o - s
Archaic. Short for "obligation". From Eric Frank Russell's sf classic, "...And Then There Were None" but listed here because fans have used it enough to adopt it as a term of their own. Also a net term. (SB)

British mimeo correction fluid. (Long obsolete.) (RH)

Official Collator, the person responsible for collating an apa. Like many an OE, they may also mail out the apa. The exceptions tend to be those apas which are adjuncts of some local club; Apa L at LASFS, e.g., where virtually all the members/contributors pick up a copy after it has been run off on the club's electric Gestetners. (KR)

Official Editor, the person responsible for collating and mailing out an apa. (KR)

A fanzine published on one and only one occasion, usually on the spur of the moment, often first-draft. The latter frequently results in a publication that is forced, stilted and unpleasant. The "classic" oneshots, as published during the Laney/Burbee Insurgency, were different because the participants usually brought previously drafted and even somewhat polished material to it. (rb)

Official Organ, the memberzine of an apa. Clubs other than apas can also have OO's; The National Fantasy Fan is the OO of the N3F, e.g. In an apa, the OO generally lists (1) the titles, editors and number of pages of publications in the individual apa mailing being sent out with it, (2) a membership roster listing all active members and dues and/or minac owed, plus waiting listers (with or without addresses), and (3) official reports from the OE/OC and other officers, if applicable. (rb)

A former Los Angeles fan club for members of LASFS who lived in the "outlands" of Los Angeles, and thus found it difficult to make it to every meeting of LASFS. When the Outlanders disbanded in 1948, some fans began using the slogan "South Gate in '58" as an interlineation or filler in their fanzines—- South Gate being the town where their founder Rick Sneary, a.k.a. "the Hermit of South Gate", lived. The idea of the slogan was to promote an after 10-years reunion of the Outlanders; eventually, however, it became a successful Worldcon bid. The Solacon was held in a Los Angeles hotel which was ceded for the Labor Day the weekend to the Mayor of South Gate by the Mayor of Los Angeles, as South Gate did not have a hotel large enough to host the event which drew fans in the hundreds. (DE/rb)

1. The fantasy world created by L. Frank Baum for his classic children's novels, including but not limited to "The Wizard of Oz."
2. The affectionate term for Australia, in and out of fandom. (SB)

Where Claude Degler planned to have his "love camps" in which members of his Cosmic Circle could breed the race of fans destined to rule the sevagram. (rb)

A collection of people called together to conduct a discussion on a specific topic at a con. (KR)


A zine put out by one person, usually about the activities and thoughts of the editor. (KR)


Sometimes known as the little typo that made good. Walt Willis made it and Lee Hoffman elevated the typo to fannish fame. Walt and LeeH were initially engaged in a correspondence which was fast and furious, long letters supplemented by shorter ones that passed each other in the mail, and in turn were added to by postcards. Then when there hadn't been any mail from LeeH in a while, Walt dashed off a postscript that said ="What, no poctsarcds?"= LeeH replied that, alas, there were no poctsarcds to be had in her area -- not even pitcuer poctsarcds. And from that time onward, no one in fandom ever used a postcard again. Willis, tickled, used his press to run off some poctsarcds, so labeled. He also supplied the definition: While postcards have the space for the message printed on one side and the space for the address on the other, with poctsarcds it's done precisely the other way around. (TP)

Although some people seem to think this is anybody who has ever been paid for a story, it is in fact short for "professional" and should be applied only to those who have made a significant portion of their living by writing. (rb)

A whimsical and mythical commercial enterprise, run by Walt Willis and Lee Hoffman, which offered to conduct various ego- boosting forms of fanac in the name of whoever paid their exorbitant fees (which started at $10,000/year and went up, depending on the services rendered). Guaranteed to turn the customer into a Well Known (or, at the higher end of the fee spectrum, Big Name) Fan--its advertising claim being that anyone who was a WKF or BNF was already a Proxyboo, Ltd. Client. Vernon McCain ran a rival service, but it was quite exclusive, working only for those whose initials were "rb"--and in its advertising named its supposed major "success story" clients, i.e., Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Redd Boggs, &c. (rb)

A professional sf magazine. Term coined by C. Russell Chauvenet at about the same time as he coined the term "fanzine". (rb)

apa term, "Read And Enjoyed, But No Comment", or "Rare And Ennobling, But No Cigar" The net equivalent is to quote an entire post to say, "What s/he said." (rb)

A convention at which there is little or no programming, but plenty of places where fans can gather and talk and party and smof and engage in fourth dimensional mental, verbal and sometimes even herbal crifanac. (rb)

