Pages Navigation Menu

News and reviews about the media that fan and geek culture consumes.

Categories Navigation Menu

Fan Speak: Q – R

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.


  • Quantum: Science Fiction & Fantasy Review – Formerly titled Thrust—Science Fiction in Review, Quantum was a fanzine published and edited by D. Douglas Fratz that boasted several award-winning SF authors as contributing editors. It was a Hugo finalist for best semi-professional magazine in 1991. See Thrust.
  • Quasi-quote – Not an exact quote, but a fair summation of the speaker’s remarks (the substance, but not the exact words), indicated by quote marks with hyphens.
  • Quish – The 1st anniversary issue of Lee Hoffman’s fanzine Quandry.
  • Quote cards – Cards sent with letters, containing a witty or unusual saying, to be signed by the recipient and then passed on to someone else.
  • Quote cover – A fanzine cover filled with remarks made by fans or other individuals; a cover filled with linos. See Lino.


  • Radio premium – A toy given away (or sold for a box top and postage) by the sponsor of an OTR show to stimulate interest in the program and the sponsor’s product and to get an estimate of the size of the listening audience. Many were SF/fantasy related. See OTR.
  • RAE/Rae/rae – Abbreviations for read and enjoyed, used in fanzines and other APA publications.
  • RAE BNC – Abbreviation for the comment read and enjoyed, but no comment, used in fanzines and other APA publications. Although rarely used, this term is pronounced “ray bink” when spoken.
  • RAP – Initials of SF personality Raymond A. Palmer, former SF fan and one-time editor of the SF magazines Amazing, Fantastic Adventures, and Other Worlds, and the occult magazine Fate.
  • Rare – Any collectible of which twenty or fewer copies are known to exist.
  • Rasff – The Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.sf.fandom, a sort of online con-cum-electronic APA. See APA.
  • Ratings – In fanzine reviews, ratings usually range from 1 to 10, with 10 the highest.
  • Raymond Z. Gallun Award – Award established at SUNY-Stonybrook to honor “outstanding contributions to the science fiction genre.” The award is named for the popular pulp SF author, Raymond Zinke Gallun (1911 – 1994).
  • RBCC – Abbreviation for The Rocket’s Blast–Comicollector, one of the early comic book fanzines (1965-1976).
  • Reader – In SF fan language, a mundane who only reads SF/fantasy. See Mundane.
  • Readercon Small Press Award – An award, given in a variety of categories, that honors small press books and magazines. The awards are presented annually at the Noreascon by the Small Press Writers and Artists Organization.
  • Real Soon Now – A promise of fannish activity that currently has the meaning of “far into the future.” Denotes sarcasm when written in all capital letters.
  • Realms of Fantasy – A fantasy fiction magazine, published bimonthly in a slick format. The current editor is Shawna McCarthy.
  • Re-creation costume – Judged by different standards than other costumes at a con, a re-creation costume attempts to reproduce an already existing costume seen on TV, in a movie, in a comic book, etc.
  • Recursive science fiction – Self-referential SF stories (i. e., science fiction stories that refer to science fiction), the references usually being to authors/editors, fans, books/magazines, and/or conventions. An award-winning, recursive SF book is The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.
  • Reference Library, The – The book review section in Astounding which began in the October 1951 issue — originally conducted by P. Schuyler “Sky” Miller.
  • REH – Initials of genre author Robert E. Howard, by which he is often identified.
  • Rejected Canon – The material Dick Eney left out of Jack Speer’s Fancyclopedia I.
  • Relaxacon – A con with no set program, usually intended as a relaxing weekend of socializing.
  • Renaissance Fair – Gathering of actors, musicians, and craftsmen who try to reproduce the atmosphere of a medieval fair for a paying audience. Often abbreviated as Ren-Faire.
  • Ren-Faire – See Renaissance Fair.
