( N ) — CONTENTS:
NEOTRIC / NEWARK NEANDERTHAL / NESFA / NEW DERELICTS / NISH / NORTHERN FANTASY FAN FEDERATION / NUCLEAR FIZZ / NUCLEAR FUSS / NUCLEAR FUZE / #1 FAN and/or FACE / #1 FAN and/or FACE ( CANADIAN ) / NYDAHL’S DISEASE
— Jack Speer describes this as “an adjective of rather vague meaning, seeming to involve hospitality to new ideas, startling innovations that are little more than whims, and novelty for novelty’s sake. Such neotric habits as the wearing of green-rimmed harlequin spectacles and use of green-and-brown typeribbon and streamlynd (simplifyditto) are Pacificoastfan version of Bohemianism.”
I think ‘Neotric’ is Ackermanese (simplifyd spelng) for the adjective ‘Neoteric’, which my dictionary defines as “Recent, new-fangled, modern.”
From this I conclude that ‘Neotric’ was a handy-dandy reference term, possibly coined by Ackerman himself, for certain affectations of fannish behaviour unique to his circle of fans in the late 1930s and early 1940s. A way of claiming to represent cutting edge fannish evolution, so to speak, what with Ackerman constantly pushing spelling reform, Esperanto, and other ‘wave of the future’ advocacies. That Speer associates ‘Neotric’ behaviour with Bohemianism (an 1890s precursor of the Hippie movement) would appear to be his way of dismissing the phenomenon as a passing fad – which it was.
— Nickname applied to Sam Moskowitz, major mover and shaker of New York area fandom in the 1930s and ‘40s, and forever after one of the most prominent fan historians.
Speer in FANCY 1 (Fancyclopedia 1) says the term derived “from his residence and physique” True, Moskowitz lived in Newark, New Jersey, but – judging from photographs – was of average height and build, if maybe just a tad heavyset, so I personally don’t think the ‘Neanderthal’ portion of the nickname was based on his appearance. I suspect it had more to do with his behaviour.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out the nickname appeared in fannish editorials and articles in response to his helping to expel and/or deny entry to certain Futurians – Donald Wollheim, Fredrick Pohl, ktp. – at the 1939 Nycon (New York Worldcon). Only 3 days after the convention the Futurians released a pamphlet attacking Moskowitz (and two other fans involved), stating: “We mean to finish you in the interest of justice which cannot exist until your strong arm tactics are disclosed to world science fiction.” (Underline emphasis mine.)
In other words, I suspect it was originally created as a derisory ‘handle’ to belittle Moskowitz for his actions at Nycon, though it may have evolved into an affectionate nickname over time. At any rate, the term is conspicuous by its absence from the index of THE IMMORTAL STORM, Moskowitz’s history of 1930s fandom, and a cursory glance through the text fails to reveal its presence as well, at least to my tired eyes. From this I gather that Moskowitz himself was not fond of ‘his’ nickname.
— NESFAS stands for NEWTONBROOK SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION which was a high school SF club at Newtonbrook Secondary in Willowdale in/nearToronto. The club flourished circa 1977, and was apparently inspired by a different high school SF club called NASFA (NORTHVIEW SCIENCE FICTION ADDICTS) at Northview Heights secondary school. Take into consideration that Mike Glicksohn taught at a high school while producing ENERGUMEN, and that Robert J. Sawyer joined OSFiC fresh out of high school, and that other members originally belonged to similar school clubs, and one begins to suspect there was a plethora of such high school clubs in the Toronto area in the mid-to-late 1970s. A passing fad? One wonders how long they lasted.
At any rate, NESFA can be taken as a representative example, and it’s members were nothing if not ambitious: “This club is primarily interested in writing and selling SF but does also welcome members who are interested in just discussing and reading SF also. We are also looking for people who know anything at all about ASTRONOMY… $3.00 for a charter membership. This membership entitles you to receive all club publications and gives you a discount on your ticket to their convention which they will be running (hopefully) at the end of the academic year. They also hope to produce a paperback edition, to be sold in stores, of their member’s best SF writings…”
One NESFA publication which did get published was their newsletter ECLIPSE.
[See ECLIPSE ]
— Certain Members (but by no means all) of the Ontario SF Club which formed in 1966 and lasted till 1984. As Taral explains:
“New Derelicts — more like 1972 to 1984, interpreting the term in its broadest sense of a certain group associated with OSFiC. The name was thunk up by Patrick (now Nielsen) Hayden, which is odd since he was only recently from Phoenix AZ in 1975 or 76. But he was a student of fan history before I knew much about it, and insisted we all call ourselves the Derelicts after the original bunch in the 40’s/50’s. I recall not being very keen about it, since nobody among us but Patrick knew much about the originals. By the late 70’s though, I was reconciled to the name, but tended to use “New Derelicts” to hedge my bets.”
