Faans

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Faans (video)
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(For the fanspeak noun, see faan.)

Faans was a 1983 faan fiction video written by Larry Tucker and Randy Bathurst and produced and directed by Tucker as a Spare Chaynge Production. It featured an all-star fan cast, which parodied the movie Jaws with an Ominous Propeller Beanie that menaced the attendees at a con.

It was filmed at various Midwest conventions during the early 1980s. The video starred Larry Tucker in his alter ego Uncle Albert as an expert on fandom, with Roger Sims as the hotel detective, John Q. Mundane, and a large cast of other fen in supporting roles, including Howard DeVore, Bob Tucker, Mike Glicksohn, Jon Stopa, Bill Bowers, Ben Zuhl and Sandy Reynolds.

A number of incidents were inspired by real events at cons. The character of the hotel detective was modeled after a hotel manager at the first AutoClave. Many fannish in-jokes of the period, such as a bathtub filled with lime Jello and Bob Tucker's business cards, appear in the half-hour video.

Crew members included Nancy Tucker and Leah Zeldes. Original music came from Andy Boller and Mike Gould.

Faans premiered at ConFusion 101 in 1983.

Leah Zeldes wrote a script for a sequel, Faans II, which was published as a fanzine for Nolacon II, where Roger Sims was fgoh, but it was never produced.

Faans video (IA)

The Guide to FAANS![edit]

This originated as a post by Ro Nagey after viewing the video.


