Fanspring are the children of fen, or fan offspring. The term especially refers to those kidlets brought to conventions and other fan events by their parents.
In past days, fannish parents who brought their kids to cons generally followed the practice of collecting them into a hotel room, turning on the TV and tossing food in now and then, but today, fanspring are so plentiful that many cons provide a complete track of children's programming and sometimes teen programming, as well as babysitting services. (No doubt this cosmic state of affairs would be highly gratifying to Claude Degler.)
Fanspring have figured in several controversies, notably the Breendoggle, the child-porn conviction of Elessar Tetramariner and the Ed Kramer child molestation scandal. It remains a subject of some controversy as to whether conventions are in loco parentis for young persons, whether or not their actual parents are present.
Some fanspring grow up to be full-fledged fans in their own right, such as Peggy Rae Sapienza and Sydnie Krause, while others can't wait to Get Away From It All.
In the 1970s, when there were many teen-aged fans who'd entered fandom on their own, there were also fanspring in the same age group, but the two factions didn't mix much. The young independent fans preferred to hang out with older fen, while the fanspring congregated together (possibly in a hotel room watching TV).
The term fanspring is a coinage of Mike Lowrey.
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