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Fan Speak: P

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.

P

  • Pacificon – The fourth Worldcon, held in Los Angeles in 1946. A. E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull were Guests of Honor; Walter J. Daugherty was Con Chair.
  • Pacificon II – The 1964 Worldcon, held in Oakland, CA. Leigh Brackett and Edmond Hamilton were Guests of Honor; Forrest J Ackerman was fan Guest of Honor; Anthony Boucher was toastmaster; J. Ben Stark and Al haLevy were Con Chairs.
  • PADS – Abbreviation for The Publishing And Distributing Service. See Tribe X.
  • Pagan Apa – An APA organization concerned with neopaganisms.
  • Page count – The number of pages in an issue of a fanzine or an APA.
  • Paleo/Paleofan – An old-time fan.
  • Palmerism – Term for the type of SF that was epitomized by Raymond A. Palmer when he was editor/publisher of magazines that gave space to crackpot ideas like the Young Rosicrucians, the Shaver Mystery, and various mystical and occult forms of Cosmic Wisdom.
  • Panelologist – One who studies, preserves, and/or venerates panel art. Jerry Bails published an early comics fanzine titled The Panelologist. See Panelology.
  • Panelology – The study, preservation, and veneration of panel art. Term coined by Jerry G. Bails in the early 1960s to describe the interests of comic book fandom.
  • Paperback Parade – A magazine for paperback readers and collectors that has been published since 1986. Many issues have included articles on SF and/or SF authors.
  • PAR – Short for Pay After Reading, which see.
  • Parade of Pleasure – Book by Geoffrey Wagner, published in England in 1954, containing an illustrated section on censorship in American comic books. Frequently abbreviated as POP. See Seduction of the Innocent.
  • Passifan/Passi-fan – A person who reads SF or goes to SF movies, but has no interest in fandom. See FIJAGDH.
  • Pass On Funds – Delay funds until the next year.
  • Paul Award – See Frank R. Paul Award.
  • Pay After Reading – Paying what you think a fanzine is worth after reading it.
  • PB/pb – Abbreviation for a paperback book, as opposed to a hardback.
  • P/B – Dealer abbreviation for a pin back button.
  • PBO – Abbreviation for Pocket Book Original, which see.
  • PC/pc – Dealer’s abbreviation for post card.
  • PEAPS – Abbreviation for the Pulp Era Amateur Press Society, which see.
  • Pep pin – A penny-sized litho tin pinback button, inserted as a premium in boxes of Kellogg’s Pep cereal beginning around 1943. Each of the first two series consisted of 18 military insignias and four larger WWII airplanes. In 1945 the first comic character series was issued, with new series added periodically over the next two years for a total of 86 different characters. The sets were advertised on the Superman radio program, and a Superman pin was included with every comic character series. Other superheroes were also included in the sets.
  • Perfect binding – Type of binding used for paperback books, trade paperbacks, and magazines when there are too many pages to use staples. In perfect binding the pages are glued together and then placed in the covers of the publication.
  • Perri, Leslie – Fan name of Doris Baumgardt (also known as Doë), early member of The Futurians and later wife of SF writers Frederik Pohl and Richard Wilson.
  • Pers. – Short for personalzine, which see.
  • Personalized Fanzine – See Personalzine.
  • Personalzine – A fanzine written solely by the editor/publisher.
  • Perzine – See personalzine.
  • Pete Seeger’s Antidote – A cure for Frank Hays Disease, in which the filker stares at the ceiling until the lyrics to the filk song he/she has forgotten magically appear. See Frank Hays Disease. See Filker. See Filk song.
  • Phantagraph, The – SF fanzine edited/published by Donald A. Wollheim from 1935 until 1946. Wollheim provided an index to the first eight years of his journal in 1941; and a collection of The Phantagraph’s fiction, articles, and poetry, Operation: Phantasy, was published by Donald M. Grant in 1967.
  • Phantasmicon – A SF fanzine published in the 1970s.
  • Philadelphia Science Fiction Society – The PSFS was founded in 1935 by SF fans Milton Rothman, Robert Madle, John Baltadonis, Ossie Train, and Ray Mariella.
  • Philcon – The 1947 Worldcon, held in Philadelphia, PA. John W. Campbell, Jr. was GoH; L. Jerome Stanton was toastmaster; Milton Rothman was Con Chair. Also, the annual conventions run by the Philadelphia SF Society.
  • Philip K. Dick Memorial Award – Award that honors the best American original paperback book of the year. Named after SF writer Philip K. Dick, the award began in 1982, and is awarded each year by the Philadelphia SF Society.
