after a series of harrowing adventures which the teller of the story will string out to great length, reached England and the flat of the man who advertized. Staggering to the door, with the dog beside him, he said to the resident, "Did you advertise you'd lost a shaggy dog?" The Britisher looked down and said, "Yes, but not that shaggy."

The point of the story, it seems to this analyst, is that one is led to expect a point, and then there is none. If the Briton had looked at the battered American when he said "not that shaggy", there mite have been a feeble point to it, but as it is, there's none.

Other stories have been told on the model of the original, not necessarily long ones. Example: A man goes into a restaurant and orders potatoes, which he proceeds to stuff into his ears. "M'gawd!" someone says, "Why are you stuffing those potatoes in your ears?" "Potatoes?" cries the man. "I thot they were cabbages!"

Easily confused with shaggy dog stories are surrealistic jokes, since both are double-inverted humor.

Shangri-LA - Los Angeles, so called by its fanhabitants because it was the best place for a fan to land if he was moving or being moved about the country, what with the LASFS and the general advantages of LA.

Shepherd & Wollheim, Publishers - Growing out of association in the TFG, this publishing house put out the Phantagraph during the First Transition and some all-fiction magazines, including one entitled Astonishing Stories. Wollheim became the dominant party and they broke up, W to Michel-Wollheim, Shepherd into AAPA politics and publishing.

silkscreening - A method of reproducing illustrations in solid color. The paint is applied thru a stencil, a different stencil for each color.

silly story - The MFS silly stories fit into several classifications of fan humor. They are said to have been composed back in the days of the First Transition, when the MFS had virtually no contact with fandom; but when read at meetings, they set the morons rolling on the floor with laughter. They are the source of such exciting words as fout, nank, and Twonk's disease.

simplifyd spelng - (Akrmn) - Generally speaking, the spelling reforms that have been proposed by progressives from Franklin and Webster thru Theodore Roosevelt down to the present day. Fans are somewhat in advance of general practice in this regard, as evidenced by the fairly typical spelling used in this dictionary - f for ph, suppression of gh's and other silent letters, ktp - but will use orthodox spellings when following the simplifying rules would produce things so barbarous as to divert attention from the text. Even with Ackese abandoned, Ackerman carries it much further, as witness: "After sorting for days & days after the deadline thru 1000s & thous&s of xlnt entrys submitted from evry town & omlet of the 4 seas and 7 corners of the world your editors r barely able to announce" etc. Without consistency, the J sometimes uses y for "long i" and sometimes indicates it by e after the consonant, as in "nite"; sometyms he will spell final -ed as -t when it is so pronounced, ktp. There is no truth to the rumor that his purpose in all this is to make English so rational that we won't have to adopt Esperanto.

single-sheeter - A publication of one sheet, usually letter size, with writing on either one or both sides. Numerous such have appeared in the FAPA, and it was charged that they were mere "token" activity once a year to keep the writer entitled to membership.

Sinn-yk-uhss - Apparently a distortion of Cynicus. A pename for John Bell.

Skylark of Foo - Widner's first auto.

Skylark Smith - Nickname for E E Smith, from his most famous stories, the Skylark series.

Skylark of Woo-Woo - A 1928 Dodge sedan which cost Widner $25 -- initially, that is. It went to the Chicon and back, and to the 1940 Philco, but was liquidated on the eve of the Denvention for the FooFoo Special.

slan - (van Vogt) - A superman of a type different from Homo sapiens by mutation, the most noticable characteristics being two hearts, tendrils in the hair which give the power of telepathy, and greater intelligence than H sapiens. There are tendrilless slans who lack the telepathy tendrils because their genes were tampered with, but will eventually have true slans for descendants. Slans were natural mutations, freaks who happened to have advantageous features, the children of Samuel Lann. After being beaten back by H sapiens in one war, they established themselves on Mars and worked into control of the Earth government. Because the central character in the story was a youth in unsympathetic surroundings, and because of the obvious similarities to fans' dreams of greatness, the unserious claim to slanhood has become the Third Fandom parallel to the Second Fandom's half-serious Star-Begotten claims.

