Gafia (rhymes with raffia) is an initialism for Get Away From It All, i.e., to voluntarily quit all one's fanac and, usually, break off contact with other fans. One who has gafiated is a gafiate. (Leaving fandom when you don’t wish to is fafia.)
A hallowed tradition which most fans obeyed ... when you think you’ve had it in fandom, do something spectacular to call attention to your gafiation. — Harry Warner, Jr., Void 26, August 1961
On each side of your path, far away but always accessible, are the green, enticing regions known as the Glades of Gafia. Perpetually you will be pursued by the insidious temptation to turn aside and rest awhile there. But, should you do so, there is a danger you will be unable to face the effort of resuming your journey, or that, roaming forgetfully though the beckoning glades, you will find yourself back in Mundane.
Older fans often exist in a state of semi-gafia for years, keeping in touch with fannish friends, perhaps, but not undertaking fanac or interesting themselves much in the doings of present-day fandom ... until they shuffle off to the never-ending convention at the great Tucker Hotel in the sky. (Sometimes they lapse into nostalgia and edit articles in Fancyclopedia 3.)
If, after gafiating awhile, you return to fandom, you are then a revenant.
Gafia originally meant the opposite — getting away from mundania into fandom, or perhaps into reading sf. Dick Wilson is credited with coining it, based on Away From It All: An Excapologist's Notebook, a 1937 book by U.K. journalist and spy Cedric Belfrage, which he much admired.
For instance, right at the moment I could fill these pages with a denunciation of fans and fandom that would bring joy to the heart of ftl. But that's just the result of having encountered, lately, more of the stupidity and irritation of fandom than its brighter side. Just a minor siege of GAFIA, from which, eventually, I will once again develop an enthusiasm for stf. At least I hope so. Etymological note for the benefit of fans who haven't met the word before: GAFIA is an intermittent affliction of fans. The letters stand for Getting Away From It All. Symptoms are sheer boredom while trying to read promags or fanzines, and allowing correspondence to pile up unanswered. Also a wish that half-done fanzines could be forgotten for a while. I am struggling to combat that last.
See also: Nydahl's Disease.
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959
|(Dick Wilson) Get Away From It All. This useful phrase was originally an escapist slogan, meaning the intent to withdraw from the Macrocosm to indulge in some intense fanac, but has undergone a complete reversal of significance so that now "that flash of sanity known as Gafia" refers to a vacation from fandom back in the world of normalcy, where nobody reads that crazy Buck Rogers stuff. Diagnostic symptoms are sheer boredom while trying to read proz or fanzines, allowing correspondence to pile up unanswered, and wishing that half-finished fanzines could be forgotten for a while. Oh, and we should mention Gafia Press, Redd Boggs' publishing house, the source of Skyhook and many another worthy serious publication.
|From Fancyclopedia 2 Supplement, ca. 1960
|(Belfrage:Wilson) Dick Wilson got the title from AFIA, a book by journalist Cedric Belfrage which he much admired. Redd Boggs believes that the withdrawal of "Getting Away From It All" didn’t really refer to fandom, but to "seeking refuge from real life in the pages of books and magazines, especially sf magazines" — a lively issue in pro-centered early stfandom; escaping into fandom wasn’t debated much till the "Fandom Is A Way of Life" discussions in the mid-40s.
|From Fancyclopedia 1, ca. 1944
|(Wilson) - Get Away From It All; motto of escapism.
|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.