( E ) — CONTENTS
EDITOR / EDMONTON GANG OF FOUR / EDMONTON SF SOCIETY / EGO / EGOBOO / EGOBOO POLL / EGOSCAN / ELRON AWARDS / THE ENCHANTED DUPLICATOR / ENSMALLED FANZINES / EOFAN / EOFANDOM / EPHLESS EL / EPIPHENOMENA / ESFACAS / ESFOG / ESPERANTO
— In the mundane world, the chap who has the final word on the text going into a book or magazine, often mercilessly chopping out the good bits ( ask any author ), correcting spelling, choosing the layout right down to which font to employ, and in general, tailoring the finished result to fit with his/her preconceived notion as to what the reading public expects, often at the expense of what the author intends. Fair to say that an uneasy alliance exists between authors and editors. A good editor can greatly expand an author’s readership, jumpstart his career, and a bad editor…..
The fannish equivalent, the fanzine faned ( or fan ed ) is vastly more powerful and deadly.
[ See FANED / FAN ED ]
EDMONTON GANG OF FOUR
— The four Faneds of THE MONTHLY MONTHLY in the early 1980s. They were: David Vereschagin, Michael S. Hall, Bob Weir & Robert Runte. A takeoff of ‘The Gang Of Four’, prominent Chinese including Mao’s wife who were tried for treason after the death of Mao, it implies these faneds are in some way dangerous outcasts. They were, in turn, spoofed by the creation of ‘The Ganglion Of Four’ in Victoria.
Oddly enough, the ‘Edmonton Gang of Four’ actually consisted of ten people, namely: Robert Runté, Bob Weir, Mike Hall, John Durno, Christine Kulyk, Roseanne Charest, Karole Ishida, David Vereschagin, Randy Reichardt, and John Mcbain.
[ See THE MONTHLY MONTHLY, GANGLION OF FOUR ]
EDMONTON SF SOCIETY
— Founded in November 1952. Promptly affiliated with the Canadian SF Association. I don’t know anything more about it other than it lasted at least as long as the CSFA did, perhaps dying off in the mid 1950s?
The CANADIAN FAN DIRECTORY published by the CSFA in fall of 1952 lists a few Edmonton fans. Most of them, I assume, since the CSFA was aware of them, joined the Edmonton SF Society.
Their names are: E.L. Arksey, Norman G. Browne (Editor of ‘VANATIONS’), N.R. Griggs, Bill Morse, Gilbert Rolland, & Ethel Trupp.
[ See CANADIAN SF ASSOCIATION ]
— This was a nickname bestowed on Arthur C. Clarke from his earliest days in British fandom, possibly in the late 1930s and certainly before 1944 when it appeared as an entry in the first Fancyclopedia. It seems, even as a young fan, he never suffered from a lack of self-confidence. Fan artists were wont to depict EGO “as a separate being, like an astral projection, who embodies Clarke’s dizzier characteristics in extreme form.” I’m guessing this would have included an Asimov-like tendency to lecture others at the drop of a hat in order to correct their misunderstanding of science, or simply to lighten their load of ignorance. (JS)
— This is what all fans, and especially faneds, live for. EGOBOO is short for EGO BOOST, and is what you get out of positive feedback from other fans. It comes in various forms. Spoken comments to your face are nice, but transitory. Far better are written comments, especially in the larger circulation fanzines. Anything which enhances your fandom-wide reputation is best. Curiously, this can include negative comments uttered by fans outraged by your comments about them, depending, of course, on which of you is the more popular among your peers.
EGOBOO as a term in the fannish lexicon was coined circa 1945, or at least that’s when it first came into widespread fannish usage.