Slan Center - A proposal brot up by Ashley at the Midgicon. He suggested it to be located in Battle Creek, but later plans substituted Los Angeles. The idea is to form a corporation and buy a city block on the edge of town after the war, on which will be built prefabricated functional houses for fans to live in while working around the city, and a community house where meeting, mimeoing, &c, can be done; and make purchases cooperatively.

Slan Shack - A science-fiction house in Battle Creek, charter members being Al & Abby Lu Ashley, Walt Liebscher, and Jack Wiedenbeck. Acquired in the summer of '43, it wasn't occupied by the slans till the eve of the Michiconference. EEEvans joined a little later.

Snafucius Pubs - Publishing house name used by Ackerman after dyktawo and before Fubar. It's from the Armynian Snafu, ofcourse.

socialism - The word denotes a wide range of ideas, but the central thing is collective ownership and control of the major vital industries. Income proportionate to one's actual contribution is usually a feature. Ownership and control may be either by the government (state socialism), by the consumers (co-operatives), or by labor-management unions (guild socialism, syndicalism). The Socialist Party of the US, to which several liberal fans belong, opposes the use of force to change the system, as by revolution, and insists on a legal, evolutionary change. Lowndes has said "I will acknowledge as a 'socialist' only those who # 'realize fully that the class struggle leads inevitably to the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.'", but he is obviously defining Marxism, not socialism.

society - An organization of individuals working along the same lines who may be aided by hearing what each other are doing. In fandom the word has been used loosely for various organizations, which include the ARS, BIS, swpsstfm, PSFS, NYFS, Temponautical Society, FSNY, MFS, Midwest Fan Society,Colorado Fantasy Society, BFS, BSFWRS, LASFS, Frontier Society, and FWSFCS.

sociology - The study (some say "science") of man and his social relations, as opposed to the studies of man as an individual. The field covers politics, economics, history, ethnology, anthropology, institutions, and folkways.

There had been considerable sociological discussion stirred up in the pre-NewDeal period by such proposals as Technocracy, which were put before scientifictionists in stories like The Revolt of the Scientists; and the books of HGWells, Olaf Stapledon, et al, have always bristled with sociological questions; but discussions did not appear in fandom to any extent until the Michelist speech at the Third Convention in 1937.

Sociological issues in fan feuds and other fan disputes have included: The merits and demerits of capitalism, fascism, Technocracy, socialism, and Marxism; Negro equality; the right of labor unions to exist; escapism; the World State; the respective merits of Roosevelt and Dewey; patriotism; American intervention in the Second World War; and so on, shading off into such quasi-sociological subjects as the superman and atheism.

Solaroid Club - An organization of scientifictionists around Westwood NJ, of whom de la Ree and Gaetz became active fans in 1940-41. Manly Wade Wellman, a pro author, was another member.

Solitaire - Pename for George R Hahn, or maybe it was David A Kyle.

sonodiscs - (Ackerman) - Because of their love of music, most fans have record players available. Therefore, after much talk, even mention of dictafone cylinders, some fan platters were produced, around 1940. Some were simply everybody at a local meeting or party saying hello to all the people on the chain, who'd play the record and pass it on. In other cases, stfnal "radio plays" were dramatized by one local and the record sent to another to be played at a meeting; many records also were made which didn't leave the city limits. Those on chains going all around the country usually became worn to unintelligibility by the time they got on the return leg. A sonodisc periodical was projected by Sully Roberds, and an issue of one actually produced in Shangri-LA, "the only fanmag with round edges". Special mention shd be made of Daugherty's recording of much of the Denvention proceedings. Before wartime restrictions put an end to plattering, sonodiscs had reached Canada, England, and Australia.

space opera - (Tucker) - a hack science-fiction story, a dressed-up western; so called by analogy with "horse opera" for Western bangbangshootemup movies and "soap opera" for radio yellowdramas.

space warp - Something that when you go into it in a straight line you come out at a different place and/or going in a different direction than you should according to Newtonian physics. Fans are always wandering into such things in strange cities and getting losted. A slitely different affair was the turntable on which the Shirley-Savoy in Denver is mounted, so that you can start near the hotel, walk blocks and blocks, and still be near the hotel.

