Preface to the Web Edition of Fancyclopedia II

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Preface to the Web Edition

The purpose of this re-publication is, first, to get Fancyclopedia II on line as a part of fannish history; and, second, to make it available as a template for the further development and completion of the projected Fancyclopedia III.

My plan is to put it up here, on my page on SFF.Net, and invite corrections (and search for missing items -- see the "Needs" button below) for several months, then switch it to the permanent location that's been offered on the Timebinders site.

In a linked but separate operation (ghod, I love it when I get a chance to babble in bureaucratese!) I hope to collect new topics for Fancyclopedia III. That is a project which has been worked on by LASFS and others; I'm not up to date on how much progress has been made, but there is clearly much still to do.

Speer's Fancyclopedia was a tour de force by an exceptional scholar at almost the last moment when the entirety of fandom could be apprehended by a single individual. By the time I took on Fancyclopedia II, that was no longer possible; fandom never did have the scholarly mechanism through which history could be researched by a few individuals, nor were comprehensive contacts possible any longer. Trying only taught me how imperfect were our historical resources.

(And looking at the result a generation later makes me uncomfortably aware of the changes that took place since 1959. I can laugh at my comment to our remote posterity, "For our readers in the year 2000..." But who'd have thought that describing Kabu's females as "fubsy" [plump, pleasant and slightly pedomorphic] would have become offensive for people who saw the word as related to "fubba-wubba" [fat, sloppy and cranky]? Let alone the change in Marion Z. Bradley's views since she wrote the comment under "Fannettes" as a young woman of 22 living in isolation in the Texas countryside.)

Fancyclopedia III may prove an impossible project, coming as it does when there is simply too much fandom to get a grip on. The Star Trek buffs and the Gamers would have been hard enough to include, but with Filkers, Goths, the SCA, and Anime/Manga fans now coming under our umbrella -- not to mention a.s.b. -- and whole separate universes like that of the Hackers existing in parallel to ours (there are exciting glimpses of all these in Roberta Rogow's Futurespeak and in The Hacker's Dictionary) I'm glad I am only one of the helping hands on Cy3. It is not impossible that a committee of editors could succeed, and even a good failure would be something worth having.

Even in putting together Cy2 I had to do as extensive a polling as I could among all the current and past fans I could reach. (An approach that, unhappily, turned Redd Boggs off the project.) What began as a card file written on discarded Japanese library filing cards after three or four years of collection had expanded to a couple of yard-long filing cases of cards, many with references to separate sheets, folders, or booklets. Nearly a year of mechanical production followed, involving discovering a new method of binding, finding out that mimeo paper in bulk was handled as railway freight, and picking up graphics skills in a manner more logically than aesthetically pleasing. (I still hadn't learned to do illos with a stylus properly and used tipped-in Gestefax electronic cuts, at that time a novelty.) Eventually Cy2 went on sale at the Worldcon in Pittsburgh, though only just -- on the way my car's motor burned out and Bob Pavlat had to come and rescue our party. I remember J&y Young and I sitting in my hotel room putting the finished booklet together with Acco fasteners. Mirabile dictu, people did buy this Special Convention Fanzine; enough of them, anyway, to pay for our hotel bill and most of the gas.

Then Noreen Shaw kicked up a fuss and got Cy2 thrown off the Hugo ballot the year it was eligible, on the grounds that I was on the Con committee at the time. (No, I never did forgive her; would you have?) The printing (450 copies, wow!) was sold out over the next two years and I thought that was that, especially since I was going for my graduate degree and was pretty fafiated for a while. It was pleasant to hear, about fifteen years later, that there was some interest in reprinting Cy2 and in proceeding to Cy3, but the Cy3 project got passed from one editor to another and seems to be still in the collection phase. I've got to find out for sure...

After a number of moves that needn't be detailed, I decided to put Cy2 on the Web, for the reasons I've explained. (What? Oh, I did so. Go back and read the first paragraph.)

This couldn't have been achieved in any reasonable time frame -- maybe not at all -- except for the help (and occasional prodding) of my dear Lady, Tamar Lindsay, who not only saw to the conversion of the text into WordPerfect but even worked out ways to reproduce, in that electronic form, most of the odd typographic items I'd put in the original -- stuff like semi-cancelling and quasi-quotemarks and even the goofy brackets I did by typing a hyphen on top of a slant bar. (Never thinking that I might be offending Walt Willis...) I am more than a little annoyed that most of these latter ingenuities were unintelligible to HTML. "HyperText" indeed. MumblemumbleStupid mundane electronicsgrrsnortpfui.

But there are a couple of other serious lacunae in the present electronic version: for one thing, few of the illos in the original Tamar and I worked from are scannable, and I have no copy of the "Additions and Corrections" pamphlet that I did about a year after Fancyclopedia II came out. Put it down to several years overseas, an unexpected move after the death of my parents, and the problems of shoehorning two obligate collectors' household goods into a single home not so large as a dirigible hangar...anyway, these items are lacking and I would be forever grateful to anyone who could provide xeroxes. (Reproducible ones, in the case of the illos.) But more about that on the "Needs" button.

From here I suggest you go to the introductory pages or start in reading the text, which is in files named from the International Phonetic Alphabet. Drop back now and then -- I will update at intervals, making corrections and adding stuff I haven't put in yet, such as the illos and the Additions and Corrections. I would be happy to hear from you if you have comments, corrections or expansions on Cy2, or suggestions for things that ought to go in Cy3. My snail-mail address is Box 589, Bladensburg, Md. 20710 USA, and my e-mail is

Right now I'm still working for my uncle, but in 2000 I'll be retiring. I swore that I'd become active in fandom again once that World Revolution thing blew over, and now I guess I'll have to think of some project to take on when I can turn my full attention to serious matters.

-- Dick Eney

Now, let's see if I can manage this link and Button business...

Publication Reasonator 1998
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