Fancyclopedia I: B - burlesques

B - In English, this is a bilabial plosive, which isn't as interesting as a bilabial implosive.

Baby - (Remarque:Dockweiler) - A Ford auto acquired by the Futurians about the time the Ivory Tower was established, disposed of late in 1939. According to Escape, it was owned by them communally. Notable for its minuteness (?) (Dockweiler hadda put his head out the window while driving), it made umpteen trips to move the stuff from Futurian House.

Robert Bahr - Name of an actual scientifictionist of Newark, but all material in fanzines signed with his name was by Sam Moskowitz, as was finally acknowledged for this cyclopedia.

barbarian invasion - With the increase in the number of prozines, and the swing of emphasis back to them in the Second Transition, a flood of new fans came into fandom, usually thru the Triumvirs' activities, and many remained and became actifans. Harry Warner and Jim Avery were the forerunners of these, appearing in the middle of 1938. The invasion strengthened the reaction toward the pros, and eventually shifted the center of fan population westward to near the census center of population, in the Mid-East.

beardmuttering - This is a beardmuttering: we will let you analyze it:


-- damon knight

beard-and-bomb boys - The New York Michelists, so called from the old American idea of a Red as a bomb-throwing anarchist.

BEMs - Bug-eyed monsters, symbolic of the early and juvenile type of magazine s-f, which stirs up the emotions more than the intellect, performs simple transmutations of known and unknown, and makes few concessions to plausibility.

BFS - The British Fantasy Society. The SFA, former head organization in Great Britain, suspended for the duration when war hit, but there continued to be considerable activity in British fandom, and new fellows coming in who had never joined the SFA. So Michel Rosenblum organized the BFS. It established a library of books and prozines, managed the circulating of chain letters in specialized fields, chains for circulating prozines, and cooperated in issuing some fanzines. By such means wartime difficulties to fan activities were surmounted.

bibliografies - Part of completism is the desire to have a complete list of all fantasy that has ever been produced in any form, despite the extreme difficulty of defining fantasy exactly. Much valuable spadework has been done, in listing of fantasy stories in mundane magazines, fantafilms, scientificomics, books, indexes to the pros, &c, but none of these has been complete even in its own restricted field, and the master project remains for the future.

The task of compiling fantasy books alone is such a big job that proposals have been made to make it a cooperative enterprise of all interested bibliophiles in fandom.

Big Three - Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories, and Astounding Stories. So called because for years, in the early 1930's they were the only prozines there were except short-lived efforts such as Flash Gordon, Miracle Science and Fantasy Stories, and Fanciful Tales (and of course Weird Tales, which isn't science-fiction).

biografies - Biografies of pro figures were in the first fanzines and before. In the Second Fandom, biogs of fans became popular, and who's whos of fandom appeared. A little later came autoanalyses. The biografies usually give date and place of birth, and sometimes physical characteristics, but for the most part are given over to the fan's entrance and career in fandom, and his preferences as to promags, fanzines, fans, etc, to the virtual exclusion of information about his schooling, family background, jobs, &c, which would be useful in understanding the person.

BIS - The British Interplanetary Society. Partly because a silly law in Great Britain hampered rocket fuel experimentation, and partly because more of the leaders are stfans, the BIS, unlike the ARS, has kept its eye set on the conquest of space, attacking such problems as the oxygen supply, crew and personal equipment, obtaining a stationary view from a spinning ship, and devising a suitable landing gear, in addition to the problem of power. The big difficulty in the fuel problem is that the fuel required to bring the rocket back must be carried to the moon, and the fuel required to take it and the payload back must be lifted the first half by additional fuel, and so on. Under the "step rocket" plan, the weight was prohibitive with available fuels (the BIS calculated entirely on contemporary methods and knowledge). With the cellular rocket, however, which jettisons each rocket motor as soon as it has used up its supply of fuel, and does this very often, it is possible now to send a ship with one ton of payload (men and equipment) to the moon and back with 1000 tons of rocket and fuel (this takes no account of the immense wartime improvements in rocketry). This obviously is still pretty inefficient; but further improvements in fuel will increase efficiency severalfold. The change from step rocket to cell rocket reduced the estimated cost 90%, to about the cost of a destroyer. The ship blueprinted by the BIS to give direction to future work was a tall hexagonal prism, the rocket motors arranged in five sections under the rounded living compartment, with auxiliary steering rockets at the side. A two or three-man crew was contemplated. The plans were given considerable publicity in Great Britain in 1939 and it was reported that critics were unable to demolish them. Then came the war, and the Society suspended for the duration.

