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Fan Speak: S

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.

S

  • SAE – See SASE.
  • SaM – Contraction of name used by SF personality Sam Moskowitz.
  • S&S – Abbreviation for Sword & Sorcery, which see.
  • Saphire Awards – Annual awards for the best SF romance stories of the year, given in both novel length and short fiction categories.
  • SAPS – Abbreviation for the APA organization, the Spectator Amateur Press Society.
  • SAS – Abbreviation for the phrase “smiling, always smiling,” used in fanzines and other APA publications.
  • SASE – Abbreviation for Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope. Pronounced either as the initials or as “Say-See,” an SASE is considered a necessary enclosure with any request of a fan or pro editor, publisher, or author.
  • SASP – Abbreviation for Self-Addressed Stamped Postcard, usually included with any manuscript submitted to a fan or pro editor, so a reply on the disposition of the manuscript may be made more easily.
  • Satellite Science Fiction – Digest-sized SF magazine published from October 1956 until May 1959, for a total run of 18 issues (with the 1959 issues pulp-sized). Contents featured novel-length stories and a regular column by Sam Moskowitz. Editors included Sam Merwin, Leo Margulies, and Frank Belknap Long. Mrs. Leo Margulies (Cylvia Kleinman) was Managing Editor/Editorial Director.
  • Satevepost – Fannish abbreviation for the slick magazine The Saturday Evening Post.
  • Satirezine – Fannish term for a fanzine featuring satiric content.
  • Saturn Awards – Awards presented in a number of categories by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films and Cinescape Magazine.
    SCA – Short for Society for Creative Anachronism, which see.
  • SCC – Short for the Science Correspondence Club, an early SF club started in 1928 by Aubrey Clements, a resident of Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Science fantasy – Fantasy stories with science elements. See Scientifantasy.
  • Science Fantasy Correspondent – See Amateur Correspondent.
  • Science fiction – A genre of fiction devoted to stories about the future, time travel, space exploration, and other fantastic topics. Originally considered to be a sub-genre of fantasy fiction, it is now thought of as a separate genre of fantastic fiction in which science and/or technology play an important role. Early writers in the field were Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, but science didn’t become a separate genre until Hugo Gernsback began publishing Amazing Stories in 1926. See SF/Sf/sf.
  • Science Fiction – Early fanzine by Cleveland teenagers Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, creators of Superman (“The Reign of the Superman” [this character a villain] appeared in their January 1933 issue). This mimeographed zine ran for five issues with Volume 1, Number 1 dated October 1932.
  • Science Fiction Advancement Association – The SFAA was created in the 1930s by San Francisco fan C. Hamilton Bloomer. The official organ of the association was the fanzine Tesseract.
  • Science Fiction Age – A bi-monthly slick SF magazine published during the 1990s by Sovereign Media Company in Virginia. The premiere issue was dated November 1992, and the magazine had a total run of some 45 issues. The editor was Scott Edelman, with Mark Hintz the publisher.
  • Science Fiction Chronicle – New York SF news magazine, owned/edited for years by SF fan Andrew Porter. See Algol.
  • Science Fiction Chronicle Awards – Annual awards sponsored by the magazine Science Fiction Chronicle. The awards were first presented in 1981 and were voted upon by readers of the magazine. See Science Fiction Chronicle.
  • Science Fiction Collector, The – SF fanzine published from 1936 until 1941. It was edited first by Morris Scott Dollens (May 1936 to June 1937) and then by John V. Baltadonis (July 1937 to Winter 1941). At least one issue was titled The New Science Fiction Collector.
  • Science-fictioneer/science fictioneer – Early term for a SF writer/fan.
  • Science-fictionist/science fictionist – Early term for a SF writer/fan.
  • Science Fiction Digest – Early SF fanzine (“The Fans’ Own Magazine”) edited by Conrad H. Ruppert and Julius Schwartz. Volume 1, No. 1 was dated September 1932. The title was changed to Fantasy Magazine with the January 1934 issue. Often abbreviated as SFD.
  • Science Fiction Eye – A critical science fiction semiprozine that began publication with a Winter 1987 issue devoted to cyberpunk. The magazine was published irregularly in the 1990s, during which time Stephen P. Brown and Daniel Steffan were the editors. Brown assumed sole editorship with issue #6. In addition to SF topics, current controversies involving music, technology, and communications were featured. The magazine suspended publication after issue #15, dated Fall 1997.
