— A unique, long obsolete fannish term coined by Donald Wollheim to describe a situation rare in its day ( 1930s ) but now so common as not to be worthy of mention: the intrusion of science fiction concepts into comics ( back then newspaper comics were meant ) which ordinarily were purely mundane in character.

Examples given by Jack Speer include some modern readers might recognize: DICK TRACY, KRAZY KAT, LI’L ABNER, LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE, MUTT AND JEFF, POPEYE, PRINCE VALIENT, TARZAN…and a host of others long since forgotten: ABBIE AND SLATS, BIG CHIEF WAHOO, DUB DABS, THE GUMPS, OAKY DOAKS, SKULL VALLEY and so forth. The fascinating thing is the implication that fans were presumed to be quite familiar with all of the above. (JS)


— ‘Dafia’ is the STATE of drifting away from it all. To ‘dafiate’ is the ACT of drifting away from it all. ‘It’ being fandom, and dafiation taking place when other interests beckon, or fandom itself seems less and less enthralling. Dafia is the gentlest form of Gafia.



— After Walter J. Daugherty, an extremely ambitious member of the LASFAS (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society) in the 1940s & 50s. It was alleged by Insurgents Charles Burbee and Francis T. Laney that he advocated grandiose schemes which never produced results, hence the concept of the Daugherty Project “as a synonym for a wildly visionary idea that never gets beyond the talking stage.” Any project a fan starts, but fails to complete, is thus by fannish tradition called a ‘Daugherty Project’….like…possibly… this fancyclopedia…

Harry Warner Jr. points out that Daugherty doesn’t deserve this reputation: “Without Daugherty, half of LASFS accomplishments in the forties would not have occurred, the club itself would almost certainly have disbanded, at least one and possibly two Worldcons would have turned into fiascos, and three or four other fans would have had to pitch in and help with the mimeo crank-turning, landlord-placating, feud-calming, and fund-raising activities.”

An example of what Daugherty did accomplish is what is generally considered to be the first comprehensive fan directory in the history of fandom, a project listing 600 fans and their addresses, which he published in 1942.

It is hardly fair that he should be saddled with a false accusation as his legacy, but on the other hand…it is a form of fannish immortality…


— Most conventions begin on Friday afternoon and end on Sunday afternoon; The Dead Dog party takes place Sunday night long after the last item of programming is complete. It serves several purposes: it gives out-of-towners who aren’t leaving till Monday morning something to do, lets the hardcore fans cling to the fun of convention just a bit longer, allows the convention committee to finally relax and have some fun, enables the remaining food and liquor supplies to be used up, and is one last attempt, through donations, and maybe an impromptu art auction of the posters fans had created over the course of the con, to raise a little more cash to help the con at least break even financially.

Normally the Dead Dog is usually held in the hospitality suite, but if by virtue of the contract it is no longer available, all the food and liquor is transferred to the suite of someone staying for the night. There is almost always a break between the official end of the con and the start of the Dead Dog. This is to allow time for the concom and volunteers to initiate the breakdown of the physical setup of the con, for example to gather up AV equipment and art panels in preparation for taking them back to storage in S. 40’s basement ( VCON fans know what I’m talking about ). Then, beginning about 8:00 or 9:00 pm, the Dead Dog can begin!

A Dead Dog is bittersweet. Many non-local fans are conscious they will not see each other again till the next con, and everyone is aware the end of the Dead Dog means the end of an event they’ve been looking forward to all year. If sometimes the gaiety seems a bit forced, it’s because some are feeling the pain. On the other hand, if the feeling is mutual that the con has been exceptionally good a carnival-like atmosphere of triumph may prevail. Generally speaking, don’t miss the Dead Dog! It is quite often the culmination and summing up of a con. The last statement, as it were.


— From a Faned’s point of view this is usually self-imposed: “I WILL do..blah blah blah.. by.. blah blah blah.. so that my zine WILL be published by such and so date.” And published it is, usually weeks, months, or even years later than originally anticipated. And if someone promises you material by your deadline, and it doesn’t show up, then it’s a good thing your own publishing deadline has slipped, isn’t it? Because you still have a chance the promised article will be mailed to you in time after all.

But APAs are a different story. Here reality intrudes. For an APA to survive at all it MUST be published more or less on its regular schedule, or else members will drop away. For contributors who fail to meet deadlines, the result is that their apazines will be even less topical when they finally appear, and, if they keep missing their deadlines, means they are in effect no longer contributors and will automatically forfeit their membership.



— Originally this term was used in FAPA and other APAs to describe the rather odd fans who would pay membership fees, receive a year’s worth of mailings, and never contribute so much as a single page. Naturally this resulted in their being bounced from the membership. So why do it? A year’s egoboo of telling everyone you’re a member of whichever legendary APA, getting to read all sorts of nifty stuff, keeping your privacy intact while at the same time perhaps learning the juicy inside details of discussions/revelations etc not meant for fandom at large, and, in a nutshell, being on the inside while remaining on the outside. More charitably, perhaps some of the individuals in question were just painfully shy and totally lacking in confidence in their writing skills. Then again, maybe they were just lazy.

Eventually the term was extended to those members who didn’t quite enter into the spirit of the APA, i.e. contributing the bare minimum of pages and not one word more. Worse, the contributions might exhibit extra spacing between lines, extremely wide margins, enormous point type, and any other gimmick conceivable to maximize white space and reduce the amount of writing involved. Even modern APAs are full of examples of this form of shoddy contribution. (JS) (DE) (RB)



— In the 1940s Francis T. Laney, noting that the membership list for the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society seemed unduly exaggerated at 500+ names, reviewed the roster and discovered that no member who had dropped out of the club for any reason had ever been deleted. Presumably this included members who had passed away. So Laney is credited with coining the phrase “Death will not release you” as a consequence of his discovery. This caught on with later generations of LASFS fans as part of their club’s heritage.