Spirit of FooFoo - A 1937 Plymouth coach, originally green, later regent blue, owned by Speer. It carried the Spiritrip and made various other fan visits.

Spiritrip - (Speer) - The trip made by the Columbia Camp (n&aauml;mlich Gilbert, Jenkins, and Eastman) and Speer to Boskone II in the Spirit of FooFoo. The Spirit was very well-behaved (except for once when it sprained an ankle in dead of night so that the spare had to be put on in -90° cold and a 90 mile gale), but it did have an awful lot of cracks in its shell for the wind to blow thru.

swpsstfm - society for the prevention of wire staples in science fiction magazines. It was announced by Bob Tucker in 1934 in Brass Tacks and The Reader Speaks, the Dictator of the organization being Tucker, of course. Recruits came, to the quantity of about 35. Doc Lowndes, then rather unknown, was named Royal Pill Roller. Other members suggested such ideas as rubber staples, or sticking the magazines together with chewing gum, a different flavor each month. At last Don Wollheim could endure it no longer, and by launching the IAOPUMUMSTFPUSA, Unltd, brot on the First Staple War.

Squeaky - Pet name for Science Fiction Weekly.

Lane Stannard - Pename of James V Taurasi.

Staplecon - A gathering in May 1943 at the Ackerman's old Staples-av address in Frisco. Despite the dormancy of the Golden Gate Futurians, Frisco area fen appeared in great numbers for it; and not long after, several moved to LA.

First Staple War - The "First: is probably flavoring borrowed from the phrase "First World War", which was current even in 1935. The war broke out when the Grand High Cocolorum, in a letter to Brass Tacks later republished in The Reader Speaks, denounced the policies advocated by the spwsstfm, and announced the formation of the IAOPUMUMSTFPUSA, Unltd.

Not satisfied with mere conservatism, Wollheim at length announced the Platinum Plan. In accordance with this wire staples were to be made of platinum; then after the stfist had finished reading the magazine, he could take out the staples and sell them for more than he paid for the magazine. This would boom the circulation of the stf mags and carry science-fiction to the world.

As in such other mock wars as the FooFoo-ghughu strife, the fronts on which direct battle could be joined were very limited, but such engagements as occurred practically all went in favor of the metallic forces. IAOPETC spies in Tucker's forces wormed their way into such a position of trust that they published the second number of the official organ, and it came out stuck full of wire staples! Tucker quibbled about the difference between science fiction magazines, which were all he mentioned, and fan magazines. The "entire" New York Episode of the swpsstfm went over to the W's side.

The end of the war was a non sequitur. Someone's letter was published all solemnly in Brass Tacks, telling that Tucker had died. By publication time Tremaine had discovered that he'd been hoaxed, and declared there'd be no more staple stuff in Brass Tacks.

Star-Begotten - (Wells:Griffiths) - "Dear Mr Bristol: # 'Star-Begotten' is the title uv a book by the same name, written by H. G. Wells, in which he develops the thesis that, since mutations are produced thru the agency uv the cosmic ray, and since science has been unable to trace the source uv the aphoresaid ray, and since any race with millions uv years uv background to it must be a benevolent race, and since the Martians, iph they exist, must have a background reaching back thru these millions uv years, therephore: the genius class -- Schopenhauer, Kant, da Vinci, Edison -- is a mutation, produced thru the agency uv the cosmic ray, by the intelligently acting agency uv the Martians, with the intention uv evolving this inpherior race uv Mankind to a state comparable to theirs. A powerphul theme, given a psychological treatment instead uv a scientiphic action style. And, since the 'Star-Begotten' are those people with abnormal intelligence, produced thru the direct or indirect agency uv beings upon another planet, and since these 'Star-Begotten' are misunderstood, intuitive, brilliant people, stphandom has adopted the name as a collective title phor themselves." -- Ephless El.