EGOBOO is the second most powerful force in fandom, since it is the engine which inspires, motivates, and drives all fanac. ( The MOST powerful force in fandom is, of course, fannish apathy. ) (DE) (RB) (HWJ)
[ See NEGOBOO, SEGOBOO ]
— This is an annual poll conducted among members of FAPA to determine who was best in several categories, such as writing, editing, artwork, and so forth. It was originally known as the Laureate Awards and winners and runner-ups received silk screened certificates as their reward. Circa 1945 the practice of presenting certificates lapsed ( and the whole concept of the Laureate awards was later taken up by the National Fan Fantasy Federation ) but the annual poll continued ( and continues to this day I believe ), and quickly became known as the EGOBOO POLL since egoboo is the only reward winners now receive. (DE)
— Is the process of frantically looking through other faned’s fanzines to see if your name is mentioned, your fanzine reviewed, your views discussed, etc. In other words, it is the actual act one performs in the eternal quest for egoboo, the Holy Grail of fandom. (EG)
[ See EGOBOO ]
— The Elron Awards are Fandom’s longest running spoof awards, predating the HOGUS by one year and the BLACKHOLES by two. Contrary to rumour, they have nothing whatsoever to do with L. Ron Hubbard, the pulp SF writer who invented the ‘science’ of Dianetics and founded the Scientology religion. The originators simply liked the science fiction ‘feel’ of the name, chosen from a long list of suggestions.
First presented in 1971 at VCON 1 in Vancouver, B.C., the awards are presented annually by The British Columbia Science Fiction Association. The actual award is usually a plastic lemon painted bronze, but often with an addition to help illustrate the theme. For example, the Elron awarded Mr. Science had a foot-wide model space station atop the lemon.
Which brings up a point concerning the evolution of the Elrons. The founding concept was: “If we honour the best, should we not also honour the least?” So originally the Elrons were simply awarded to the ‘worst of’ anything, be it the worst novel, worst editor, ktp. Robert A. Heinlein won WORST NOVEL ELRON in 1971 for his I WILL FEAR NO EVIL, selected excerpts being read out “to hilarious advantage”. But as time went on the mandate of the Elrons expanded to include gentle japes, with less and less emphasis on outright condemnation. Eventually, if you were a local fan, it was considered a great honour to win an Elron. For instance, Mike Bailey won an Elron in 1993 for “Least Outstanding Contribution to Fandom”, i.e. founding the Elrons in the first place. Frank Skinner won the “Special Spider Robinson Elron” for outdoing Spider in terrible puns at local pun contests. I gave myself a nifty Elron (with a plastic flying saucer on top ) “for preferring Nude on the Moon to Citizen Kane and inflicting 14 years of reviews of bad films on the readers of BCSFAzine”.
Over the years ( and these are just SOME of the categories ) winners have included:
AUTHORS: Ray Bradbury, Heinlein, Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., David Gerrold, Jerry Pournelle, Samuel R. Delany, Norman Spinrad, Piers Anthony, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Dean Koontz, Harlan Ellison, and even Jaqueline Susann for her SF novel YARGO.
INSTITUTIONS: NASA, the Soviet Space Program, World Scientific Community, Sony Corporation, Time Magazine, US Secret Service, President Clinton, President Bush, ktp.
TV SHOWS: Star Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Master Pervert Theatre, V-The Final Conflict, ktp.
FILMS: Chariots of the Gods, Planet of the Apes, The Black Hole, The Dark Crystal, Superman II, Runaway, Gor, Outlaws of Gor, Edward Scissorhands, Highlander II, Cthulhu Mansion, Naked Lunch, Aliens 3, ktp.
FANDOM: BCSFAns in general, Michael Dann, Michael Walsh, Vaughn Fraser, the Secret Masters of Fandom, Mike Bailey, Darryl Huber, Frank Skinner, Mr. Science, R. Graeme Cameron, Nils Helmer Frome, Calvin Beck, Garth Spencer, Doug Finnerty, Kathleen Moore-Freeman, ktp.
One thing most Elron presentations have in common is John Norman, author of the Gor novels. ( Indeed, for many years a Gor novel formed the base of the Elron lemon. ) In a letter to BCSFA circa 1974 Ursula K. LeGuin suggested Norman deserved at least a “bronze lentil for semi-literate fetishism”, and such was awarded at VCON 3. Over the years John Norman has won over 27 Elrons with titles like “Special Brass Bra Elron for Best Feminist Gor Movie” ( awarded at VCON 18 in 1990 — it consisted of two brass painted Elrons glued side by side in a suitably mammary tribute ). In fact, I even awarded Norman the “All time winner of the Most Elrons and Deservedly So ” Elron in 1993.
What I would like to stress is the emphasis on humour. Award titles like: the “Least Promising Dead Author” Elron ( to P.K. Dick ), the “Shove it Up your Mundane” Elron ( to Ray Perry on behalf of Forrest J. Ackerman ), and the “Make Lovecraft Grit His Teeth and Yell ‘Arrgh!’ from the Grave” Elron ( to the film Cthulhu Mansion ) are a subtle reflection of the intent of the awards: sheer entertainment, raise a few laughs, a few chuckles, not hackles.
Presenters have been surprisingly few over the years. They include Mike Bailey, David George, Brent McLean, John Thomson, Ed Beauregard, Michael Walsh, and –since VCON 18 in 1990 — myself, R Graeme Cameron. We select few are the SMOTE, the Secret Masters of the Elrons.
[ See BLACK HOLE AWARD, HOGU AWARD ]
THE ENCHANTED DUPLICATOR
— This is the greatest fiction epic of fannish literature, “The Tale of Jophan’s Epic Odyssey from Mundane to the Tower of Trufandom”. It’s all about Jophan’s quest to find the enchanted duplicator which will enable him to publish the perfect fanzine. But first he faces a perilous journey through the Mountains of Inertia, past the Glades of Gafia, the Hekto Swamp, always on the look out for herds of typos and nasty villains like Mr. Disillusion, Mr. Dedwood, and the hideous Hucksters. In the end he climbs the tower and discovers the Enchanted Duplicator:
“He had expected a gleaming, jewel-like machine. Instead he saw a rusty, battered hulk. The framework was filthy with ink, the drum was caked, and there was obviously something wrong with the self-feed….Dazed by the shock of his disappointment, he wandered aimlessly across the top of the tower.”
But when he accidentally brushes against the handle of the mimeograph, he is transformed, his skin now “glowing with the same golden radiance he had noticed in the bodies of the Trufans”.
“As the revelation came to him, there was the sound of golden trumpets in the air, and he heard again the voice of the Spirit of Fandom.”
“FOR THE MAGIC MIMEOGRAPH IS THE ONE WITH A TRUE FAN AT THE HANDLE.”
A wonderful satire of fanzine fandom, a veritable guide in fact, it was inspired by a BBC radio play by Louis McNeice called ‘The Dark Tower’. BoSh ( Bob Shaw ) came up with the basic concept, Walt “Willis wrote most of the text, and BoSh created the Map of Jophan’s Quest. George Charters dummied the pages, which have justified right margins, and cut the stencils…Two hundred copies were mimeographed, with printed front and back covers, and years passed before they were all sold, despite the later fame of the work.” It has been reprinted since many times.
Quite a few readers assumed THE ENCHANTED DUPLICATOR was a parody of PILGRIM’S PROGRESS, but in fact the authors had not yet read this classic when they composed TED. The concluding statement that “This is a Serious Constructive Insurgent Publication” was just “a spur of the moment addition to the colophon” and not meant to be taken seriously.
One lasting legacy of THE ENCHANTED DUPLICATOR is the sheer number of terms and phrases to enter the fannish lexicon, such as ‘Glades of Gafia’, ‘Shield of Ulmor’, and the like.
THE ENCHANTED DUPLICATOR was originally published in February of 1954. At some point in later years “Walter Willis and James White collaborated on a sequel, BEYOND THE ENCHANTED DUPLICATOR TO THE ENCHANTED CONVENTION, which was published by Geri Sullivan in 1991. It continues the adventures of Jophan, and shows how fanac can be integrated into a happy and successful life.” (DE) (HWJ) (RB) (AK)
[ See BELFAST TRIANGLE, GHOODMINTON, OBLIQUE HOUSE, & WILLIS, WALT ]
— Believe it or not, there was a time when even a bulky multi-page fanzine could be mailed relatively cheaply. In that paradisiacal bygone era faneds thought nothing of churning out 100 or more copies of a 20-60 page zine packed with columns, essays, articles, artwork, an editorial, a lengthy loc column, even a whole bunch of white space for appearance’s sake, and to do so on a regular basis, say every two months, or oftener. And this at a time when hardly anybody subscribed anymore and most zines were in trade for The Usual, or in other words, the entire cost of distribution was borne by the faned.
