Eofan

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An eofan is somebody who was doing fanac and making inroads toward fandom before fandom really existed. Eofandom was generally comprised of folk with no sense of group existence whose interests were in collecting stf and scientificomics, and who eagerly hunted down any items with any sort of stfnal significance. The start of this period is disputed, but it’s generally considered to have ended, and First Fandom commenced, around 1933.

Such fanzines as Science Fiction Digest and The Comet were the mags of the day. Primitive trilobites crawled about on the ocean floor. Letter-writing was a major activity, and stfnists depended on hcs of the past as much as, or more than, prozines for sustenance.

Jack Speer became one of fandom's earliest historians, introducing his concept of Numerical Fandoms (which see), initially covering First Fandom, Second Fandom and Third Fandom. Fairly early on, Speer was told he hadn't started his history of the microcosm early enough ... so, on revising his original, he dubbed this earlier period "eofandom" and the fans who were active there became "eofans". Its usage makes it possible to write a sentence which makes perfect sense when read but seems like nonsense when spoken aloud: "An eofan can never be a neofan."

One of Speer’s critics was Don Wollheim, who said fandom started crawling out of its primeval ooze in 1929 in his view of its origins, published in Fan Slants 3 (June 1944).


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