Fancyclopedia I: A - activity, fan

A - When Dr. Swisher's S-F Check List was first published, fanzine editors scrambled to be alphabetically first, and such publications as the Aaanthor Argus were produced. "a", published by Swisher, finally secured first place.

AAPA - The American APA, an amateur press association.

Ack-Ack, Pvt/Cpl - Wartime pename of Ackerman in writing for the Reception Center Alert and editing the Ft. MacArthur Bulletin ("that fan magazine that the Army pays for"), of which marked copies were distributed thru fandom. Some of the imaginary incidents reported were of fan interest, fannish names being employed: A sentry takes Pvt Earl Doubleton (from Singleton, of the pseuicide) for a ghost, etc.

Ackermanese - The grammatical practices followed by Forrest J Ackerman, and in part, degree varying from fan to fan, by those in whom his exampl has propagated. Several minor wars have been fot over the question whether it should be used or not, but it has gone on insidiously spreading.

The term includes simplifyd spelng, scientificombinations, non-stoparagraphing, a colloquial style, excessive punnery wherever the opportunity presents itself, rendition of quotations from others with all their typing pecularities and errors, using only one set of quotation marks around a series of words or frazes quoted from various sources, employing the native names for geografical terms ("Moskva, Deutsch, Ceskoslovensk," etc) (that use of quotation makes illustratos the preceding point); and certain syntatical peculiarities, which include omission of "of" in "anothr the fans", and placing modifiers outside of verb frazes as in "He undoutlesly'd say so" instead of "He'd undoutlesly say so." Mechanical characteristics of the writing of Mirta Forsto and a few others are the vogue typewriter type face, the neotric green-and-brown typeribbon, and green pen and mimeo ink, green being the official Esperanto color.

Ackese - Name given to the orignal radical form of simplifyd speling, like "U & I r to b praps th lst 2 men to go roketng to an xtra-galaktik planet wher a rekt ship is strandd." Now abandoned.

activity, fan - Devoting time, energy, and money to non-profit pursuits in the general field of fantasy and fandom. It includes reading, collecting, corresponding, belonging to organizations, writing, publishing, recruiting new fans, visiting fellow-scientifictionists, perhaps living with them in a science fiction house, and attending fan gatherings. For membership in the FAPA, applicants must show "proof by credential of their interest in fantasy amateur activity, which shall consist of one of the following: (a) Contributions, in form of poetry, drawing, fiction, or non-fiction writing, published in two fantasy amateur publications not produced in the same city. (b) Position as editor or publisher of at least one issue of a fantasy amateur publication".

Most fen pass thru a certain cycle of activeness: After getting familiar with the field they start taking on projects right and left, not realizing that they're building up to a peak that they haven't time to maintain. Suddenly they announce that they must discontinue all fan activity, except maybe subscribing to one or two fanzines and keeping up with one or two correspondents, because activities of the outside world must take most of their time and energy. Some disappear from fandom at this point, but many others discover after a while that they still need the intellectual companionship and means of scifi expression in fandom and can find time to take on a little bit more activity and so at length find a fairly constant level that they can keep up, barring catastrophes like getting drafted, or married. (Not that there aren't quite a number of GI's and husbands keeping up a fair degree of activity).

administration - The elected officers for a given year primarily, tho the term may include appointed officials. The expression implies that they work in close concert, which is usually the case. Synonymous with cabinet.

advertising - Both classified and display ads are published in fanzines, more often on an exchange basis than paid for. The most common commodity advertised is another fanzine, in which case authors and titles of articles are the chief inducement mentioned. There are also advertisements of stickers, stationery, type ribbons, etc., organizations, and fan gatherings. Display ads of a page or fraction of a page are often decorated with irrelevant art work, and sometimes the appeal will be put humorously, as "Hi, sucker, ...." Want ads are often placed for bits to fill gaps in a collection, or for rare items. For sales include the same kind of thing, sometimes an entire collection being offered. A considerable amount of trade results from these and swap ads. Booster ads are a special type.

Mention should also be made of the humorous fake advertisements of Lowndes and others. Lowndes imagines a capitalistic future and offers remedies for horrible new maladies, books on spicy customs of e.t.'s, &c.