  • Repro – Short for the quality of reproduction in a fanzine, for reproduction of a fanzine by any means, and as a verb meaning to make copies. Dealers often describe approved copies of collectibles offered for sale with this term.
  • Restoration – Any attempt to improve the appearance of a collectible, professional or amateur.
  • Retro Hugo Awards – In 1996 “retrospective” Hugo Awards (which began in 1953) were awarded for the year 1946. Isaac Asimov’s The Mule (a two-part “Foundation” serial in Astounding’s November and December 1946 issues) was named best novel. In 2001 Retro Hugo Awards were awarded for work published in the year 1950. Robert A. Heinlein’s Farmer in the Sky and The Man Who Sold the Moon were named best novel and best novella, respectively. Awards may be made for years in which the Worldcon had taken place but for which no Hugo Awards had been given. Awards are allowed only for specific years: 50, 75, or 100 years before the current Worldcon. See Hugos. See Worldcon.
  • Revenant – A gafiate who has returned to fandom, usually after a long absence. See Degafiate. See Gafiate.
  • Reviewzine – A fanzine specializing in reviews.
  • Rhodomagnetic Digest – The official publication of the Elves’, Gnomes’, and Little Men’s Science Fiction Chowder and Marching Society. See Little Men. See Invisible Little Man Award.
  • Rhysling Award – Created by the Science Fiction Poetry Association in 1978 (with winners selected each year by members of SFPA), this award is presented annually for the best poem in two categories: 1) long poem (50 lines or more), and 2) poems of shorter lengths. The name of the award comes from the Robert Heinlein character in “The Green Hills of Earth,” the blind poet Rhysling.
  • Rider – A separate, usually smaller, fanzine that is mailed out with another fanzine.
  • Riverside Quarterly – A fanzine edited/published by Leland Sapiro, a South Carolina (later California) SF fan, beginning with an August 1964 issue. For a few issues in the beginning RC carried the label “formerly Inside” [Jon White’s earlier fanzine]. Sapiro once wrote that his title/policy on RC was intended “to emulate the Hudson Review, possibly the best literary magazine of the time, performing the same office for SF/fantasy that the HR did for literature in general. RQ was considered by many to be the most academic zine of the 1960s, and was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1967, 1969, and 1970. After a lapse of several years, it resumed publication in 1977.
    Room parties – Parties held for fans at conventions, held in one of the private rooms being used by the con membership.
    Roomstuffing – The practice at conventions, usually among the younger fans, of allowing several people to stay in a hotel room that is registered to only one person. The idea is to share the cheaper cost of a single room among as many fans as possible.
  • Roscoe – One of the fannish Ghods, incarnate as a beaver. See Ghods.
  • Roscoe’s Birthday – Labor Day is a holy day for Rosconians, who gather with their friends to celebrate the birth of the beaver ghod. See Roscoe. See Ghods.
  • Rosconians – Followers of the fannish ghod Roscoe. See Roscoe. See Ghods.
  • Rotsler Award – See Rotsler Memorial Fanzine Artist Award.
  • Rotsler Memorial Fanzine Artist Award – Presented annually by the Southern California Institute for Fan Interests (SCIFI), the Rotsler Award honors the lifetime work of outstanding fan artists. The award was created in 1997 and is named for the esteemed fan artist William Rotsler (1926-1997). The award consists of cash and a plaque. The first winner was Steve Stiles in 1998.
  • Rotsler’s Rules of Costuming – Informal guide for would-be costume contestants at fan cons, drawn up by fan artist William Rotsler.
  • Rotation Plan – The procedure by which Worldcons are moved each year to a different part of the United States or Canada (i. e., East, Midwest, and West), or overseas.
  • Round Robin – Something started by one writer and continued/completed by others (e. g., a story in a fanzine).
  • RPG – Abbreviation for Role Playing Game.
  • RSN/rsn – Abbreviation for Real Soon Now, which see.
  • Run off – To create copies on mimeo or ditto, which see.
  • Ruthiechan – Fan name of Ruth R. Davidson, former president of N3F.

Latest posts by Jon Swartz (see all)

%d bloggers like this: