[SKRIVA] Artikel av Mike G: "Fanac is FUN"
- From: Ahrvid Engholm <ahrvid@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: <skriva@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 03:28:07 +0100
Här en artikel av nyligen avlidne, kände sf-fanen Mike Glicksohn. Den stod år 2000 i ett amerikanskt fanzine. Den kan möjligen förklara en del om den här stundtals obskyra men skojiga världen som kallas sf-fandom (eller bara "fandom"). Jag passar på att inskjuta en del förklarande kommentarer (markerade méd // och //). SF-fandom uppstod exakt den 11 december 1929 i New York (första mötet för sf-klubben The Scienceers) och kom till Sverige i slutet av 40-talet (Dénis Lindbohms Strate-Organisation från våren 1949 bör ses som den första sf-klubben, möjligen undantaget ASEA-ingenjörernas och Harry Martinsons Atom-Noak upa från 1945 - saken kan debatteras). ----- Our SF Fandom: A Stimulating Diversion By Mike Glicksohn The dictum known as Sturgeon's Law probably is better known to science fiction fans than to any other group in the world. It is also probably quoted more often within science fiction fandom than anywhere else. You know this law: Ninety per cent of everything is crap. (The fact that this law was formulated by One of Us undoubtedly explains part of its popularity, but the peculiar truth it encapsulates is so appropriate to the fannish mindset that it would likely get quoted almost as frequently had Johnny Carson first proposed it.) The honest science fiction fan would probably admit, when threatened with exposure to an entire run of Space 1999 episodes, that the law applies to science fiction fandom itself. So what makes fandom such a thriving, growing community? The answer, of course, lies in the unstated positive aspect of Sturgeon's rather gloomy pronouncement. Recognizing this, a recent Minneapolis regional convention subtitled itself "The Other Ten Percent." Astute attendees congratulated themselves on understanding the reference, acknowledged the inherent elitism of the suggestion, and admitted that this was one of the reasons they were in fandom in the first place. Feeling superior may not be all that noble but it is quintessentially human (and fannish). It may well be true that the only valid generalization one can make about science fiction fandom is that it is not possible to make valid generalizations about science fiction fandom. Nevertheless, for these words to convey any sort of meaning, there has to be some sort of agreement on terminology. For the purpose of this article, then, I shall use the world "fandom" to mean "the more or less organized subculture that has grown up around written and visual science fiction and fantasy," and the word "fan" to represent "anyone active in any area of fandom." //Kan debatteras om "visual" sf skall inkludera film och TV-serier. Det finns ett intellektuellt avstånd mellan sf-fans som sysslar med text resp rörliga bilder.// Thus Josephine Reader may well be the only person in America who manages to read every word of published science fiction and fantasy in a given year, but she doesn't qualify as a fan, whereas Henry Spockclone, who attends the annual Perry Rhodan convention, does qualify. If you wish to disagree with these definitions I suggest you challenge the editor of this book to a duel. So there is something called fandom, and there are people called fans, and there must be something which had made and is making it all work. Because fandom is over a century old * and even though the probably mythical "average fan" may have an active fannish life of only two or three years, there are many fans who have stayed in fandom and taken an active role in its growth and development for 30, 40, and even close to 50 years! What ever that other 10 per cent of fandom is, it must be heady stuff indeed. //Vet inte vad förf syftar på med "over a century". Någon form av proto-fandom med tidiga amatörtidskrifter, Lovecraft osv?// For decades there have two opposing schools of fannish thought whose members have engaged in longstanding and mostly light-hearted argument as to the relative merits of their peculiar philosophies. The proponents of FIAWOL believe (or so they like to claim) that Fandom Is A Way Of Life. Opposing them are the believers in FIJAGH who, when they can find the time, will argue that Fandom is Just A God Damned Hobby. //Vanligen stavas det "Fandom Is Just A Ghoddamn Hobby". Ett av Stieg Larssons fanzines från 70-talet hette faktiskt FIJAGH.// Nowadays these rallying cries are merely humorous catchphrases, part of the special cant that gives fandom its particular appeal. Their very existence, however, harkens to the early days of fandom and casts light on some of the reasons why few eo-fans may have been attracted to and held by fandom. It has been argued, with some justification, that fandom once was a frequent refuge for maladjusted, socially inept, and often unsuccessful, introverts. Unable to attain any sense of achievement or community in the real world, these misfits found in fandom a small pond in which they could be large frogs. So they jumped in, worked hard, and stayed for the fulfillment fandom gave them, espousing FIAWOL in loud shrill voices. While this view of fandom's formative years is extremely biased, and while the counterexamples are both well known and extremely numerous, the concept is not entirely without factual basis. Nor can it be dismissed as a factor in present-day fandom. Early fandom may have taken itself a lot more seriously than does its current incarnation, and the sort of person likely to enter fandom today may be vastly different from the typical fan of the 1930's and 1940's; however both fandoms contained a certain percentage of people who turned to the science fiction community because they were dissatisfied with their roles in the real world. Of course, you and I aren't one of them, are we, so fandom must have some other appeal for us. //Att tidiga sf-fans hade en allvarlig sida är sant. Man kunde t o m se sig som en sorts proto-vetenskapsmän och grundade saker som International Science Correspondence Club. Man kunde bygga modellraketer, studera rymden, osv. Iofs inget fel med det!// Rising young science fiction pro Steven Leigh puts his finger on a major part of it in an interview in the December 1983 issue of Bill Bowers' OUTWORLDS: "I can't leave out the people, since 90 per cent of the appeal of fandom has to do with them. With the exception of the tiny bit of business that gets done at a con, the only reason I attend them is to see friends, to enjoy their company. As for the rest of it, well, fandom is a false environment, and as much as some may protest that it's a way of life, I don't think it can be, fully." If indeed, as I believe, fandom is both stimulating and diverse, then certainly one of its greatest sources of stimulation (and, hence, one of the major reasons for the longevity of many fannish careers) is the people one finds within it. Any fan who finds fandom to his or her liking, and stays for longer than a brief, trial, period, is probably doing so at least in part because of the people met and the friends made (in person or on paper) within fandom. //Sant. Personkontakter är nog mångas poäng med att engagera sig i fandom.// A large number of fans will cheerfully admit that many, some times most, and occasionally all, of their best friends, are other fans. This isn't surprising, nor does it necessarily reflect an inability to function outside of the artificial confines of fannish society. Friendships develop between people with similar interests and mentalities, and any two fans, regardless of the focus of their fannish interest, are going to have several things in common. The underlying interest in some aspect of science fiction or fantasy that connects almost all fans is bound to make it a common occurrence for fans to find other fans to whom they take an "instant liking." The stimulation of being in the company of people who care about the same things you care about, and believe in the same things you believe in, and even think in the same way you think, is one of the prime appeals of fandom. That such people frequently have other areas of interest and expertise they're more than happy to open up to you makes them doubly valuable as friends. It isn't surprising that many fans meet a spouse once they become active in fandom! Hell, some fans meet three or four spouses in fandom! And the number of second generation fans already active is a potent indication of just how stimulating fandom can be. There is another popular fannish slogan, more often quoted in fun nowadays but once upheld quite seriously by a certain segment of fandom, that "Fans are slans." //Slans eller slaner var ett särskilt släkte i AE Van Vogts roman Slan. Det var telepatiska "övermänniskor" som dock levde i det fördolda och hatades för att de Var Bättre Än Andra. "Fans Are Slans" är en fras som uttrycker en del sf-fans behov av att anse sig litet utanför fast de Vet Att De Egentligen Är Bättre.// While nobody seriously believes that science fiction fans are the forerunners of a new and better breed of human beings, there is a definite tendency among fans to feel that the average fan is somehow "better than the average non-fan, or mundane," as he is often known. (The term mundane has no pejorative connotations, but in recent years it has been so often used as an insult by fans who possess many of the characteristics they believe they're denigrating, that its use often obscures, rather than enhances, communication.) Many fans feel that a fellow fan is perhaps more intelligent, more literate, more creative, and more tolerant, than a non-fan. While this may well be true of individuals, however, there is certainly no evidence to support this belief in general, and I think it can be disregarded as a reason why so many people find so much enjoyment for so long within fandom. //Min uppfattning är iaf att fans iaf är klart över genomsnittet när det gäller litterära intressen och begåvning. Det är ju trots allt folk som kommit in i det här med fandom genom att läsa böcker och vara intresserade av kultur.