Barbarian Invasion

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A flood of new fans into fandom. This is sometimes connected with a resurgence of interest in science fiction in general.

While fandom is generally accepting of neofen, fans are often inclined to take a wait-and-see attitude toward them, not shunning but not rolling out a welcome mat.

Fandom has created vast amounts of explanatory material about its community, customs, history and culture (such as this website), yet established fans are often disinclined to take newcomers by the hand and spoon feed it to them, particularly when new people appear uninterested, disapproving or act entitled. That can lead to Disillusion (which see) and feuding on the part of the neos, which reaction is traditionally described as, “The Barbarians Howled Outside.”

This, naturally, causes more howling, accusations of gatekeeping, indignant disagreements about fandom’s definition of fan, &c.

Historic Invasions[edit]

The activity of the Triumvirs in the Second Transition brought in the first of these rushes; many of its elements, like Harry Warner, Jr., remained and became actifans.

An increase in prozine publishing in the mid-20th century brought in other waves. This included both Beanie Brigade of the late 1940s and the “Asinine Teenagers” of Phony 7th Fandom in 1953–55.

In the 1960s, the "Star Trek" TV series brought an even larger influx of neofen into fandom, and still larger infusions occurred in the '70s and '80s (bringing about the huge increase in convention sizes and proliferation of cons), because of the many "sci-fi" television shows and movies of the era. Fans who came into fandom through interest in literary science fiction generally consider these infusions of media-oriented people to be a continuing Barbarian Invasion. Fortunately, fandom is flexible enough to accommodate a wide spectrum of interests. So it sez here.

The Internet and the mainstreaming of science fiction have created the most recent invasions.

From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
With the increases in the number of prozines which intermittently -- just before and a few years after World War II, and just after the Korean War hostilities -- a flood of new fans enter fandom and cause a revival of interest in the proz. The activity of the Triumvirs in the Second Transition brought in the first of these rushes; many of its elements, like Harry Warner jr, remained and became actifans. This was the Barbarian Invasion; the later ones are rarely so called.
From Fancyclopedia 1, ca. 1944
With the increase in the number of prozines, and the swing of emphasis back to them in the Second Transition, a flood of new fans came into fandom, usually thru the Triumvirs' activities, and many remained and became actifans. Harry Warner and Jim Avery were the forerunners of these, appearing in the middle of 1938. The invasion strengthened the reaction toward the pros, and eventually shifted the center of fan population westward to near the census center of population, in the Mid-East.

Fanhistory 1938
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