Black Diamond publications - Len Moffatt's publishing house trademark.

blank thot - (Tucker) - a blank thot is a short sentence which makes the strongest, if not the most lucid, impression when presented standing alone. There are three types. One is the passage taken out of its imagined context, as, "Gotta match?" Another is the statement meaningful in itself, often a piece of propaganda, exempli gratia "Aristocracy is persistent and democracy tawdry." Finally, there is the utterly nonsensical bit of whimsy, like "Get your foot out of that inkwell!"

Blitzkrieg - Pronounced [blitskrik]. The expression probably arose spontaneously, the great Blitzkriege taking place in the same year that minor counterparts were being conducted in Europe. A Blitzkrieg is an extraordinary exertion by some fen to overcome the failure of others to do their duty.

The Flushing Blitzkrieg was conducted by Milton Rothman, acting President of the FAPA in the Interregnum, accompanied by Elmer Perdue and Cyril Kornbluth, in February 1940. They called on Taurasi, who had the secy-treas records from the preceding year, and the funds. After idle chit-chat, Rothman says, Taurasi cracked first, and volunteered the stuff, which Milt receipted for and carried away with inward exultation.

The Philadelphia Blitzkrieg took place in July 1940. Philadelphians had the responsibility of getting out the June Mailing, but didn't have interest enuf to do it. So Speer securing the Panzerkamphwagen, the Washington vigilantes three drove to The Big Slum and looked up Madle. Official Editor Agnew, for God's sake, was at a church institute on the outskirts, but the four went after him and got permission for Washington to put out the Mailing, and to get the material from the Agnew home. This was done next day, and the Mailing issued soon after.

Somewhat in the nature of a Blitzkrieg, tho not involving travel, was the Evans revolution in 1942. In this, the NFFF having entered an interregnum thru failure to hold an election, Evans put fans' names on a postcard ballot without observing the old requirements for filing the candidacies, and got enuf votes together to establish a new administration.

blueprint - Reproduction by simplified fotografy, without the fine detail or gradations of shade. Blueprint paper is exposed to the sun with writing on a translucent sheet placed over it, and the lite turns all blue but the lines and areas which have been shaded. Washing in water then destroys the property of the paper to change any further. 'Taint easy.

board - The Advisory Board of the NFFF, and of other organizations real and proposed, was the most powerful unit in the administration, passing on nearly all actions and suggestions. Members voted for five persons, and the one with the highest vote was chairman. The chairman sent out carboncopied bulletins, received comments and votes from the other Board members, and issued a new bulletin summarizing these and adding new matters. It has been suggested in some organizations that the Board elect all the other officers.

Bob and Koso - Earthman and Martian, characters in a long series of fan science fiction stories by James V Taurasi, which were pretty awful; nobody, not even Jas V, could justify them except to fill up space. They were killed in two different stories (one not by JVT) just to make sure.

Bodacious Publications - Art Widner's own publishing house. Suddsy Schwartz shared it briefly.

Bohemian - A sophisticate who does not regard social conventions. To give evidence of their revolt, Bohemians wear long hair, open-collar shirts, baggy trousers, and sandals, and sit in dim dives drinking wine or smoking Russian cigarettes, and discoursing on Freud and Beaudelaire and Marx. A set of Bohemian conventions arises. However, there is also a more genuine disregard of inefficient customs which permits fans to dispense with formalities of etiquette when they merely waste time, to give out with quite frank autoanalyses, and to speak directly such statements as, "He's just had an emotional experience; that's why he acts that way." The Futurians have given fandom its most obvious Bohemians, tho Southern California is also represented.

Bolos - (Miske) - The Brooklyn Bolsheviki.

booklet - A one-shot publication with a cover, usually containing material on one particular subject.

books - S-f in books antedated specialized magazine science-fiction, and is generally of a higher quality, partly due to the higher intellectual level of book readers, and partly to the fact that it would ruin by boycotts a periodical publishing it. Some stories from the prozines have been republished in book form with changes and additions, and several memorial volumes of some great fantasy author's best stories have appeared, as well as anthologies of which the most notable is the PocketBook of Science-Fiction.

booster ads - A form of financial support on a smaller scale than angeling. Originally you just said "Congratulations to blank fanzine on its second anniversary from Joe Fann", or words to that effect, in a sticker sized space, and the mazuma paid for such ads went to help get out a big anniversary ish, or defray the cost of some lithoing. Later, variety was introduced in the ads, as by letting the patron say "Joe Fann loves Tucker's wife" or Thorne Smith or whatever he wants to love. Penames as well as fans' own names purchase such space.

