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Fan Speak: C

Compiled/Edited by Jon D. Swartz, N3F Historian

There are many words and abbreviations of special relevance to science fiction. In addition, over the years science fiction fandom has created many new terms. A list of some of these words and abbreviations is provided here for N3F members and for any others who are interested in the history of science fiction and science fiction fandom. Additions and/or corrections are invited.

C

  • Canfan – A Canadian fan.
  • CANSFA – Abbreviation for the Canadian Science Fiction Association.
  • CAPA – Abbreviation of the Carboniferous Amateur Press Alliance, founded in 1961 by former N3F president Rick Sneary. The five original members were Sneary, Len Moffatt, Art Rapp, Ed Cox, and Roy Tackett (and their wives as associate members). Their monthly publication is Five By Five. The current members are Ray Nelson, Len Moffatt, Jim Harmon, Ben Singer, and Jon D. Swartz (with wives June Moffatt and Barbara Harmon as associate members).
  • CAPA-alpha – Comicdom’s Amateur Press Alliance, an APA for members of Comic Book Fandom, founded by Jerry Bails in the early 1960s. It’s publication is KAPPA-alpha, abbreviated as K-a.
  • Captain George’s Comic World – A comics fanzine published in folded newspaper format on newspaper stock by Memory Lane Publications of Toronto, Canada in the 1960s-1970s. Reprints of cartoons and SF/fantasy artwork were featured.
  • Carbonzine – Fanzines of very limited distribution that are literally carbon copies.
  • Cardzine – A newszine printed on the back of a postcard.
  • Casper Award – Known as the Canadian Hugo, the Casper Award was created to recognize achievement by Canadian SF writers. A. E van Vogt was the first recipient in 1980 (for “lifetime contributions to science fiction”). Beginning in 1985 the awards were given in a variety of categories. In 1991 the awards were renamed the Aurora Awards.
  • Caveat Emptor – Warning placed on ads by some dealers, meaning “Buyer Beware.”
  • CBG – Short for Comics Buyer’s Guide, which see.
  • CBM – Short for Comic Book Marketplace, which see.
  • CCA – Short for Comics Code Authority, which see.
  • Centerfold – The two center pages in the middle of a magazine or comic book.
  • Centurion League – A New York SF club in the late 1940s. The stated purpose of the League was criticism of SF and speculative science. The first president was Walter R. Cole.
  • Celephant – The cellophane covering of a paperback book.
  • Cello – Short for celluloid, which see.
  • Celluloid – A type of pinback button in which a design is printed on paper with a celluloid protective covering.
  • Cereal premiums – Toys and trinkets given away in cereal boxes. In the Golden Age of radio programming, many cereals sponsored radio programs and the premiums had tie-ins with radio characters, some of which were SF/fantasy.
  • Cfandom – Short for comic fandom.
  • CFG – Abbreviation for Cincinnati Fantasy Group, which see.
  • CFG Rules – The prohibition against saving seats at fan gatherings. The prohibition comes from the practices of the Cincinnati Fantasy Group.
  • CFO/cfo – Short for centerfold out. See centerfold.
  • Challenger – Hugo-nominated fanzine edited/produced by Guy H. Lillian, III.
  • Chandler Award – See A. Bertram Chandler Award.
  • Chapter play – Another name for a movie serial.
  • Chat – Fanzine published monthly by Rich & Nicki Lynch for 40 issues, beginning in October 1977. Also the name of their mascot, “the fourth fannish ghod,” created by SF artist Teddy Harvia.
  • Chesley Awards – Named for the astronomical artist, Chesley Bonestell, the Chesley Awards are given annually in a variety of categories. The awards were begun in 1985 to recognize artistic achievement during a given year.
  • Chiac – Short for Chicago fandom, composed of the Chicago SF League and the University of Chicago SF Club.
  • Chicon – The second Worldcon, held in Chicago, IL in 1940. E. E. “Doc” Smith was Guest of Honor; Mark Reinsberg was Con Chair.
  • Chicon II – See TASFIC.