Fannish Ghod invented by Art Rapp, Rick Sneary and Ed Cox in 1949. Roscoe is a beaver whose birthday is Labor Day Weekend (which all fans celebrate, Roscoeites or not). Possibly the most popular of the fannish ghods, for reasons unknown, although Rapp speculated that it might have been a numbers game. Which is to say, FooFoo was invented by one fan (Jack Speer) and GhuGhu by two (Don Wollheim with the help of John Michel), and Rapp speculated as follows:

Then mighty Roscoe's cult arose
    (as every SPACEWARP reader knows)
Interpreted by deacons three:
    Rick Sneary, Edmund Cox and me.
The moral of this history, fan
    Is: cults ain't founded by one slan;
Attempts by two make fandom nod,
    For only t'ree can make a ghod.


1. "Smiling, Always Smiling", roughly equivalent to ; ).
2. "Snide, Always Snide". (KR)

Society of Boring Old Farts a.k.a. Secret Bastards of Fandom. Not just any old exclusive, manipulative and secretive fan group, SBOFs not only tell SMOFs what to do, they strike terror in the hearts of fans everywhere, what with their proven ability to run anyone they don't like out of fandom on a rail —-or, at the very least, to have them condemned, torn down and a Burger King built on the site. They meet twice yearly in obscure and exotic places, from Romanche Deep to Majorca, Orekhovo Zuyevo to Hidalgo del Parral, or New Dorp to Rybinsk Reservoir, where they make their snap judgments with regard to charting the course of fandom's future, thunder out arbitrary orders and are instantly and unquestioningly obeyed. (rb)

1. Science fiction like junk produced for mass audiences.
2. Non fannish term for science fiction.
3. Seriously intended hyper fannish name for science fiction, based on the popularity of "hi fi" equipment, invented by Forrest J Ackerman. Unfortunately, his own association and involvement with "schlock"/grade B sf movies brought the term to its currently accepted meaning (covered adequately by definitions 1 and 2 above). There's also the tongue-in-cheek comment, "Hoi polloi pronounce it psi phi, but we cognoscente call it skiffy." (rb)

Term coined by Hugo Gernsback to describe what is now called "science fiction" or "speculative fiction" and which was once called "scientific romance"; used fairly commonly in the '30s, now used nostalgically. (abbreviated STF, adj. STFNAL) (KR)

Semiprofessional magazine. See WSFS rules governing the Hugo awards for details. (rb)

1. Term used to describe fans, referring to the confluence of large amounts of body fat, glasses and facial hair (the latter chiefly in male fans) marking fans. Always seemed to be used in faanfiction as marginally self satirical, as in the assertion that fans can sometimes tell that someone else is a fan because they had a Sensitive Fannish Face. (Trufans can tell other Trufans by their "auras," usually at distances upwards of 150 feet, but this is a separate matter. They can also tell whether or not a fanzine contains a mention of their name simply by laying their hands upon the cover.)
2. Code, according to Rusty Hevelin, for gay fans. (obsolete)

(1) Serious and Constructive. Sf fandom was founded by sercon fans (back in the late 20s) who wrote letters to prozines to comment on and criticize the stories. Because Hugo Gernsback published the addresses with the letters, those people started writing to each other. This correspondence led to the development of fanzines, clubs (the Science Fiction League), cons and fandom as a social unit. By the 1940s, the term came to be used derisively, because sercon fans tended to take themselves, science fiction and their involvement in sf fandom too seriously; they valued making lists over genuine critical insight, would rather pontificate than tell a joke and saw it as their duty to "promote" science fiction to the place where it belonged, i.e., surely at the top of the pile of all Literature. These pipple got a lot of fun poked at them. By the early '70s, however, the term lost its derisive clout as newcomers misapplied it to works of serious and at least somewhat constructive criticism.
(2) In the late 1980's, "getting sercon" became a euphemism for "getting stoned".
(3) Inevitably became the name of a convention. (rb/RH)

Science Fiction Oral History Association, a group formed to preserve the history of early fandom through audio and video tape interviews. (SD)

The Science Fiction (& Fantasy) Writers Association. Originally just SFWA. Founded by damon knight, among others; since his "Unite or Fie!" article has often been credited with the foundation of the National Fantasy Fan Federation aka N3F, there were those who wondered why he hadn't "learned better" the first time. (rb)