“Exactly when the ND faded out of the picture, I’m not sure. The group had mostly been in Patrick’s and Phil Paine’s minds, and they had pretty much given it up around 1977 or 78, when Patrick left Toronto. Victoria and I were left carrying the banner into the 80’s, but I’m not sure whether it represented anyone other than the two of us when we began DNQ. Others covered by the banner in the mid 70’s had never been all that conscious of being a “group,” and had their own ideas of the boundaries of the social circle they moved in, that in some cases didn’t especially include Victoria and me. Jim Allen, who was a very central figure in Toronto zine fandom in that period, flatly refused to call himself a Derelict! The explosion of fanzine activity in Toronto in the late 70’s was mainly a Derelict thing, but not identical with it.”
“Not knowing for sure who to call a Derelict, and many of them not calling themselves that, it becomes hard to say when the name died. The final issue of DNQ would certainly have been the last gasp. Since that last issue was pretty much all my show, I’d go further and say that Derelictdom had perished with the previous, regular, issues in 1982 or 83.”
“Among fans I thought were core Derelicts (in no particular order), were:”
Bob Webber, (aka WebBob or FakeBob)
Bob Wilson (Robert Charles Wilson to be exact, aka Uriah Cuthbert Poon or PoonBob)
Bill Brummer (now Steven Black)
“Less central to the group, but would be included in some people’s lists:”
Michael T. Smith
Robert (Bob) S. Hadji (Now Robert S. Knowlton)
“Other active fans in Toronto in the late 70’s could not be called Derelicts at all. We knew them, but they were not a part of group, often coming from the Draco/Draconis organization out in the west end.”
Peter McGarvey (aka “the Bheer Fairy”)
“At some point it was just a matter of a new generation of OSFiC members, who hadn’t been around in the Derelicts heyday.”
Bee Stuckless (the last OSFiC newsletter editor)
Robert J. Sawyer
“I have to sum up by saying that doubtless I’ve forgotten some names…”
[ See OSFIC, TORONTO DERELICTS, TORONTO INSURGENTS, TORONTO SF SOCIETY ]
— Short for “Next Issue”, as in: “My nish will be superduper by Ghu!”
NORTHERN FANTASY FAN FEDERATION
— A Canadian Science Fiction Correspondence Club which arose from first-time contact between previously isolated fans who took part in the first Canada-wide Canadian Science Fiction Association meeting held at the Torcon 1 Worldcon in Toronto in 1948. The idea was to keep these fans in constant communication with one another despite their geographical isolation. It was part of a larger CSFA scheme to gather fans living in communities where there were no other fans (thus making it impossible to create local clubs) into organized collective entities capable of affiliating with CSFA.
At the same meeting a similar Correspondence Club, the Fantastellar Association, was created as well.
Leslie A. Croutch (LIGHT) served as the NFFF’s Corresponding Secretary till the organization’s demise in 1951. (JRC) & (JBR)
[ See CANADIAN SCIENCE FICTION ASSOCIATION, FANTASTELLAR ASSOCIATION ]
— One of those Fannish alcoholic ‘drinksh’, this one introduced to fandom by Chick Derry and Bob Pavlot at the Philcon 1 Worldcon in 1947. Or to make a short story long:
1) The above named fans liked what they saw Tom Hadley of the Buffalo Book Company drinking at the hotel bar during Philcon 1. Whatever it was called, the bartender didn’t know it, and Hadley had to give him the formula.
2) At some point at or shortly after the convention Bob Pavot was inspired to name the drink ‘Nuclear Fizz’.
3) At the 1949 CinVention they introduced the drink to two other fans, D.W. ‘Redd’ Boggs and (?) Kerkhof.
4) Redd subsequently excitedly wrote up the experience, possibly in his FAPAzine SKY HOOK, the first time ‘Nuclear Fizz’ appeared in Fannish print.
5) A nuclear Fizz party was held at the 1953 Philcon II Worldcon, thus widening the circle of those in the know.
6) The Nuclear Fizz was further popularized by a sentence on the cover of a 1953 Lee Jacobs SAPSzine featuring a Private Eye adventure spoofing fellow fans titled ‘The Spectacular Saps Caper’. The sentence reads: “I silped my nuclear fizz in the insurgent manner.” (Note that Lee jacobs invented the concept of silping.)
The original formula is: 1 shot gin, 1 shot cointreau, 1 shot lemon/lime juice mixed, 2 shots soda, 2 or 3 drops bitters. Add more cointreau if you want it sweeter. Adjust amount of soda to taste.
Variations include the Nuclear Fuze and the Nuclear Fuss.