But then mailing costs began rising. The old class distinctions disappeared. Seems like today you start at first class mail and the rates go up from there. ( And by the way, the Canadian Post office is in fierce competition with other courier services. I thought you were supposed to LOWER your prices to beat the competition. What’s up with the modern corporate tendency to RAISE prices to compete? Ghod, I loath the 21st century….)
Anyway, faneds fought the trend by reducing the number of issues per year, or as Rich Brown put it: “to quarterly at best, which reduced their sense of immediacy”. The genzine began to go the way of the dodo. Even perzines became too expensive. My digest-sized SPACE CADET GAZETTE, averaging 32 pages, which went out to more than 100 recipients, became a hobby I could no longer afford. The traditional paper fanzine was in peril of extinction.
Enter the last hurrah of the tradition-minded faned, the ENSMALLED FANZINE, a fanzine reduced in number of pages and weight to the point where it can be mailed as a letter. This phenomenon began, in the U.S. at least, as far back as the early 1980s with zines like Nielsen Hayden’s IZZARD and Richard Bergeron’s WIZ, and accelerated in the 1990s with, for example, Andy Hooper’s APPARATCHIK , or John Hertz’s VANAMONDE, the latter the ultimate example of an ensmalled fanzine, being only a single sheet yet filled with mini-essays, locs, reviews, ktp. Mike Glyer calls VANAMONDE “the Haiku fanzine” because so much is compressed into so little space.
And therein lays the major problem, or challenge, of an ensmalled fanzine. How to cram an editorial, a loc column, and presumably several articles and reviews into so few pages? At the very least, faneds must now function as genuine editors, i.e. cutting and slashing verbosity. The art of laconic compression is now a necessity. The luxury of printing locs in full can no longer be tolerated, print only the best bits.
This is a particular challenge with clubzines. Portland’s PULSAR and Bellingham’s DATAPHILE are examples of clubs who managed it. Now, circa 2007, BCSFAzine, the clubzine of the British Columbia SF Association, has, by decree of the Treasurer and agreement on the part of the rest of the executive, been transformed into an ensmalled clubzine. Rising costs and declining enrollment demand this.
The only solution is to publish online. With PDF compression, you can make your zine as large as you like without negatively affecting the recipient’s inbox quota. Cost is not an issue, only time and effort. If the recipient wants a traditional paper version, they can always print out the file with their own printer. Thus, in a sense, the cost of publishing and distribution is now borne by the recipient rather than the publisher.
Not everyone has a computer. Not everyone is online. To banish a paperzine version of a clubzine is to evict a certain percentage of club members. And at the same time, those members who receive the ezine version may find the ensmalled version hardly worth reading, might cause them to lose interest in the club. So we may see the phenomenon arise of dual versions of clubszines, namely ensmalled paperzines and full-size ezines, the latter featuring articles and contributions for which there is no room in the former. In effect, the paperzine would be the club newszine, the e-version the club genzine. This may happen with BCSFAzine. Time will tell. (RB)
EOFAN / EOFANDOM
— Has to do with the concept of numbered fandoms, which is to say, specific periods of time clearly defined by the dominant fannish obsessions of the Day. Jack Speer is credited with originating the concept in the 1930s and, according to HWJ, defined FIRST FANDOM as beginning in the year 1933. Subsequently Speer revised his scheme to include the activities of the earliest fans from 1930 to 1932, dubbing them EOFANS and their ‘numbered’ era EOFANDOM. This led to a delightful phrase which even now makes for a short, pithy and wonderfully confusing interlineation: “An eofan is not a neofan.” (JS) (DE) (HWJ) (RB)
[ See FANDOMS ( NUMBERED ERAS ) ]
— This is an example of the kind of nickname fans bestow on another fan whether he likes it or not. Ephless El being Elmer Perdue, who entered fandom circa 1939/1940 handicapped by a typewriter lacking an ‘F’ key. (JS)
