Fandom is what we call the participatory community of fans that grew out of the 1930s letter columns, in which they interact with one another in sf clubs; via correspondence, fanzines and online fora; and at sf conventions. Science fiction led to fandom's creation and continues to be its major focus, yet a liking for the genre does not of itself make you part of fandom. You cannot be a fan alone or even among others who also like sf -- you must have contact with the microcosm.
Sociologically, fandom consists of fans who are in contact with others, indulging in fanac and maintaining interest in the community. It is a subset of the whole sf community; it overlaps but does not encompass prodom and does not include the vast majority of consumers of science fiction. (This last point is important: most fans love SF, but it's not that which makes them part of fandom.)
Anyone can join fandom, but like most communities, fandom expects newcomers to learn our language, traditions, customs and mores. Fandom is a gift economy and meritocracy that appreciates the desire to belong, effort to participate and the ability to express one's self -- either in writing or verbally. Communicating with other fen is an essential part of fandom. Joining fandom requires climbing the Mountains of Inertia. and moving purposefully past the Circle of Lassitude, not always easy tasks.
Fandom began around 1930. Hugo Gernsback had begun Amazing Stories, the first prozine in 1929. Unable to pay writers to fill the whole magazine with fiction, he invited readers to contribute to a lettercol, and, with his second magazine, Science Wonder Stories, launched the Science Fiction League as a means of expanding readership. Soon the readers and SFLeaguers began writing to each other as well as the magazine, and the first local club, The Scienceers formed in Harlem.
When correspondence between these eofans had reached some proportions, and a few clubs came into existence, fanzines took form and increased fannish interaction. About 1935, fandom broke away from its commercially motivated roots and became an independent organism and began progressing through the numerical fandoms and expanded internationally. The first convention was held and then the first Worldcon, and fandom continued to grow, though it remained a proud and lonely thing to be a fan for decades.
As Roger Ebert put it in a 2004 article in Asimov's, "Fandom grew out of and fed a world-view that was dubious of received opinion, sarcastic, anarchic, geeky before that was fashionable....a world that stood outside the mainstream. Science fiction was the occasion for fandom, and often the topic, but the subterranean subject was a kind of kibitzing outsider world view.
In the 1960s and '70s, the movement spread like an epidemic. Subfandoms began splitting off from fandom, as devotees and promoters of comics, Star Trek, mystery fiction, sex or other subjects began to form separate institutions focused on those topics, sometimes with profit-making motivations; further "adjective fandoms" spun off from those, and as the term fandom proliferated in mundane use, groups such as "baseball fandom" and "Hello Kitty fandom," with no slightest connection to sf fandom have arisen. There has been much controversy over whether Trufandom encompasses all these disparate groups or not.
The word fandom antedates science-fiction fandom (and for that matter, science fiction). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it appeared in print in a sports context as early as 1896. Among fans its use as a stand-alone noun means our fandom and nothing else. But fans will also use it with a modifier to describe social groups which have grown up around various aspects of pop-culture (e.g., "Anime fandom") which have appropriated the term and sometimes some of the other aspects of fandom.
|From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959
|The world in which fans live and move and have their being. (With an ordinal number attached it refers usually to Speer's system of fan history, treated under Numerical Fandoms.) Sociologically it is the class of all fans who are in contact with others, indulging in fanac or simply being aware of the existence of fans all over the world. Physically it might be imagined as comprising all the science fiction houses, and all fans' dens as well as other storage space and equipment that they use in fan activity, and convention halls and streets and eke park benches while groups of fans are in possession of them. Unincorporated territories include the possessions of mere scientifictionists.
Fandom got its start in New York City around 1930 when people who had been writing to the prozines began writing to each other. In following years SF clubs were formed and monthly bulletins issued. The movement spread like an epidemic. In the 30s there were perhaps one or two hundred fans at a given time; by 1948, maybe a thousand; today there may be as many as five thousand in all parts of the world, about 2000 of these in America. (It has been suggested by Harry Warner that the size of active fandom is naturally limited by the availability of its objective; namely, egoboo.)
Aside from the fandom in the United States, Anglofandom began at the same time and at times has surpassed the Amerifans in activeness. Canadian fandom as an entity became important about 1940; it hosted the first Worldcon outside the US (Torcon, 1948). By 1952 it had recovered from this experience, pretty nearly. Because of interest and friendship linkages beyond that of language, all three of these -- and probably the small but active Anzac fandoms -- can be considered, usually, as one unit. But fans outside the English-speaking bloc have increased tremendously in numbers since World War II, also.