Most APAs allow married couples to share a single membership. One set of dues and one mailing is all they pay and get, respectively, but if both maintain regular activity requirements, they can usually each vote in the egoboo poll (if any) and in the election of officers. Some of the social changes that are generally associated with the '60s actually got started in the late '50s--and Charles Burbee, who was then an official of FAPA, addressed one of them by pointing out that some fan couples were choosing to live together and try things out for a while, rather than getting married only to discover that they were really incompatible. Not to put too fine a point on it, Burbee said, they were shacking up. Burbee ruled that these couples could have a dual membership in FAPA, just like a married couple, provided they met "shacktivity requirements," i.e., by proving to him that they did the same things together that married couples do. (rb)

see SCI FI

The race of persecuted super humans in the A.E. van Vogt novel of the same name. Slans, depicted as the next stage of human evolutional development (homo superior), are intellectually superior and the ones who have tendrils in their hair are natural telepaths. In the book, they were being hounded to their deaths by mere homo sapiens, presumably because the poor saps didn't want to be replaced by the pure sups. Fans, who felt like a persecuted minority because of the reactions they got from mundanes for merely reading that Crazy Buck Rogers Stuff, identified readily enough with the slans, but none more strongly than Claude Degler. While the consensus was that fans are not really slans, Degler and his Cosmen (members of Degler's club, the Cosmic Circle) seemed to believe it seriously, and were planning on love camps in the Ozarks where fans could go to breed the race that was destined to rule the sevagram. (rb)

A tongue-in-cheek reference to Deglerism, meaning any household with two or more unrelated fans (or, provided three or more fans were involved, could include married couples). (rb)

Fiction with a homosexual theme; originally started with Kirk/Spock (Kirk slash Spock) stories. Slash fiction is fan- written fiction about characters from professional fiction (typically television or movies, as in the prototypical Kirk/Spock fiction), involving those characters in a sexual relationship which was not shown in the original. (MK)

Secret Master of Fandom. 1. Tongue in cheek term for the fans in smoke filled back rooms who "really" decide the course and future of Fandom.
2. Person Behind The Scenes; usually applied to that rarefied "upper stratum" of fandom that goes 'way beyond the call of duty to ensure that Fandom gets to do what Fandom "wants" to do, e.g., Worldcon chairs of note, gonzo hotel negotiators, super golly gee whiz con programming types, etc.
3. Harry Warner Jr. (rb)

A convention for convention planners/runners.

(v.) To drink bourbon (preferably Jim Beam green label) with Bob Tucker and participate in the appropriate ceremony. (KR)

To sf what "horse opera" is to westerns. Best represented by the work of E.E. "Doc" Smith, most science fiction from the 30's and 40's fits into this category. Also called, at times, "Blood and Thunder" (if good) or "Thud and Blunder" (if not). The Galactic Patrol, ray guns (sometimes simultaneously with swords), BEMs, Buck Rogers & other heros who knew which side their swash was buckled on are all space opera, and recognizably space opera stories are still being published today. (SD)

Any fiction of a speculative nature, but especially science fiction, fantasy and horror that feels embarrassed when it is called science fiction, fantasy or horror. (KR/rb)

A fannish religion. Originated by John Kusske, Al Kuhfeld, and Blue Petal. See: THE GREAT SPIDER. (KR)

See Mock Feuds.

See Mock Feuds.



A snotty stuffed-shirt way of saying "science fiction fan". (rb)

It was in the early a.m., after a meeting of the New York Fanoclasts, just a few days after the Kitty Genovese incident. Kitty Genovese was a young woman in Long Island, New York, who was knifed repeatedly; to her screams of terror and pleas for help, her neighbors closed their doors and windows and did nothing--they Didn't Want To Get Involved--so her attacker was able to keep coming back until, finally, he killed her. Dave Van Arnam had been particularly vehement in his condemnation of "these scumbags who pass for human beings" at that very Fanoclast meeting. On their way home, Dave, Earl Evers, Mike McInerney, Steve Stiles, rich brown and perhaps others were all waiting for the same subway in a station not far from Ted White's apartment, where Fanoclast meeintings were held; as the subway pulled into the station, a knife-wielding man inside one of the cars was seen chasing a terrified woman. Dave stepped in, simultaneously shielded the woman from the man with his body, held the man at bay by threatening him with his balled up fist and held the door of the car open with his shoulder until the motorman--who simply wanted to leave--called the police. Earl Evers kept the man with the knife wondering by going into a low karate crouch and sidling around behind him, while the rest tried to look like they would back Dave up. After the police came and took the man away, everyone urged Dave to write up the incident. He started doing so the following week but never told the full story--this is probably the first time it's ever been told--in his fanzine FIRST DRAFT, which inspired APA- F, which inspired APA-L, both of which see. (rb)