– A concept and practice begun by French fan Jean Linard circa 1956/57. Well known and respected for his English language zine MEUH, “his correspondence was almost as fat and exciting as his fanzines”. In his letters he sometimes pasted small objects which, being presented out of context, assumed exaggerated importance beyond their inherent meaning. ( Remarkably similar to Salvador Dali’s ‘Paranoiac-Critical’ concept in which extreme emphasis in detail focuses the viewer’s awareness on an object normally taken for granted and ignored. )
Described by DE as a “sort of materialized blank thot”, EPIPHENOMENA ( an actual word by the way ) are, in fannish lexicon, objects intended to manifest a superior, even spiritual, fannish significance beyond what their mere physical reality would normally dictate. ( Come to think of it, not unlike many an LSD experience with mundane objects like a shoe or a flower. )
Later faneds occasionally pasted EPIPTHENOMENA in their zines. I’ll name a few examples as I come across them. XENIUM for one. (DE) (HWJ)
[ See BLANK THOT ]
— The Edmonton Science Fiction And Comic Arts Society, a University of Alberta club founded in 1976. Produced a clubzine the ESFACAS NEWSLETTER (1976 – 1978) and then with namechange NEOLOGY (1978 – 1992). ESFACAS spawned three offshoot organizations: ESFOG ( Edmonton Science Fiction Old Guard ), VIRUS CLUB, and a weekly writer’s workshop ‘Writers of the Lost, Inc’ chaired by Steve Fahnestalk. Members worked actively on NONCON and other Alberta conventions, and even produced their own TV show, ORBIT SF, which aired on public cable channels circa 1980. They also maintained a large paperback library which members could borrow from free of charge.
In the version of the ESFACAS Guide to Science Fiction and Fandom published in 1981 ( 2nd edition ), ESFACAS is described as : “the largest science fiction club in Canada, and one of the most active. ESFACAS meets every Thursday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 in room 14-9 of the Henry Marshall Tory building on the UotA campus…The emphasis at meetings has always been on informal conversations, but we also show films, listen to panel discussions, hold workshops, and pitch in to help work on various club workshops.”
[ See ESFACAS NEWSLETTER, NEOLOGY, ESFOG, VIRUS CLUB ]
— Acronym for “Edmonton Science Fiction Old Guard”, self-described as “the radical inactive fan-group that began in Edmonton and has since spread out to someplace else, maybe.” Formed in 1985, ESFOG consisted mostly of fans who had graduated from the University of Alberta; fans originally from somewhere else such as Steve Fahnestalk from Moscow, Idaho, Michael Skeet from Calgary, and Bill Wallace from Toronto, as well as local fans like Jane Starr, Marcel Chichak, and Lorna Toolis.
My impression is that these ‘ Old Guard’ fans, being either very busy senior students or recent graduates, founded ESFOG as a kind of offshoot of ESFACAS in order to maintain social contact without being handicapped by the enthusiasm of the ‘New Guard’ . This short-lived (lack of) organization devoted to inactivity and humour met every Friday evening at Inger’s Lounge ( Chickey’s ). ZOOLOGY was their equally short-lived clubzine. Short-lived, I say, because inevitably these alumni moved away from Edmonton to pursue careers elsewhere.
[ See ZOOLOGY ]
— This is an artificial language invented in 1887 by Dr. Ludovik Lazarus Zamenhof of Poland, who anchored it on the common roots underlying European languages. To keep things as simple as possible, the spelling is almost entirely phonetic, the grammar has no exceptions, and the meaning of a word is determined by universal prefixes and suffixes.
For example, “esperi means ‘to hope’, espere means ‘hopefully’, espero means ‘a hope’, and esperanto means ‘one who is hoping’; Esperanto being Zamenhof’s pename”.
Esperanto was presented as the obvious choice for the universal language of the future and was heavily promoted ( to a reluctant fandom ) by Forrest J. Ackerman and Morojo in the 1930s. Some fans promoted Stalinism, FJA promoted Esperanto, both were probably equally annoying. A universal language is doomed for a short life even if it could be achieved, given humankind’s propensity for inventing slang and new words, with regional differences and dialects quickly developing. But at least, now I have some insight as to where FJA derived his obsession with ‘simplifyd speling’. (JS)