Formerly the informal name (after Hugo Gernsback, publisher of the first all stf magazine Amazing Stories) of the Science Fiction Achievement Awards, now the formal name of the former Science Fiction Achievement Awards, given out each year at the World Science Fiction Convention. Regular categories are Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Novelette, Best Short Story, Best Related Book, Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form), Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form). Best Professional Editor, Best Professional Artist, Best Semi-Prozine, Best Fanzine, Best Fan Writer and Best Fan Artist, with others being considered (but probably not “Best Science Fiction Written on a Pica Typewriter,” at least not yet) from time to time. The Convention Committee can and often does name a "special" category each year. The Hugo has also been called “the tail that wagged the dog”; the first awards were given out more than a dozen years after the first Worldcon, but presently the WSFS rules that govern the Worldcon lists the giving of the Hugo as the primary function of the Worldcon.




The beloved of Krazy Kat, a brick-throwing mouse, became a fannish ghod in the early '50s. High Priestess was Nan Share, who wound up married to Art Rapp, one of the founders of Roscoe-ism.


The original fannish Insurgents were Charles Burbee and Francis T. Laney, and the subject of their insurgency was the FIAWOL lifestyle then practiced by many members of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS) after Burbee was removed as editor of the club‘s fanzine Shangri-L‘Affaires. Laney and Burbee both were advocates of FIJAGH, which see. The dichotomy was also described at the difference between sercon (FIAWOL) and fannish (FIJAGH). For more detail, see “Fifth Fandom” under NUMBERED FANDOMS.




A hoax “invitational” convention which had the noses of some overly serious fans bent out of shape. Supposedly an “exclusive” by-invitation-only convention held in Minneapolis, reports were written in detail about what the leading lights of the microcosm had said and done and the outrageous fun they had there. Those who didn’t seem to rate an invite considered themselves snubbed, paying little attention to the double entendre of the convention’s name or the fact that it was supposedly held on April 1, 1952.


Archaic. Short for "issue" (of a fanzine). Usually in the phrase, "Pub your ish!", made popular when some fans thought that was the sole (or just the major) requirement to join the Fanoclasts.


An oft-quoted allusion of a phrase used by Charles Burbee. It is usually hyperbolized with initial caps: It Certainly Is A Wonderful Thing to do it that way. (Archaic)


Joan Carr was a popular UK femmefan in the early 1950s, who turned out to be a hoax created by a male UK fan, H.P. “Sandy” Sanderson, and Frances Evans. A sergeant in the British Army stationed in North Africa, Sanderson reported meeting a WRAC (British WAC) who‘d expressed an interest in fandom. This was at a time when there were not a lot of females in fandom. “She“ was soon writing to various fans back in England, and was eventually asked (and agreed) to edit Femizine, which became a very popular focal point for female unity in the UK. At the height of its popularity under Joan’s editorship, it had a respectable circulation over 200 and generated reader response of roughly 50% – which was unheard of, before or since. When the hoax was finally revealed early in 1956, it shook up many of the fans, and particularly the femmefans who had responded so positively.

But it was not as if this sort of gender bending had not taken place before. In the US, when Lee Hoffman first started publishing Quandry, the fact that there were two other fans named Lee who were prominent BNFs in fandom – (Charles) Lee Riddle and Lee Jacobs – led everyone to simply assume that LeeH was a he rather than a she. But the distinction, perhaps, is that Shirley Hoffman had not intended to hoax anyone when she used her childhood nickname on her fanzine. When her attempts to hint otherwise – e.g., writing about sitting cross-legged on the bed while typing or sending columnist Walt Willis a Valentine’s Day card – failed to alert anyone, she became amused and continued it, just telling it to a few friends, until she could unmask at the Nolacon, the 1951 Worldcon.


Jophan is an archetype of a particular kind of fan (after but not more than an allusion to Bob Tucker's "Joe Fan"). Jophan is the main character in Walt Willis' and Bob Shaw's famous faanfiction allegory The Enchanted Duplicator, which in turn is a kind of "Pilgrim's Progress" of fanzine fandom (although its good advice is applicable to other areas of the microcosm as well). Tucker’s “Joe Fan” was your “average” active fan, whereas Jophan was the archetypical prototype of an extraordinary fanzine fan.


