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Fan Speak: G – H

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.

G

  • GAFIA – Acronym for Getting Away From It All. Originally used to mean getting away from the mundane world to join fandom; more recently, it has meant just the opposite: giving up fandom and returning to more mundane activities.
  • Gafiate – To leave fandom. See GAFIA.
  • Galactic Central – A publishing company created by Gordon Benson, Jr. in the early 1980s as a way of providing SF fans with inexpensive but comprehensive author bibliographies. Phil Stephenson-Payne joined the company in the late 1980s and took over as Benson’s health failed.
  • Galaxy – Abbreviated title for the magazine Galaxy Science Fiction, published regularly from 1950 to 1980, and revived briefly during 1994-1995. GalaxyOnline, published by Ben Bova, appeared on the Internet in the late 1990s.
  • Galaxy Science Fiction Novels – A series of original and reprint novels and collections published in conjunction with Galaxy Science Fiction from 1950 until 196l. The first 31 issues were in digest size, with cover/paper stock identical to that of Galaxy, the parent magazine. Issues 32 through 35 were in a standard mass-market small paperback size. The final 11 books in the series were published by Beacon Books as a kind of SF pornography in large mass-market paperback size. Several of the titles were award-winning SF books.
  • Gallun Award – See Raymond Z. Gallun Award.
  • Gamer – One who regularly participates in role-playing games.
  • Games – Many games created by Sf/fantasy fans are played at fan gatherings. Some of these are listed separately. See Gaming Room.
  • Gaming – Taking part in a SF/fantasy adventure, using a persona developed with the aid of a guidebook or dice and often taking place at a convention.
  • Gaming Room – At many conventions a Gaming Room is set up in which various games are played and from which other games are directed, such as Dungeons and Dragons, which see.
  • GAMOIA – Getting Away from Most Of It All.
  • Garb – Costumes worn by the Society for Creative Anachronism at various fan events. It is intended that such costumes be historically accurate, and many have been entered in con masquerades.
  • Gaughan Award – The Jack Gaughan Memorial Award is presented annually at the Boskone Convention to the most promising new artist in the SF field.
  • Gct/gct – Short for good comment to, an expression of approval.
  • Geek – A socially inept, but generally harmless person, often an adolescent male. The original stereotype of a SF fan was that of a geek.
  • Geffen Awards – Genre awards named for Amos Geffen, co-founder of the Israeli Society of Science Fiction and Fantasy and a founding publisher of SF in Israel.
  • Gen. – Short for genzine or generalzine, which see.
  • General Semantics – See Null-A.
  • General Technics – See Techie.
  • Generalzine – A fanzine not written by the editor alone.
  • Genzine – A general fanzine, one intended to have universal interest.
  • Gerfandom – Fandom in Germany and Austria.
  • Gernsback Awards – The Gernsback Awards were created by SF personality Forrest J Ackerman as a sort of retrospective Hugo Award for SF works published before 1953 (the first year Hugo Awards were given).
  • “Get’em” story – A story in a fanzine in which the protagonist is mistreated in some fashion.
  • GGA/Gga/gga – Abbreviations for Good Girl Art, which see.
  • GGFS – Short for Golden Gate Futurian Society, a SF club active in the San Francisco Bay area during the 1940s-1950s.
  • Ghid-Ghid – Noun having several meanings, originally referring to the sex organs.
  • Ghods – The ghods of fannish mythology include FooFoo (or Foo), GhuGhu (or Ghu), Roscoe, Herbie, The Great Spider, Pthalto, Bheer, etc.
  • Gholy Ghible – The sacred scriptures of GhuGhu, which see.
  • Ghost – Someone who attends a con without paying for membership. Also, to attend a con in such a manner. See Con.
  • GhuGhu – The first ghod of fandom whose chief prophets were Donald Wollheim and John Michel, usually referred to as Ghu. Today Ghu is thought of as a mostly benign fannish deity, usually invoked in moments of exasperation.
  • Ghu Year’s Day – June 20, the New Year of the Ghuists, is celebrated on the summer soltice. Celebrants wear something purple.