AFA - The American Fantasy Association, a proposed general fan organization put forward by Wiggins, Kuslan, and Taurasi early in 1938, which failed to attract general attention.

age - Fans vary in age from the first teens to a few middleaged men, but most of us were born between 1915 and 1925. In 1938 the average fan reached by the IPO was 18, and the arithmetical average of ages was 20. The Poll Cat reported the average age in 1942 as 23, but that is topheavied a bit by the older men (one was 50, with no corresponding counterbalance aged minus 4), and Widner estimated the median would be about 20. The question whether mental age and chronological age among fans correlates very highly is debated, some maintaining that those under a certain youngness are not competent to dispute with or judge their elders. The time a person has been in fandom is sometimes referred to rather than physical age in speaking of "young fans".

agent - Agents are used by many pro authors, even the best established. Most agents require a reading fee from beginning authors, and so act as professional critic to the writer -- one is seldom a good judge of his own work. For established authors the agent, for a commission, serves the function of saving the writer the trouble of taking manuscripts around to the editors and putting the story across. Apparently personal contact gets better results than sending the story in by mail. Numerous fans have been agents, and the Futurians moved into editorships therefrom.

Aimless Publications - Chauvenet's publishing house trademark. Tis indicative of the gentleman's philosophy of life.

a.j., ajay - Amateur journalism. This usually refers to the hobby as carried on by the mundane amateur press associations. Fans sometimes use it when asked what their hobby is by someone who wouldn't understand what fandom is; and indeed, fan activity is amateur journalism -- plus.

Alojo - Nickname for Arthur Louis Joquel II.

amateur press association - A group like the FAPA (which got its idea from them) existing for the purpose of facilitating exchange of publications between its members thru a periodic mailing (the mailings have not been temporarily regular in some cases). Of the mundane amateur press associations, the National APA dates from the 1870's; the American was established fairly recently, mainly by younger people. There are also the United APA, a British organization, some regional groups, locals, and some interassociation committees. These ajays usually print their publications with hand-operated equipment, and are for the most part distinctly more interested in getting a pleasant format and appearance than in writing anything interesting. Several former fans have disappeared into the mundane APA's, and several other well-known scientifictionists, notably H. P. Lovecraft, have been active ajays at the same time. The memberships of these associations are considerably larger and less active than the FAPA's, and it does not seem to be required that publishers send in sufficient copies to cover the entire membership.

Andromeda II - Some fan's auto; maybe Stan Bachrach's.

angels - Wilson calls Los Angelenoes Angels, but the word usually means somebody who contributes a sizeable bit of dough to a fanzine to help it do something special like having a lithographed cover.

Anglo-Saxon poetry - Saxon poetry did not have rime or regular rhythm. Each line was cut in two by a pause, with two accented syllables in each half, the whole line tied together by alliteration, as, "A rocket was ready to take you to Rio."

anniversary - The issue of a subscription fanzine which comes out, or is planned to come out, in the same month as the fanzine was launched, is the occasion for great celebration by the editor, since relatively few fanzines reach even one anniversary. He makes it an extra-large number, with material often especially solicited from big names, and booster ads requested to help defray the additional expense.

annual - A publication, usually sponsored by an organization, which is supposed to appear annually, but probably appears only once. It is supposed to survey and summarize the work of the past year. Not connected with any organization are the regularly appearing Yearbooks indexing pro and listing fan magazines.

A.O.D. - The Ancient Order of Druids, in whose hall the meetings of the London SFA were held.

Arkham House - August Derleth and associates, publishing first a Lovecraft memorial volume, later turning to other weird. They do not, of course, do the actual printing and binding.

Arlawi - Nickname of Art Widner, invented in the mistaken belief that it was Esperanto.

