Someone who likes filksongs. Someone who performs filk songs. Sometimes both. There's filksinging by filkers at fan conventions (both programmed and informal) and filk dealers at fan convention huckster rooms selling songbooks, cassettes and CDs (mainly the latter two). Filksongs can and do appear in mainstream fanzine genzines and apazines and there are fan conventions that have Filk (or Music) GoHs. NESFA publishes two major filksong books and Boskone used to have a filk song contest. There are even filk songs about events in fannish history. Interfilk draws its inspiration from TAFF and DUFF but sends filkers to filk conventions in other regions, rather than the Worldcon or more standard sf conventions. There’s also the Filk Hall of Fame presented at Filk Ontario and the Pegasus Awards presented at the Ohio Valley Filk Festival. Like other activities which have begun in sf fandom, and continue to be part of it to an extent, filkdom is in many respects a fandom unto itself.



The fannish era (1933-36), as defined in Speer's Numbered Fandoms theory, of course. But also a fan group, started by Don Ford, Bob Madle and others, which was initially made up of fans who have been involved in the microcosm, in any form of fanac, prior to 1938. Over time, the membership has been expanded to allow fans from later eras to join. It has been a social as well as a fanhistorical and continuity-maintaining group. See “Numbered Fandoms.


Acronymic shorthand for the Fannish Insurgent Scientifictional Association. A NYC fan club founded by Mike McInerney and Earl Evers that became a kind of "sister" club to the New York Fanoclasts, despite differing philosophical approaches: Fanoclast membership was by invitation while FIStFA was open to anyone. In its early years, FIStFA only had to compromise its democratic principals once–an attendee who was attempting to boil his hypodermic needles on Mike McInerney's stove, a heroin addict, was told he was persona non grata.


Abbreviation for fanzine(s); orig. "fan magazine(s)".


The fanzine which, in Numbered Fandoms theory, is considered central to a particular Numbered Fandom–the fanzine that most exemplified and defined the period, the one which a fan had to receive to be considered truly a part of the era. (See: “Numbered Fandoms”)


The second fannish Ghod, from the 1930s. Except in Melvinism, FooFoo (and Foo is short for FooFoo as Ghu is short for GhuGhu, the first fannish God) is embodied on earth as Jack Speer, author of the first Fancyclopedia. The holy color of Foo is black, as Foo was a ghod of mimeography. See also The Great Spider, Bheer, Melvin, Ghu and Roscoe.


Satirical term coined by Terry Carr to describe how hyperfannish Trufans, by virtue of their fine, slannish high-type minds and their vast knowledge of all things fannish, past and present, can chart the course of fandom’s future. Of course, thinking about publishing a fanzine or going to a club or convention or indeed anything about fandom at all would fall under the broad umbrella of Fourth Dimensional Mental Crifanac as well. Later, certain fans also spoke about Fourth Dimensional Verbal Crifanac–which takes place any time two or more Trufen get together and give each other the benefit of their insight into the course of fandom’s future.


The practice of an apa member submitting a fanzine edited by someone else, who is not a member, under his aegis for inclusion in the apa’s mailing. The OO of the apa usually credits the actual editor with an explanation that it has been "franked" by the member.


Fugghead (n.) is one of the microcosm’s least polite ways of calling someone an absolute idiot, usually with strong implications of behavior so far beyond the pale with respect to fandom that even the most liberal of fans would be inclined to raise an eyebrow over it. Claude Degler, for example, while he had a number of cockamamie notions, was considered a fuggheads because he stole from the very fans who hosted him when he traveled around the country; George Wetzel was generally disliked for his bigotry but was considered a fugghead because he wrote poison pen letters to the employers of fans he disliked. Coined by Francis T. Laney, this was an in-print bowdlerization and euphemism for use in fanzines back in the days when the Post Office felt that part of their duty was to read, rather than just deliver, the mail and you weren't supposed to use certain four-letter words; in wire correspondence (which predated tape as a recording medium), where it was presumed the post awful would not go to the trouble of listening, Laney pronounced the term with the appropriate four-letter word in place of "fugg."