From time to time, people will stand up and ask what is the purpose of fandom. The Michelistic reply was that fandom should associate itself with political movements for a scientific/socialistic world state; other semi-Michelistic replies are along similar lines in that some sort of political interest is enjoined. Speer maintains that fandom, as fandom, should influence the world only thru its influence on individual fans, who may be influential men some day. Some have believed that stimulation of science is our chief justification; others, that stimulation of fiction is our purpose -- i.e., that fans should function as connoisseurs of science fiction [persons with trained and cultivated tastes in the field] in trying to raise its literary standards. And there are those who hold the pleasure derived from fanac its own justification.
|From Fancyclopedia 1 ca 1944
|The world in which fans move and have their being. Physically, it mite be imagined as comprising all the science fiction houses, and all fans' dens as well as other storage space and equipment that they use in fan activity, and convention halls and streets and eke park benches while groups of fen are in possession of them. Unincorporated territories include the possessions of mere scientifictionists.
Fandom began around 1930, when correspondence between fans had reached some proportions, and a few clubs came into existence. In the following years fan magazine took form and gathered audiences. About 1935, fandom became an independent organism, and has passed thru the stage of First Fandom, First Transition, Second Fandom, Second Transition, and Third Fandom, as Speer so quaintly calls them. There are now about 500 people associated with fandom in some small way, of whom a hundred mite be called real fans; the disappearance of a selected twenty of them would probably mean the end of fandom as now known.
From time to time, people will stand up and ask what is the purpose of fandom. The Michelistic reply is that fandom should join the Leftist movement and work for a scientific-socialist world state. Other semi-Michelistic replies are along similar lines. Speer maintains that fandom as fandom should influence the world only thru its influence on the individual fans, who may be influential men some day. Some have believed that stimulation of science is our chief justification. Probably the majority believe that the pleasure derived from fan activity is justification enuf.
|Also involved: "A" - "Burp" Said the Turtle - "Far Centaurus" - "It's Bigger in Texas" - & - 'Ayn Ran' Is Narnya Spelled Backwards - 'Our 'Zine - 'Tator - 'Til the Cows Come Home - ((nothing)) - (Oopsla) Interim - *Sigh* - *brg* - ...And Behold, Cushi Came - ...And Stuff - ...And Then 3 Come Along Together - ...Another Fan's Poison - 100% Whole Wheat - 101 Ballooning Adventures - 13APA - 14 Bob the Bushel - 1939 Yearbook of Science, Weird & Fantasy Fiction - 1940 Yearbook of Science, Fantasy & Weird Fiction - 1943 Michiconference - 1948 Fantasy Annual - 1958 Open ESFA - 1959 Hugos - 1968 Hugo Ceremony Transcript - 1991 Hugos - 2 Loonies and a Soft Toy - 2000 AD - 2400 Fulton - 2B or Not 2B? - 3SF - 4642 - 4M - 520 07 0328 - 6 in 60 - 61 Cygni C - 7APA - 7th Fandom - A - A Fanzine for Dave Van Arnam - A Autumn Fantasy from Rosco - A Balanced Diet - A Basketful of Bastards - A Bear Went Over the Mountain - A Bit Potty - A Bit of the Other One - A Bleeding Rose - A Book of Ordinary Writings - A Book of Thel - A Boowatt Imitator - A Bright Particular Star - A Brighton Belle Meets Skippy - A Canticle For Leibowitz - A Canticle for P. Schuyler Miller - A Change of Heart - A Checklist of Fantasy Magazines - A Clerk's Journal - A Cool Head - A Corflu 36 Fanthology - A Cyberpunk Timeline - A David English Sketchbook - A Day at the Races - A Different Drummer - A Directory of SF&F Publishing Houses and Book Dealers - A Dirty Mind Doesn't Mind a Bit - A Dream of Books - A Dribble of Ink - A Elbereth