// George RR Martin, in his 1983 WINDYCON Guest of Honor speech, put it succinctly when he said: "Fans are no smarter or more hip than anybody else. Some of those chess players I knew were brighter than far than most SF people; the lawyers dressed better, were more socially adept, were a good deal less naive about politics. No, I figured out early that fans and mundanes, down deep, were much the same." //"Mundanes" är beteckningen för icke-fans. Mondäna typer, utanför fandom. Och jag håller inte helt med GRR Martin. Fans har troligen något över medelbegåvning med tanke på att de har intellektuella intressen.// What is true, though, is that the common bond of science fiction generally provides a link which makes it possible for any given fan to find, and get along with, other fans who are intelligent, creative, and enjoyable to be with. And as with any cross-section of middle class America (or Britain, or Australia, or Canada, or most other places where fandom exists to any extent), there will be a great diversity of talent and ability in any group of fans. Consequently, most fans both can admire the accomplishments of their friends, and be admired for their own contributions in return. This provides a healthy psychological environment for competition, achievement, and the establishment of friendships. It's these factors, rather than any slannishness among fans, which account for the frequent depth and duration of fannish friendships. Nevertheless, if a constantly renewable source of like-minded companions, along with the strong possibility of permanent friendships, are two of fandom's greatest attractions, they are certainly not the only reasons fandom appeals so strongly to so many. There are many fans who only rarely encounter their fellow enthusiasts face-to-face, yet remain deeply and passionately involved in their own version of fannish activity. The sheer diversity of the methods of participating in the science fiction community is one of fandom's greatest assets. If it is true that we all need some sort of recreational activity to help us cope with the demands of day-to-day existence, then fandom certainly offers a veritable smorgasbord of possibilities. Fans find satisfaction, enjoyment, and fulfillment in a myriad ways: corresponding with other fans who share their particular interests in fandom; discussing or arguing about a favourite book, film, magazine, author, artist, television show or fictional setting; writing to or for fanzines or publishing fanzines; preparing and/or exhibiting costumes; organizing, running, working on and/or attending conventions; establishing, running, or simply attending science fiction clubs or special interest groups; being, or believing, that they are a part of the highly nebulous power structure of fandom; or just partying and socializing with fannish friends. Many fans spend a score or more hours every week in fan-related activities (Eo-fan Bob Tucker has claimed that anything two or more fans do together is fanac, but such a concept is beyond the scope of this short article.) Other fans may attend just one convention every year. That they continue to do so, though, year after year, is a testament to the widespread appeal of the hobby. //"Fanac" är förkortning för "fan activity", alltså det som ovan beskrivs - samt mer.// Pick any three fans and they'll probably disagree as to just what it is about fandom that attracts them. For Stephen Leigh, "Ninety per cent of the appeal" has to do with the people. Famed Hugo-winning hermit Richard Bergeron, on the other hand, has stated, "I will argue that magazine making is the single most fascinating aspect of fandom with its infinite permutations of words, images and styles -- and for those who discover its joys, an endlessly refreshing form of mental play which we will probably have with us for centuries: unlike science fiction." Other fans active in different areas could undoubtedly proselytize with equal fervour, enthusiastically proclaiming the joys of con running, costume making, beer drinking, book buying, magazine collecting, or any of a dozen other types of activity. It matters not whether one agrees or disagrees with their claims: what is evident is the great variety of reasons people have found for enjoying fandom, and the sheer diversity of its appeal. //Con-running nämns. På senare år har kongressarrangerande dykt upp som en nästan separat del av det här med "fanaktiviteter". Det finns folk som uppenbarligen gillar just det här med att *organisera och sköta sf-kongresser, och inte bryr sig om så mycket annat. De kallas ofta SMOFs - "Secret Master of Fandom", ett uttryck som urspr egentligen inte syftad epå con-runners - och har t o m sina kongressarrangörskongresser...SMOFcons.