Dick Eney in his Fancyclopedia II quotes Charles Burbee asking Rick Sneary “Does death release you?” in reference to membership in The Outlanders ( an LA club separate from the LASFS ) without getting a reply. This would appear to indicate the evolution of the catchphrase into something which could apply to any fan club or organization, and indeed it became part of the general fannish lexicon. Today, however, it has largely fallen out of use, modern fans being unaware of the context.

Amusingly, Rich Brown wrote: “…on one notable reported occasion Ernie Wheatley, the dormouse of LASFS (so-called for a tendency to put his head down on his arms and fall asleep at after-meetings in local restaurants) woke up just as someone was using the phrase to add, “Even if you die!” – and then promptly put his head back down on his arms and went to sleep again.” (DE) (RB)


— Calgary SF club circa 1979 to 1983 at least. Kathleen Moore-Freeman says DEC stands for “Delenda est Carthago!” which is Cato’s old battle cry, i.e. “Destroyed must be Carthage!” Garth Spencer wrote that DEC stood for “Digital Equipment Corporation.” I suspect an unknown 3rd alternative more likely, though Cato’s oft repeated declaration at the end of his every speech in the Senate ultimately resulted in the destruction of an entire civilization and thus might reflect the hidden agenda of DEC, university students being what they are.

DEC put out a newsletter titled DUO DEC, and apparently sponsored the 1983 NonCon (Alberta Regional Convention). Garth Spencer stated that DEC “hosts NonCon on alternate years”. Alan Dewar & Bonnie Liesemer were on the exec.

[ See DUO DEC ]


— The name by which five active Winnipeg faneds were known in the late 1970s. They were: Garth Danielson, faned of ‘BOOWATT’, Randy Reichardt, faned of ‘WINDING NUMBERS’, James A. Hall, faned of ‘JABBERWOCKY’, Michael S. Hall, faned of ‘LAID’, & Stuart Gilson, a fan artist whose work appeared in such diverse zines as WINDING NUMBERS, SIMULACRUM, & US fan Mike Glyer’s SCIENTIFRICTION.

Writing in 1984, Chris Rutkowski commented: “Fandom in Winnipeg is in a strange state these days. Star Trek is really big here, and the club is really active… The SF group headed by the Mansfields …. is heavy on the D&D & Fantasy, as well as pop SF. The days of Decadent Winnipeg Fandom are long gone, I’m afraid. The closest thing these days is the motley crew that frequent Dim Sum on Saturday mornings.”


— So nicknamed by legendary fan ‘Bob’ Tucker, it was actually five young guys — Marvis Manning, Vincent Manning, Claude Davis Jr., Maurice Paul, and William Sisson — who formed the ‘Literature, Science and Hobbies Club’ of Decker, Indiana, which was active for all of just one year, 1940. They are remembered for two things. They may have been the first fan club with their own clubhouse — though just a one-room shack — and they produced six issues of PLUTO, the first fanzine to exploit colour mimeography to its full potential.

Even today you occasionally see colour photos in newspapers reproduced with colours out of register, so it is all the more amazing that the Decker Dillies “achieved perfect four-colour register on an amateur publication using mimeograph stencils, which are not manufactured with attention to this type of accuracy, and which stretch and slither around on the drum in the course of a run”. Though it occurs to me their ‘secret’ may simply have been to run off more copies than they needed and discard the ones that didn’t come out right. Wasteful, but a great way of getting a reputation for perfection.

The written content of PLUTO was entertaining but nothing notable apparently, however the zine’s appearance inspired countless faneds to strive to add as much colour as possible to their mimeographed zines, hitherto considered too much trouble to bother attempting. ( It should be noted that hectographed zines had employed colour long before 1940. ) (HWJ)



— Since ‘Gafia’ means ‘get away from it all’, ie. flee fandom and fanac, ‘Degafia’ is the state of returning to fannish activity. This is usually announced with a great flourish in the editorial of a fanzine appearing months, if not years, after the previous issue. An announcement, I might add, which may fall flat as the current crop of fans may never have heard of you, depending on how long you may have been absent from the fannish scene.

Hmmm, possibility for a delightful hoax here. Let a newbie neofan do some research via the assorted Fancyclopedias and fan histories, then announce — say the long-delayed issue 12 of COSMIC WONDERAMA or some such — and pretend, with the aid of judicious name dropping and story telling, to be an old-time fan returning to the fold. Could be great fun. I wonder if anybody has ever done this?



— Claude Degler is the ultimate example of a mentally disturbed individual who, taking advantage of fandom’s traditional tolerance of unorthodox ideas, promotes a personal agenda so bizarre that prominent fans eventually unite to ostracize him in order to prevent fandom’s reputation among mundanes from getting any worse than it already is. He is THE classic fugghead.

As a teenager, Degler spent the years 1936/1937 in the Indiana Hospital for the Insane, and was released against the advice of his doctors. Somehow he got involved with local fandom ( the Indiana Fantasy Association ) and helped Leonard Marlowe produce a fanzine titled INFINITE. In 1939 he hit upon ‘The Cosmic Concept’ – that it was up to him to organize fandom into the ‘Cosmic Circle’ of ‘Cosmen’ who would selectively breed a race of super mutants who would eventually rule the Solar System – and he spent the rest of his fannish career proselytizing other fans. To that end, he began traveling across the States asking to stay with various fans whose addresses he’d picked up from the letter columns in the pro magazines. Virtually every fan he stayed with, whether willing or not, wound up being appointed head of the local state-wide SF society he created on the spot, all of these ‘organizations’ federated under his umbrella organization the ‘Planet Fantasy Federation’.