  • Science Fiction Fan, The – Early SF fanzine, published/edited during the 1930s-1940s by Olon F. Wiggins and others. Many well-known fans made contributions to this fanzine, including Donald A. Wollheim and other members of The Futurians.
    Science Fiction Five Yearly – Founded and originally edited by Lee Hoffman, this fanzine is advertised as the world’s only intentionally five-yearly publication. In recent years guest editors have been used, with Hoffman serving as the honorary editor. Issue #11, dated November 2001, was published 50 years after the first issue.
  • Science Fiction Foundation – An organization, founded in 1970 and based at the University of Liverpool, England. The aim of the organization is the promotion of the study of SF as a serious form of literature, and its members are involved in the annual judging of the Arthur C. Clarke Award. The Foundation supports the publication of Foundation, a magazine devoted to the academic study of SF.
  • Science Fiction League – The SF organization started by Hugo Gernsback in 1934 with his essay, “Science Fiction League” in Wonder Stories (May 1934). The SFL provided a structure for SF fans to communicate, and the fans then began publishing their own fanzines.
  • Science Fiction Monthly – A large tabloid-sized SF magazine published by New English Library in London from February 1974 until May 1976, for a total run of 28 issues. Artwork was emphasized. A prominent feature of the magazine was a regular essay on “Modern Masters of Science Fiction” by Walter Gillings. A digest SF magazine of the same title was published during 1955-1957 in Melbourne, Australia. See Tabloid.
  • Science Fiction Oral History Association – The SFOHA is a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of the history of SF in audio form. Founded in 1975 at the first ConFusion in Michigan, it maintains an archive of audio and video recordings of historic people and events related to SF. Its ongoing mission is to capture future historical legends (both fan and pro) on tape for future generations to enjoy. SF author Lloyd Biggle, Jr. was associated with the organization until his death in 2002.
  • Science Fiction Syndicate, The – Business name adopted by early SF fan, D. R. Welch, resident of Austin, Texas in the 1930s. Welch published Science Fiction Bibliography, credited with being the first SF bibliography, in 1935
  • Science Fiction Times – Early Hugo-award winning (1955/Best Amateur Publication) fanzine when it was titled Fantasy Times, edited by James V. Taurasi, Ray Van Houten, and Frank Prieto, Jr. A monthly newspaper of the same name was published by Galileo Magazine, Inc., beginning in the late 1970s. See Fantasy Times.
  • Science Fiction Review – Hugo-award winning (1969/Best Amateur Magazine) fanzine, edited by Richard E. Geis. The title was revived as a semi-professional magazine in the 1990s, with the first issue dated Spring 1990. See The Alien Critic. See Psychotic.
  • Science-Fiction Plus – Hugo Gernback’s last SF magazine, the first five issues of which were published in a glossy, folio-format. A total of only seven issues appeared, March to December 1953. Sam Moskowitz was Managing Editor.
  • Science Fiction Union of Unpublished Authors – The SFUUA (pronounced “S, F, double-U, A”) was founded by Lew Wolkoff. Any member who got published professionally had to consign all “futures” rights to the organization. Anyone with five or more stories published was deemed “irredeemably” published and drummed out of the organization.
  • Sciencerely – Salutation used by some SF fans in closing letters.
  • Scienti – Prefix meaning scientific or scientifictional.
  • Scientifantasy/scienti-fantasy – Fantasy stories with science elements.
  • Scientific – Early synonym for science fiction.
  • Scientificombined – The merging of words in Fan Speak.
  • Scientificomics – Comic strips of the SF/fantasy genre.
  • Scientifiction – Early term for SF, which see. Term for scientific fiction (stf), coined by editor Hugo Gernsback. A UK fanzine of this title, edited by Walter Gillings, was published during 1937-1938. Scientifiction: The First Fandom Report is also the title of First Fandom’s official publication. See First Fandom.
  • Scientifiction – British fanzine published in the late 1930s, edited by Walter Gillings.
  • Scientifiction: The First Fandom Report – Official fanzine of First Fandom, the so-called “dinosaurs of science fiction.”
  • Scientifiction Day – August 16th, commemorating the birthday of Hugo Gernsback, the founder of Amazing Stories. As the publisher of the first all-SF magazine, Gernsback is considered to be the “father of magazine SF” and therefore of SF fandom.
  • Scientifilm – SF film/movie.
  • Scientitale – An early proposed substitute for the term Scientifiction.
  • Scientology – The first SF religion, created by pulp writer L. Ron Hubbard. See Dianetics.