// The activities that attract people to different types of fanac may vary, but the motivation behind them all is essentially the same. Fanac is fun. Or perhaps even: Fanac is F*U*N!! It may be hard work, but somewhere along the way it must give satisfaction and enjoyment. In other words: stimulation. And the most common form of that stimulation is egoboo. (If you don't know the word, you probably shouldn't be reading this anyway, but, just in case you found this book at the bottom of a drawer full of socks, egoboo come from ego-boost, that warm feeling one gets from receiving praise and recognition.) //"Egoboo" betyder "egoboosting", "egoförstärkning", vilket som sagt definierats som ung "känsla av tillfredställelse över väl förrättat fan-värv och beröm för detta".// The dress that took 300 hours to create seems worthwhile when 2,000 worldcon attendees scream themselves hoarse applauding it. //The Fancy Dress Parade är en jättestor grej på de årliga sf-världskongresserna! 50-tals uppträdanden, kanske fler och lika stor publik som för Hugo-priserna. En del lägger verkligen ned tid på sina dräkter - men samtidigt ses inte utkläddhet och dräkter som en Bona Fide del av sf-fandom. Det kan vara OK på en kongress, men inte annars.// The fanzine that occupied an entire summer's free time to publish is justified when someone whose work you've always admired tells you how much he or she enjoyed reading it. The article on which you labored through six drafts and eight weeks doesn't seem like work at all when a famous professional compliments you on your style and insight. And the convention that monopolized a year of your life and nearly broke up your marriage seems almost worth the aggravation and toil when one dozen strangers stop you to say they've never had a more enjoyable weekend. And that explains why the next costume, the next fanzine, the next article, or the next convention, will also get your loving care and attention. There's an enormous amount of intense personal satisfaction to be gleaned from fandom, and egoboo, no matter how you get it, has a potent, perhaps even addictive, appeal. There are those who observe that egoboo is a common coin of the fannish realm and extrapolate that fandom is just a mutual admiration society filled with egomaniacal bigheads strutting in a glow of self-importance. They are as misguided as those few who think that an interest in science fiction is somehow indicative of an inherent superiority over people who don't happen to read SF. Certainly there are fans whose attitude towards fannish "fame" is unbalanced, but they are no more the norm than are those who actively shun the limelight, despite having every reason not to. A desire for recognition of one's efforts and abilities is perfectly natural and quite healthy when kept in the proper perspective. That fandom offers such rich sources of satisfaction is merely one of the many reasons it attracts the quality of participants it often does. And most fans find the pleasure of associating with the creative and enthusiastic people who enjoy showcasing their talents within the framework of fandom, to be another reason for being a fan. It has often been said that, among other things, fandom is an extended family, and, for many active fans, this is true. //Den brittiske fanen Greg Pickersgill har sagt mer än så. Han har observerat att fandom är som ett litet land. Fandom sett på det stora hela, menar han, har lika mycket kultur och kulturhistoria som ett mindre europeiskt land.// The sense of belonging that arises from active participation in some areas of fandom can be a major aspect of fandom's appeal. In fact, the sense of community which pervades the core of fandom frequently forges bonds which are stronger than those a fan may have with his or her biological family (and to return the favour, when some other wandering fan, possibly from overseas, perhaps known only as a name in the pages of a fanzine, is passing through and needs a place to say and a friend to talk to.) For some fans, fandom is their family: for most fans fandom is at least a branch of the family. And so fans accept the many black sheep that such a widespread and indiscriminately selected family must have. It is, after all, that other 10 per cent that makes fandom one of the most enjoyable families one could hope to have. So far I've dealt with generalities in trying to pinpoint the appeal of fandom to a wide spectrum of fans and to justify the title of this article. Since specifics often can give substance to what might otherwise be vague theorizing perhaps you'll indulge me as I try to give a few personal reasons why I firmly believe that fandom is indeed a stimulating diversion. I've only been a fan for 18 years, a mere bagatelle compared to many of the writers in this book, //Artikeln måste vara gammal. År 2000 hade Mike G varit fan i 30+ år. Men att artikeln är gammal förklarar att han inte inkluderar en hel del nya observationer som jag tar upp senare.