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.'s "All Our Yesterdays" column in Quip 10 (October 1968, p. 6),[1] Degler, known then as Don Rogers, claimed that just before becoming one of the few fen ever kicked out of LASFS, he 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. The quoted part (with a notice that "several words in almost every line of the original were either capitalized or underlined", which Warner did not retain) 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 plunged 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.
  1. Quip 10 PDF (unOCRed, nonsearchable images) at There is also a later HTML version by Chuck Connor and Bill Burns at eFanzines, but note it contains an unpleasant typo in the quote, "plunaged" where Warner's original article had correct plunged. "Plunaged" was also retained in the Ansible Editions e-book. Degler's source zine is not available yet.