Ploy

1. In Fansmanship (which see), a ruse or other clever means by which one appears to be doing one thing while actually accomplishing some hidden agenda self-serving purpose. A cited ploy in early Conventionsmanship, e.g., involved charting out in advance all the squeaky boards in the room where a convention program was to be held, showing up 15 minutes after it was scheduled (since program items in those days never started on time), stepping on the boards to draw attention to your arrival, leading those awaiting, as the program finally gets under way, to the inescapable conclusion that you are so important to the proceedings that it could not possibly start until you arrived.

2. Ploy was also the name of a Ron Bennett fanzine, the first issue of which was to fanzines what the Invention (which see) was to conventions – an amusing hoax that came off well despite the fact that its name alone should have alerted fans to what it was. Bennett started publishing Ploy with the second issue, and filled its lettercolumn with paeans of praise (supposedly written by well-known fans) to the brilliant material written by pros and BNFs that had appeared in the (nonexistent) first issue. Fans who fell for the hoax were quick to rush letters to Bennett, begging for a copy of the first issue.

Issue Date Pages Notes
2 Autumn 1954 32 This was actually the first issues which was deliberately mis-numbered.
3 August 1955 36
4 September 1955 34 Bill Harry joined as art editor
5 March 1956 34
6 June 1956 32
7 November 1956 36
8 March 1957 36
9 July 1957 34
10 September 1957 36
11 March 1958 36
12 April 1958 32
13 July 1959 22
14 June 1959 44 The Bob Tucker Appreciation issue. Last issue
from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
A guileful maneuver. Its present popularity stems from Stephen Potter's Gamesmanship, but the word is legitimate Scots dialect for employ, from Latin in plico.

Also, the name of a fanzine published by TAFF delegate Ron Bennett; the ploy here was that the first issue was PLOY #2.