Starlight Publications - Publishing house of the Golden Gate Futurians and associates.

Star-Treader - Pename of a columnist in Spaceways (and later Fanfare), about whose identity there was much speculation and about whose remarks there was much comment. It turned out to be J Chapman Miske.

state organizations - The first state organization was the OSA. The "era of state organizations", so-becannt, came with the MSA and IFF, and as the Michifans prepared to organize, the Michiconference set up four state organizations under the MWFFF. There had already been an Indiana Fantasy Association. Like the OSA and the MSA, it fell somnolent after a year or two; and all but the Michigan Federation in the MWFFF are organizations in name only, without activity. As states are inefficiently small for the 20th Century, so a state organization of fans seems to lack the advantages of either a local or a regional or general fan organization. Its only possible advantage is an appeal to state pride to make fans want to become more active and add luster to their state's name. Which (Texas excepted) is hogwash.

stefnist - (Speer) - A suggested substitute for the word "fan", which has been favorably received. At this writing, however, a full vocabulary on the root has not been worked out, nor is general acceptance certain.

stencilling - Cutting stencils for mimeoing, either by stylus or typewriter.

stf - (Hogenmiller:Ackerman) - Formerly the abbreviation for scientifiction, now pronounced [stef], and used as a short form for "science-fiction". It should not be pronounced [estief]! stfnalstfnal

Stfnash - An auto of 1935 vintage belonging to OESaari and consequently to the MFS. Some name belongs to a superannuated auto used for stfvoyaging by Hornig in 1940.

sticker - A little gummed piece of paper, usually less long than this line (???4 inches???) and having space for perhaps four lines of type. Sometimes applied to the letter sheet in lieu of letterhead, it is more usually stuck on the envelope, and may carry the fan's name, one or more of his publications' titles, names of organizations and descriptive words like "Scientifictionist"; others say -"Member --- suchandsuch org"-, plug a convention or Esperanto, or maybe plug science-fiction in general.

Loyal and Benevilent Protective Order of Wollheim Stooges - A burlesque organization headed by Prize Stooge Michel, set up for the purpose of laughing out of existence the belief that Wollheim's associates were stooges. It was supposed to be open to anyone who had ever disagreed with Will Sykora, but F Speer, duly qualified and applying for a membership card, received none. The belief was fairly widespread in the Second Fandom that the other three members of the Quadrumvirate, and certainly the lesser lites of the Wollheimist faction, took their orders from Wollheim. Actually, according to Lowndes, the unanimity of their utterances was the result of many conferences on policy, in which they frequently laid down the law to the "Dictator".

Stranger Club - (Manning) - In a stf series by Lawrence Manning, a club which had for its motto "Truth is stranger than fiction", where members met to tell and hear "true" fantastic experiences. The name was taken by the Eastern Massachusetts fan organization when they formed in Feb 40, and the members call themselves Strangers. Members include Swisher, Widner, Suddsy Schwartz, (ex-) Singleton, and a number of others. The organization puts on the Boskones and apparently gets along with absolutely no internal friction.

stream of consciousness - A type of literature which tries to reproduce, as accurately as possible, the manner in which ideas flow thru the brain, one thot giving rise to another related to it in the most unlogical way, employing shorthand symbols for familiar concepts the way the mind does, ktp.

subscription fanzine - The type of general interest fanzine which is usually offered for sale, as distinguished from exchanges like FAPAzines, newsheets, all-fiction, and other specialized types. The subscription fanzine has articles, stories, departments, a readers' section, art work, and all the other fixings. Sometimes people actually pay for them, but the fanzine which breaks even is a very rare specimen, and it is customary to send out many copies as samples, send them regularly to pro editors gratis, exchange, and carry other subscribers a long time in spite of nonresponse to expiration notices.

