Roscoe is a ghod of fannish myth invented by Art Rapp, Rick Sneary and Ed Cox in 1949. Sneary and Cox were mainstays of Fourth Fandom, and Rapp published the monthly Spacewarp, which was the focal point of Fifth Fandom. Roscoe is a beaver whose birthday is Labor Day Weekend (traditionally when Worldcon was held) — thus, all fans celebrate it, even those who are not followers.
Possibly the most popular of the fannishly invented ghods, for reasons that remain open to conjecture. Rapp himself speculated that it might not just be because most Worldcons in the U.S. used to be held on Roscoe's birthday — it might have been a numbers game. Which is to say, FooFoo was invented by one fan (Jack Speer) and GhuGhu by two (Don Wollheim with the help of his High Priest John Michel), and what Rapp surmised was as follows:
Then mighty Roscoe's cult arose (as every Spacewarp reader knows) Interpreted by deacons three: Rick Sneary, Edmund Cox and me. The moral of this history, fan Is: cults ain't founded by just one slan; Attempts by two make fandom nod, For only t'ree can make a ghod.
|From Fancyclopedia 2, ca. 1959|
|The One True Ghod, incarnate in the form of a beaver. (This mystically expresses the fact that all true fen are busy little b's.) Revealed by the Prophet Art Rapp in '47, His religion -- Roscoism or the Rosconian Faith -- rapidly swept thru fandom, converting the elite group to its Insurgent credo and arousing the False Faiths of Ghu and FooFoo to a brief revival. Barring interference by Oscar (the Evil Principle, represented as a malignant muskrat) Rosconians enjoy the Reality of Fanac, the Hope of Egoboo, and the Promise of Bheer. Chronicles of the future Rosconian Empire have been produced by various fans, even depraved Ghuists. Roscoe's Mighty Two Front Teeth and Slapping Tail are terrible weapons against the evildoer. Holy days are the Fourth day of July ("that's the day when Roscoe flies a fiery spaceship in the sky") and Labor Day, the date of Roscoe's Birth. Conventions are frequently held to celebrate these Sacred Occasions, and fen meeting there quaff libations of beer and other beverages in Roscoe's honor.
Unlike various false ghods Roscoe has no official color and leaves ritualistic forms of reverence to the discretion and imagination of his worshippers; for, being the True Ghod, he of course does not need to be confirmed in his position by bombastic pronouncements such as Ghuist and Fooist use to trumpet their ghods' pretensions. Certain references in the Birch Bark Bible [the Rosconian Scriptures] suggest that allegiance to false ghods delivers misbelievers to Oscar, who created false ghods as well as mimeos that overink, cheap stencils, hangovers, and other banes of fannish life. Liberal Rosconian theologians, however, point out that this is merely a consequence of submitting to Oscar, since after 200th Fandom Roscoe will save all fans simply because they are fans.
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