The British Columbia Science Fiction Association, founded in 1970, and still in existence. Oldest surviving SF club in Canada.


A type of poetry invented by damon knight in which there are no spaces between words, indicating that it should be declaimed as one long word, such as:



Three Irish fanzine fans living in Belfast who had achieved worldwide renown and popularity in fandom fairly early in the 1950s – Walt Willis, Bob Shaw and James White. Willis & Shaw co-wrote The Enchanted Duplicator while Willis & White co-wrote the sequel, Beyond the Enchanted Duplicator – to the Enchanted Convention. As the group grew to include the venerable George “A.T.W.” (for All The Way) Charters and John Berry (an English finger prints expert living in Belfast), they were more often referred to as spokesmen (they were big on puns) of “The Wheels of IF.” The Wheels of If was the title of a classic whimsical fantasy novel by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, but the “IF” in their group name was short for Irish Fandom. John Berry was so prolific that some fans began to question whether or not a fan publication could be considered a “real” fanzine if it did not contain one of his “factual” articles, and George Charters claimed he wasn't really so old and the rumor that he was must have sprung from the fact that as a school child he’d carried little girls’ stone tablets to school for them. Bob Shaw and James White went on to become professional sf writers, but neither ever abandoned their joyful participation in fandom.


Alternate spelling of beer. Some fans may stick an "h" into a word like "beer" or "beer bust" without the least inkling that, by implication, they're admitting an affinity for the fannish ghod Ghu (or GhuGhu). Then too, there are those who regard Beer (or Bheer) as a minor fannish deity unto itself–making Bheer the one fan religion which has followers in the non-fan college fraternity community. Nonetheless, Berkeley fandom's Tower of Bheer Cans to the Moon was not just a fannish myth but both a religions icon or totem poll and a technological marvel. And note that, implication or no, the fannish ghods are fannish ghods (with an “h”) and not fannish gods (without an “h“).


An open convention party sponsored by fans who are bidding against each other for the right to host a future convention. The idea is to promote good will (and possibly secure votes) for their bid. You’ll find them frequently at Worldcons, often years in advance of the actual voting, as well as at other regional and local conventions under the assumption that the attendees of these smaller conventions might also attend the Worldcon to cast their ballots. But also see MINNEAPOLIS IN ’73.


A precursor to TAFF, a fund initiated to bring a British fan, in this case Ted Carnell, across the big pond (Atlantic Ocean) to attend a Worldcon. Forry Ackerman first promoted the idea with the 1947 Philcon Worldcon as the target convention. But insufficient funds were raised and the project was postponed; Carnell wrote a thank you note to contributors, in which he stated prophetically: "There is no reason why a delegate should not visit each other's country on alternate years..." Carnell did eventually get funded over to attend the 1949 Cinvention Worldcon, but it was still largely “angeled“ by Ackerman. It took the success of the ‘WAW [for Walter A. Willis] with the Crew in ‘52“ campaign, launched by Shelby Vick, which solely via fan support brought Willis to attended the 1952 Chicon II Worldcon to launch TAFF and subsequently all other fan funds.


A totem of Harlan Ellison et al.'s 7th Fandom. A red bird bath provided by Harlan was carried in triumphant procession by the self-proclaimed Seventh Fandomites at the 1953 Midwestcon as a "rallying totem" or symbol. According to Dick Eney, "Its symbolism should be obvious to anyone familiar with Freud, being the lingam combined with the yoni." Or, in more western terminology, the hot dog and the doughnut (or is it the other way around?) The term was inserted into fanzines and conversation at every opportunity by Seventh Fandomites as a phrase of immense import and significance; don't ask why; it was never explained except as just a bit of whimsy.