At first his crusade had little impact on fandom, if only because most of the fans he was dealing with were not actively involved in fandom at large but simply had written a letter of comment to a prozine. Still, some took notice when he appeared at the 1941 World Convention in Denver and gave a speech he claimed had been written by Martians. And mundanes took notice when he had an illicit affair with a minor (evidently trying to get his breeding program underway) in his home town of Newcastle, Indiana, some time in 1942. In 1943 he received a 4F classification from the military, which meant that – despite the voracious manpower demands of WWII – they did not want him serving in the armed forces, a clear sign that something was amiss.

Circa 1942 and into 1943, Degler settled down in Los Angeles and churned out weekly newssheets, courtesy of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society and its print room facilities, promoting his Cosmic Crusade. At first many in fandom found his efforts amusing, but it gradually dawned on fans that his relentless self-promotion was very bad public relations for fandom, for it left the impression that fans were not just juvenile idiots, but actual lunatics. Prominent fan T Bruce Yerke did some investigation into Degler’s background and produced a report proving that the ‘200 member’ Cosmic Circle Planet Fantasy Federation was largely a figment of Degler’s imagination, and that Degler had once been judged insane and probably still was. He demanded Degler ‘reform’ and argued fandom should shun him if he refused to halt his activities. Yerke’s report was co-signed by numerous prominent fans.

The final nail in the reputation of self-proclaimed ‘Superfan’ Degler was the reaction of Prozine AMAZING STORIES editor Ray Palmer when he read an issue of the COSMIC CIRCLE COMMENTATOR, one of Degler’s publications. Concluding that organized Fandom had drifted into the realm of Nazi-like extremism, he threatened to ban said fans from the magazine’s letter column and cease all relations with Science Fiction conventions, no more freebies for fund-raising auctions, etc. Terrified that the other pulp SF zines would follow Palmer’s lead, prominent fans contacted him and explained that Degler was a one-man crusade with no followers, that his vast Cosmic Circle group did not in fact exist, and that Degler certainly and absolutely did not reflect the thinking of fandom at large.

And so Claude Degler was set adrift from fandom. In the late 1940s he tried to re-enter fandom with threats to publish zines with titles like WEIRD UNSOLVED MYSTERIES and MONSTER STORIES, but was ignored. In 1950 he tried to join FAPA, but Secretary Treasurer Harry Warner JR. “decided two disasters were enough” (the first disaster being the resignation of two prominent fans) and chose to reject his application. The same year, Degler showed up at the Norwescon in Portland and presented a motion to the convention that it should officially denounce communism. The motion was defeated. Many assumed his intention was simply to annoy some of the left-leaning Big Name Fans who had driven him from fandom, and in that he succeeded.

Degler’s last known appearance was at the 1957 Oklacon, but he simply attended and made no effort to promote his ideas or attack his enemies.

The going of Claude Degler left fandom sadder but wiser, for it seemed he had proven that boundless energy and enthusiasm was not necessarily a good thing for fandom but could, in fact, be potentially dangerous to the cause. The Degler experience introduced a touch of realistic caution into the utopian dream worlds of fandom. Perhaps a worthwhile legacy.

I’ll leave the final word to a quote from Harry Warner J.: “In a left-handed way, Claude Degler is among the most influential fans in history. He was the ideal horrible example that put fandom onto its guard against all-out screwballs. His sponging resulted in complete revision of the unwritten laws of fan hospitality. His Cosmic Circle was an unintentional parody on all fan organizations, showing by exaggeration the ways in which they are ridiculous. His insistence that fans are star-begotten and misunderstood but destined leaders of mankind was so startling that we no longer hear the old half-serious cry, ‘Fans are Slans!'” (JS), (DE), (RB) & (HWJ)



— This is very obscure, to me at least. I assume it was a short-lived fad among faneds and fanzine contributors during the early 1950s. Essentially, letters in peoples names were replaced with phonetic equivalents — more or less — for presumably humorous reasons.

Examples: Vin¢ Clarke instead of Vince Clarke, S&erson instead of Sanderson, @kins instead of Atkins, etc.

The term ‘Demolishism’ somehow derives from the Alfred Bester novel THE DEMOLISHED MAN, which is about telepathy. Maybe because you practically had to be a telepath to figure out the correct pronunciation? According to Eney a pre-Bester variation can be found in ACKERMANESE, such that DEMOLISHISMS can perhaps be described as a last gasp revival of the vile practice. At any rate nothing to worry about now. Quite obsolete. (DE)



— The den is the original womb with a view, usually a teenage fan’s bedroom, wherein he cultivates his love of Science Fiction. This phenomenon came into being in the late 1920s and early 1930s. At first there might be piles of AMAZING STORIES and later sf magazines, perhaps a few torn off covers pinned to the walls. Come the urge to write to the editor ( of professional magazines ), a typewriter is acquired, along with a collection of carbons of letters sent. Later on files of correspondence exchanged with other fans whose addresses had been published in the letter columns accumulates. Then perhaps issues of a local clubzine. Soon personal fanzines flood in from fans across the nation. This inspires the acquisition of a duplicating machine of some sort to pub one’s own ish. Files of art and articles from contributors result. More and more art is pinned to the wall, some fannish, some professional, the latter usually cut from books or magazines, but maybe one or two pieces purchased at conventions, plus maybe a photo or two. Everywhere there are books, magazines and fanzines, many not yet read. The den is buried in paper artifacts of the initial fannish explosion of the 1930s, and the gleeful fan sits like a spider in his web, drawing together and constantly reweaving the strands of his enthusiasm.