Fuggheaded (adj.) is used not just to describe someone who's really stupid and invariably acts without thinking, but someone whose behavior in fandom is too far out for acceptance even to the most open and accepting as fans. Laney used to give out Certificates and everything.


Fandom revolving around anthropomorphized animals. "Furry" art, fiction and games. May or may not have sexual overtones.


Members of the Futurian Society, a very influential New York City fan club, particularly when you consider that it never had more than about 20 members. Founded in 1938, it was a strong force in fandom during the period known as Second Fandom (see Numbered Fandoms), under the leadership of Donald A. Wollheim and John B. Michel. Again considering its small membership base, a surprising proportional number of them went on to distinguished sf professional careers during the genre’s formative years; they included Isaac Asimov, James Blish, Virginia Kidd (Blish), Robert A.W. Lowndes, Damon Knight, Cyril Kornbluth, Judith Merril, Frederik Pohl and Larry Shaw. Michel was also a member of the Young Communist League, induced a few others to join, introduced them all to Marxism and joined the party himself when he got old enough. The Futurians spent a good deal of their time in the fanzines they published and fan gatherings they attended attempting to drag the rest of fandom into their political camp. Although idealized communism was considered forward-looking and avant garde in the 1930s, the Futurians were just a strong–not a dominant–force and fandom as a whole refused to be politicized, and did so with a virulence which led to the Second Fandom era being characterized primarily by its political feuding.


The Fan Writers of America, a spoof on the SFWA. It began at Worldcons but eventually settled in as a mainstay at the Corflu banquet every year, where the past president of the fwa is elected, i.e., the president for the year just past. The past presidents simply bask in egoboo without the need of expending effort on pointless tasks, like trying to get the fwa organized. For purposes of fannish inclusiveness (and perhaps American imperialism), with regard to fwa, “America” is defined as “the entire world.” Indeed; some U.K. fen have been elected fwa past president. You join fwa the same way you join fandom or become a trufan: If you do fan writing and think you could be a member of the fwa, then you are a member. It's that simple.


In initial response to fwa there was, briefly, a fwuk (Fan Writers of the United Kingdom). The late Arthur Tompson (ATom) came up with the name, which was used more because British fans liked the sound of it than because they felt they needed an imperialistic organization of their own. Or even an imperialistic organisation of their own.


Acronym for Getting Away From It All. The “it” which was being gotten away from did a quick 180-degree turn not long after the term came into popular use. Gafia means to leave/get away from fandom. Originally, as defined in the first Fancyclopedia, it was the motto of escapism and meant getting away from reality or the mundane while reading sf. A gafiate is someone who has gone gafia or is gafiating.


Acronym for Getting Away From Most Of It. Dropping most fan activity but making an exception or two by hanging on to a small part of it, i.e., a FAPA membership or attendance at a club or some particularly enjoyable regular convention.


Fans, or fringefans, who are into playing sf and fantasy based role playing games, often at conventions.


General topic and/or general circulation fanzine; in other words, usually not an apazine but one available to whomever the editor cares to mail it to, even sometimes including subscribers. This can get confusing because sometimes the editor of a genzine will become a member of an apa and thereafter circulate the zine through the apa as well as his/her own "general" mailing list. Or an apazine can also be circulated to a large number of people outside the apa (when Warhoon won its Hugo, it was a SAPSzine that had outside general circulation, e.g.)


After 1950s-60s fan Les Gerber. In his early teens, in the pages of Cry of the Nameless, Les defended someone to such excess that "to Gerberize" became the fannish verb defining this practice while "to be Gerberized" meant having the practice performed on you. It has to be so overblown that even the person being defended would have to admit that, if s/he believed everything said in the defense, s/he would wind up liking him/herself a little less as a result of having read it. In a very large sense, the term is unfair to Gerber, who learned from the experience and never repeated it. Archaic.