(1) A very strong drink of indeterminate recipe invented by fans, worse even than the Xeno imbibed by “Sarge” Saturn of Captain Future, Thrilling Wonder Stories and Startling Stories lettercolumn fame. The present version is a punch, often served with dry ice. According to Fancyclopedia II, it has come to be used for all manner of indefinable alcohol concoctions and other things usually too hideous to mention which go the rounds of fan clubs and conventions.
It started with Liverpool Fandom, first as the supposed sponsor of their taped faanfiction play "The March of Slime," then by hanging a "Drink Blog" sign at First Kettering. With the cooperation of the bartender; anyone who asked–including a few mundanes–was told they were "out" and didn't expect the next shipment until the next day, but later the barman made up a mixture of cider and rum to sell. The first fan concoction to bear the name was eggflip, brandy, bits of Tia Maria, Beecham's powder, aspirin, Benedictine, Alka-Seltzer, black currant juice, a touch of mustard and "other things." It’s distinguished from the Nuclear Fizz in that fans with strong constitutions have been known to stagger away more or less under their own power after drinking a Nuclear Fizz (but these reports are scanty and may well be the stuff of which myth and legend are made). Blog is Xeno‘s fannish equivalent, and like Monty Python’s Australian “fighting” wine, it is generally believed that blog is best left in the bottle so it can be used for hitting people over the head with. As difficult as blog is to formulate or survive after drinking, it’s also the only known cure for Twonk’s Disease.

(2) The internet term "blog," as near as we can determine, is unrelated to the fannish drink, which is understandable, since it is short for "weB LOG." There are wags who may try to tell you that the second-definition blogs accomplish by tedium what the first-definition blogs do by its resemblance to TNT, but these gadflies are just being tedious themselves by focusing on the bad ones. There are, in fact, blogs which are downright brilliant and worth reading every day.


Acronym for Big Name Fan; a fan of accomplishment who is not merely well known but well liked throughout the microcosm. It is important to note that, unlike certain other designations (e.g., "fan", "neofan", "trufan"), one cannot legitimately claim BNFdom for one's self–to do so invites giggles, guffaws and other laughs of derision, since it's a term of admiration which must be applied to you by others, if at all. The term was originally used satirically by Charles Burbee, mocking those who took fandom too seriously, but within a short period of time became a term of admiration when not self-adopted. The term is becoming increasingly archaic, as fans seldom if ever speak of other fans being BNFs any more; perhaps the original meaning is either returning or has finally been generally inferred by those who might otherwise use it.


A theological term of the Astral Leauge, it is an acronym for Bearer Of All Knowledge.


(1) Initially an acronym for Best Of Fandom; several fanthologies bore the title with the appropriate year attached "Best of Fandom '57," "Best of Fandom '58," "Best of Fandom '63" &c. Several Corflus published BOFs for the year preceding the year when they were held.

(2) A second unrelated meaning has crept into accepted fannish usage in more recent times, the acronym instead standing for Boring Old Fart. These BOFs have become as organized as it is possible to be in an anarchistic meritocracy: See SBOF.


a.k.a. "Breen Boondoggle." See "Exclusion Acts."


A term applied to a kind of faanfiction parody, after Carl Joshua Brandon, who turned out to be a hoax created by Terry Carr, Ron Ellik, Pete Graham and Dave Rike. Carl Brandon's specialty was writing full-scale fannish parodies that went quite a bit beyond pastiche; they were close to word-for-word "translations" of certain mundane works into fannish. Brandon's parody of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, for example, has Holden Caufield getting kicked out of FAPA rather than an exclusive boarding school, living in a slan shack instead of a dormitory, interacting with other fans rather than school mates and faculty &c. By elevating fannish concerns to such levels, the works often served as effective satires as well.


The kind that fans have – or at least claim to. First used to describe the mind set of fans by Margaret St. Claire in a 1948 article in Writer's Digest, it was quickly picked up and used tongue-in-cheek in numerous fanzines, where the catch phrase caught on to become firmly embedded in the fannish lexicon


New York's third informal (and second invitational) club made up primarily of fanzine fans, begun in the late 1960s and continued through the early 1970s, when it was felt that the other two clubs for fanzine fans was suffering a kind of Barbarian Invasion. Like the other two, it was essentially a regular party, without rules or dues or formal procedures. The Brooklyn Insurgents were noted for not really insurging against much of anything, except the same kind of thing insurgents had been insurging against since the 1940s. Co-founded by Arnie Katz and rich brown, initially called "Raymond" (until the joke wore thin), held first in the apartment of rich & Colleen Brown and later in the apartment of Arnie & Joyce Katz.


