Fans are Slans!
The central character in the 1946 A. E. van Vogt novel Slan was a superhumanly intelligent youth in unsympathetic surroundings. Hence, the gag line "Fans are Slans!" became a rallying cry among Third Fandom.
While not seriously considering themselves a tendril-bearing, mutant super-intelligentsia, fans identified with slans as a persecuted minority because of the reactions they frequently got from mundane society merely for reading that "Crazy Buck Rogers Stuff" or even reading at all – but not to the extent that they really believed fans were superhuman beings, Second Fandom's half-serious Star-Begotten claims notwithstanding.
Still, during the 1940s and '50s, when many fans were intellectual autodidacts working in blue-collar jobs, there must have been a certain comfort in thinking themselves superior to the mundanes around them.
Also see: "It is a Proud and Lonely Thing to Be a Fan."
|From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959|
|Literally understood, "fans are superman mutants" -- or, at least, "fans are smarter than most people" -- but actual semantic content is according to the mood and attitude of the user.
|This is a fanspeak page. Please extend it by adding information about when and by whom it was coined, whether its still in use, etc.|