In some cases, and especially for official convention program booklets, display-size space may be paid for for greetings from some angel-fan or a pro magazine.

Boskone - (Smith) - Originally, the anti-Civilization culture of the Lensman stories, which the Michelists insisted was superior to Smith's future capitalistic society -- hence the expression "Wollheim, speaking for Boskone". The word now means Boston Conference, the anniversary meetings of the Stranger Club, Boskone 1 being in 1941.

brackets - Perhaps nowhere have fans shown more varied ingenuity than in simulating brackets with only the resources of the tripewriter keyboard. Some, tis true, draw them in afterwards [like Swisher], but most fans use the keys, which is more convenient. Tucker and others employ double parentheses a half space ((apart)). Speer sometimes uses -(Gregg shorthand parentheses)-. Youd's [brackets with underlining] made with the oblique mark have been the most popular, except that the underlining is frequently dispensed with (Mirta Forsto use tildes to underline bracketed comments). [These] are similar to Youd's. The purpose of brackets is to distinguish ordinary parenthesises by the writer from editorial comments such as [Nuts! -ed] inserted in the body of a letter or article. Bradbury tried an unsuccessful mutation in simply making his comments ALL-CAP.

Brain Trust - (Speer) - A group chiefly marked by its discussions in the FAPA of all manner of weighty questions. Its members represented most strongly the forces of the Third Fandom, and as a party, tho never so recognized, came into control in the Interregnum. Fans who may be considered as belonging to it include Speer, Rothman, Warner, Chauvenet, Widner, Stanley, and probably the Ashleys, Perdue, the Columbia Camp, D B Thompson, Lynn Bridges, and Chan Davis. A number of them have relevant specialties, Rothman in Physics, Speer in American cultural history, Chauvenet in biology, &c, but at the same time all have a catholicity of interest and do not hesitate to question authorities in any field.

Brandco - (Wilson) - Buck Rogers and company.

John A Bristol - A permutation of the name of John Bristol Speer, with "speer" translated to its Scottish meaning "to ask. Hoax suggested to Wilson while Speer was in Oklahoma City, it was not undertaken until the fall of '38 when he moved from one address in Washington DC to another, and gave the new address as Bristol's, keeping the former one himself and having the post office readdress mail coming to him. By giving Bristol a full background of life, easing him in gradually, and taking great care to have him speak like a newcomer and use a style of writing and grammar quite different from his own, Speer got him generally accepted as a new fan, who presently met Speer and associated with him. However, Wollheim knew from old time that Speer's middle name was Bristol, thot it was his father's before him, and communicated his suspicions to the other Futurians; despite which, Lowndes says he was inclined to believe his correspondent Bristol was not Speer. Rothman was told all when he moved to Washington, and the mask was finally dropped at the New York Convention. But Bristol occasionally received mail after that, and is still sometimes used as a pename.

Brooklyn Bolsheviki - The New York Michelists, from the location of Pohl and Michel, and later of the Ivory Tower, in the borough of Brooklyn.

BSFWRS - British Science-Fiction War Relief Society. Because of war conditions British fans for the most part were unable to get American pro mags. John Cunningham set up an agency by this name to receive contributions of cash or magazines, and mail bundles of them to the Anglofans. Some of the British Second Fandom thot they were better off for not having the American pros, but others commended the project. Cunningham's style of writing did not inspire respect among the American fans, but the bureau continued to function until Cunningham went into the army, and unorganized activities of the same sort were carried out by others.

B Stf - Bachelor of Scientifiction, a "degree" offered by the SFL in Hornig's day, upon the member's making a satisfactory grade on a quiz which had many types of questions, covering science, science-fiction, and fandom.

Buns - Pronounced, and sometimes spelled, Bunce. Arden Benson's nicknam e.

burlesques - A broad form of satire. In fandom, they are usually of some famous series of stories in the pros, or about characters and situations very typical of hack s-f, BEMs, PSDs, mad scientists, musclebound heroes or supermen, &c. Typical are "The Frolic Apace" by Edward Elmer Campbell, in which the characters make long scientific explanations to ea/o and end by confessing they don't know how it works; and "Legion of Legions", in which the hero's iron fortitude completes the cackle-cackle machine which saves the Earth.

Data entry by Judy Bemis