All Fandom was Plunged into War

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"All Fandom was Plunged into War" describes a major conflagration of fannish disharmony, in which many feuding fans take sides, friends may stop speaking to each other, fen may gafiate, and bad feelings go on for years. This can be due to anything from major feuds such as the exclusion act and the Breendoggle to lawsuits over conventions and libel. Some numerical fandoms were brought to a close because of such battles.

It is never used in a hyperbolic sense, although it is sometimes used ironically.


Oddly enough, credit for the phrase belongs to one of fandom’s most discreditable and feuding figures, Claude Degler. According to Harry Warner, Jr., writing in Quip 10 (October 1968, online here), the Cosmic Clod, known then as Don Rogers, was on the verge of being one of the few fen ever kicked out of LASFS, and prepared a farewell speech. He never delivered it “due to circumstances arising near the last minute,” but, instead, printed it in Futurian Daily Planet 2 (late 1943), a single-sheet fanzine pubbed by another of Degler’s alter-egos, Frank N. Stein. It begins:

And so, tho the black clouds have been gathering as Fandom knows -- for a long time -- yet I feel a singularly deep sadness inside me tonight as I finish this, my closing Oration or Address to the LASFS on the eve when perhaps all fandom will be plunaged into a ‘war’ that will parallel the war in the outside world!!

Fandom fixed on the phrase and repeated it, as in a series of notes purportedly from “Raym Pong” (a dig at Degler sidekick Raym Washington) that Bob Tucker printed in FAPA Variety. For example, from #9 (June 1944):

While reading Robert Bloch's "Beast of Barsac” in WT this after­noon, one of my teeth began to break off. I am sure this will result in grave repercussions and that ALL FANDOM WILL BE PLUNGED INTO WAR.

Somehow, over the years, the catchphrase evolved into its present unexaggerated, if sardonic, sense.

Fanspeak 1943
This is a fanspeak page. Please extend it by adding information about when and by whom it was coined, whether it’s still in use, etc.