Neofan is fandom's affectionate term for a new, inexperienced or unknowledgeable fan. It is not a pejorative: Neofen (the proper plural) are the only source of future potential BNFs. It is often shortened to just "neo".
In Bjo Trimble's classic faan fiction "The Littlest Neofan," the Littlest Neo cannot compete with the writing/drawing prowess of older, more experienced fanzine fans, nor can he equal their abilities in the mechanics of publishing, but the gift he brings to anything he does is ultimately shown to be one which fandom cannot long survive without – the sense of wonder.
As mentioned in the Fancy 2 entry below, an active new fan usually gets termed a neo for roughly the first year. If he or she is particularly timid, not very active or sticks in the Circle of Lassitude, the label may last longer.
Breaking into fandom's sometimes closely knit and confusing circles can take time and effort. Fandom is, after all, a meritocracy. Goshwow tendencies in neofen can be somewhat trying to those with more tenure, but on the whole, new fans are welcomed and encouraged, unless they act like high-horsed Disillusion.
See also neopro.
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959|
|That which is new and recent. It is a recruit, either newly arrived in fandom or just introduced to stfsy. Generally speaking, new fans are classified as neofen for the first year. If they persist in being idiotic, or hide under a bushel to such an extent that nobody ever hears of them, the name may stick for another year or so. "Neofan" is often used to indicate Goshwow characteristics, because neofen who aren't brash and noisy don't call immediate attention to themselves.|
|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.|