An apa term, the letter "M" being underlined, an acronym standing for “But You Didn't Comment On My Zine! (so I'm not going to comment on yours)". The parenthetical comment is implied.


Carl Joshua Brandon was a hoax fan created by BArea fans Terry Carr, Ron Ellik, Pete Graham and Dave Rike. “Carl Brandon” started out as just a pen name but evolved into a full-fledged hoax, engaging in fan activities and putting out fanzines ostensibly all his own.

Not long after "Carl's" name was put on the FAPA waiting list, a conservative member posed the hypothetical question of what, if anything, FAPA might do if a Negro applied for membership. "Carl" wrote to say that it wasn't a hypothetical question–he was black, but hadn't thought to mention it because he didn't consider it important. FAPA didn't either. Nor fandom. (No one's ever been thrown out of fandom, so even bigots are "accepted"; they're just not welcomed, or liked, and often leave on their own, no doubt feeling more than a bit harassed.)

Carl's wit and writing prowess elevated him to early BNFdom, and most fans were sincerely disappointed when he turned out to be a hoax; he was perhaps best known for writing full-fledged near word-for-word parodies of well-known works (the majority of his writing was done by Terry Carr with some by Ron Ellik), so that by the time the hoax became known his published parodies included The Catcher of the Rye, On the Road, My Fair Femmefan and The BNF of Iz, among others.

His back yard was the supposed site of the Tower of Bheer Cans to the Moon. Whenever fans visited the BArea, Carl was always “visiting his grandmother in Oakland.“ He succeeded Terry Carr as Official Arbiter of The Cult, where he and Terry “debated” Descartes–Carl arguing that cogito ergo sum was little more than a parlor trick that proved nothing. Carl held that existence simply could not be proven: “Hell,” he write, “I can’t even prove I exist.” The hoax was revealed at the 1958 Worldcon, the Solacon–Terry Carr, who was sitting right next to Ted White, signed a quote cards which was being passed around, and after signing it he handed it to Ted–who immediately recognized, beneath Terry’s signature, the signature of Carl Brandon, with whom he had corresponded.


A group "dedicated to addressing the representation of people of color in the fantastical genres such as science fiction, fantasy and horror" founded in 1999 at the feminist science fiction convention WisCon in Madison, Wisconsin, largely in response to "Racism and Science Fiction," written by Samuel R. Delaney for the New York Review of Science Fiction. Named after Carl Brandon, the hoax fan created by active fans in the BArea, who rose to quick BNFdom and was supposedly a black. By the time the hoax got started, it had been close to a quarter of a century since fandom had seen an active black participant: James Fitzgerald, the first president of the first New York fan club (and some say the first "real" sf club), the Scienceers, in whose Harlem home the club met.

Although there numbers have grown, there still are not many blacks represented in sf’s professional or fan areas. In addition to Delaney, the most prominent black professional author is Octavia Butler. In fandom, Elliot Shorter and Vijay Bowen, both of whom are black, have stood for and won the Trans Atlantic Fan Fund (TAFF).




A nickname associated with Harlan Ellison. A short while before he started selling to professional sf magazines, Harlan did a bit of first-hand research and turned in a straight article on juvenile gangs for a sleaze magazine call Lowdown. Told that his article would be used in the October 1955 issue, he mentioned it to his fan friends with pride – and was chagrined when, instead, they printed something written by one of their staff, illustrated with morgue shots and one original photograph of Harlan which they captioned “Phil ‘Cheech’ Beldone.” The article’s introductory paragraph was used as a fannish gag line in a number of subsequent pieces of faanfiction: “He sat opposite me, savage, sullen, defiant and contemptuous. He came out of the city jungle swaggering, vicious and ready to swing out…” Note: We can take no responsibility for people Harlan does not know who, upon learning of this, may think it amusing to call him “Cheech” to his face; we only remind you that Harlan has no feeling in his right hand and has been known on occasion to put his fist through wooden doors in demonstration of this fact. You Have Been Warned.