The first truly noted successful fan hoax and quite possibly a direct influence on the Carl Brandon hoax. Bristol was actually Jack Speer; when he moved from one address in Washington, D.C., to another in 1938, he had his own mail forwarded and used the new address to create Bristol. By giving Bristol a full background life, easing him into fandom 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, and perhaps particularly for giving him editorial credit for the first Fancyclopedia, Speer had most of fandom convinced that Bristol was real. Donald Wollheim, who knew that Speer's middle name was Bristol, had his suspicions, but the hoax was not actually exposed until the 1939 Nycon I, now acknowledged as the first Worldcon, during which Speer wore a John Bristol name tag – thus, perhaps, influencing the manner in which the Brandon hoax was revealed.


Although stfnal, the allusion is used across the microcosm. In the early 1950s, “Klaatu Borada Nikita” was used a few times as an interlineation, a reference to then-USSR Premier Nikita Kruschev. It’s also used ingroupishly and fannishly in several films. They are originally the three little words that saved the world from destruction by Gort, the robot, in the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (based on a Harry Bates story, "Farewell to the Master" which had appeared in Astounding). Patricia Neal just barely got them out in time (actually, she said, “Gort, Klaatu borada nikto,” which is four words, but why quibble?) to prevent him from burning her (followed by the rest of the world) to a crisp and instead sent him out to pick up and revive the recently killed Klaatu (Michael Rennie). As a bit of in-group humor, in Army of Darkness, the protagonist is supposed to say the words “Klaatu borada nikto” before picking up The Nekronomicon (another allusion, this one to Lovecraft) – and his failure to remember the correct words when the time comes unleashes an army of undead to fight against him and his allies. It's also used in the UFO send up movie, Out There; when one of the human-looking aliens admits to being an alien, smiles, gives the Vulcan salute and says, "Klaatu borada nikto."


Abbreviation for kaj tiel plu, which is Esperanto for “and so forth”; hence, equivalent to the Latin etc. and the Deutsch usw.


Failure to maintain activity requirements, portmanteau word for LACK of (required) acTIVITY. See: MINAC.


The LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society) started out as the LASFL–the Los Angeles Science Fiction League, one of the charted clubs under the Gernsback SF League umbrella which began in his second sf magazine, Wonder Stories. Arguably the oldest regularly meeting sf club in the U.S., it was chapter 4 of the League while the Philadelphia SFL (its only possible rival) was chapter 11. The Philadelphia club withdrew from the League in the 1930s and substituted "Society" for "League" in their name. The LASFL substituted "Society" for "League" when the Science Fiction League ceased to be a sponsoring organization and “Fantasy“ for “Fiction“ to expand their area of appeal. Both continue to meet today. LASFS met continuously even through WWII, but all the members of PSFS either entered the service or were eventually drafted and they "kept together" via publication of their letters in the club's bulletin until the end of the war.


Prozines used to have long ones in the pulp era, 30 pages or more published in minuscule 6 or 8 pt. type–by one theory, Fourth Fandom (during WWII, because of paper and other shortages faced by fans kept the number and frequency of fanzines to a minimum) took place mostly in the lettercolumns of the pulp prozines, mainly Planet Stories, Startling Stories and Thrilling Wonder Stories (the two latter referred to in shorthand form as SS and TWS). There have been fanzines in which this letterhacking kind of activity can be found, including a few letterzines, albeit Not Too Many all that recently.


(1) (n.) A frequent contributor to letter columns. (“Joe Fan was a letterhack.“) An important term in early fandom and during WWII, when much of the interaction was in prozine letter columns.

(2) (v.) To contribute to letter columns. (“Joe Fan liked to letterhack.”)


A kind of fanzine that consists entirely of letters of comment. One of the first and best known was Vom, edited by Forry Ackerman, which began with the publication of the letter column of Imagination (a fanzine put out by the young Ray Bradbury)–Vom standing for Voice Of the ‘Magination. Although the practice died away in general fanzine fandom, the National Fantasy Fan Federation published a letterzine for its members, called at different times Postwarp and Postie.