  • SCIFI – See Rotsler Memorial Fanzine Artist Award.
  • Sci-fi/Sci-Fi/SciFi/scifi – A media term for science fiction, attributed to SF personality Forrest J Ackerman.
  • SCIFS – Short for the Scifan Society.
  • Scoops – Britain’s first all-SF magazine, published in tabloid format by C. A. Pearson, Ltd. in London from February 10, 1934 until June 23, 1934, for a total run of twenty issues.
  • Scrod – Miscellaneous flea-market items, presented for sale at dealers’ rooms at conventions. See Convention. See Dealers’ room. See Hucksters’ room.
  • Seacon – The 1961 Worldcon, held in Seattle, WA. Robert A. Heinlein was GoH; Harlan Ellison was toastmaster; Wally Weber was Con Chair.
  • Seacon ’79 – The 1979 Worldcon, held in Brighton, England. Brian Aldiss was UK GoH; Fritz Leiber was US GoH; Harry Bell was fan GoH; Bob Shaw was toastmaster; Peter Weston was Con Chair.
  • Section G Report, The – Fanzine of the 1970s devoted to SF writer Mack Reynolds.
  • Second Fandom – The historical stage of SF fandom from 1937 to 1938.
  • Secret Master of Fandom – A person who considers himself/herself one of the “rulers” of fandom, i. e., a person who runs fan politics, organizes conventions, etc. Often abbreviated as SMOF.
  • Secret Master of Gaming – A person who is certain s/he knows every rule of every game ever played, what new games are being marketed and by whom, and can even tell anyone who will listen the “real” story behind every game. Often abbreviated as SMOG.
  • Seduction of the Innocent – Book on comic book censorship by Dr. Fredric Wertham, published in 1953, that helped bring about the Comics Code. Often referred to as SOTI.
  • Seiun Awards – The Seiun Taisho is the Japanese equivalent of the American Hugo Award, and is voted upon by members of the Japanese National Science Fiction Convention. The physical prize has varied from year to year.
  • Selling out of the room – Practice of turning one’s hotel room into a salesroom at a con, instead of going to the trouble/expense of buying a table in the dealers’ room.
    Semi-cancel – To strike out words in such a way that they remain legible, usually used in a humorous fashion.
  • Semi-professional fanzine – Fanzine that has gone beyond the status of an amateur magazine done for the amusement of its editor. A semi-professional fanzine may pay contributors, have paid advertising, and boast a relatively large circulation. See Semiprozine.
  • Semiprozine/semi-prozine – A semi-professional magazine, strictly defined by using the criteria of the Hugo Awards. The category was adopted by the World SF Society in 1985 because several publications had been nominated for years as fanzines even though their circulation and/or format were no longer really in the fanzine category. In general usage, a semi-prozine is a type of magazine between a fanzine and a prozine.
  • Sensawunda – A deliberate slurring of the original phrase “sense of wonder” which see.
  • Sense of wonder – The feeling that SF/fantasy is supposed to inspire in readers. The phrase is attributed to SF personality Sam Moskowitz in the 1940s.
  • Sensitive fannish face – The countenance of someone with a sense of wonder (which see), or perhaps just a myopic look about him/her. The phrase usually is used ironically.
  • Sercon – Contraction of serious and constructive, and usually applies to a fan or fandom concerned with criticism, bibliography, and other factual information. Originally it insultingly referred to the fan who took his hobby too seriously.
  • Serfan – Contraction of serious fan, a SF fan who took the hobby too seriously. See Sercon.
  • Sergeant Saturn – The editor of letter columns for various pulp SF magazines in the 1940s-1950s.
  • Serial – Short for a movie serial , which see.
  • Serzine – Fanzines that discuss serious topics, such as the current state of SF or the growing importance of women in the genre.
  • SESFA – Abbreviation for the Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement awards, which see.
  • SETI – Short for Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence.
  • 770 – The room number of SF fandom’s most famous party, an all-night affair at the St. Charles Hotel during Nolacon I in 1951 (9th Worldcon). Mike Glyer named his fanzine after this party. See File: 770. See Worldcon.
  • SF/Sf/sf – The accepted abbreviation for science fiction and/or speculative fiction, pronounced “esseff.” Stf (pronounced “stef”) is an older term (from scientifiction). Sci-fi is a media term, and one not usually used by members of SF fandom for print SF.
  • S-F, S-f, s-f – Variant abbreviations for SF/Sf/sf, which see.
  • SFAA – Abbreviation for the Science Fiction Advancement Association, which see.