A phrase coined by Eva Firestone, one of the more prominent members of the National Fantasy Fan Federation during the early 1950s; but who was also a member of First Fandom. She felt compelled to warn Max Keasler, in a letter to his fanzine FanVariety (in which she detected a kind of irreverent elitism which she felt was at odds with a proper Christian upbringing), that "It should be a good policy to remember that there are many Christian Slans in Slandom reading Slanzines." This was such an extraordinary pronouncement, producing such a great deal of mirth and amusement, that it almost immediately entered into fannish legend. Some fans have suggested that upon encountering a lull in the conversation at a fan party or convention, the phrase should be quoted, because it might reliably be counted upon to make the lull last even longer than it ordinarily would.


Launched in an effort to clean up fandom in 1951 by Russell Watkins in his fanzine Dawn. Fans, for some strange reason, didn’t think they were particularly dirty or that they needed to be sanitized. Most people in the microcosm reacted with derisive laughter to his pleas not to publish anything having to do with sex or that might be considered “critical” of religion. He claimed concern that postal authorities, who at that time were sometimes opening the mail to look for pornography and other “illegal” political activity, might come down hard on fanzines and fandom, but while there may have been legitimate reasons for the concern, most fan editors felt fandom should not set up its own board of censors but instead remain true to its basically anarchistic nature and leave such things to individuals to sort out for themselves. Watkins was much lampooned, joined the armed forces and gafiated, pretty much in that order.


A zine put out by (and usually for) members of an sf club. Can be anything from a simple meeting notice to a full-fledged general circulation fanzine. The very first fanzines–The Comet and The Planet–were clubzines. Most club fanzines, published over time, remain the official publication of the club and rack up a host of editors–Shangri-L’Affaires and The Proper Boskonian are examples–but on occasion, particularly in moving from club bulletin to general circulation fanzines, they’ve become independent of the club: Harlan Ellison, who published the Bulletin of the Cleveland Science Fantasy Society, when CSFS members said it more closely resembled a personal fanzine than a club bulletin, continued the numbering but changed the title of his fanzine to Science Fantasy Bulletin and later yet to Dimensions. When Seattle’s The Nameless Ones’ club bulletin, Cry of the Nameless, began publishing more general material, the various editors began paying the publishing costs to make it their own and eventually dropped “of the Nameless” from the title.


Acronym for Change of Address. Some news fanzines focused more on the microcosm than sf have had columns where active fans could post their CoAs, since the lag between writing and having letters of comment published could be several months and their old address could be showing up beyond the time the post office would normally forward mail.


According to the American Heritage Dictionary, a colophon is an "inscription placed usually at the end of a book, giving facts pertinent to its publication." As is often the case, fans got it backward and so generally put the colophon in the front of their fanzines. Wherever it's placed, it contains the editor/publisher’s name(s), address(es) (sometimes telephone and/or fax numbers and/or email address[es]), the name of the fanzine, the issue number, sometimes but not always the date of publication, copyright notice (if any) and anything else, frequently including whimsy, which the zine editor may want to put in it. (In most fanzines, the editor and publisher are the same person, but some fanzines are co-edited/published.) There have been a few first instances, however, where over-enthusiastic neos have neglected to provide either a signed editorial, colophon or a return address, leaving the readers of their fanzines to ponder where subscriptions, contributions and/or comments should be sent, much less who to credit or blame.


Short for “convention“ – more specifically, a science fiction convention. Common terms used in science fiction – ftl, time-travel, warp, blaster and the like – are “conventions of science fiction”; gatherings of various fans and pros from distant points (usually held in a hotel, frequently for more than a single day and often discussing sf where they have programs) as a one-time or annual event are “science fiction conventions.”

Updated June 26, 2006. If you have a comment or question about the content of these Web pages please send a note to rich brown. Comments or questions about the pages themselves should be sent to the Fanac Webmaster. Thank you.

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