A professional sf magazine. Although Harry Warner indicated in All Our Yesterdays that Louis Russell Chauvenet coined the term around the same time he coined the term "fanzine," there is some question as to whether this was actually the case. The coining of “fanzine” has been tracked down to the October 1940 issue of Contours, but “prozine” was not coined in the same issue. When and where it was first used in fandom remains a mystery. However, it is safe to say that if, within the microcosm of sf fandom, you use the term for a professional magazine that isn’t an sf magazine – Playboy and Time Magazine, e.g. – the fan language purists might very well point their outflang fingerbones of scorn at you.
(In the original Fancyclopedias, the abbreviation "proz" means "prozines" but is occasionally written "pros", which sometimes means "professionals". The usage of "pros" to mean "prozine" is now obsolete, and it always means "professionals".)
Contributors: Dr. Gafia
|from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944|
|Pronounced [proz] Means commercially published fantasy magazines, such as Astounding Stories and Weird Tales. Also sometimes means professional writers of fantasy, tho the definition between one who makes his living as an author, and one who writes only for pin money, has never been satisfactorily made.
Prozines have multiplied from the old days of the Big Three to a peak in 1940. In 1939 the count was 18 different titles, 1116 issues published, and in 1940 it was even higher. In an IPO survey taken near its inception, the flood of new pros was disapproved 18 to 5, so there mustn't have been much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth when the curve turned downward. (Reasons for the up&down much debated.) Disapproval was mainly because the new magazines, with some exceptions, printed trashier material than the older ones, and fans didn't want to read it or have other people reading it and sneering at stf.
Quite a few long-time fans have at times completely given up reading the pros thru disgust, or preoccupation with fan and other activities. The course of fan history has varied from close to slite connexion with the pros, and the wish has often been expressed that we could get along without the pros as a recruiting medium. This is principally a fanationalistc manifestation, however; the average stefnist eats up good stfantasy, has an exaggerated idea of its literary merit, and will leap to defend it against detractors.