// but in that time I've come to realize just how many ways one can participate in and derive enjoyment from fandom, even as one pursues a rewarding and respected career outside of science fiction. For example, I've published about 1,000 pages of fanzines and been lucky enough to win a Hugo for doing so. I've written dozens of articles and thousands of letters and had them published in fanzines all over the world, thus garnering much praise and as much condemnation and precipitating many enjoyable arguments and discussions. I've helped start a science fiction club which has gone on to host a highly successful world convention and is still active after 18 eventful years. I've helped organize one world convention and a couple of regionals, and I've worked on many others. I've been on a great many panels, occasionally given speeches as an invited guest of the convention, and auctioned artwork at many of the approximately 170 conventions I've been able to get to. I've worked on two different sets of fannish awards and contributed to the success of a great many fan funds and special fannish projects. I've been accused of permanently changing (some say "spoiling") the social aspects of the conventions in an entire section of the country (but at least I never taught anyone to juggle). I've met most of the people who have meant and who mean the most to me through fannish contacts, and I've been lucky enough to meet and even become friends with many of the people who are responsible for creating the literature which attracted me to fandom in the first place. And perhaps more than anything, for over two decades, I've been royally entertained by some of the most talented and creative people one could ever meet, in this or any other subculture. I mention these things not as an exercise in self-aggrandizement but to demonstrate that even as firm a believer in FIJAGH as I can find tremendous scope for enjoyment within fandom. And if there's one thing I've realized through the years it's that I've merely dabbled in one particular area of fandom. There are vast areas of activity out there, populated by fans as enthusiastic as I, which I simply lack the time, the energy, and the inclination, to explore. Diversity? I hope I've made the point clear. And whenever an aspect of fandom begins to pall, there are a dozen other areas one can easily switch one's attention to, thus avoiding disenchantment with fandom as a whole. Stimulation? Where else but in science fiction fandom could you push Harlan Ellison's car through a deserted Hollywood? Or walk the banks of the Seine with Joe Haldeman sipping pernod at the break of dawn? //Haldeman var på en svensk sf-con för några år sedan. En djäkligt trevlig kille! PÅ en lista som SKRIVA är det nog passande att nämna att vi hade en liten writing session. Vi var en liten grupp som ombetts lämna texter i förväg, och sedan satt vi runt ett bord och diskuterade dem. Givande och trevligt.// Or listen as Bob Tucker glibly explains the ancient Australian custom of Smoothing to a planeload of gullible American tourists bound for Sydney? //Hm, hade för mig att Bob Tuckers "Smoooooth"-rutin var uramerikansk. Jag tror Mike G har fel. Hade nöjet på världskongerssen 1979 - min första - att stoppas av Bob tucker i en korridor, där han bjöd på litet whiskey - och så drog han till med sitt "Smoooooth".// Or play Risk with Larry Niven as the first American approached the Moon? Or beat Jerry Pournelle at the poker table, and later read about how he beat you? Any time I might be so foolish as to think I've seen or done everything fandom has to offer, it ups and does something new and different and equally as enjoyable. So I stay, enjoying every minute, just for the fun of it. Oh, there are less sublime reasons for being in fandom, of course. There's sex, for example. And parties. Drugs. And free drinks. And perhaps, occasionally, a degree of acceptance and tolerance somewhat higher than that found in some other areas of society. But the fan who is attracted to fandom by only these superficial aspects, and never digs to discover fandom's history and the deeper benefits it has to offer, is the fan most likely to fade two or three years down the line, when a permanent girlfriend, or a fulltime job, or a