(1) A Kind of Fan

Short for SERious and CONstructive (or SERious and CONscientious). One of several fan terms which has altered from its original meaning over time. "Sercon" was coined by insurgent Canadian fan Boyd Raeburn in the early 1950s as a put-down of overly serious fans (already being satirized by Los Angeles insurgents Charles Burbee and Francis T. Laney) because they tended to take not only science fiction but themselves and their involvement in fandom far too seriously – they valued making lists over genuine critical insight, would rather pontificate than tell a joke, looked askance at those whose approach was more lighthearted than their own and saw it as their scientifictionally patriotic duty to "promote" science fiction to the place where it belonged in mundane considerations, i.e., surely at the top of the pile of all Literature. Sf fandom was founded by serious fans who wrote letters to prozines to comment on and criticize the stories, and serious sf criticism has always been a staple in the microcosm, but by the mid-1940s enough stuffed shirts had attached themselves to fandom that some fans with a more humorous bent were beginning to poke fun at them.

Few of them took it (or fun poked at the genre, as a rule) at all kindly. Thus, “sercon” and “fannish” were regarded as polar opposites, the former being identified with the philosophy of FIAWOL and the latter with the philosophy of FIJAGH. Beginning in some fan quarters as early as the 1960s and certainly by the time of the early 1970s, however, the term had lost much of its derisive clout, as newcomers misapplied it to straightforward works of serious and at least somewhat constructive criticism, and even some fans aware of the former pejorative implications nonetheless felt the descriptive usage filled a necessary fan-linguistic niche. Some still use it as a put-down, of course, but where that’s the case you’ll have to judge by context.

(2) A Euphemism

In the late 1980s, "getting sercon" became a euphemism for getting stoned.

(3) A Convention

A series of small conventions which were held in a different place each year founded by Greg Ketter. It's not 100%-certain that they always had GoHs as such, but they certainly had speakers whom they invited early, were used to promote the con, and whose expenses were probably paid.

Convention Dates Location GoH
Sercon 1 January 24-26, 1987 Oakland, CA
Sercon 2 February 12-14, 1988 Austin, TX Vincent Difate, L. W. Currey
Sercon 6 January 17-19, 1992 Austin, TX Jonathan Carroll

This is a convention page. Please extend it by adding information about the convention, including dates, GoHs, convention chairman, location, sponsoring organization, external links to convention pages, awards given, the program, notable events, anecdotes, pictures, scans of publications, pictures of T-shirts, con reports, etc.