  • Chicon III – The 1962 Worldcon, held in Chicago, IL. Theodore Sturgeon was Guest of Honor; Wilson “Bob” Tucker was toastmaster; Earl Kemp was Con Chair.
  • Chicon IV – The 1982 Worldcon, held in Chicago, IL. A. Bertram Chandler and Frank Kelly Freas were Guests of Honor; Marta Randall was toastmistress; Ross Pavlac and Larry Propp were Con Chairs.
  • Chicon V – The 1991 Worldcon, held in Chicago, IL. Hal Clement was GoH; Martin H. Greenberg was editor GoH; Richard Powers was artist GoH; Jon & Jone Stopa were fan Guests of Honor; Marta Randall was toastmistress; Kathleen Meyer was Con Chair.
  • Chronicle – Monthly SFFH trade journal, founded in 1979 by Andrew I. Porter as Science Fiction Chronicle; later published by Warren Lapine, with news editor John Douglas. No longer being published.
  • Cincinnati Fantasy Group – An influential SF club that originated in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1941 and over the years produced many prominent SF fans. Members have included Dale Tarr, Don Ford, Roy Lavender, Bea Mahaffey, Darrell Richardson, Mark Schulzinger, Stan Skirvin, Lou Tabakow, and several out-of-town honorary members. Don Ford edited/published a history of the club, The Cincinnati Fantasy Group, in July 1957. The name of the club often is abbreviated as CFG.
  • Cinvention – The 1949 Worldcon, held in Cincinnati, OH. Lloyd A. Eshbach was GoH; Ted Carnell was fan GoH; Charles R. Tanner was Con Chair.
  • Circle of Lassitude – A trap for the neofan that can occur between initially contacting fandom and actually becoming involved in fanac. Some fans attend con after con, unaware that they are trapped in this activity and have not really found fandom. Term comes from the fan publication The Enchanted Duplicator.
  • Clareson Award – See Thomas D. Clareson Award.
  • Clarion – Short for Clarion: The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, a writing workshop for beginning SF/fantasy writers which began at Clarion College in Pennsylvania. Later Michigan State University hosted Clarion for 30+ years.
  • Clarke’s laws – A set of truisms, formulated by SF author and scientist Arthur C. Clarke: 1) any technology sufficiently advanced in relation to its observers is indistinguishable from magic; 2) the only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible; and 3) when a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right, but when he states that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  • Clevention – The World SF Convention held in Cleveland in 1955. Isaac Asimov was GoH; Sam Moskowitz was mystery GoH; Anthony Boucher was toastmaster; Nick & Noreen Falasca were Con Chairs.
  • Clip art – Art used in fanzines, obtained from a variety of places, and not signed.
  • Clipper – A collector of film clips, especially of TV science fiction series. Clippers trade snippets of film with each other.
  • Cloning – Reproduction of videotapes of television series that are not shown in the U.S., for personal use and/or sale to others.
  • Clubfen – Fans whose main fanac is attending meetings of their local SF club.
  • The Club House – Fanzine review column conducted in Amazing (March 1948 to March 1953) by SF author Roger P. Graham (Rog Phillips). See Amazing.
  • Clubzine – A fanzine of a SF club.
  • CoA/COA/coa – Abbreviation for Change of Address. Some fanzines publish CoAs when their subscribers move.
  • CoC – Abbreviation for the SF club Cream o’ the Crop.
  • Collate – To assemble the pages of a fanzine, thus readying them for stapling.
  • Collectibles – Anything related to a hobby that is collected by fans pursuing that hobby. In the SF field books, magazines, fanzines, original art, and related materials routinely are collected by fans. See collecting fan. See Collector.
  • Collecting fan – A fan whose primary interest is in collecting things related to fandom: books, magazines, art, etc.
  • Collector – One who collects SF or other genre material. See Completist.
  • Colophon – The typical fanzine’s equivalent of a newspaper’s masthead, giving information on the zine’s editor, publisher, information on how to obtain further issues, etc. The term is derived from book publishing where a colophon, located at the end of a book, serves as an alternative to a copyright page.
  • Com/Comp – Abbreviations for compiler.
