Fans are Slans!
A (usually) humorous catchphrase meaning that fans are both bright and discriminated against.
The central character in the 1940 A. E. van Vogt novel Slan was a superhumanly intelligent youth in unsympathetic surroundings. Hence, the gag line "Fans are Slans!" became a rallying cry among Third Fandom.
While not seriously considering themselves a tendril-bearing, mutant super-intelligentsia, fans identified with slans as a persecuted minority because of the reactions they frequently got from mundane society merely for reading that "Crazy Buck Rogers Stuff" or even reading at all – but not to the extent that they really believed fans were superhuman beings, Second Fandom's half-serious Star-Begotten claims notwithstanding.
Still, during the 1940s and '50s, when many fans were intellectual autodidacts working in blue-collar jobs, there must have been a certain comfort in thinking themselves superior to the mundanes around them.
A more recent variation: "Fans really are slans -- they're just not very good at it...."
The notion of fans as slans gave rise to such terms as slan shack and Slan Center.
Also see: "It is a Proud and Lonely Thing to Be a Fan," "Fans Are the Race of Tomorrow," Star-Begotten, Sevagram, Cosmic mind.
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959|
|Literally understood, "fans are superman mutants" -- or, at least, "fans are smarter than most people" -- but actual semantic content is according to the mood and attitude of the user.
|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.|