Interlineation. A one-liner, quote, comment or other bit placed in between lines. Usually set off from the text by underlines, dashes or other graphics. Often used to break up sections or ideas in a fanzine, e.g.:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Given enough imagination, this could be considered funny.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Unpronounceable acronym (hence pronounced “ellemjay”) for Loud Mouthed Jackass. An insult, of course, on a somewhat lower order than fugghead and, thus, in the often hyperventilated exchanges in fandom, one which tends to be used far less frequently. Too, fugghead is generally meant to describe an ongoing state of being, whereas a single specific instance of monumental stupidity goes along with LMJ. (And anyone who doesn’t agree with this definition is probably either a fugghead or an LMJ, so you can safely ignore them.)


Acronym for Letter Of Comment, which is (not surprisingly) a letter with comment to (about) a fanzine (or, in earlier times, a prozine) or responding to things said in a fanzine via letter. Variously pronounced–some groups talk of 'LoCs' to rhyme with 'lox', others pronounce the individual letters so that it rhymes with 'yellow seas'. Also a verb, both as 'LoC' and 'loccing': 'I will LoC your fanzine' or 'I will be loccing your fanzine.'


The larger universe – in fan terms, a reference to the larger (mundane) world, of which fandom is but a small part.


Many an apazine is made up largely or completely of MCs–which is to say, the editor’s “comments” in response to zines distributed through the previous mailing, addressed either to the editors or to the titles of the fanzines. The writing is almost always in informal mode, but mailing comments can range from well-written mini-essays to virtually incomprehensible snippets without the context of the earlier mailing to provide a clue to what they mean. By way of example: “THE DRUDGE (Jim): I like what you did on the cover. That will show them! Agree with you on Cowper’s encouragement but what does he mean by ‘marble stock’?” Contrary to popular opinion, mailing comments are not an invention of fandom's–they were introduced to FAPA by Dan McPhail, who picked up the practice from his participation in mundane amateur press associations.


The Japanese word for written comics. Anime (which, see) is the Japanese word for animation. "Anime manga" is Japanese for comics derived from animated series. Do you have it so far?


They've been with us since The Beginning. Forry Ackerman wore a costume at the first Worldcon (NYCon I), and wore another that won the first judged event at the second Worldcon (Chicon I). Thus – among a number of other things, of course – Forry pioneered both regular and “hall” costuming.


Some latter-day FooFooists recognize Jack Speer only as a prophet and not as Foo Incarnate. These FooFooists are followers of Melvin, the BEM of BEMs, and are guided by Melvin's Words of Wisdom, e.g., “Hang by your thumbs!” Melvinism also provides helpful homilies with regard to fannish courtesy: “Thou Shalt Not use peanut butter in lieu of ink in someone else's Gestetner.” The Church of Melvin holds that all fannish ghods are equal, although there's a slight advantage in being a Melvinist–namely, it's the only fannish church which allows you to worship all the other fannish ghods.


The small world that is fandom, at least in comparison to the mundane world, and thus another way of saying “fandom,” considered particularly helpful of you need to use the word “fandom” more than once in a sentence. See MACROCOSM.


While there have undoubtedly been many ‘incidents” at Midwestcon worthy of note, this usually refers to a mid-1950s Midwestcon happening when Harlan Ellison supposedly waterbagged Jim Harmon, and Harmon, out of anger, retaliated by putting his fist through Harlan’s motel room door; the police were called by the motel management to haul Harmon away, and the attendees had to pass the hat both to pay for the door and to get Jim out of jail. This has become something of a fannish urban myth, what with many “first-person” tellings by people who were at that Midwestcon but who did not actually see it take place. The truth is that Harlan didn’t waterbag anyone, he emptied a pitcher of water out his window so the “splat” would get the attention of Harmon and others who were, in Harlan’s opinion anyway, being loud and obnoxious. Since they were across the courtyard, not a drop got on any of them, but Harmon, who was inebriated, took umbrage anyway, charged up the stairs and knocked down Harlan’s door. Harlan only locked the door because a femmefan was in his room, reading the stencils for the next issue of his fanzine Dimensions, and he thought she might feel compromised if people talked/gossiped about it in subsequent fanzine tellings of the event (“to read his stencils“ might be read as “to see his etchings,” a euphemism at the time for seduction). But a number of years after the event, the femmefan in question wrote it up herself and thereby verified this account. But, as with other urban myths that have made it into legend, perhaps it all sounds better the way it was originally told.