Question is, does this phenomenon still exist? I can’t answer for teenagers, but let us consider the contemporary den of a 62 year old allegedly mature ex-warehouseman retiree of limited income. It measures 9 ft by 12 ft and contains a writing table, a computer table, wall to wall bookcases and — filling the centre of the room, a large sorting table resting on low bookcases. The assorted bookcases contain about 500 science fiction pocket books, 200 science fiction videos/DVDs and maybe fifty science fiction hardcover books. The limited space on the walls not hidden by bookcases is festooned with reproductions of movie posters for classic films like THE KILLER SHREWS and THE GIANT LEECHES, as well as a complete set of large-scale prints of the TOM CORBETT SPACE CADET Viewmaster reel images. Here and there are odd items like an Aurora award, an Elron, A Mr. Spock liquor bust, assorted models including the Aurora Monsters series, the Lindberg Flying Saucer and the Monogram Space Taxi, a framed Classics Illustrated War of the Worlds comic, and a small ceramic figurine of Cthulhu. In other words, the den I always wanted as a kid has now come to life. Nearby is a closet with a couple of hundred old monster magazines and comic books, and an even bigger closet with the 7,000 plus fanzine collection of the BCSFA archive. Am I content? You betcha! After all, everyone needs a hobby of some kind, and mine is fandom. And my den, my fannish womb, is both my refuge from the mundane world and the centre of my fanac. At this stage in my life, I couldn’t do without it.



— Members of the Toronto Sf Society circa 1947 – 1959 “Old Derelicts”, then members of the Ontario SF CLUB 1966 – 1984 “New Derelicts”. For details:



— An ongoing series of articles by Boyd Raeburn in his A BAS (1954-1959) was “Derelicti Derogations”, fictional minutes of meetings of “The Derelict Insurgents And Tommy Steele Record Boiling Society” in which actual quotes of contemporary faneds were weaved into fictional dialogues.

Sample comment: “That’s the awful effect of Freud on the middle classes. They think they’ve a moral duty to say whatever dirty thing comes into their minds.”

“Among many highlights were the Derogations, insidious playlets crafted from real ( usually fuggheaded ) statements.” (AK)

“I certainly agree that ‘Derelicti Derogations’ was one of the highlights of Boyd Raeburn’s A BAS.” (RL)

As an example of the influence of Derelicti Derogations on fandom, Jim & Greg Benford lived in Germany in the 1950s, and published a zine titled VOID. Quoting Jim Benford: “The derogation was a form invented by Boyd Raeburn in his legendary fanzine A BAS. It’s a marvelous method of sending up people, using their own words, and should be reintroduced into fandom. A fine example of our own approach occurs in VOID #6 in Greg’s ‘Deutsch Derogation… As Greg said in the introduction: ‘we will show all of you the real atmosphere of good will in which Gerfandom works and so you might see the real cooperation we have here.’ Of course the dialogue among various participants, some quoted from their own works, some made up, shows them to be all self-centred, egocentric and short sighted. A bit surprising, then, that German fans were speaking to us after that.”


— Are degenerate humans — degenerate both morally and physically — who live in caves deep beneath the surface of the Earth, warring constantly upon each other when they aren’t plotting against us surface dwellers. Their caves were originally hollowed out by the elder gods, who eventually set off to explore the universe but inconveniently left behind machines which, when operated by ignorant humans who discovered the caves, devolved said humans into the Deros. Sound like a rip-off of Lovecraftian fiction? But Richard S. Shaver claimed it was all true, and he should know, he found the caves and learned everything from the ‘thought records’ the Deros carelessly failed to conceal. And Raymond A. Palmer, editor of AMAZING STORIES, backed him up.

It is a very curious thing that Palmer, who publicly condemned organized fandom for its alleged support for Claude Degler’s ‘Nazi-like’ crusade to promote the mental superiority of fans, was himself — at roughly the same time, circa 1944/45 — by virtue of declaring Shaver’s fiction to be scientific fact, ruining the reputation of science fiction fandom to a degree far worse than anything Degler ever accomplished. But then, Palmer had worried Degler’s ranting would cost him readers ( even though Degler was never published in AMAZING STORIES ), whereas the Shaver stories/articles increased the magazine’s sales dramatically ( it seems the only way to attract mundanes to science fiction is to inject as much pseudo science as possible ).

At any rate, it was great fun for a while for fans to accuse each other of being Deros, or to denounce mundane critics as Deros, but now the term is completely obsolete and meaningless to the contemporary fan, albeit a historical artifact rather fun to contemplate. (JS) (DE) (HWJ)



— Deseronto is a small town on the road between Napanee & Picton, located just across the Bay of Quinte from the Tyendinaga Indian reservation. That’s right, you’ve got it! We’re talking East end of the North shore of Lake Ontario. Here, sometime in the fall of 1948, the Deseronto SF society was formed, an event no doubt inspired by the earlier creation of the just-down-the-road Picton SF Society in June 1948, or at least by the presence of Jack Bowie-Reed, whom Harry Warner Jr. credits organizing the DSFS.

Like the PSFS, the DSFS joined the Canadian Science Fiction Association right away, but unlike the PSFS (which lasted at least as long as the CSFA lasted), the Deseronto SF Society was the first of the constituent clubs of CSFA to collapse, in late 1949. So the Deseronto club existed for only about a year, whereas the Picton club survived for at least 5 years. Both are small Ontario towns. I wonder why the different fates? (JBR)

One Deseronto fan listed in the 1952 CANADIAN FAN DIRECTORY may possibly have been a member of the Deseronto SF Society. His name: Wm J. Holden.