A device for cutting special Gestetner mimeo stencils which enabled the user to print illustrations with heavy dark areas or even photographs. The illustrations (or screened photos) and the stencil are placed side by side on the "drum" of the device. When turned on, the drum would turn; a photoelectric scanner would move from left to right, slowly scanning the illustration/photo, and every time it "saw" a black area the stylus at the corresponding spot on the stencil would cut the stencil. When fans first started using the device, they would usually pack as many illustrations/photos as they could on a white legal-sized surface, which they would have Gestafaxed by a professional service; they would then cut the stencil into as many parts as there were illustrations/photos, and use stencil cement to put them in the proper place on a typed stencil on which corresponding space had been cut away. The cost of a single Gestafaxed stencil ranged from $5 to $10 when a commercial service was used. Over the years, some fans bought their own machine and special stencils, and when the per-stencil cost dropped to around $1-$2, many of them simply Gestafaxed entire pages of type and illustrations together.


An English brand of mimeograph that for many years was unavailable in the U.S. because they were so much better than American brands. Where U.S. models had cotton ink pads, Gestetners utilized a silk screen; where American mimeos relied on internal brushes and centrifugal force (or, on cheaper machines, outside applications with a brush) to spread ink around, the Gestetner used far superior waver rollers. The Gestetner also had a sophisticated method of adjustment that allowed for better registration (establishing where the print area will hit on the page), which made it vastly superior for two- and three-color mimeograph work. Gestetner is no longer made as a form of mimeograph, although some of the old technology is in use in the present copier; the stencils are internal and they are cut by a photographic process from the original copy, which is scanned like a Xerox.


The first fannish ghod invented by Donald Wollheim and John B. Michel on August 6, 1935. Ghu was either a beetle living on Vulcan or Wollheim personified – or possibly both, depending on who was defining it and when. Various members of the New York Futurians served as acolytes with fitting high-sounding church titles. Ghu's holy color is purple because Ghuists publish using spirit duplicators or hectographs and the primary ditto or hecto carbon is purple. Note that Ghu and GhuGhu are one and the same. Likewise Foo and FooFoo.


Acronym for Guest Of Honor.


Overly enthusiastic, a shortening of "Goshwowoboyoboy!", the title under which Time Magazine ran a rather sneering and condescending account of an early Worldcon.


Short for Gothic. An independent and overlapping genre whose fans ("Goths") are typified by interest in vampires, wearing all black, reading the Sandman comic, and listening to Bauhaus or Alien Sex Fiend.


Sobriquet of Gene Roddenbery, creator and producer of Star Trek, among trekkers and trekkies.


Another fannish ghod. Deity of the latter-day fannish religion of "Spiderism." The Great Spider eats peoples' souls when they die, unless they have paid an appropriate bribe to a priest of the Great Spider. It should be remembered that John Kusske was the Chief High Priest. The Great Spider has also been known to eat entire automobiles just to provide parking spaces to particularly devout followers. In the spirit of ecumenicalism, Leah Zeldes Smith, former High Priestess of the Midwest, Church of Herbangelism, offers the proper prayer:

O Great Spider, full of grace
Let me find a parking place!



A fan fund dreamed up by Chris Priest in 1977 to complete the triangle of fan funds and bring a first Down Under fan to Britain for the 1979 Worldcon. (DUFF makes the exchange between Australia/New Zealand and North America, while TAFF does the deed between NA and Europe [although generally the UK]). Without the tiresome business of actually having a free trip anywhere, Dave Langford (UK) and Leigh Edmonds (Oz) were the first administrators. John Foyster was the first winner, and it seemed rather a nice idea to continue. The name DUFF being already taken, Chris imagined GUFF as standing for the Get Up-and-over Fan Fund, which didn't sound so brilliant when time came to do a southward trip, but as Don Marquis (who never stood for the fund either) so aptly put it, you can't have everything [This description mostly provided by Dave Langford with the admonition that it needs to be marked "Copyright (c) Astral Leauge 1979 do not impinge copyright or the Leauge will take MEASURES.")


The practice of some attendees, at Worldcons and large conventions, of wearing a costume in the hallways–sometimes throughout the convention, sometimes not–as opposed to just at the formal judged masquerade. Some conventions even provide judging for hall costuming.