  • Phildickian – Term created by fans to refer to the work/ideas of SF author Philip K. Dick. See Dickian.
  • Phony Seventh, The – The last stage of historical fandom, in 1953-1954. Also known as the Sixth Transition.
  • Photo-ref – Photos of actors in movies/TV series used as reference material for artists who illustrate the stories in mediazines, which see.
  • Pick, pass, or play – Procedure used in organizing a filk-sing in which each player gets a turn to either pick a song for someone else to sing, pass and not take a turn, or play a song of his/her own choosing.
  • Pict. – Dealer’s abbreviation for pictorial (e. g., book bound in pictorial wrappers).
  • Pilgrim Award – Created in 1970 by the SFRA, the Pilgrim honors lifetime contributions to SF and fantasy scholarship. The award was named from the title of the first serious academic study of SF, Pilgrims Through Space and Time (1947) by J. O. Bailey.
  • Pittcon – The 1960 Worldcon, held in Pittsburg, PA. James Blish was GoH; Isaac Asimov was toastmaster; Dirce Archer was Con Chair.
  • PKD – Initials of SF author Philip K. Dick.
  • PKD Award – See Philip K. Dick Memorial Award.
  • Planet, The – The second SF fanzine (1st issue July 1930), edited by Allen Glasser for the New York Scienceers.
  • Planet Stories – SF pulp magazine, specializing in space opera, that was published from Winter 1939 to Summer 1955 for a total run of 71 issues. Malcolm Reiss was in editorial control for the entire run of the magazine although other supporting editors were also involved, including SF author Jerome Bixby in 1950-1951.
  • Plastic bags – Mylar or polyethylene bags, used to cover and protect collectibles.
  • Plokta – Contemporary UK fanzine on the Internet, edited/published by Alison Scott and Steve Davies.
  • Ploy – A maneuver to outwit other fans, usually more good-humored than a hoax, which see.
  • Pocket Book Original – A paperback original, i.e., a never-before published story. The first SF PBO is considered by many to be Time Trap by Rog Phillips (Roger Phillips Graham ), published by Century Books in 1949, although other candidates for this honor exist.
  • Pocket Program – Daily listing of events at a convention, printed just before the con begins so that it is as accurate as possible.
  • Poctsards – Government postcards that found favor in fandom (due to a typing error) but which are sold only in Georgia and Ireland.
  • POD – Abbreviation for print-on-demand publishing.
  • Poor – The worst possible grade for a collectible item, the next thing to not having the item at all. Usually an item of this grade is only seen as a fill-in until a better grade can be obtained. See Grading.
  • POP – Abbreviation used in genre literature for the book Parade of Pleasure, which see.
  • PorSFans – Abbreviation for SF fans of the 1940s who were members of the Portland Science Fantasy Society. Several of them, including editor Donald Day, were involved in publishing The Fanscient, a popular fanzine of the day.
  • Post Awful – Term by fans for the Postal Service, which seems at times to be entered into a conspiracy against fandom. At one time fans were dependent upon the postal service for communications, and they saw postal rates go up and up while services in some localities were cut. Other terms that have been used for the Postal Service include “Pest Awful” and “Post Offal,” when service was especially bad.
  • PP – Abbreviation for Pegasus Publications and also for Paperback Parade.
  • PPD/ppd – Abbreviation used by dealers to indicate postage paid.
  • PPP – Abbreviation for Perfidious Press Publications.
  • PR – Abbreviation for Progress Report, which see.
  • Pre-Code – Term used to identify comic books published before the formation of the Comics Code Authority (1954).
  • Presentation costume – Term for an elaborate costume intended to be entered formally in a masquerade competition at a convention. Many are so elaborate that they are very uncomfortable to wear. See Master costumer. See Convention.
  • Pricey – Fannish term for a collectible that will command a high price.
    Print – A reproduction of a work of art, sold either individually or in a set. Many genre artists reproduce their own cover art and sell the prints at cons.
  • Prix Apollo – Award given from 1971-1990 to honor the best SF novel (original or translated) published in French during the preceding year. The awards were suspended in 1991.
  • Prix Aurora Awards – See Aurora Award.
  • Prix Jules Verne Award – A French award given to novels “in the spirit of Jules Verne.” The award was discontinued in 1980.
  • Pro – A professional, i. e., one who receives money for his/her work. Pros often arise from the ranks of fans. The difference between a pro and a fan can be very slight in the SF genre.
  • Proac – Professional activity, as distinguished from fanac (fan activity).