— Mimeograph machines injected ink through letters or any other marks cut into the master sheet stencil wrapped around the roller. Apparently special ‘acid stencils’ used to be available along with Developine, a fluid which — when brushed on this type of stencil — would dissolve the material and allow solid blocks and shapes of ink to be printed. This was useful in the creation of art to be reproduced, though it took considerable talent to do it well. (DE)


— This was a spoof of Cybernetics, General Semantics and Dianetics (the precursor to Scientology) which Theobald Mackeral unleashed at the 1950 Norwescon Worldcon in the form of a skit during the masquerade. 30 to 40 fans walked out during the presentation, possibly because it featured a mock crucifixion, described by Dick Eney:

“Mackeral displayed a Chaotic Inferential at the con: it was seven feet tall, and consisted of a life-sized figure nailed by wrists and feet to an ankh ( made of two beams and an automobile tire ). The figure was draped in a white sheet and crowned with a wreath of blackberry vines. It was a therapeutic object, the inventor explained; by hanging various objects ( a shoe, a whiskey bottle, a female leg [ plaster ], a wooden rifle ), on one arm of the figure and signs ( Sex, Free Enterprise, National Defense ) on the other, the visualizer could abstract at various levels and thereby transfer his sins to the Chaotic Inferential.”

I think this is awesome. It’s a wonder a new religion wasn’t founded on the spot — After all, when the Surrealist artist Salvador Dali was asked why he hadn’t created a new religion, he replied “Because that would be too easy.” All that needs to be done is build a SEVENTY foot Chaotic Inferential, name it Ghu, and behold: a Ghu Ghuist revival!!!! (DE) (HWJ)


— The earliest fanzines were all subscription zines, and so quickly did zines proliferate once the zine phenomenon was established, very few fans could afford to subscribe to them all, hence — according to Speer — a demand arose for some sort of digest zine that would print condensed versions of the important debates ( not to be confused with anthologies printing ‘The Best Of’ a certain year, or author, etc. ). Apparently there were several attempts but most of them didn’t last very many issues. Mostly all interested fans could count on were the occasional reprinted article, such as Tucker’s LE ZOMBIE offered from time to time in the early 1940s. Then, as now, all you can realistically hope to do is collect as many zines as possible, and why would you be crazy enough to do that? (JS)


— The ‘typical’ fanzine is printed on paper sheets 8&1/2 by 11 inches in size. Fold this in half and 1 sheet now equals 4 pages 8&1/2 by 5&1/2 inches in size. This has some advantages in holding down mailing costs, but the downside is that layout options are somewhat curtailed. Still, as faned of THE SPACE CADET GAZETTE I managed double columns with illustrations, though as Harry Warner Jr. pointed out, at the expense of requiring an electron microscope to read.

Examples of Canadian fanzines that were often ( or always ) printed in digest size are: BARDIC RUNES, BCSFAZINE, OPUNTIA, SF HORIZONS, SPACE CADET, STARDUST, TREKLETTER, and ZOOLOGY.


— The concept, if not the actual term itself, seems to have evolved in the late 1940s. Apparently some fans attending the 1948 Worldcon in Toronto became upset when the rumour spread that the main reason members of the Hydra Club — professional writers like Fredrick Pohl & Lester del Rey — were seeking New York as the venue for the next Worldcon was, not because of any fannish motivation, but because they thought it would best serve their professional interests, bring editors and publishers together, etc. In this the Hydra Club was prescient, as many old-time fans to this day remember the 1948 Torcon as the ‘last’ fannish Worldcon, all subsequent Worldcons being viewed as annual get-togethers for professionals in the field, with fannish add-ons for tradition’s sake.

Fannish concern for Worldcon ‘purity’ accelerated with the next Worldcon, the 1949 Cinvention in Cincinnati, when David Kyle, loosely connected with the Hydra Club, hired a professional model from New York to pose as ‘Miss Science Fiction’ for press photographers. This was considered unseemly and blatant hype typical of the professional business world, which of course it was. We all know now that such ‘gimmicks’ are virtually the only way to attract publicity. Fannish purity doesn’t cut it in the mundane world.

Add to this a sense of betrayal, in that all the professional authors and editors under scrutiny had begun as active fans publishing fanzines, carrying on fan feuds, etc. but then had ‘sold out’ by establishing careers in the field. Fan artist Ray Nelson, whenever depicting a ‘pro’, always showed him carrying at least one moneybag.

In the end, ‘Dirty old pro’, which was coined to reflect a heart-felt disappointment at the undermining of the cause, devolved into an affectionate if-not-envious term for any fan who manages to convert his hobby into a career. ‘Vile Pro’ is a shorter, snappier variant. (HWJ)



— Rare term, probably obsolete, referring to an APA compilation handed out in a local club meeting, with copies going to anyone who wants one, even if they are not members of the APA. Possibly coined circa 1960s. Eventually came to refer to any APA being distributed whether restricted to membership or not. Ultimately may have been used to refer to zine issue distribution as well. Personally, I dislike ‘Disty’ as it strikes me as weak and excessively coy. (RB) (NL)


— Fanzine oriented convention founded by ‘The Ditto Masters’ in August 1988. The idea was to hold “another fanzine fan’s convention, to be held six months apart from CORFLU, and on the opposite side of the continent”. The first DITTO was held at the Bond Place Hotel on Dundas Street in Toronto, Ontario. “A collection of Toronto fanwriting from the ’40s to the present will be free with membership.” This was ‘TORONTO THE GHOOD’, which is still in print.


— My dictionary defines DITTOGRAPHY as the “unintentional repetition of letter(s) or word(s) by copyist”. Hilarious. The term derives from paleography — the study of ancient writing and manuscripts — and I don’t think is what the Ditto company had in mind when it developed its more advanced form of Hektography. Here the word DITTO is being used in the sense of ‘duplicate’, since dittography, or more properly ‘dittoing’, is a process of reproduction known as ‘spirit duplication’.

