A fake fan is one who doesn't read or feel any particular attraction to science fiction or fan affairs, but who does enjoy the company of fans and fandom's social order and whose company is enjoyed by fans. They sometimes go to conventions but rarely to programming; they are more apt to be seen at the parties. They may not even pretend to enjoy sf or fantasy, and take little interest in fanac.
If used to describe someone who is a fan in the traditional sense, it's a pejorative, and some overly serious stuffed shirts use it as a pejorative all the time, but otherwise it is used as a synonym for a "fannish type" of person, which is (or should be) regarded as an intended compliment.
Coined about 1940, the phrase was first applied to Jack Wiedenbeck, who roomed with fans and enjoyed their company, but shunned all responsibility in fan doings and institutions. However, by 1959, it was being used by some sercon fans to describe fannish fandom. That usage has died out, possibly because fannish fans are the only ones who have enough interest in fanspeak to define it.
See also fringe fans.
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
|Phrase coined about 1940, applied to Jack Wiedenbeck, who roomed with fans and enjoyed their company, but shunned all responsibility in fan doings and institutions. Generally speaking, one who hangs around fans but takes no active part in fan affairs, and may not read fantasy. Fans are, after all, at least theoretically fantasy enthusiasts; fake fans are fandom enthusiasts. They don't read prozines. (Sometimes they don't even read fanzines.) They don't remember vast numbers of insignificant details about fantasy stories and their authors illustrators and publishers. They don't collect books or proz. Fake fans do not have the haggard look that is the mark of the true fan trying to keep abreast of the latest developments in stfdom. And there are some fans who like to describe themselves as fakefans to symbolize disinterest, but their continued fanac belies them.
|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.