Time Description
0:44 The hotel room number is "770" - a reference to the infamous Room 770 party at Nolacon in 1951, where Faans star Roger Sims was one of the registered hotel guests.
1:16 Sandy Reynolds stars in the lime jello bathtub scene, which refers to a story involving Joe Haldeman, Avedon Carol and Apple Susan.
3:07 That is Big-Hearted Howard DeVore, a member of First Fandom and a renowned huckster. His garage was a mecca for fans. It was floor-ceiling isles of fanzines, old Amazings and other rare magazines and this large collection of books, some of which he'd take to conventions to sell. Being invited to the garage was a rite of passage for many fans in Michigan and elsewhere.
3:37 Roger Sims appears as Mundane, the hotel manager. Roger entered fandom in 1949 and has been active ever since. He was co-chair on the 17th Worldcon, Detention, in Detroit. At Nolacon, he was one of the people staying in Room 770. He is a member of Second Fandom.
Larry Tucker as "Uncle Albert". Uncle Albert was this brilliant character that Larry created, stealing Nagey's engineer’s cap and Groucho glasses, tearing off the mustache in the process.
6:17 That's the music that came from all of the Gorgonzola State University videos.
7:30 The stair sequence is an obvious homage to M. C. Escher.
8:27 "Boogie, Boogie!" is taken from the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera. This is what Nagey would say to Larry whenever he was confused by an idea Nagey had had.
8:40 That's Stephen Leigh and Nagey performing, probably at ConFusion, as Cosmos & Chaos. They performed their improved shows at two Worldcons and several other cons. They were "Tuckerized" in George R. R. Martin's first "Wild Cards" book. George tried to buy their script when they performed at Discon. He didn't believe it when they showed him Frank Johnson's cue sheet which simply had "If we say this, play this tape."
9:24 That's Bill Bowers of multi-Hugo-wining fame for his fanzine, Outworlds - one of the notable fanzines to be printed offset. Bill was tall, rail thin, and constantly smoked. He was hilarious: other very shy, his fan goh speech at Iguanacon, the Worldcon in 1978 brought the house down. His flat was completely filled with racks and racks of books and fanzines. Sitting on his couch, you had the feeling that at any moment, a domino-effect would bring all the books crashing down on you. He and Mike Glicksohn were the "Mutt and Jeff" of fandom and they constantly made humorous references to it. Sadly, Bill's last years were horrible. He died in 2005.
11:13 We hear about Hugo-winning and SFWA Grand Master and a member of the Science Fiction Hall of Fame Joe Haldeman. See the lime jello story above. Later, we hear about Gay Haldeman, his wondrous wife.
12:05 This is one of at least three times that Uncle Albert breaks the 'fourth wall'.
12:17 It looks like Seth Breidbart in the yellow t-shirt and see Mike Glicksohn in the Aussie hat and all that facial hair. Mike won the Best Fanzine Hugo a number of times. He was definitely a "ladies' man" hence the different women seen with him as the film progresses. He was a casual poker player at cons but then started having poker games in private rooms. Later, we hear about the code-word for such poker games, the tongue-in-cheek "Joe Haldeman Seminar on the Redistribution of Wealth Through the Use of Statistics and Psychology". He was generous in his praise. Mike was one of the inventors of the "Spayed Gerbil" that we later see Ben Zuhl give Mike a glass of. From Fancyclopedia: "Mike said of it that it was the only drink in fandom that you could put down on a table at a room party, go off to the john, and come back to find untouched."
12:51 At the bottom right, we see the back of Rusty Hevelin's head as he says "You'll never make it". It is unclear who is flirting with Mike. Ro Nagey thinks it might be Hania Wojtowicz.
14:45 "There's ice in this ice machine! How unfannish!" At sf cons, those running the con suite and room parties often take all of the ice in the ice machines to put in their bathtubs to keep the beer cold and to put in drinks. Hearing that an ice machine wasn't empty would cause a rush to it and emptying it.
15:30 Hugo Gernsback was a magazine publisher, including the first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories. It is after him that the Hugos are named, the science fiction awards given out at the Worldcon every year.
18:55 We see Larry Tucker as himself for the first time. That's Jon Stopa as a bartender. He and his wife, Joni, ran Wilcon, a convention held in the summer at their ski resort in Wilmot, WI, where this scene was shot.
20:02 "Let Mikey try it!" and the other dialogue comes from a 1980s TV ad for Life cereal.
20:02 Bob Tucker wearing a propeller beanie. It is impossible to catalog all of the important work that Wilson "Bob" Tucker did as both a fan and as a professional writer. A member of First Fandom, he was infamous at cons where, at any party that had a bottle of Beam's Choice, he would take a sip and hold his hand up. He then handed it to the fan on his right and everyone wishing to would take a sip until the bottle came back to Bob where he would lead everyone in 'swooshing' there hands down and everyone saying "Smooooooth". For many fans, this felt like their first acceptance as a 'real' fan. He was also famous for "Tuckerization", the act of using a person's name in an original story as an in-joke.
21:19 Bob Tucker and Howard DeVore used to pass out cards that Howard had printed up in his garage. We see Bob handing them out to a table of female fans. The cards were risqué/funny in a 40's or 50's way. One, for example, said something like "Make an appointment for a natural insemination".
22:20 "Egoboo" is fanspeak for "Ego Boost".
22:39 BNF: Big Name Fans.
22:46 Closed parties are held at nearly every convention. Some are small, private parties. Others are huge, especially at Worldcons. Admission to, say, the Hugo Losers Party is highly prized.
22:50 Big Fandom was a joking alternative to being a BNF. The only requirement for membership required that you be over 6' tall or weigh over 200 pounds. The "Secret Handgrip of Fandom" was having your boobs squeezed. Uncle Albert also mentions the "Secret Fangrip of Handom" which was a reference to Nagey's "Secret Handgrip of Fandom" story, a true (and hopefully humorous) retelling of a series of events that happened at Pghlange in 1974. First published in //Outworlds, you can read it in Leah Zeldes Smith's fanzine, Spirits of Things Past starting on page six.
This was also Nagey's first paid performance because of a bet of $50 by Jim Martin with others adding to the pot were Nagey to give a professor writing about fandom from a different University who was roundly despised by Ann Arbor fandom. Instead of just going up and doing it, I recounted the take and gave him a (gentle) handgrip at the end where everyone, including the professor, laughed.
The Fancyclopedia offers some great advice to people who might want to try it today.
24:22 The women in the chorus singing and dancing are Jean Barnard (who ran SFOHA for a while and also made the black and white juggling balls for Cosmos & Chaos) and Nancy Tucker, Larry's mother and active Stilyagi Air Corps fan and Fan Guest of Honor. She was the one who ran the video production facilities at the UofM School of Education and would let Larry and Nagey work in there at night - usually ALL night. She was married to the author, Bob Shaw. Sadly, she, Larry and Bob have all passed away.
26:18 "Real Soon Now" is a fannish term for "later and maybe never". Nagey was rather famous for RSNing fanzine editors, waiting until past the deadlines to send in articles.
26:21 That's Bill Cavin. A longtime Cincinnati fan who has run Midwestcons ever since Lou Tabakow's death.
26:51 Hall Party. It's what the name implies. This can happen outside an overcrowded party or consuite or just "this is where we met and sat down to talk". They're a definite violation of the fire code today but back then they let us do it (sometimes). Smart con chairpeople bribe both the day and night manager generously (back in the ’70s a $20 worked.
27:02 That's Nagey and the scene is pretty much a verbatim retelling of the first ConFusion which was held in the Ann Arbor Hilton. Apparently, after months of getting the manager to understand and accept what the con would be like, on the Friday of that con there was a German night manager who had just arrived at the hotel. He knew nothing about what they were doing in the consuite and went into a Teutonic fury at the chair - even to the point of calling the police. With Lary Ward and Jim Martin by Nagey's side, he went into a fury telling the police that we shouldn't be doing this. He ended with, "This is a room registered for two people to sleep here!" In perhaps one of Nagey’s greatest moments of improvisation and acting, Ro politely told the night manager and police that "I will close this party as soon as two people sleep in here." The police then told the night manager that that had been a great concession and that he shouldn't call them again that night. Oddly enough, no one fell asleep in the room and the consuite was open all weekend. Of course, the convention was never held there again.
27:30 Mike Glyer, second from left.
28:35 The last swimmer may be Alex Krislov.
29:40 Ben Zuhl with his wife, Lowry Taylor.
29:50 "Claude Degler was one of the most influential, ghod help us, fans who ever marched across the Microcosm, and his career deserves to be chronicled at some length." You truly won't believe his life in fandom and in general."
30:00 That's Tom Barber, a Dorsai Irregular and chairman of several conventions in Ypsilanti, MI. He was also Fan Guest of Honor at the number of conventions and one of the first fans to die of Covid-19.
31:00 Uncle Albert mentions a Dead Dog Party which is traditionally held on Sunday night after most of the fans have gone back home. The energy is often quite low as everyone is dead tired after a fun-filled weekend. He then mentions "TANSTAAFL" - "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!" It's a term used by Robert A. Heinlein in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress which is the novel from which the Stilyagi Air Corps got its name.


Show Reasonator 1983
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