To start with, text is typed (and art drawn) on a master sheet laid on top or in front of the back of a Hektograph carbon. This transfers a mirror image in Hektograph pigment to the back of the master sheet. ( Very much the reverse of the initial stage of pure Hektography, in which a master sheet behind the carbon is given an identical image, which is then used to create the mirror image on a bed of gelatin. )

The master sheet is then placed on a Ditto machine drum with the original surface facing inward, the Hektograph pigment surface facing outward. As the drum rotates, paper sheets pass underneath, sheets moistened with a dye or pigment solvent ( possibly a methyl-alcohol spirit ) which grab enough pigment to create a clear copy, yet at the same time use much less pigment from the master than pure Hektography uses, so that as many as 300 legible copies can be printed. The initial expense in acquiring the machine costs more than setting up a Hektographic capability, but the huge advance in copy capacity more than makes up for this.

Ditto machines were in common use by the early 1940s, if not earlier. They were still in widespread office and school use in the 1960s. I can testify to that, as I used my high school’s Ditto machine in the late 1960s to produce 4 or 5 issues of THE ASPIRER’S CLUB BULLETIN, a school sanctioned clubzine. For an hour or so afterwards I smelled like a distillery, an unexpected bonus side effect which I utilized to subtly enhance my reputation with my fellow students.

In one sense dittoing was a step backwards, in that the most common hektograph carbons produced the famous blue-violet purple and most dittozines used nothing but. Other colour carbons could be purchased, but even so, the colour possibilities were limited compared to pure hektography because, for some reason — possibly a slight chemical difference in pigment — the dye left by hektographic pencils ( which would have to be applied to the back of the master sheet to have any chance of working ) could not be dissolved and lifted by the solvent. Hence the ditto machine users were denied the many and varied shades of colour only the Hektograph pencils offered. (SM) (JS) (DE) (HWJ)



— A fanzine reproduced by DITTOGRAPHY, or rather, since there is no such word in this context, reproduced by what fans call ‘dittoing’.



— Founders of ‘DITTO’, the ‘other’ fanzine convention (the first being CORFLU). The four in question are: Taral Wayne, Mike Glicksohn, Alan Rosenthal, & Catherine Crockett.


— Is short for DO NOT PRINT. In the old days of writing or typing letters on paper and then mailing them, especially in the early decades of fandom, many a paragraph began and ended with the letters DNP. This was because the juicy contents therein — latest rumours, what such-and-so said, what such-and-so did, what such-and-so threatened to do, etc., — was meant for the recipient only and no one else.

That this was necessary was due to the ongoing desire of faneds to scoop other faneds with earth-breaking news hot off the rumour mill, to attribute eyewitness accounts to prove authenticity, or at the very least, to grab something that would make their zine less boring. To say the least, this could put a crimp in information sharing as many a fan had cause to fear the consequences if it became known THEY were spreading the rumour, especially if the rumour WAS true.

Many a neofaned gleefully made use of material in letters on the assumption that everything was permissible to quote. After all, that was why fans sent letters to the editors of professional magazines, in the hope of being published in their entirety, so surely letters sent to fanzine editors were meant to be so utilized, correct? Well, not quite.

Very early on in my reign as Ghod-Editor of BCSFAzine I once made the mistake of printing such a paragraph in Toto, complete with DNP at the beginning and end. I had no idea what DNP meant. A classic neofaned gaff.

Nowadays, of course, the same problem crops up with emails.


— Is short for DO NOT QUOTE. Essentially means the same thing as DNP, but with greater emphasis on secrecy in that it not only requests that you DO NOT PUBLISH the bracketed information, it insists that you DO NOT TELL ANYONE about it either. In effect it means: ‘For your info only!’ … Given that fans in general are inveterate gossips, DNQ is a futile request more often than not.

It may be that DNQ is the preferred fannish usage ( as opposed to DNP ) since, while DNQ appears in Fancyclopedia II but not Fancyclopedia I, suggesting it came into use in the late 1940s or early 1950s, DNP is not mentioned in either Fancyclopedia. Then again, DNP might have been so common in the mundane publishing world that it wasn’t considered a fannish term, even though used by fans. I tend to believe that both were employed right from the very beginning of fanzine fandom if only because their use probably predated SF fanzines. I suspect DNP and DNQ were used in far older amateur press publications, perhaps as early as the 1880s. It’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.


— A title by which Norman G. Browne, faned of VANATIONS, was sometimes known in the early 1950s.



— Degree conferred on Alastair Cameron, author of the FANTASY CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM, by Norman G. Browne, faned of VANATIONS.



— Is a term apparently intended to supplant FUGGHEAD. It applies to any fan other fans consider obnoxious or boring. Hardly precise because EVERYBODY is viewed that way by SOMEBODY. Also said to describe “a turkey, a jerk, a loser.” Not very charitable. FUGGHEAD at least describes a type of behaviour within fandom. DOZMO is just a general insult. No wonder it hasn’t caught on.

As far as I am aware DOZMO is a fannish slang term confined to Alberta fandom, maybe just Edmonton fandom, circa 1977. (RR)



— Founded in 1974 by Elizabeth Pearse of Mississauga. Unlike Toronto’s OSFiC, which was fanzine orientated, the Draco Film Society was a general interest SF club devoted to “SF, fantasy, wargaming, Dorsai Irregular philosophy (at least one member, Phil Stevens, at one point Chair of Draco, also belonged to that American club), Dungeons & Dragons, rocketry, scale model building, stamp collecting & filksinging” but with particular emphasis on horror films and Star Trek. Not surprisingly, it actively recruited teenagers. Also unlike OSFiC, which tended to be laid back and anything but organized, the Draco Film Society was a tight ship where dissent and apathy were not tolerated.

Members even wore uniforms (at least when attending conventions) which Taral commented made them look like Toronto Transit Drivers. Draco’s club persona was deemed by some OSFiC members as quasi-military and not to their liking. In general, Taral summed them up as “…part of that part of fandom in the Midwest that fraternizes with Dorsai Irregulars, habitually votes Foglio for Hugo awards, and thinks that SF fans and Trekkies are all fans together.”