  • SF Age – See Science Fiction Age.
  • SFC – Abbreviation for the Southern Fandom Confederation, which see.
  • SFC Bulletin – See Southern Fandom Confederation.
  • SFCol – Abbreviation for The Science Fiction Club of London.
  • SFCon – The 1954 World Science Fiction Convention, held in San Francisco, CA. John W. Campbell, Jr. was GoH; Robert Bloch was toastmaster; Lester Cole and Gary Nelson were Con Chairs.
  • SFD – Abbreviation for Science Fiction Digest, which see.
  • SF Eye – Abbreviation for Science Fiction Eye.
  • SFF – Abbreviation for Science Fiction and Fantasy.
  • SFFan – Abbreviation for the fanzine The Science Fiction Fan.
  • SFFH – Abbreviation for the combined science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres.
  • SFFY – Abbreviation for Science Fiction Five Yearly, which see.
  • SFI – Abbreviation for Science Fiction International.
  • SFL – Abbreviation for Science Fiction League, which see.
  • SFOHA – Abbreviation for Science Fiction Oral History Association, which see.
  • SFPA – Abbreviation for Southern Fandom Press Alliance, which see.
  • SFR – See Science Fiction Review.
  • SFSA – Abbreviation for Science Fantasy Society of America.
  • SFT – Abbreviation for Science Fiction Times, which see.
  • SFUUA – Abbreviation for the Science Fiction Union of Unpublished Authors, which see.
  • SFWA – Abbreviation for Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the organization of SF professional writers and editors that awards the Nebulas each year.
  • SFX – Pronounced as initials, this term is a shorthand for special effects, a staple of SF films and TV programs.
  • Sgt. Ack-Ack – See Ack-Ack.
  • Sgt. Saturn – See Sergeant Saturn.
  • Shaggy – Nickname for Shangri-L’Affaires, the fanzine of LASFS.
  • Shaver Mystery – A crackpot theory created by writer Richard S. Shaver (1907-1975) in a series of stories in Amazing in the 1940s, presented as based on fact by Ray Palmer (1910-1977), then AMZ’s editor. The June 1947 AMZ was an all-Shaver issue; and the July 1958 Fantastic was a “Shaver Mystery Issue” that contained a novel by Shaver and five articles concerning him and his mystery. Palmer later claimed that the Shaver stories gave AMZ the highest circulation ever achieved by a science fiction magazine.
  • Shayol – A slick semi-pro magazine that was published irregularly from November 1977 until Winter 1982. During its run of six issues it served as a showcase for new writers and artists. Arnold Fenner was editor/publisher; Pat Cadigan was executive editor.
    Short story- A work of SF under 7,500 words in length.
  • Sidewise Award – The Sidewise Award for Alternate History has been given annually since1995 for alternate history SF in the categories of Long-Form, Short-Form, and Special Achievement.
  • Sinisterra – One of the club publications of The Nameless Ones, a SF club in Seattle, Washington during the 1940s-1950s.
  • Sixth Fandom – The historical stage of SF fandom from 1950 to 1953.
  • Sixth Transition, The – See The Phony Seventh.
  • 60th Worldcon – See ConJosé.
  • Skiffy – Another term for sci-fi, often used by those who are aware that sci-fi is not the preferred term in SF fandom. Also, sometimes used as an ironic term for the entire field of science fiction.
  • Skyhook – Award-winning SF fanzine of Redd Boggs.
  • Skylark Award – Given by NESFA at the annual Boskone convention, the Edward E. “Doc” Smith Award (also known as the Lensman Award) honors Smith’s “Lensman” series of stories. The award consists of a trophy with a large lens.
  • Slan Center – Proposed project of Battle Creek, Michigan SF fans early in 1943. The Center was to consist of an entire city block and consist of homes, stores, and even its own heating/electrical generating plants. The only manifestation of this proposed plan was the Slan Shack, which see.
  • Slans – Telepathic super-humans in a story by A. E. van Vogt, first published in 1940. The term was adopted by some SF fans, who identified with the fictional slans and sometimes announced themselves with the slogan: “Fans Are Slans!”
  • Slan Shack/Slan-shack/Slanshack – Conceived in 1943 by Battle Creek, Michigan SF fans, the original Slan Shack was an eight-room house in which a number of fans resided for almost two years. The term later became a generic one, meaning any temporary residence in which two or more SF fans live. See Fan Shack.
  • Slash fiction – SF fan fiction in which fictional characters are paired.