  • Glerbins – Fandom’s gremlins, creatures that foul up everything.
  • GM – Abbreviation for Grand Master, which see.
  • Golden Gryphon Press – A specialty press founded in 1997 by Jim Turner, a long-time editor at Arkham House. Upon his death in 1999, Gary Turner and his wife Geri took over the operations. Jim Turner won the 1999 World Fantasy Award for his work at Golden Gryphon Press.
  • Glop – A disgusting mess, often referring to a nutritious (but unappetizing) food.
  • Gofer/Gopher – Volunteers who work at a con, also called helpers. For their work they receive various advantages at the con, such as free membership.
  • Gofer Hole – The place at a con from which gofers are assigned to their various stations. See Gofer.
  • GoH – Abbreviation for Guest of Honor. Most SF conventions have at least one GoH.
  • Golden Age – Term used to describe the most interesting, memorable, and influential period of a product. See Golden Age of Science Fiction.
  • Golden Age of Science Fiction – Generally speaking, the “Golden Age” of SF refers to the period from the late 1930s to the early 1940s when such authors as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, and A. E. van Vogt were publishing their stories in Astounding Science Fiction, edited by John W. Campbell, Jr. (An excellent example of Astounding in this period is the July 1939 issue, reprinted in 1981 in hardcover book form by Southern Illinois University Press).
  • Golden Duck Awards – Awards given annually in several categories for excellence in children’s science fiction books. The Hal Clement Award is one of the categories.
  • Gongulator – A type of mimeograph that incorporates an e-stenciler, but works from the users’ point of view—like the photocopier it resembles.
  • Good – A grading classification between fine and fair. See Grading.
  • Good Girl Art – An expression coined to indicate artwork in SF/fantasy pulps, paperbacks, comic books, and other publications that feature attractive and scantily clothed women. Often these women are pictured in bondage or other perilous situations.
  • Goon – Fandom’s answer to the private eye of mystery fiction.
  • Go pro – To become a professional author by receiving payment for a piece of work.
  • Gosh Wow/Goshwow/Goshwowboyoboy – Cries of joy frequently uttered by neofans. A fanzine titled Gosh Wow! was published in the late 1960s.
  • Gostak – A meaningless noun. From the story by Miles J. Breuer, “The Gostak and the Doshes” (Amazing, May 1930), apparently picked up from an early text in semiotics (The Meaning of Meaning, first published in 1923).
  • Goths – A group of people, usually young, with an interest in vampires, dark clothing, and moody music.
  • GR – Short for Galactic Roamers.
  • Grading – A system for rating the condition of collectibles, using mutually accepted standards. Grades such as Mint, Fine, Good, Fair, and Poor (and gradations in between) generally are used.
  • Grand Master – The Nebula Award for lifetime achievement in SF and/or fantasy, presented by the SFWA.
  • Granfalloon – A SF fanzine that contained book reviews and a letter column. It was published by Linda Eyster and Suzanne Tompkins.
  • Graphic album – A large comic book of stories in the comic format, usually bound in hardcover. See Graphic story/novel.
  • Graphic story/novel – An original, artistic and/or literary story or novel told in the comic format (term coined by Richard Kyle, editor-publisher of the fanzine Graphic Story World). See Graphic album.
  • Great Bird of the Galaxy – Nickname of Star Trek fans for ST creator Gene Roddenberry.
  • The Great Spider – A ghod of SF fandom, first proselytized by John Kusske of Minneapolis in the late 1960s. See Ghods.
  • Grok – An action that combines thought, emotion, and ESP (which see). From Robert A. Heinlein’s novel Stranger in a Strange Land.
  • Grommish – How a person feels the next morning after a terrible night. Term is attributed to Bjo Trimble.
  • Grotch – To complain.
  • Grotched – To be irritated.
  • Group/Groupzine – A fanzine done by/for a particular fan group.
  • Grundge – A groaning sound.
  • GUFF – Going Under Fan Fund (see Fan funds).
  • Gutter – The space between panels in a comic strip or book is known as the gutter.

