Fannish Vocabulary

As someone new to science fiction conventions (a "newbie"), you may hear or read terms that you don't understand. This is an attempt to help you understand and join in the fun.

A typically Japanese animation form whose characters have oversized eyes.

Art Auction
If a piece of art gets enough bids on it, it comes to a live auction. You need to be present to bid on a piece of art. If you are the highest bid for a particular piece of art, you get to buy it at the bid price.

Art Show
Where you can see and buy art. See also: bidder number, bidding, art auction.

badge name
The optional name you want people to know you by. Frequently a made up or nick name for an individual. These names can also reflect a character name associated with an individual.

Bheer = beer. Fans like to add the letter "h" to words. Also true of the word Ghod.

bidder number
If you wish to bid on artwork in the art show, you need this number. When you enter the art show, go to the front desk and ask for a bidder form. The art show staff will happily answer any questions you may have. After you fill out the form, the art show staff will then tell you your bidder number. Then, you get to bid on artwork pieces that you are willing and able to purchase if you are the winning bid. Please keep track of all your bids, since they can easily add up.

The process of putting down your bidder number and an amount that you are willing to pay for a piece of art in the art show. If the artwork gets enough bids, it goes into the live art auction. Please keep track of all of your bids, since they can easily add up. You should not bid on something that you do not intend to pay for.

Foam or foam padded weapons that are typically played with in the small hours of the morning. Many consider this a good form of therapy.

Short for convention. The event you're at or going to. Frequently used in the convention name with a capital C. Such as WesterCon, WorldCon.

Con Suite
Where the convention holds their official party for the members of the convention. Also known as the Hospitality Suite.

Short for Convention Committee. The people who are putting on the convention.

Convention Operations, where the heart of the daily running of the convention is. If you're lost, lost something, or need to get ahold of someone on the concom, this is the place to go to.

Dealers Room
Also known as the "hucksters room," the place where you can buy neat stuff. Some of it is related to books, movies, and television shows, and other stuff is what people create with their imaginations. Always worth a walk around to see what's available.

Fan Table
A typically free table area that conventions usually provide to other conventions and organizations, so they can let people know about upcoming events and groups that members may be interested in.

People who participate in science fiction conventions and enjoy it. The short form is fan, and the plural of fan is fen.

The plural form of fan. One fan many fen.

Acronym for Fandom Is A Way Of Life.

Acronym for Fandom Is Just A Goddamn Hobby. A reaction by some to those who look at fandom as FIAWOL.

Folk songs of the future. A singing style that originally started in the folk tradition, it has grown in different directions. If you enjoy Tom Lehrer or Al Yankovic, dream of space flight, or want to share songs about your favorite books/tv show/movie, this is the place to come. It usually happens late at night, but sometimes concerts are held in the daytime or early evening hours.

People who either dress up as animals by wearing costumes known as fursuits, or people who appreciate artwork related to animals or anthromorphic animals.

get-away-from-it-all with te added to make it sound like a word. Usually applied to someone who has left fandom or will be absent from fandom for some time.

A room or area where people come to play games. Typically, these are fantasy role-playing (FRP) games or card games like Magic.

Like bheer, fans liked adding the letter "h" to this word, too.

GOH or GoH
Guest of Honor. The people who are the recognized names that help bring more people to the convention.

graphic novel
An illustrated book that is typically longer than the standard comic book with a more detailed storyline. Subject matter can cover fantasy, fairy tales, and adult topics. One form is Japanese manga.

hall costumes
Garb that people wear that can be original, historical, or based on a favorite book, movie, or television show. Usually, very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. These costumes allow you to eat and go to the bathroom readily, and they do not have things that are large that can hit people or get caught in or on things. See also the Hall Costume FAQ and article for further explanation.

Acronym for Live Action Role Playing. Typically a diplomancy or vampire game where people assume character roles and use the convention site as the place where the action takes place. Some people even dress up as their character.

Hospitality Suite
Another name for the Con Suite, where the official convention party is held.

A costume competition typically held on the Saturday night of three day cons. Some four day cons may hold it on Sunday night. See the Masquerade FAQ and article for more information.

The equivalent of the Harry Potter "muggles" - oridinary people who are not involved in science fiction fandom.

A first timer. Typically, someone who has never been to a science fiction convention before.

Same thing as a newbie - a first timer.

party floor
The space where parties are held. If the con is large enough, multiple floors may be used. For smaller local and regional cons, typically on one floor or part of the floor of the convention hotel.

Party Types
Three kinds of parties are typically held at an SF&F con:

When a group wants to get a convention, they "bid" for it. Before the vote for the convention is held, groups throw a party or parties to convince people to vote for them at the appropriate time. Information about the proposed site is provided along with food and drink. If people like the party/parties that you provided, they are more inclined to vote for your bid.

Anyone who wants to can come in. You may be asked to show your convention badge, but that shouldn't be a problem.

Only those who have been specifically invited can come to the party. Usually, these parties are not on the party floor but a different floor. If you know about it, you can usually go. Typcially does not require a convention badge to enter.

peace bonding
The effective tying down of a prop weapon, so other con members may not draw it out. Please go to security or conops to get your prop weapon peace bonded.

PR or PRs
Progress Reports. Before a convention, information is sent out to pre-registered members about what the ConCom is doing and the wonderful things that they're going to have at their convention.

The Society for Creative Anachronism. A historical re-creation group that re-creates history before 1600 as it should have been. They encourage the learning of historical art forms and fighting techniques.

Acronym for Secret Master of Fandom. These are the people who help run science fiction conventions at a high level. They come and help the local fannish groups run their convention when their help is needed and asked for. When things are falling apart, they come in and keep things running.

Someone who lives fandom. You'll see them at just about every convention possible to attend. They tend to live FIAWOL.

Short for the Western Regional Science Fiction Convention which typically happens over the July 4th weekend. This con moves around the western region of the United States and Canada.

Short for the World Science Fiction Convention which typically happens near or over the Labor Day weekend. This con can happen most anywhere in the world. Locations typically include the United States and Europe, but it has also been in Australia and Japan.

A website that has yet more definitions is at: FanSpeak Dictionary

To add more vocabulary words, send an e-mail to the Carole Parker

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