Although the two clubs did not compete, or even interact, with each other — Taral wrote “Draco has never materially affected the mainstream of Toronto fandom” — members of Draco, Pearse most of all, often participated in Conventions, especially the art shows. They played a major part in Canada’s first Star Trek convention, in July of 1976, TORONTO STAR TREK ’76, which lost $27,000. Later, in October 1976 Draco lost $6,000 with a convention of their own, ALPHA DRACONIS. Taral wrote: “Elizabeth, not directly at fault in either disaster, must be admired for personally undertaking the debts incurred by Draco.” At least four more cons were put on by Draco: BETA DRACONIS in 1979 (?), GAMMA DRACONIS in 1980 (?), DELTA DRACONIS in 1981, and EPSILON DRACONIS in 1982.

According to Garth Spencer: “Draco was eventually succeeded by another group, DRAGONSTAR.” (GS) (TW)



— This term I take to mean plays written by fans to be performed as part of convention programming. They are usually one-act plays, sometimes ‘mere’ skits, but occasionally long and elaborate. The longer ones are usually read, rather than performed.

The first play I know of was an Art Widner adaptation of Russ Chauvenet’s LEGIONS OF LEGIONS presented at the Boskone II convention in Boston in 1942. ” It was a theatre-in-the-round parody of Jack Williamson’s novel. The audience received copies of the script, to make sure that there would be plenty of prompters for the shakily memoried cast members.”

At the 1948 Torcon Worldcon held in Toronto, Philadelphian fans “presented a takeoff on the then celebrated radio soap opera PORTIA FACES LIFE in which Milt Rothman was actor and musician, George O. Smith was announcer, and someone named Josie captivated everyone by her manner of wriggling.”

The 1951 Nolacon Worldcon in New Orleans witnessed the performance of THE ROBOT, THE GIRL, THE ANDROID, AND THE POET written by Robert Bloch and performed by Bloch, Shelby Vick, Joe Christoff and Judith Merrill.

At the 1953 PhilCon II Worldcon in Philadelphia, local fans put on a parody of the TV game show “What’s My Line” titled THE GAME FROM OUTER SPACE.

The 1955 Clevention Worldcon in Cleveland saw local fans performing TV — 3000 AD. These included Mary Lou Kerr, Gene Pallent, and Kathleen Donahue. Even better, the same con witnessed a version of Dicken’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL written by Judith Merrill and starring herself, Sam Moskowitz, Fritz Leiber, Anthony Boucher, Robert Bloch, Damon Knight and Forrest J. Ackerman.

The 1958 Westercon in Los Angeles featured ALICE IN THRILLING WONDERLAND by Karen Anderson.

The 1959 Detention Worldcon in Detroit saw performed BEYOND THE UNKNOWN, a play satirizing SF editors, and included Karen Anderson, Barbara Silverberg, Evelyn Gold and Fritz Leiber in the cast.

A more recent example of a fan play, one that is read, took place at Ditto 8 in 1995 at the Mayflower Hotel in Seattle. I happened to attend and wrote the following in my trip report:

“TEN FANZINES THAT SHOOK THE WORLD is a play written and directed by Andy Hooper, loosely based on ‘Ten Days That Shook The World’ by John Reed, if memory serves, that was an eyewitness account of the Russian revolution. This of course is the fannish version, involving time travelers and fandom’s first attempt to take over the world and establish a Gernsbackian universe with a helicopter in every garage. At least, I think that is what it was about.. There were maybe 60 people in the audience, at least 20 performers reading their parts, and maybe 4,000 variations of Russian accents projected with great gusto and energetic enthusiasm. Thoroughly entertaining stuff.”

“This was the third time Andy’s play has been performed, the first two occasions being Silvercon and ReinCONation. It’s classic fan writing, easily on a par with the play version of THE ENCHANTED DUPLICATOR.” And, I seem to recall, but one of several plays Andy was already famous for writing and directing at cons.

No doubt there have been many other fan playwrights over the years. Hundreds probably. The above selection at least hints at the nature of the beast.

Some fans enjoyed recording plays on SONO-DISCS and playing them at club meetings. Even rarer was the short-lived fad of wire recordings. Most common of all, especially in Britain, was the recording of plays on magnetic tape and playing them at conventions. These were known as TAPERA, which I guess was short for Tape Opera. We’re talking 1940s and 1950s mostly. (JS) (DE) (RB) (HWJ)



— An obsolete — and rare to begin with — term for any fan attending a convention in costume. That would make Forrest J. Ackerman the first Drobe for his THINGS TO COME costume he wore at the 1939 NYCon I in New York ( the first Worldcon ). DROBE is meant to be mildly derogatory. It particularly applies to fans who wear their costume throughout a convention. I’m guessing some people consider this childish?

DROBE can also be a verb, as in “They drobed that Star Trek Film premiere”. Again, slightly derogatory in intent.

I’ve never come across this term except in THE EDMONTON SCIENCE FICTION & COMIC ARTS SOCIETY GUIDE TO SCIENCE FICTION AND FANDOM pubbed out of Edmonton in 1977 by Robert Runte, and THE NCF ( NEW CANADIAN FANDOM ) GUIDE TO CANADIAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANDOM also pubbed out of Edmonton by Robert Runte, in three editions; the first in 1978, the last in 1988.

I strongly suspect that this fannish term is not only unique to Canadian fandom, but unique to Alberta fandom, maybe even just Edmonton fandom.

I don’t know why someone would want to put down costumers. Masquerade contests are one thing, part of the programming, but so-called hall costumes are an equally delightful phenomenon, part of the charm and excitement of the convention, adding visual texture to the scene as it were. Sure, not every costume is great or stunning, but collectively they help set apart a convention from a mere gathering of people, help convert it into a gathering of fans by ghod! That someone would come up with a term to put down costumers ( or any other type of fan ) I find disturbingly elitist. There’s room enough in fandom for everybody.