Karen Anderson adopted the expedient of adding a vegetable colouring to warn off the faint-hearted.(HWJ) (BP) (DE)
[ See BLOG, THE BULLFROG, THE H.B. PIPER COCKTAIL, MEAD BUNNY, SPAYED GERBIL, PAN-GALACTIC GARGLE BLASTER, FAN DRINKS, & FANNISH DRINKSH BOOK ]
— A variation of Nuclear Fizz, containing cointreau, gin, AND vodka. Yeeash! (DE)
— A variation of Nuclear Fizz, containing vodka INSTEAD of gin. (DE)
#1 FAN and/or FACE
— Forrest J. Ackerman was known as America’s Number One Fan and/or Face (the latter indicating he was so familiar to fandom everywhere that he was instantly recognized by fans no matter where he went). He achieved this status by virtue of winning first place as top fan year after year in fannish polls of the 1930s and 40s, a position he well deserved for his high level of fanac. Note that Bob Tucker was consistently voted in second.
The term is now obsolete, and I believe was never passed on to a successor. I believe this type of fannish poll, the concept of #1 fan, and Ackerman’s fanac more or less retired simultaneously. (DE)
#1 CANADIAN FAN and/or FACE
— Leslie A. Croutch circa 1941. Given that there were only two Canadian fanzines at that time (LIGHT & CENSORED), and a mere dozen or so active Canadian fans, there was not much point to a poll.
How it came about that Croutch was declared #1 Fan Croutch himself explains in the loc column ‘Around The Cauldron’ in the Feb 1942 issue of the prozine UNCANNY TALES:
“Tooting my own horn, I have appeared in Canada, the U.S., and England in fanzines. Forrest J. Ackerman, whom everyone who calls himself a fan knows is accepted as the state’s number 1 fan, has named me, and Canadian fandom has accepted me, as Canada’s number 1 fan.”
The term was not applied to any subsequent Canadian fan as far as I am aware. (LC) (JRC)
[ See CROUTCH LESLIE A., CROUTCH NEWS, CROUTCH MAGAZINE MART NEWS, THE VOICE, ELECTRON, LIGHT, LET’S SWAP ]
— Long considered the classic example of Annishthesia disease. Joel Nydahl was a 14 year old teenager living on a farm 6 miles outside Marquette, Michigan, when he published his first issue of VEGA in Sept 1952. A monthly, it was at first hectographed. By issue #3, Nov 1952, his father “…who financed the entire operation from paper to postage — had purchased a cheap mimeograph which printed all subsequent issues.” Excellent reviews in other zines led to increasing exposure, greater contact with other faneds, and an ever expanding subscription list. Best of all, he soon had more submissions than he could print from such as Dean A. Grennell, Marrion Zimmer Bradley, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, Redd Boggs, Robert Bloch, Walt Willis, Bob Tucker and other legendary fans.
For Issue 12, a now 15 year old Joel decided his Annish would be the traditional something special. Titled VEGANNISH, it was 100 pages in size, printed right-hand justified (no mean feat on mimeograph stencils) on gold-coloured paper and featured a group of contributors that “read like a Who’s Who of Fandom.” He spent 5 months preparing his annish, using up 8 pounds of ink, 6 bottles of correction fluid, and $90 of his dad’s money. Caught up in the excitement, Joel later wrote (as quoted by Harry Warner Jr.): “I was another person. Every page was a new experience and thrill. I had no time for anything else. I really needed nothing else.” After that….. nothing. VEGA ceased publication, and Joel Nydahl disappeared from the fannish scene.
Fannish legend has it that VEGANNISH “apparently got little in the way of response and the young fan editor promptly gafiated, puzzled and dismayed.” Yet Warner quotes Joel as saying that the immediate response was: “letters of the wildest praise that even I had dreamed of. One week I averaged thirteen letters a day.” Still, he in fact dropped out of sight. One theory was that his parents insisted he concentrate on getting his grades back up. Another that he had discovered girls. But fandom in general concluded he had simply gotten too big too fast, taken on more than he could sanely handle, and consequently burned out. When this later happened to several prominent faneds, fans remembered Joel’s VEGANNISH as the supreme example of the phenomenon and so the term “Nydahl’s Disease” was coined, and Joel Nydahl entered into fannish legend.
Amazingly, Nydahl resurfaced at the 2001 Worldcon in Philadelphia where he was bemused by the jaw dropping reactions of fans whenever he introduced himself. In issue #21 of Robert Lichtman’s TRAPDOOR (March 2002), Nydahl set the record straight:
“Financial problems played no part… nor did lowered grades…what probably happened were basketball and girls…I don’t remember any warning signs…once the VEGANNISH was in the mail I had no interest in putting out a 13th issue….I never missed what I gave up and never looked back….The theory that I dropped out because I got no response…is absurd. It seemed to a 15 year old… that the whole world was in awe and praise of what he had done…Warner is probably correct in inferring that I was exhausted.”
So you see, Nydahl’s Disease isn’t really related to Annishthesia, which is usually interpreted as a faned’s sudden gafiation due to a disappointing lack of reaction to his Annish. But it remains the classic example of burnout, and will continue in the fannish lexicon as long as fandom survives.
(JN, HWJ & RB) [ See ANNISH, ANNISHTHESIA ]