  • Comet, The. The first science fiction fan magazine, edited/published by early SF fan Raymond A. Palmer (later editor of the prozines Amazing, Other Worlds, Fate, etc.). Volume 1, Number 1 was dated May 1930, and a total of seventeen issues were published. The title was later changed to Cosmology. The last issue was dated Volume VI, Number 1 (1933).
  • Comicdom – The world of comics enthusiasts, including both fans and pros.
  • Comics Buyer’s Guide – Weekly comics news magazine, currently edited by Maggie Thompson. It was founded in 1971 by Alan Light as The Buyer’s Guide for Comic Fandom, a comic book fanzine in a newspaper format.
  • Comics Code Authority – A committee formed in 1954 by major comic book publishers to set up guidelines for acceptable content in comics. The committee’s responsibility is to inspect and approve the contents of comic books before they are published. Approved comic books are identified on their covers by an “Approved by the Comics Code Authority” logo.
  • Comics fandom – Many people in SF fandom have an interest in comic strips, comic books, and other forms of comic art.
  • Comics History Magazine – Fanzine on comics published by SF author Ron Goulart during 1996-1997 (six issues).
  • Comiphile – A lover/collector of comics.
  • Comix/commix – Iconoclastic comic books by independent and usually nonprofessional artists, a product of the counterculture of the 1960s. Some had SF/fantasy content. Also called Underground Comics.
  • Comixzine – A fanzine consisting of comic strips and/or discussions of the comic strip field.
  • Comicologist – Another term for a person who studies, preserves, and/or collects comic art.
  • Communicationzine – A fanzine whose main purpose is to be a means of communication among fans.
  • Completism – See Completist.
  • Completist – A collector who has completed or aspires to complete his/her collection of SF or other material.
  • Con – Abbreviation for convention, often used as part of a compound word such as Worldcon for World SF Convention.
  • ConAdian – The 1994 Worldcon, held in Winnipeg, Canada. Anne McCaffrey was GoH; George Barr was artist GoH; Robert Runté was fan GoH; Barry B. Longyear was toastmaster; John Mansfield was Con Chair.
  • Concom/Con-com – Short for Convention committee, which see.
  • Condition – See Grading.
  • ConFederation – The 1986 Worldcon, held in Atlanta, Georgia. Ray Bradbury was GoH; Terry Carr was fan GoH; Bob Shaw was toastmaster; Penny Frierson & Ron Zukowski were Con Chairs.
  • ConFiction – The 1990 Worldcon, held in The Hague, Netherlands. Harry Harrison, Wolfgang Jeschke, and Joe Haldeman were Guests of Honor; Andrew Porter was fan GoH; Chelsea Quinn Yarbro was toastmistress; Kees van Toorn was Con Chair.
  • ConFrancisco – The 1993 Worldcon, held in San Francisco. Larry Niven was GoH; Alicia Austin was artist GoH; Guy Gavriel Kay was toastmaster; Mark Twain was dead GoH; David W. Clark was Con Chair.
  • Congoer – One who attends conventions, which see.
  • Congoing – The act of attending conventions, which see.
  • ConJosé – The 60th Worldcon, held in San José, CA. Guest of Honor was Vernor Vinge; artist GoH was David Cherry; fan Guests of Honor were Bjo & John Trimble; Tad Williams was toastmaster; imaginary GoH was Ferdinand Feghoot. See Con.
  • Connie – Nickname for the British fanzine Cosmos, published in the early 1940s (J. Edward Rennison, editor).
  • Conrunner – A concom member. British for SMOF, which see.
  • Conrunning – Serving on a concom. See Convention committee.
  • The Conservative – Mundane fanzine published by SF/horror author H. P. Lovecraft.
  • Con society – A convention society, usually with a life expectancy of only two years, that exists for the sole purpose of sponsoring the annual Worldcon. The group’s work is to organize and manage the convention.
  • Consuite/con suite – The hospitality suite at a con, where all members of the con are welcome to sit and relax, talk with other fans, and enjoy refreshments.
  • Contact – The first exposure of a person to fandom.
