Correspondence

Fan correspondence, like everybody else's, has largely moved to email. Of course that means that Fancy 1's two-month rule for how soon you should acknowledge communication has moved to two days. Social media, especially Facebook and Live Journal, are another major means of communication.

The subject matter ranges from cabbages to kings; it includes opinions on books, fanzines and prozines; problems in connection with clubs and cons; requests for information; diatribes in connection with fan feuds; arrangements for visits; gossip about fans' personal affairs; news of fan activities; discussion of philosophical and scientific and sociological points; directions to easily available free books; musical preferences; cryptography; hoaxes — everything that goes into fanzines and more.

Even online, Jack Speer's advice still applies: "The best subject, to begin with, is your friend's last letter. Write with the letter open before you. Answer his questions, and make any remarks his letter suggests." In commenting on magazines, your Samuel Johnson has found it convenient to make marginal notations, on first reading, of remarks he will want to make in the letter of comment."



from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
Still one of the chief fan activities, tho fanzine production and fan visits have reduced its importance somewhat. Letters are written and magnetic tapes talked for pros, fans, fanzine editors, and chains of fans; subject matter includes everything that can be found in fanzine fiction and nonfiction, and more.

Fans generally typewrite their correspondence, and most of the active ones keep carbons and file their incoming letters. (Nobody has yet figured out how to do this with magnetic tape.) Air mail is used when there is any excuse for it; or special delivery; or telegrams or longdistance phone calls. Nice people will respond to the more urgent communications within 24 hours. And unless he is a regular correspondent and knows that you take longer to reply a fan's letter should be answered, or at least acknowledge by postcard, within two months. Now we quote C L Dodgson: "…don't fill more than a page and a half with apologies for not having written sooner!"

Fans delight in whimsical details such as putting the postage stamp on upside down, or decorating the envelope with cracks aimed at the postmaster ("Vote for J Everett Osborne!") Odd complimentary closes are a form of fan whimsy; in time the most obvious ones, such as "Love and Kisses", "> Very sincerely yours" (equivalent to a slap in the face), and "Sciencerely yours" are exhausted and we find such exotic good byes as "Splfrsk!" or "Majestรดtsbeleidigung!"
from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
The chief fan activity is still letter-writing, tho fan visits and pubbing fmz have reduced its importance somewhat. Letters are written to pros, to fans as individuals, to fanzine editors, and to chains of fans. The subject matter ranges from cabbages to kings; it includes opinions on fan and prozines, problems in connection with organizations, requests for information, diatribes in connection with fan feuds, arrangements for visits, gossip about fans' personal affairs, news of fan activities, discussion of philosophical and scientific and sociological points, directions to easily available pornografy, musical preferences, cryptografy, hoaxes, — everything that goes into fanzine nonfiction, and more.

Certain rules should govern correspondence between fans. The SFL had a rule that members must promise to answer promptly all correspondence addressed to them as SFLers. Unless he is a regular correspondent and knows that you take longer to reply, a fan's letter should be answered or at least acknowledged by postcard within two months. Now we quote C L Dodgson: "..don't fill more than a page and a half with apologies for not having written sooner!

The best subject, to begin with, is your friend's last letter. Write with the letter open before you. Answer his questions, and make any remarks his letter suggests." In commenting on magazines, your Samuel Johnson has found it convenient to make marginal notations, on first reading, of remarks he will want to make in the letter of comment. Fans generally typewrite their correspondence, and most of the most active ones keep carbon copies; incoming correspondence certainly should always be filed, never thrown away. Air mail is used when there is any excuse for it. In emergencies, special delivery airmail is often resorted to, or telegrams and long distance telephone calls. Nice people will respond to such communications within twenty-four hours. Other requests for material which set a deadline require compliance or regrets within the time set, when the fan has previously agreed to supply the material (as by accepting appointment to a committee).

Fans delite in whimsical details such as putting the postage stamp on upside down, or typing on the envelope cracks aimed at the postmaster. Another whimsicality has become convention with many fen — using a different complimentary close for each letter. In time they run out of the obvious ones, such as "Love and kisses", and "Very sincerely yours" (equivalent to a slap in the face), and "Sciencerelyours", and start using such amazing good-byes as "Splfrsk!" and "Majestatsbeleidigung!"