A primitive means of text and illustrative reproduction, not much used after the 1940s, involving making a bed of gelatin, transferring a special carbon ink to the gelatin and then laying on and picking up pieces of paper. “Hecto” means 100 in Latin – a bit of an over assessment of the number of copies that can generally be made with the process. As a general rule, upwards of 50 copies might be made in this fashion, of which perhaps 15 or 25 were at least borderline legible. In a few individual cases, this is hyperbole; Terry and Mari Carr used hecto on one of their FAPAzines when the copy count for FAPA was 68 and managed to get clear copies throughout by using yellow second sheets instead of the usual slick white ditto paper, while Erik Biever once produced a hecto’d MINNEAPA zine that was a masterpiece of clarity and readability without resulting to that legerdemain. Mae Strelkov, Stony Brook Barnes and Eric Mayer were latter-day fans who developed the knack as well. Not to be confused with spirit duplication ("Ditto" is a brand name that came to be associated with the process in the same way that "Coke" was sometimes associated with generic colas), although both use the same type of carbon inks. (Actually hecto used special paints and pencils as well as the masters used with spirit duplicators.)


A latter-day holy order in the fine tradition of other fannish religions, founded by Elst Weinstein and dedicated to spreading the teachings of the minor fannish ghod Herbie. Mike Glyer was the Holy Gopher, North American Kahuna, who had under him four Sector Sinbus. It was possible, for a mere monetary consideration, to become a High Priest of Herbie, or, as they were called, Highheads – “a member of the college of the Coo-Coos, one of Those who Spit at the Hand of Fraud; be they Bopper, the Pun, or the Holy Gopher."


Sobriquet of the late fan historian, prodigious letterhack and long-term FAPA member Harry Warner Jr. It spoke to Harry’s preference for written fanac – he attended very few conventions, no fan clubs and generally discouraged visitors. Hagerstown is in Maryland and was the town where he lived all his life. His fanzine Spaceways is generally regarded as having been the focal point fanzine of the era known as Third Fandom (see NUMBERED FANDOMS), for all that he did not subscribe to the numbered fandoms notion. He published two hardback volumes of fan history, All Our Yesterdays and A Wealth of Fable; in FAPA, from the 1930s until his death, he had an issue of Horizons in all but two mailings, usually 24pp, and from the mid-1950s until his death he was a prolific letterhack to fanzines – indeed, people said only half jokingly that if a fanzine’s letter column did not contain a letter from Warner, it almost could not be called a fanzine.


Acronym for Ha Ha Only Kidding. A parenthetical comment following an insulting remark intended to remove the sting. Seems to have originated in Minneapolis fandom.


It is a special tradition in fandom to fake things, like persons (Carl Joshua Brandon; Carl J. Brandon, Jr.), fanzines (Ploy #1), conventions (Invention) or deaths (Bob Tucker has "died" several times). Should be done with care. Hoax deaths, not at all; they're not really funny and are often harmful – a Tucker death hoax brought about the end of the Great Staple War and a Willis death hoax nearly ruined the WAW With The Crew in '52 campaign.


Informal anti-Hugos (see "Hugo"), originated by Elsie Weinstein and Mike Glyer, in which the worst of the year was celebrated, not by choosing Hugo categories in negative form but featuring things like voting for the Mid-Atlantic Fan Fund. It usually involved a "Ranquet"–a group of fans attending the Worldcon who organize themselves to go out to a McDonald's (or other cheapo fast food emporium of similar, ah, quality), where they can then "vote" (if they haven't already done so on the ballots distributed prior to Worldcon) for their "favorites". The price to vote was entirely arbitrary, ranging from a quarter to $5 and the award itself, at least in the early years, was just a base–some balsawood with burn marks on it, as if a Hugo rocket had set there before "blasting off" for outer space. Arthur Hlavaty cites Hogus as "proof that satire by committee is a contradiction in terms."

Updated May 13, 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.

All of this material is copyright © 2006 by the author and the opinions expressed herein are his and are not necessarily shared by the members of FANAC, Inc.