Gilthoniel! - A Fake Fan in London - A Fan Typology -or- What I See on the Elevators - A Fan's Christmas in Ireland - A Fandom Sampler - A Fanzine Called Eustace - A Fanzine Newsletter - A Fanzine for Atom/Rotsler - A Fanzine for Bjohn - A Fanzine for Corflu - A Fanzine for Corflu Z - A Fanzine for FAPA - A Fanzine for Ger Steward - A Fanzine for Now - A Fanzine for Pat - A Fanzine for Susan Margaret - A Fanzine in Perfect Disguise - A Few Green Leaves - A Few Lost Words - A Few Words About Bilbo Bentcliffe - A Fine Mess - A Flash of Blue - A Flying What? - A Foggy Day - A Foreign Fanzine - A Free Lunch - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Poughkeepsie - A Handbook of the Current Middle Ages - A History of Australian Science Fiction Fandom 1935 -- 1963 - A History of Fandom in 100 Documents - A History of the Hugo Nebula and International Fantasy Award - A Hog on Ice - A John Schoenherr SF Checklist - A Key to the Terminology of Science Fiction Fandom - A L'Abandon - A Little of the Best of Bob Tucker - A Load of Old BoSh - A Mimosa Fanthology - A Mimosa Fanthology Part 2 - A Miniscule Portfolio by LeeH - A Moving Experience - A Passing Fancy - A Pauling - A Poke in the Eye with a Sharp Stick - A Princess of a Different Color - A Propos Du Barean - A Public Service - A Ragged Trousered Pedalcyclist - A Rough Guide to GUFF - A Rude Brief Recitative - A Sad Story - A Sales Pitch to Convince FAPA to Sponsor an Art Show - A Sense of FAPA - A Short Visual History of British Fandom - A Silverlock Companion - A Statement of Posture - A Tale of the 'Evans - A Tour - A Trip Report Found in a Plain Manila Envelope - A Trip to Hell - A Very British Genre - A Very Short OSFiC Newsletter - A Vince Clarke Treasury - A Warning - A Wealth of Fable - A Western Mandarin - A Women's APA - A for Andromeda - A for Antares - A. Bertram Chandler - A. E. van Vogt - A. Merrit's Fantasy Magazine - A. Merritt's Fantasy Magazine - A.D. - A75 Bulletin - AAA Aargh - AAAAA Plus - AAAPA - ABV - AFricAN - AI - AJ - AJ1736 - AJAY - AKICIF - ALA-APA - ALPS - ANZAPA - APA - APA 070.4 - APA 5 - APA MOTiVE - APA of the Damned - APA-45 - APA-50 - APA-55 - APA-69 - APA-B - APA-Centauri - APA-Corps - APA-DSC - APA-DUD - APA-David - APA-F - APA-H - APA-I - APA-Jarnevon - APA-L - APA-NYU - APA-Q - APA-SFAF - APA-Slobbovia - APA-T - APA-TECH - APA-U - APA-V - APA-VCR - APA-X - APA:Bingy - APA:NESFA - APANAGE - APARIA - APATHY - APES - APPLESAUCE - ASFM - ASFO - ASFacts - ATom 2000 - ATom: A Tribute - AWOL - AZAPA - Aaah! - Aaanthor Argus - Aalor - Aapa - Aardvark - Aaron and Danny on the shonk - Ab-Satthaqua - Abanico - Abattoir - Abba Zaba - Abbey Habit - Abduction by Wireless - Abdump - Abed & Bored - Aberration - Abimelech - Abject Apology - Abortions - Above & Below - Absarka - Abstract - Ac Track - Academic - Access All Arias - Acculturations - Ace Science Fiction Specials - Acherner - Ack-Ack - Acmemath Catalouge - Acnestis - Acropos - Acrux - Acrux Fanzine - Acrylic - ActFur on Air - Actifan - Action Comics - Action Replay - Active APAs Spring 2009 - Activity, fan - Ad Astra - Ad Astra - Ad Astra - Ad Astra APA - Ad Interim - Ad Lib - Ad Nauseam - Adelaide Fan Review - Admirable Crycon - Adrenalin - Adsum - Adulux Beskan - Adventures in Time and Space - Adventures on Earth - Adverse Camber - Advocates of the Infinite - Adzine for Addicts - Aeon - Aeons - Afan - Afriganza - Afta - After All These Years: Sam Moskowitz on His Science Fiction Career - After Hours - After Midnight - After Ten Years -- A Tribute to Stanley G. Weinbaum - After the Flood - Afterthoughts - Again Dangerous Crudzines - Again, Derelict Defenestration - Age - Agent Provacative - Agent of Vagueness - Aghast - Ah Sunflower - Ah Yes, I Remember Well a Saturday in Birmingham - Ah! Sweet Idiocy! - Ah! Sweet Laney! - Ah, Wilderness: Forty Years of Colorado Fandom - Ailleurs - Ailocate - Air Wonder Stories - Airel - Airfoil - Airgedlamh - Airwavers - Aistear - Akallabeth - Akkilmar - Aklo - Akos - Al Andrews Typewriter Fund - Al Schuster's International Star Trek Convention - Al la Baboom - Alabama Amateur Press Association - Alan Dorey - Alarums and Excursions - Albedo - Albedo One - Album - Albuquerque Fandom - Alchera - Alcherner - Aldeberan Abandoned - Alderlry Edge - Alembic - Aleph-Null - Alex's Restaurant - Alexiad - Alfred Korzybski - Algernon. Organ for Aniara - Algol - Alice - Alician Fields - Alien - Alien - Alien Culture - Alien Profile - Alif - All Digression Weekly - All Dynamic - All Lies and Jests - All Mimsy - All Sinking, No Power - All That There Jazz - All True Amazing Science Wonder Stories - All the Nudes That Fit in Print - Allan Rothstein - Allegory - Allen Glasser's History of the Scienceers - Allen M. Steele - Allerlei - Alliance Amateur - Alliance Assembler - Allyn Cadogan - Alma Hill - Almanac - Along Alpha Ralpha Boulevard - Along the Causey Road - Alors - Alouette - Alpha - Alpha Adventures - Alpha and Omega - Alphabet Soup - Altair - Altair - Altered Brands - Alternate Horizons Newsletter - Alternate Universe Fanzine - Alternative - Alternative Pants - Alternatives - Alyson Wonderland - Amanita - Amanita Brandy - Amateur - Amateur Effer - Amateur Journalism - Amateur Science Stories - Amateur's Correspondent - Amateur's Journal - Amazed and Corfluzed - Amazine - Amazing Adventures - Amazing Forries - Amazing Stories Quarterly - Amazing Wonder Tales - Amble - Amblesnyde & Tiddleycover R. R. Gazette - Ambrosia - Ambrov Zeor - Ambul - Amelor - Amenolagnia - Amenti - American Defenestrator - American Dreamer - American Journal of Psychoscamology - American Kindness - American Letters - American Scribe - AmiZine Stories - Amis - Amnesia - Amoeboid Scunge - Amon Din - Amon Hen - Among the Yankers - Amor - Amor - Amphipoxi - Amra - Amrita - Amsterdam News - Amzine Stories - An - An Ace Letter-Series Notebook - An Annotated Bibliography of Recursive Science Fiction - An Annotated Checklist of Science Fiction Bibliographical Works - An Anonymous Civilian - An Early Account of the Michigan State University Tolkien Fellowship - An Egoboo a Day from All Over - An Fleghes Hager-Na Yu Canjeons - An Index Short History of Unknown - An Index of the Works of Various Fantasy Authors - An Index on the Weird Fantastica in Magazines - An Index to Popular American Fanzines - An Index to Unknown and Unknown Worlds - An Intraview with Arthur D. Hlavaty - An Invitation - An Open Letter to the British Tolkien Society - An Open Letter, November 2011 - An Outline of Fanhistory - Anakreon - Anal Sphincter - Analyzing HPL - Anant - Anarkali - Anathema - Anatomy of Wonder - Ancalagon - Anchorage Anarchy - And All That Jazz - And Don't Call Me Tex - And Lo God Made Rotsler for Duff - And So -- Forward - And That's True Too - Andromeda - Andromeda - Andromeda Nachrichten - Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine - Andromeda's Offspring - Anduril - Anduril - Andy Porter - Anew - Angerthas - Angerthas Offprint - Anglo Science Fiction Fandom - Anglofan - Angmar - Angus Taylor - Aniara - Animalist Party - Animalities - Anime Australia - Animus Curiae - Ankh - Ankus - Ann Mcknight - Anne McCaffrey: A "Dragondex" and Bibliography - Anne and Brian Gray's TAFF Reports - Annex - Annie Griffith - Annie Laurie Starr - Annuminas - Anomaly - Anor - Anorak Redemption - Another Bloody Fanzine - Another Earth - Another One - Another Remarkable Fanzine - Antaios - Antares - Antares - Antelope Freeway One Mile - Anthem - Anti-Misoneist Gazzette - Antics - Antipodes - Antipodes Observer - Antwerpse Letterkundige En Wettenschappelijke Gazet - Anubis - Anvil - Anything Box - Anything Thing - Aotearapa - Apa Filk - Apalon - Apasition - Apathetic - Arahant - Arcturus - Bleah - Bleak December - Bleen - Blitzkrieg - Blog - Blood, Sweat and Bheers - Bloodsongs - Blotto Otto's Grotto - Blown in France - Blowup - Blue Book Magazine - Blue Funk - Blue Jaunte
|This is a miscellaneous page