  • Convention – A gathering of fans and pros for business and social reasons. Conventions (cons for short) began in the late 1930s with meetings of SF fans, many of whom were would-be writers and editors. Today there are cons for just about every hobby activity. The biggest con in SF is the Worldcon.
  • Convention Awards – See Worldcon Special Convention Awards.
  • Convention committee – The group of people responsible for organizing and running a convention. Responsibilities include arranging for site, registration, programming, art show, dealers’ room, etc.
  • Convention fan – The fan who appears only a few days a year at some convention. See Fringe fan.
  • Conrep – Short for Convention Report.
  • Conspiracy ’87 – The 1987 Worldcon, held in Brighton, England. Doris Lessing (UK), Alfred Bester (US), Arkadi & Boris Strugatsky (USSR) were Guests of Honor; Jim Burns was fan GoH; Ray Harryhausen was film GoH; Joyce & Ken Slater were fan Guests of Honor; Dave Langford was Special Fan GoH; Brian Aldiss was toastmaster; Malcom Edwards was Con Chair.
  • ConStellation – The 1983 Worldcon, held in Baltimore, Maryland. John Brunner was GoH; David A. Kyle was fan GoH; Jack L. Chalker was toastmaster; Michael Walsh was Con Chair.
  • Conzine – A fanzine published for a convention, often a daily newsletter with updated information for con attendees.
  • Corefandom – See Trufandom.
  • Corflu – Correction fluid, used when correcting typed stencils. Also, the name of the first annual convention for the editors/publishers of fanzines. See Ditto.
  • Cosmen – Members of the Cosmic Circle, a 1940s organization of one-time BNF Claude Degler. See Cosmic Circle.
  • Cosmic Circle – In theory, a union of all persons everywhere who had a cosmic outlook, established by BNF Claude Degler in 1943. See Cosmen.
  • Cosmology – See The Comet.
  • Courtney’s Boat – The subject of a fannish catch phrase, based upon a real incident in 1879 in which a boat owned by a man named Courtney was sabotaged before a race.
  • Cover/covers – The upper cover is the front of a book, the lower is the back side of the binding. Upper and lower are preferable terms, as opposed to back because of the possible confusion of this term with the spine of a book.
  • Cover art – The artwork on the dust jacket of a book or on the cover of a paperback book, a prozine, or a fanzine.
  • Cover-Copper – The story in a prozine that is illustrated on the cover.
  • Cowbird – A fanzine that “rides on the back” of another fanzine (i.e., the flip side).
  • Cowboy hat – Fannish device for covering bald spots.
  • CP/Cp/cp – Short for Ceased Publication.
  • Crawford Award – See William Crawford Award.
  • Crawford, William – See William Crawford Award.
  • Credit – In an APA, the number of pages needed to fulfill activity requirements.
  • Credits – The name many SF authors use in place of “dollars” in stories set in the future.
  • Crifanac – Abbreviation for Critical Fan Activity and used with varying degrees of sarcasm, depending upon the perceived worth of the activity being described.
  • Croggle – Amazement or awe. Also used as a verb (i.e., croggled).
  • Croggled – See Croggle.
  • Cross Over/Crossover – The appearance of one character in the book/prozine/fanzine of another character.
  • Crud – A derogatory term denoting something of very poor product, especially when applied to fanzines (crudzines).
  • Crudzine/crud-zine – A fanzine of very poor quality.
  • Cry of the Nameless – The – Hugo-winning fanzine (1959/Amateur Publication), edited by G. M. Carr, F. M. Busby, Richard Frahm, and others. One of the club publications of The Nameless Ones, a SF club in Seattle, Washington.
  • Ct/ct – Short for comment to.
  • Ctrspd – Abbreviation for centerspread.
  • CUFF – Canadian Unity Fan Fund.
  • Cult, The – An unusual APA in which 13 members took part through the publication of an official organ, The Fantasy Rotator, by each member in turn.
  • Cut – To type a stencil.
  • Cvls/cvls – Dealer’s abbreviation for coverless, as in a prozine or comic book being sold without a cover.
  • CVR/Cvr/cvr – Abbreviations for the cover of a book or magazine.

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