A mimeograph machine, used for duplicating fanzines. The preferred choice of FooFooists.


The MINimum ACtivity requirement for an apa, usually expressed as a number of original 8.5x11-inch pages which need to be published and distributed through the apa within a given time period. In rotational apas such as The Cult, this can be even more complex; Active members have publishing requirements–they must publish a Cultzine when it comes their turn in a 'rotation'–and activity requirements, in that they must comment on at least every other Cultzine as they are published in rotation.


The Minnesota Science Fiction Society–“Minn-stf” for short–came into being on November 25, 1966. The Floundering Fathers were Ken Fletcher, Nate Bucklin, Frank Stodolka, Jim Young, and Fred Haskell (who claimed he was actually out getting a sandwich at the time). Known as Crazy Minneapolis Fandom through the 1970s and into the 1980s, the club met every other week for decades and it now meets twice a month in members' homes. The club sponsors the annual Minicon on Easter weekend. Minn-stf's spirit was perhaps best described by Patrick Nielsen Hayden, who observed, "There are three fannish centers in the country–Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis. Boston is Law, Los Angeles is Chaos and Minneapolis is Faerie.


As Terry Carr once observed (albeit of the Tower of Bheer Cans to the Moon), if fandom admires anything above innovation and imagination, it’s really daring and silly and stupid innovation and imagination. Minneapolis in ‘73 is an idea whose time has come ... and gone ... and gotten silly. Jim Young started the original (and, yes, real) bid for the 1973 Worldcon but withdrew in favor of Toronto before the vote was held. But Crazy Minneapolis Fandom (see “Minn-stf”) really enjoyed holding bid parties, and the notion of instilling in the minds of fandom the idea that Minneapolis fandom brims over with truly bulldog never-say-die determination, so Bev Swanson and Chuck Holst kept it going by hosting a Minneapolis in '73 party at Torcon 2 (in 1973)–and the tradition just grew from there. Supporting Membership costs are the most reasonable ever–minus one cent (the bid gives you a 1973 penny, a membership card and something useful, like a Lift Pass, Airship Pass or coupon to Tour the Glacier, all featuring Ken Fletcher art). The ongoing perpetual bid's totem is a blimp. No one stops to consider what might happen if the bid ever proves successful, perhaps because fans are loath to admit the possibility that 1950s grade-B schlock monster movies may have been correct in their oft-repeated admonition that There Are Some Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.


Fans have rather consistently used humor to poke fun at their own foibles. This is nowhere more evident than in the 'mock feud,' in which the excesses of real feuding are parodied and made fun of.

One of the earliest of these was the First Staple War, a.k.a. the Great Staple War, which got under way in 1934. (See "Staple War.")

The early 'mock' religious wars between GhuGhuism and FooFooism was divided pretty much along serious feuding lines, given that Ghu's earthly incarnation was Wollheim and Foo's was Speer. This did not carry over as different fannish religions got started, and no doubt the long-term marriage of the late Art Rapp, one of the three deacons of Roscoeism, to late Nan Share, high priestess to the ghod Ignatz, served as an example to establish ecumenicism in the fannish religions. The Melvinist branch of FooFooism holds that 'all' fannish ghods are equal (and the only advantage to belonging to the Church of Melvin lies in the fact that it is the only fannish religion which openly acknowledges this).

One of the best mock feuds was the battle over steam between Ken Bulmer and Vincent Clarke, on the one hand, and Walt Willis and Lee Hoffman on the other. (See "Steam.")

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