Suddsy - Nickname for Arthur L Schwartz, apparently originating in a corruption of the surname.

suicide - The ethics of suicide came up for considerable discussion at the time of the pseuicide. In a high-strung bunch like fans are, it is not surprising that suicide is reported to have been contemplated at times by certain fans, and caused some worry to their friends, but the nearest things to a fan ending it all were the suicides of Joseph Hatch, wierdist, in 1936, and author Robert E Howard.

superman - "A superman is a human being who has greater powers than the normal person--physical, mental, or possibly supernatural." --RRWinterbotham. Speer distinguishes four types of supermen: 1. Super-developed Homo sapiens, either thru special training like Doc Savage or thru the advantages of a more advanced civilization than ours. 2. Homo sapiens with certain powers added, as by constructive (rather than merely preventative) medicine, by the environment of another planet which in the case of Jupiter would mean greater strength, by genetic selection of existing human qualities, or by immortality however acquired. 3. Homo superior, humanoids with extra-human powers, like Slan, Williamson's weremen, the Star-Begotten when far advanced, or the mutants that Campbell talks about. 4. Non-human superior races, such as super-intelligent insects, e-t's, highly efficient robots, and intelligences of pure force. Type 3 is what is usually meant when fans discuss the superman: a new species of the genus Homo.

"Superman", says the Office of the Quartermaster General, "is a popular cartoon character of prodigious strength and apparently limitless physical and mental resources." We mite add that he is the offspring of another planet, from which he was shot just before it broke up, when he was a baby. Growing up, he took the character of Clark Kent, newspaper reporter, who in place of underwear has a skin-tite costume and loose cloak, which he strips to with amazing speed whenever he wants to show off in some juvenile adventure which involves flying thru the air, scaring criminals into telling where Lois Lane has been taken, and crashing thru a brick wall to the rescue. A published section of Swisher's time travel thesis suggests l illogicallity of all this: a hundred-kilogram man accelerating from zero to 100 km/hr in a matter of seconds would deliver such a tremendous recoil that he'd kick holes in the floor. Superman is of especial fan interest because he is the creation of Jerome Siegel and Joe Schuster, who once published a fan magazine entitled Science Fiction, as fans are not loath to remark, altho all are agreed that Superman stinks.

super-science - May simply indicate science advanced beyond presentday knowledge, i e, the kind of science we have in all scientifiction. Usually it indicates science so advanced that it is different almost in kind from modern science, achieving results by entirely different and simpler methods; the type that we have in Smith's "epics" and the colossal thought-variants.

Super Science Fiction Special - (Hahn, je crois; Dockweiler called it the New Science Fiction Special) - "At about four-thirty ack emma, while leering a trifle crookedly at the murals, Harry got The Idea. Why not a Rummy's Stf Special? After a little thought, and some help from his fellow sot and Jack [the bartender], he decided upon the concoction. # He simply took the old, well-known gin-and-ginger ale, and added a touch of bitters. # Now, lean close. Fill a Tall Glass -- not completely, you yap, unless you think you're good - half gin, the rest ginger ale. Then, a dash of bitters .... Two drinks had Harry (who detests Efjay) admitting that Forrest might not be such a bad guy after all. A couple more and he went off on a crying jag over an old, lost love of his." -- From an unpublished manuscript by Harry Dockweiler, written probably in 1937.

surrealistic jokes - (Liebscher) - A sort of humor in which the climax is logical according to a wacky system of logic, like they have in Unknown Worlds. The best example is the ostrich who came running up late to a place where several other ostriches were standing with their heads buried in the sand, and looking around said "Where is everybody?" Surrealistic jokes are not to be confused with shaggy dog stories, where there is no point.

Susie - Fanzine pet name for the Southern Star.

Sydcon - A surprisingly large convention in Sydney Australia in 1941. It was later confessed to be a hoax, never occurred.

Data entry by Judy Bemis