  • Slashout – Fannish equivalent of the humorous stage aside, the slashout is used to indicate something the writer pretends to have decided that he shouldn’t have said. The slashout partially obscures the word or words, yet allows them to be read.
  • SLF Awards – See Speculative Literature Foundation.
  • Slick/s – Term for the mainstream magazines that paid higher rates and used more expensive, slick paper than the pulp magazines. SF writers/artists of the 1940s aspired to sell their work to the “slicks” rather than the “pulps.” A few, such as Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury, were able to do so on a regular basis.
  • Slip sheet – A sheet inserted between the pages of mimeoed copy as they come off the machine in order to prevent ink spots.
  • SMC – Abbreviation for Shaver Mystery Club. See Shaver Mystery.
  • SMOF/Smof/smof – Abbreviation for the Secret Master of Fandom, which see. When written lower case (smof), also means to talk with fans about fan activity.
  • SMOG/smog – Abbreviation for Secret Master of Gaming, which see.
  • Smooth/Smoooth/Smooooooth – To enter into a drinking ceremony. The leader of the ceremony takes a sip from a bottle, puts his hand in the air, and passes the bottle to the next person in line who does the same. All keep their hands raised until the bottle comes back to the leader, who takes another sip, at which time everyone shouts “Smooth!” and swings their arms down in a wide curve. The ceremony is credited to Wilson “Bob” Tucker who once stated that he got it from a movie in which Red Skelton performed in a similar manner.
  • Snailmail – The usual mailing of LOCs, fanzines, and other materials through the post office, as opposed to e-mail sent electronically via computer.
  • Snide – A SF fanzine (the “thud and blunder” fanzine) published in the early 1940s by Damon Knight (2nd issue with fellow art student Bill Evans), before he moved to New York and joined The Futurians.
  • Snogging – Fanish term for necking.
  • Socialac – Short for social activity.
  • Society for Creative Anachronism – A group founded in 1966 by SF/fantasy writers and their friends in Berkeley, California, the purpose of which was to re-create the Middle Ages as they would have liked to have lived them. Poul Anderson was one of the founders. The Society is often abbreviated SCA.
  • Soft Science Fiction – Stories that feature the so-called “soft” sciences such as anthropology, economics, medicine, psychology, sociology, etc.
  • Solacon – The 1958 Worldcon, held in South Gate, CA (suburb of LA). Richard Matheson was GoH; Anthony Boucher was toastmaster; Anna S. Moffatt was Con Chair.
  • SOTI – Abbreviation for the book Seduction of the Innocent, which see.
  • Southeastern Science Fiction Achievement Awards – Annual awards for achievement in science fiction, fantasy, or horror, to persons born or living in the Southeastern United States. The first awards (Best Novel, Best Short Fiction) were presented in 2002 for works published in 2001.
  • Southern Fandom Confederation – An organization of SF fans in Alabama and other southern states, founded in the early 1970s mainly through the efforts of SF fan Meade Frierson III. The official organ of the SFC was the SFC Bulletin.
  • Southern Fandom Press Alliance – An APA in southern states, begun in the early 1970s.
  • SPA – Short for Spectator Press Association.
  • Space opera – A sub-genre of SF for classic, but often hackneyed and without much characterization, “spaceship stories” in which “good guys” fight “bad guys” and usually win. The term was coined by Wilson “Bob” Tucker in 1941 as a complement to the term “soap opera” made popular on radio (to denote corny domestic dramas, often sponsored by soap companies).
  • S.P.C.T.S.F.M.R. – Abbreviation for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Science Fiction Magazine Readers (from the fanzine Fantasy Herald).
  • Special Convention Awards – See Worldcon Special Convention Awards.
  • Spectrum Award – Short for the annual Gaylactic Network Spectrum Awards, which honor SF, fantasy, and horror works that deal positively with gay characters, themes, and issues.
  • Speculative fiction – Any fiction of a speculative nature, but — in fannish terms — usually limited to the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
  • Speculative Literature Foundation – A foundation founded in 2003 to give out an assortment of grants and awards in speculative fiction. The first of these awards was the SLF Fountain Award, a $1000 prize for excellence in short fiction.
  • Spicey pulps – The pulp magazines that featured risqué subject matter and lurid covers.
  • Splash panel – A larger-than-normal panel in a comic story, especially the lead panel of the story or the first panel of an episode.
  • Spockanalia – Reputedly the first mediazine, begun in 1966 and devoted to the “Star Trek” TV series.
  • Spot illo – Abbreviation for a spot illustration. Spot illustrations provide graphics to a text article.
  • SPWSSTFM – Abbreviation for Society for the Prevention of Wire Staples in Scientifiction Magazines, a humorous group founded by Wilson “Bob” Tucker.
  • Squinka – The written continuity for a comic book story or cartoon, attributed to SF writer Manly Wade Wellman. See Continuity.
  • SSS – Abbreviation for Super Science Stories, a pulp SF magazine published in the United States from 1940 to 1951.
  • Stand alone/standalone – A term used to describe a story that, while it may be related to other works (e. g., take place in the same fiction universe), is a complete story by itself and not part of a series.
  • Standlee – A unit of measurement, approximately one meter, used to indicate the distance of con facilities from each other. The name comes from the length of the stride of Bay Area fan Kevin Standlee.
  • Stan’s Weekly Express – A nostalgia adzine (1969-1972) begun by Stanley Blair, who was succeeded by Ron Frantz and then by Harry Hopkins.
  • Staple bound/staple-bound – Publications with pages bound together with staples, as opposed to pages glued to a flat spine. See Perfect binding.
  • Starship – See Algol/Starship.
  • Stef – Pronunciation of the abbreviation for science fiction, from the early term “stf” (from scientifiction).
  • Stef-fans – Early name for science fiction fans.
  • Stefnist – Early term for fan (or for a former fan) who has little interest in professional SF.
  • Stencil – In the language of fanzine publishing, a stencil is always a mimeograph stencil. See Mimeo.
  • STET – Name of a SF fanzine began in 1990 by journalist Leah Zeldes Smith and her husband Dick. The title comes from a proofreaders’ term used to indicate copy previously marked for deletion that should be allowed to stand, and from the German word Gestetner.
  • STF/stf – Early abbreviation for science fiction, pronounced “stef.” The pronunciation was once a matter of controversy. See SF/Sf/sf.
  • Stfans – Early name for science fiction fans.
  • Stfay – Abbreviation for the SF fanzine Scientifantasy, published quarterly — for a total of four issues — by Bill Kroll and John Grossman of Des Moines, Iowa in the late 1940s.
  • Stfcon – Early term for a science fiction convention. See Convention.
  • Stfn – Abbreviation for the early 1930s SF fanzine Stf News, edited by FJA.
  • Stfnic – Early fandom adjectival term meaning SF-like.
  • St.Louiscon – The 1969 Worldcon, held in St. Louis, MO. Jack Gaughan was GoH; Eddie Jones the TAFF guest (fan GoH); Harlan Ellison was toastmaster; Ray and Joyce Fisher were Con Chairs.
  • Stoker Award – See Bram Stoker Award.
  • Stranger Club – See Nameless Ones, The.
  • Street and Smith Comics – A pulp magazine publisher since the 19th Century (Astounding Science Fiction), Street and Smith entered the comic-book field in 1940 with adaptations of two of its most popular pulp magazine characters, Doc Savage Comics and Shadow Comics. Its most innovative comic book was Supersnipe, featuring “The Boy With the Most Comic Books in America.” Street and Smith left the comic book business in the summer of 1949.
  • Strip zine – A fanzine devoted to comic strips.
  • STSFG – Short for Stokes on Trent Sci-Fantasy Group.
  • Sturgeon’s Law – SF author Theodore Sturgeon once stated that, while it is true that 90 per cent of SF is crud, it must be remembered that 90 per cent of everything is crud. This statement has come to be known as “Sturgeon’s Law” and is quoted frequently in genre literature.
  • Subzine – A fanzine that is part of another, larger fanzine.
  • SunCon – The 1977 Worldcon, held in Miami Beach, FL. Jack Williamson was GoH; Robert A. Madle was fan GoH; Robert Silverberg was toastmaster; Don Lundry was Con Chair.
  • Sunned – The fading of paper or binding as a result of sun exposure.
  • Superhero – A fictional character with extraordinary abilities. Doc Savage was the prototypical pulp superhero, while Superman has become the prototype for all comic book superheroes.
  • Super Science Stories – Pulp SF magazine published from March 1940 until August 1951. For a short period of time it was titled Super Science Novels Magazine. The first editor was Frederik Pohl. From 1940 until 1942 it was published as a companion magazine to Astonishing Stories, also edited by Pohl. There were Canadian versions of both magazines.
  • Sword & Sorcery – A sub-genre of fantasy fiction in which magic and medieval fighting play important roles.

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