(See Fanac disambiguation page for others.)
Fanac is What Fans Do.
Some fans claim that there are three types of fans: club fans, fanzine fans, and con fans — and that Fanac (like Gaul) is therefore divided into three parts. Zealous FIAWOLists claim that daily life interaction with other fans also constitutes a form of fanac, giving rise to the catchphrase, "Anything two fans do together is fanac" (often uttered with a nudge and a wink).
In Larry Niven's "Fourth Profession," the hero, who'd taken a language pill, started to define fanac as "putting out a zine, writing to the lettercol, helping put on a con..." and then was interrupted. Fancy 2 defined it as "devoting time, energy, and money to non-profit pursuits in the general field of fantasy and fandom. This includes reading, collecting, corresponding, belonging to organizations, writing, publishing, recruiting new fans, visiting fellow stfnists, perhaps living with them in a science fiction house, and attending fan gatherings."
Mundane life can get in the way of fanac: see FAFIA. And after a while the fascination of fanac tends to wear a little thin — one reason long-time fans are sometimes termed Old and Tired. In an extreme case, this can lead to the fan becoming burned out.
The importance of engaging in fanac is such that, in The Enchanted Duplicator, the name of the second magic wand the Spirit of Fandom touches Jophan with so as to show him fandom's inner essence was called “Fanac.” (The first was called “Contact.”)
|From Fancyclopedia 2 ca 1959|
|Fan activity. Devoting time, energy, and money to non-profit pursuits in the general field of fantasy and fandom. This includes reading, collecting, corresponding, belonging to organizations, writing, publishing, recruiting new fans, visiting fellow stfnists, perhaps living with them in a science-fiction house, and attending fan gatherings.
Most fen pass thru a certain cycle of activeness; after getting familiar with the field they start taking on projects left and right, not realizing that they're building up to a peak that they haven't time to maintain. Suddenly they announce that they must drop all fanac (except subbing to a couple of fanzines and writing a couple of correspondents) because activities in the mundane world are demanding most of their time and energy. Some disappear from fandom at this point, but many others discover after a while that they still need the intellectual companionship and means of self-expression in fandom and can find time to take on a little more activity, and so at length find a fairly constant level that they can keep up, barring catastrophes like getting married or drafted. (Not that there aren't quite a number of GIs and husbands keeping up a fair degree of activity.)
Oh, and also we note here Fanac: a news-and-chatter 'zine published by Terry Carr and Ron Ellik, begun 1958. It was part of the trend mentioned in the second sentence under, and, indeed, a noble example of it. But due to its activity the news of the series of deaths in fandom in 1958 got that wide circulation and general impact that gave the Year of the Jackpot its name.
|This is a fanspeak page. Please extend it by adding information about when and by whom it was coined, whether its still in use, etc.|