ARS - The American Rocket Society. Formerly the American Interplanetary Society, its name was changed in order to get support from conservative men, and the ARS's experiments, unlike the BIS's, are strictly not directed to interplanetary flite for the present, but to terrestrial uses of rockets, such as mail rockets, anti-tank rockets, and helping the takeoff of heavily loaded airplanes. Several fans and s-f authors have been high in the organization, however. Before the war, quite a bit of experimentation was carried out on such problems as the most efficient fuels and the best shape for the combustion chamber. A small ARS rocket set a speed record for self-propelled vehicles before it smashed up; but most experiments are performed on a proving stand fastened to the ground, with meters attached.

art - Maybe we should put that in quotes. Yes, fandom does have some very talented artists, and some who've had the benefit of training besides. But virtually every fan, whether he's an artist or not, turns his hand to illustrating what he's trying to say, or putting what he wants to say in a more expressive medium.

As to types: Nearly every subscription fanzine has a cover illustration, which usually shows an imaginary fantasy scene having no relation to the contents of the magazine; Vomaidens are the ultimate of this type. Title headings for departments are frequently embellished as irrelevantly: put some rivets on the letters and a tower or a spaceship behind them, and that's that. When fiction is included in the magazine, it is usually illustrated. The same sometimes with articles, but this cannot often be done. Display ads may be decorated. Fragmentary sketches are also used as fillers, or stuck around on a page to break up the dead solid type. Well-drawn illustrations for their own sake are rather rare, tho there are some full-page illustrations with a few lines of poetry inspiring or inspired by it. Most frequent artwork standing alone is cartooning about fan events, real or imaginary. On a slitely higher artistic level are some short-lived scientificomics in the fanzines, and some caricatures of Wollheim and his "stooges" by Baltadonis. Our illustration is of historic importance, because its appearance on a card addressed to DAW was the basis for the Wollheimist charge that W was the object of "Libelous and utterly vicious attacks" by his opponents in the 1938 campaign. Your reporter has also seen some unpublishable sketches of the Wollheimists by Jack Agnew, which shocked him greatly. In addition to all these artypes, fotografy has shown up increasingly in recent years.

articles - The most plastic form of non-fiction writing. Some articles are so long as to be broken into serial parts for publication in fanzines, or fill an entire booklet; and paragraf-length fillers may be called articles.

Subjects include: Science articles, news of the pros such as future line-ups and changes of ownership, interviews with pro figures, book movie stage and music reviews, collectors' dope, quizzes, humor and satire, biografies of pros and fans, news of fan activities and plans, accounts of fan gatherings and trips and visits, descriptions of one's possessions pertaining to fandom, whitherings, discussion and exhortation in fan feuds, autoanalyses, discussion of philosophical and sociological questions (particularly in view of concepts gained from science-fiction), reminiscences of Them Was The Days, opinions of the quality of present day fantasy, odd angles such as how many fans have the same first name, and miscellany ranging from hoaxes and grafanalyses to chess and women's hats.

It was not always thus. As pointed out in our articles on the First Transition etc, the field of discussions has gradually broadened until now it takes in anything that the postal laws will allow and some things that they won't; this despite a temporary "back to fantasy!" movement in the Second Transition and a minor surge of the same sort toward the end of 1943.

ASP - Associated Slan Press. Tucker and the Ashleys, among others. Tucker says one joins by invitation only and must keep up the standard of the publishing house. In the emblem, the asp is not a giant thing crawling around a hill with a pyramid on it. Cleopatra's.

association - Properly meaning an organization of individuals working in the same field who expect by collective effort to make greater progress, this is the name most applicable to fan organizations. Orgs calling themselves associations include the ISA, Scientifiction Association for Boys, OSA, SFAA, SFA, NYFA, FAPA, AFA, MSA, Indiana Fantasy Association, and [ WAFFF! ]

Assorted Services - Partnership of Ackerman and a Mr and Mrs Emsheimer on the model of an enterprise in Paris. They undertook to do various things for hire, but most of their little business came from fandom, to which they introduced lithografy on a large scale. Appearing about the time that Heinlein's "-- We Also Walk Dogs" told of General Services Inc., Assorted Services provided much merriment-material.