H

  • Hal Clement Award – Named for the grandmaster SF writer, this award is given annually for children’s SF. See Golden Duck Awards.
  • Hanging fee – A nominal fee charged by a con to an artist for space in an art show. See Art show.
  • Hard core stories – See Hardware stories.
  • Hard Science Fiction – Term for stories that emphasize the scientific aspects of SF, usually featuring plots involving mathematics, physics, or chemistry. Origin of term attributed to James Blish.
  • Hardware stories – Stories that deal with problem-solving in a high-tech environment. Also called Nuts ‘N’ Bolts or Hard-core stories.
  • HC/hc – Abbreviation for a hardcover book (including a hardcover edition of a comic book), as opposed to a paperback. Also (when capitalized), abbreviation for Hydra Club, which see.
  • ‘H’ Day – See Holy Herbie Day.
  • HDBK/hdbk – Abbreviation for Handbook.
  • Headlights – Term used for illustrations that emphasize a woman’s breasts, seen frequently on the covers of early SF pulp and comic book magazines.
  • Hecter Graf – A punnish name for hekto (hectograph) , attributed to Forrest J Ackerman.
  • Hecto/Hekto – Short for hectograph, an early method of reproduction, later replaced by mimeo and ditto.
  • Hectographer’s hands – A malady afflicting users of hectographs and ditto machines, who find that no matter how carefully they handle the materials, smudges of purple appear on their fingers, and mysteriously spread to the backs of their hands and elsewhere.
  • Heesh – Short for he or she, as the case may be.
  • Heicon ’70 International – The 1970 World SF Convention, held in Heidelberg, Germany. Guests of Honor were Herbert W. Franke (Germany), Robert Silverberg (U.S.), and E. C. Tubb (U.K.). John Brunner was toastmaster. Manfred Kage was Con Chair.
  • Heinlein Award – Award established by The Heinlein Society to recognize “outstanding published works in hard SF and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space.” The award will be given periodically but no more often than annually.
  • Herbangelism – Fannish religion of belief in Herbie, which see.
  • Herbie – A fannish deity. See Ghods.
  • Herbiemas – January 11th, commemorates the birthday of the fannish ghod Herbie. Also known as the Herbangelist Universal Gift Exchange Day (because the date was chosen to take advantage of holiday sales and opportunities to exchange and/or recycle Christmas gifts).
  • Hermit – Term used to describe reclusive SF fans, such as Harry Warner (the Hermit of Hagerstown).
  • HHOK – Abbreviation for “Ha, ha, only kidding,” an expression frequently used in apa fanzines and other fannish publications. See HHOS.
  • HHOS – Abbreviation for “Ha, ha, only serious,” an expression frequently used in apa fanzines and other fannish publications. See HHOK.
  • Hieronymus Machine – John W. Campbell’s gadget for demonstrating psionic powers. Name taken from Baron Munchausen’s middle name.
  • Hoax – A popular SF fan activity, especially during the 1930s-1940s. See Fan hoaxes.
  • Hogu Awards – A mock award ceremony, in which token awards are given to what the donors think is the worst SF of the year. A spoof of the Hugo Awards, created by Tom Digby, and inspired by a typo occurring on a Hugo Award Ballot.
  • Holy Floor Plans – Floor plans for the facilities of a proposed Worldcon, presented during the bid made for the convention.
  • Holy Herbie Day – April 1st , also known as ‘H’ Day. A time to worship Herbie and feast. See Ghods.
  • HOMer Award – The HOMers, annual SF awards in a variety of categories, are voted upon by the membership of an electronic bulletin board service for on-line pros and fans, CompuServe Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum.
  • HOMers – See HOMer Award.
  • Horror Writers Association – See Bram Stoker Award.
  • Hot Fout – See Fout.
  • House names – Pseudonyms used by publishers of pulp magazines or books, sometimes called “floating pseudonyms.” House names were used to conceal the fact that more than one person was writing a particular series (e. g., “Kenneth Robeson” as the author of the Doc Savage stories). House names were also used for other purposes, but in general it was to conceal the fact that a particular author had written a particular story.
  • Howard Awards – The Howard Awards are in the form of a misshapen bust of genre author Howard Phillips Lovecraft, created by Gahan Wilson.
  • Hoy Ping Pong Day – November 23rd, the birthday of Arthur Wilson “Bob” Tucker, famous SF fan and author. Hoy Ping Pong was one of his early fannish pseudonyms.
  • HPL – Initials of famous genre author Howard Phillips Lovecraft, by which he is often identified. An extensive fandom devoted to HPL still exists.
  • HSFS – Short for the Hanover Science Fiction Society.
  • HTF – Dealers’ abbreviation for Hard to find.
  • Huckster/Huxter – See Dealer.
  • Hucksters’ Room/Huckster Room – Name given to the area at a convention where dealers sell their merchandise. See Dealer.
  • Hugo Awards – Annual achievement awards presented at Worldcons in a variety of categories, including fannish activities. The award is named for SF legend Hugo Gernsbach.
  • Humorzine – A fanzine featuring humor.
  • HWA – Short for Horror Writers Association.
  • Hyborian Legion – A fan club for fans of Robert Howard’s Conan and other fantasy heroes. The club fanzine is Amra.
  • Hydra Club – An organization of professional SF writers, artists, and editors that was formed with nine charter members (hence the name) in September 1947, with no stated purpose at all other than getting together on a regular basis. A brief history of the club (by Judith Merril) and caricatures of 41 of the club members (by Harry Harrison) appear in the November 1951 issue of Marvel Science Fiction. Other prominent members were Isaac Asimov, Fredric Brown, L. Sprague de Camp, Lester del Rey, H. L. Gold, Daniel Keyes, Damon Knight, Willy Ley, Frederik Pohl, and Theodore Sturgeon.
  • Hyperfanac – Short for hyper fan activity: “Running like mad to stay even.”

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