I note that in the ESFACAS guide DROBE as a derogatory term was also meant to be applied to fringe fans, media fans, non-fans and Dozmos. The NCF guides dropped this wider application ( at least by version 3 ). Someone was being VERY elitist in 1977.This kind of self-destructive elitism turns away potential newcomers. Nobody wants this.



— Stands for DOWN UNDER FAN FUND, ‘down under’ referring to Australia/New Zealand. In alternating years either an American fan is sent to Australia to attend their annual national convention ( or Worldcon if one is taking place ), or an Australian/New Zealand fan is sent to the U.S. to attend either the Worldcon or NASFIC ( if the Worldcon is in some other country that year ). The DUFF winner is a kind of Fannish ambassador elected by his/her peers to promote good will between fannish nations. Money is raised for the purpose by voting fees and auctions of fannish goodies, usually rare fanzines. Winners are expected to publish trip reports post-trip so that all the fans who supported DUFF can share vicariously in the experience.

The catch is, after the trip is over, the winner becomes administrator for two years. Let’s say the winner in question is an Australian who had been sent to the States. In the first year the Australian winner helps the previous ( American ) winner administer the vote in the U.S., mainly by handling the Australian end of things, and in the second year conducts the election in Australia/New Zealand, with last year’s winner ( American ) handling the US side of things. This is a lot more work than, say CUFF for example, since the CUFF administrator functions for but a single year.

Another catch is, the distance being so great, the cost of sending someone across the Pacific money is usually greater than the amount which can realistically be expected to be raised, such that DUFF winners often have to shell out some of their own money to carry off the trip successfully.

Modeled after TAFF, DUFF began in 1972, Lesleigh Luttrell being the first winner. (RB)



— A ‘dummy’ is a sort of practice copy of a zine in which each and every line of text is typed ( in courier point 12 — standard typewriter font ) without any attempt at right margin justification, but with such in mind, so that extra keys, usually @¢@¢, are added to each line to the point where right margin justification will reach. That point is the same with every line, because a feature of courier font is that each letter takes up an identical space. The idea is, when typing the master copy, you split the extra spaces between the words to achieve right hand justification.

So that the dummy copy typed line will look something like this on the page.@¢@¢@

With another line just to illustrate the point for redundancy’s sake, oh joy.@¢@¢@%

(Note, the above two lines should be equal length, but it only works if the lines are in Courier font, which I am unable to accomplish. Still, it gets the method across, as the same lines reproduced below show.)

Taking into consideration the number of spaces required to achieve right hand justification, the final version looks like:

So that  the final  copy typed  line will look  something like this  on the page.

With another  line just to  illustrate the  point for redundancy’s  sake, oh joy.

So that the dummy copy typed line will look something like this on the page.@¢@¢@

Of course, this is rather awkward looking, but the price to be paid to achieve a ‘professional’ look. Bear in mind, however, that book and magazine publishers use kerning, in which the space BETWEEN LETTERS and not just words is adjusted to create an even spacing throughout the line. Nowadays this is done automatically by word processing programs. You just tell the computer to left AND right hand justify, no further work required.

Needless to say, typing an entire dummy copy was considered too much work and very few faneds chose to do it.

The more common fannish usage of the term ‘dummy’ is a miniature version of one’s proposed fanzine to figure out what material goes on which page. This is especially useful when planning a digest-sized zine. It enabled me, when doing my SPACE CADET GAZETTE, to understand that pages 14 & 19 would go together on one side of a sheet, and pages 20 & 13 on the other side. Even though I was using a publishing program, I still needed an actual physical ‘dummy’ to keep things straight in my head. Of course, I suppose that makes ME a dummy…. but what the heck, I found it very useful.

Some fans became notorious for endlessly fiddling around with dummies. George R. Hahn prepared 22 separate dummies for his proposed fanzine FANTASIA by 1938, but never actually printed and distributed the final version, much to the disgruntlement of them as paid subscription fees but never got their money back. (JS) (DE)


— was fanartist & faned Georgina ‘Gina’ (Ellis) Clarke whose fanac began in the 1950s and lasted into the 1970s. Though she often signed her art work ‘Sali Dali’, she signed her locs to ‘CANADIAN FANDOM’ “Dutch Ellis” which was ultimately shortened by her friends to “Dutchess”, and henceforth she was known by that title, in part to honour her many years active in fandom.

Among other things, she edited ‘WENDIGO’ & ‘MIMI’, co-edited ‘DESCANT’, and contributed much art to ‘CANADIAN CAPERS’, FIE’, and other zines.

Of her art, Taral Wayne wrote: “Gina…had talent, exposure to modern art which showed in some of her surreal or cubist illos, and more than one style.”

Desmond Emery, who corresponded with her for a time, wrote: “Boy could she ever draw! If I was going to be a big-time writer, she would have been the illustrator on whom I would rely to get my vision down on paper…”



— An annual spoof awards sponsored by Decadent Winnipeg Fandom, somewhat similar to the Elrons, but beginning later, first held at a gala luncheon at Juniors (you know, the one on Main street, by the CN station) in Winnipeg, September 1978, cept the luncheon wasn’t actually held, since the awards were announced earlier in the June issue of ‘LAID’.

Results of the first DWF Merit Awards: Worst fanzine in a starring role: PABLO LENNIS. Funniest movie in memory: STARSHIP INVASIONS. Best fan group west of Sault St. Marie, East of Moosejaw and North of Grand Forks: DECADENT WINNIPEG FANDOM. Loudmouth SF writer of the year: HARLAN ELLISON. Best sf series in the 70’s: PERRY RHODAN. Best hoax of 1977: THE LAST DANGEROUS VISIONS.