atheism - An issue bound to come up in a bull session of skeptical-minded youths, and fandom is a continuous bull session. Muchly debated in the letter sections of Them Was The Days, it arose in fandom with Wollheim's last Phantiflexion column, which discussed Science Fiction and Religion, remarking that the majority of ISAers he knew were atheistic. Some months later appeared Shroyer's "Anent Atheism and Stf". These debated not the validity of atheism, but the reason for the observed correlation between it and the liking for s-f. Argument on the main question, such as there was, was hot, but no changes of opinion are known to have resulted, and the Michelists showed a disposition to relinquish the point to gain support for Michelism, at the same time that the Communist Party was making gestures toward the Catholic Church. The IPO in the Second Transition found the proportion of 9 to 14 against church adherence, with several of the churchgoers indicating that they really didn't believe in it. How many of the nays are honest-to-Foo atheists, and how many agnostics, pantheists, or the like, cannot be accurately estimated. At any rate, it is now assumed that fans generally hold to a mechanistic philosophy which precludes the existence of God. Leonard Moffatt's chief fame is as the only outspoken Christianfan, tho there are a number of others, not forgetting Palmer. Young-minded fen get some fun out of snarling at the corpse of Fundamentalism.

the Atlantean - Ye ed is derned if he knows whose this pename was, but has a hazy recollection that someone said it was Barbara Bovard.

auction - One of the chief sources of cupiditas-stuff for fan gatherings is an auction of collector's items. They are usually contributed by pro eds and fans. Not bid for, but also on sale at fan gatherings, are special convention publications as well as current issues of subscription fanzines. Give-aways also are distributed.

Auctions are held at all conventions, most major conferences, and at some large meetings of local groups. At conventions, the auction usually is not completed in a single nite. Most popular auction pieces are the artist's originals of illustrations for the prozines, color covers going highest. Oldies of the prozines and some fanzines are sold, frequently in sets in the case of famous serials, and a few books. Original typescripts of stories and such odd items as a piece of a costume also appear. Prices vary according to supply and demand, and also according to the time of nite, prices falling as money runs out, the auctioneer/s get/s hoarse, and most of the best items are gone. The highest price recorded is $25 for a Finlay cover; and some items have gone at three for 1¢.

author - Science-fiction authors are divided into two major classes: those who write for a living, and those who write as a hobby, or for pin money. E E Smith is the outstanding example of the hobby writer. L Sprague de Camp has an independent income as well as two or three professions, despite the fact that the quantity of his writing equaled that of the hacks (those who write for a living) before the war. Some writers, such as Lester del Rey, turn out a story only when they reach the end of their last paycheck. A good number of fans have hit the pro market, some of them becoming regular contributors.

autoanalyses - Originally called psychoanalyses, articles of this type consist of taking oneself apart, usually in the third person, explaining how he thinks he got to be what he is, and what he thinks he is. The Washington Worry-Warts took the lead in it. Emphasis is usually on universality, or wide applicability, of observations in one's own makeup, rather than Byronic display of differentness from everybody else.

automobiles - As fans reached the age where they could earn money, many of them bot second-hand cars to make visits and trips to fan gatherings in, and gave them appropriate names, such as Baby, Jr, Empress of FooFoo, Panzerkampfwagen, Skylark of Foo, Theodore/Tanya, Skylark of WooWoo, Andromeda II, Spirit of FooFoo, Diogenes V, S-F Rocket Car #1, FooFoo Special, and Stfnash. Some of these have been painted all over (ah, them woowoo eyes on the Skylark of same!), while others are dignified bourgeois conveyances, but all are second-hand. Fen show a real attachment to them, and often personalize them, especially in describing their ills; A flat tire is a sprained ankle; the headlights are eyes; if the motor runs dry of gasoline you may have to take the top off the carburetor and feed it intravenously to get the motor going again; etc. Frequently the metaphors are a bit mixed: the front fenders may be either shoulders or knees as the situation makes convenient use.

avoidance - An expression used to keep from overusing the first person singular, which is supposed to be bad taste. There are a couple dozen used by me in this book, but the most common in fan usage is "we".

awards - The principal awards given so far have been called laureates.

Azygous - Pronounced [aeziges], meaning vaguely a synonym for Solitaire. This pename was obviously some fan, but the question lasted for months. He discoursed, sensibly or irresponsibly, in letters to Madge, and had some fan fiction published by them. The original letters were fixed up in various whimsical ways, as being clipped together with a bobby pin. Dick Wilson was finally smoked out as the responsible party.

Data entry by Melanie Herz & Judy Bemis