Nydahl's Disease

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Nydahl’s Disease (a.k.a. Annishthesia) is a particular kind of gafia resulting from fannish burnout. Originally applied to over-ambitious faneds who left fandom soon after producing an elaborate annish, Nydahl's Disease has become the diagnosis of any fan who gafiates amid or immediately after any big fannish project. Only frequent injections of egoboo can prevent this from happening.

The specific case for which the disease is named involved a young fan named Joel Nydahl, who published a monthly focal point fanzine called Vega from 1951 to 1953. For the first anniversary issue, Nydahl knocked himself out producing a 100-page annish – a rare accomplishment in those days, particularly for a 16-year-old. Then Nydahl promptly gafiated, overwhelmed by his huge effort .

Walt Willis coined the term annishthesia around 1954, citing two strains of the disease: Primary annishthesia is invariably fatal; the effort of putting together an annish becomes too much, and before it can be printed the faned succumbs to gafiation.

Secondary annishthesia, in which the annish is actually published (leaving the faned suffering severe eyestrain and carpal tunnel syndrome, with fingers bleeding from errant staples), only to receive little reaction from other fans, so that the disappointed editor slinks into glades of gafia and is never heard of again. Some fans inferred that this was what happened to Nydahl.

However, Harry Warner Jr. cited correspondence from Nydahl saying he received plenty of locs full of egoboo and praise for the issue, and friends of his said that Nydahl had been falling behind at school while publishing his fanzine and had to leave fandom to keep his grades up.

Contributors: Dr. Gafia

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