graduation ceremony, comes along. The Bob Blochs, Bill Rotslers, and Ted Whites of fandom stick for 30 years or more because they've found something in fandom that goes beyond mere transitory amusement. (Not that they'd be likely to turn any down! Fans may not be slans but neither are they fools!) Like many other areas of life, fandom returns the most to those who contribute the most to it. Most long term fans are those who have given a great deal of themselves to fandom, be it thousands of illustrations, a few million words of fanzine material, a year or so spent sweating and swearing over a duplicator, //Duplicator = stencilapparat, för fanzineframställning. Sällan använda numera, med laserskrivare men framför allt Internet.// or uncountable hours devoted to the work and organization necessary for their fellow fans to enjoy themselves. And all that work somehow gets turned around until it renews their own enjoyment of fandom and stimulates continued participation. It would be naive to suggest that science fiction fandom is in some way unique, that it offers rewards no other hobby or area of recreation can provide. But so what? When you find a good thing, and that good thing is constantly growing and changing so it is always refreshing while at the same time retaining a core of familiarity, why search for the same thing somewhere else? And fandom can be that way. If that's what you want it to be and that's the way you choose to make it for yourself. As with any group of human beings, fandom has faults, drawbacks, and weaknesses, but the faults can be avoided, the drawbacks can be minimized, and the weaknesses can be bypassed in favour of the good stuff, the right stuff. That other 10 per cent. If you play the game properly you need never lose sight of either the diversity or the stimulation of fandom. Theodore Sturgeon was right. Ninety per cent of everything is crap. What he didn't say, but I suspect he knew, was that the other 10 per cent of some things can be as much as you'll ever need or want! //OK. Det finns tecken på att artikeln är ganska gammal, tidigt-mitten 80-tal. Mycket av det Mike G säger är passerat eller ändrat. En gång i tiden var fandom som han säger en centralpunkt om man gillade litet sf och rymd osv. Men numera går många lika väl till SVEROK och dataspel eller Star Trek-klubbar; jag råkar gilla Star Trek och har skrivit för SVEROK, men i alla fall. Science fiction och media har förändrats, inte minst pga datorer och Internet. Det skapas NYA kontaktvägar och intressegrupper. Svensk fandom är väl idag med knapp nöd ungefär lika stor som på 70-talet (100-200 pers), mindre än på 80-talet (som var en höjdpunkt, fram till bråk kring fanfondsfusk raserade mycket under sent 80-tal), men idag framför allt *äldre*. Det är i många fall samma fans som för 20-30 år sedan (de som inte gafierade, lämnade fandom, vill säga) men de är bara 20-30 år äldre. Nyrekryteringen till så att säga "traditionell fandom" är liten och långsam. Nya fans som är 20-någonting kan räknas på ena handens fingrar. Det finns så mycket annat som drar om man är litet intresserad av rymskepp och drakar osv (rollspelsgrupper, dataspel, hackerkonferenser, etc). Faktum är att kärnan av amerikansk fandom f n verkar dö av ålderdomssvaghet - de är 70+ allihopa. Om 20 år är kanske svensk fandom där... Trots ökad ålder, konurrens och dålig nykrekrytering - ämnen som alltså saknas i Mike G:s artikel- finns även goda tecken. Traditionell sf-fandom har alltid vrit bra på att utnyttja Internet! Världens första mailinglista utanför datortekniska ämnen (vilket förstås var et tidigt fokus) var SF-listan SF Lovers, startad redan 1979 eller så. En *svensk websida*, kallad SF-Arkiv, var en av världens kanske 25 första websidor ö h t! Jag såg själv när WWW och denna sida demades på en Confuse under tidigt 90-tal. Jag var själv tidigt inblandad i nätbaserad fanac, och vet om många andra som var det. Så visst hopp finns. Men tryckta fanzines har nästan försvunnit. Och risken är kanske att fandom i framtiden till stor del består av kongressarrangörsfandom. Av någon anledning tilltalar conarrangerande många. Slut på kommentarer. --Ahrvid// -- ahrvid@xxxxxxxxxxx / Gå med i SKRIVA - för författande, sf, fantasy, kultur (skriva-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, subj: subscribe) YXSKAFTBUD, GE VÅR WCZONMÖ IQ-HJÄLP! (DN NoN 00.02.07) Om Ahrvids novellsamling Mord på månen: http://www.zenzat.se/zzfaktasi.html C Fuglesang: "stor förnöjelse...jättebra historier i mycket sannolik framtidsmiljö"! ----- SKRIVA - sf, fantasy och skräck * Äldsta svenska skrivarlistan grundad 1997 * Info http://www.skriva.bravewriting.com eller skriva- request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx för listkommandon (ex subject: subscribe).
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