by Walter A. Willis

(from SOL )

The Corporeal manifestation of the divine being who founded the Roscoeite faith, known in his bodily form as Corporeal Arthur Rapp, recently announced a new revelation to fankind. This was, on the surface, merely a suggestion that fandom should adopt a new calendar. The importance of this suggestion was recognised even by the infidel Hoffman, for she quoted it both in this magazine and in Quandry, but we Roscoeites know the great Rapp would not have intended his message to be given such a frivolous interpretation. No, we must look deeper. We must read between the lines -- and if necessary, up and down the margins. Like many other mystical utterances, this one was expressed in terms unintelligible to the heathen, and comprehensible to the devout only after fasting and meditation. Since I have been sitting here for the last half hour wondering when Madeleine is going to make my supper, I am probably one of the first fans to be in a position to interpret the Rapp Revelation correctly.

First, we must ask ourselves, how is the existing calendar wrong for fandom? Well, first, obviously the days are too short. No actifan ever finds them long enough for all the fanning he has to do. Secondly, the years are too long. The interval between conventions is much too great. And thirdly, the months are too short. Ask anyone who has tried to produce a monthly fanzine, even Lee Hoffman. But none of these things can be changed by law. They depend on the rotation of the Earth on its axis, of the Earth round the sun, and of the moon round the Earth. And that, friends, is the meaning of the Rapp Message! The calendar of this planet is not natural for us because we are natives of another. We really are star-begotten!!

Let us visualise a civilisation which has developed an interstellar drive. What sort of people would they be? For the answer, look at our own world. How many non-fans do you know who have the slightest interest in space flight? Not one! Who are the only people who are interested? Science fiction fans! Therefore, any great intergalactic civilisation would be a fan civilisation. Imagine it, a galaxy full of fans, all writing and publishing, feuding and organising, coming and going in fannish friendship? And imagine a great space-ship, manned by neofen, carrying a group of galactic BNF's to some Cosmic Convention. It crashed on an obscure planet. The drive cannot be repaired. The radio is smashed. They are lost. With true fannish courage they decide to build their life anew on this savage world. Bravely they fight the hostile environment while still struggling to preserve their fannish way of life. But the odds are too great. As time goes on the carefully hoarded stocks of mimeograph ink become exhausted. The mimeographs themselves rust and fall to pieces. The old fannish traditions begin to die out. The Sacred Fanzines decay and are gradually forgotten. Intermarriage takes place with the natives. After many thousands of years the fannish culture has disappeared, and all traces of it have been obliterated. But no, not all! Preserved in the genes and chromosomes of humanity the fannish mind lives on. And every now and then there is born to apparently normal parents a viable mutation which we refer to as a 'fan'. With some deep subconscious racial memory he senses his fannish ancestry. He knows he is different from the crass non-fans around him. Through ridicule and persecution he preserves the living flame handed down to him from his god-like ancestors. Knowing deep down inside him that this world is Not Enough, he turns his eyes up to the stars. To home!

Amateur fan astronomers should look for a planet circling a G-type sun every eight months, rotating on its axis every 30 hours, and with a satellite having a six-week periodicity.

Data entry by Judy Bemis