  • Pro/am – Abbreviation for professional and amateur.
  • Probability Zero – A fan-oriented, readers’ department appearing in Astounding in 1942-1943. Readers of the magazine could submit stories for possible publication in this department, and be paid for those accepted. Ray Bradbury’s “Eat, Drink, and Be Wary” appeared in this department in the July 1942 issue. The department was later revived for a brief time.
  • Pro-Con/pro-Con – A convention run by a professional entrepreneur for the purpose of promoting SF films, TV series, comics, etc. These gatherings began in the 1970s as an outgrowth of the Star Trek Conventions. See Fan-con.
  • Pro-ed – A professional editor, as distinguished from a fan-ed, which see.
  • Professor Challenger Society – A club for fans of both Arthur Conan Doyle and SF.
  • Profiteering – Taking advantage of a shortage (sometimes specious or artifically created), charging inflated prices, and thereby making excessive profits.
  • Programming – The organized events of a convention, as listed in the Pocket Program, which see.
  • Program book – The souvenir booklet handed out at a con. Although they vary in size and quality, these booklets usually contain very useful information about the cons and their participants.
  • Progress Report – Progress reports are irregular publications provided by the organizers of conventions to inform the convention-goer of any changes in the con’s scheduling of events, programming, films, guests, sites, etc. They take many forms, and some become collectibles in their own right. Often abbreviated as PR.
  • PromComm – Short for Program Committee, the group that organizes events at a convention. See Programming.
  • Prometheus Award – Created in 1979 to promote “pro-freedom” fiction, Prometheus Awards are given annually by the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS). The Prometheus Hall of Fame Award was created by the LFS in 1982 as a retrospective counterpart to the Prometheus Award. The prize for both the Prometheus and the Hall of Fame awards is a gold coin, mounted on an engraved plaque.
  • Propellor beanie – Symbol of a typical SF fan, credited to Ray Faraday Nelson. See Beanie.
  • Protofan – A person with fannish characteristics who has not yet made contact with fandom.
  • Provenance – The history of a collectible, documenting previous ownership, etc.
  • Prozine – The opposite of a fanzine, i. e., a contraction of professional magazine. Also, in more recent times, a fanzine published by professionals.
  • PrtSFS – Short for Portland Science Fiction Society.
  • Pseudo-science – Pseudo-science refers to fraudulent or unproven sciences that make use of scientific terminology and are believed in by at least some of their adherents. SF stories, on the other hand, generally are extrapolations of present-day sciences, and their authors consider them to be fiction. The fine line between the two has been crossed at times when SF writers espoused various pseudo-scientific beliefs.
  • Pseudo-science fiction/pseudoscience fiction – Early term for science fiction.
  • Pseuicide – Name that came to be associated with the fake suicide of Earl Singleton, a prominent New England fan who perpetuated the hoax in the early 1940s, a decade of fan hoaxes. See Fan hoaxes.
  • PSFS – Short for the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, which see.
  • Psi powers – Short for psionic powers. These powers are the several super-normal mental abilities such as telepathy, telekinesis, precognition, teleportation, levitation, etc. Many SF stories have featured such powers. ESP, or extra-sensory perception, is a synonym for psi powers, although it usually only pertains to super-perception abilities such as telepathy, precognition, and clairvoyance.
  • Psychotic – The 1968 winner of the Hugo Award (for best Amateur Publication), edited by Richard E. Geis. See Science Fiction Review. See Alien Critic.
  • Pub – Short for publish.
  • Pubbed – Short for published.
  • Pubber – Short for publisher.
  • Pulpcon – Annual convention for devotees of the early pulp magazines, including the all-SF pulps and the other pulps that carried SF stories. See Lamont Award.
  • The Pulp Era – An amateur magazine devoted to the pulps, edited by Lynn Hickman of Wauseon, Ohio. The magazine began in 1959 and was published into the 1970s. This magazine was an outgrowth of Hickman’s long-running fanzine JD-Argassy, which dealt with pulp magazines among other topics.
  • Pulp Era Amateur Press Society – The PEAPS, devoted to the pulp magazines, was founded in 1987 by Lynn Hickman, an old-time SF fan and pioneering member of pulp fiction fandom.
  • Pulp magazine – The most common form of mass-market fiction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the name comes from the cheap wood pulp on which the magazines were printed.
  • Pulps – Short for pulp magazines. See Pulp magazine.
  • Purple Fingers – What you get from using a ditto or hecto machine.
  • PVC/pvc – Abbreviation for a collectible figure made out of poly vinyl chloride.

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