[APAK logo] Issue #74, February 14th, 1997

by Randy Byers.

It appears I got just about everything wrong.

"I never gafiated," Tami protested.

"I didn't actually vote for you," carl confided.

"When the Past President is elected, his or her term is already over," Ted admonished.

"Fringedom is no chopped liver!" Heather implied.

"But wait, where do fake and fringe fandom begin and end? Help!" Andy pole-vaulted.

In short, the reaction to my presidential proclamations has so far only deepened my wintery gloom. "He stands to be insulted and pays for the privilege," sings the only Elvis that matters. It is a bitter truth.

Still, I try to be amused, and happier news has recently arrived. This was the declaration of my death by Steven Desjardins in Apak #73. I was a bit startled at first by this turn of events, but the advantages of it soon became obvious. Amongst other things, I find that a supernatural existence

lends a new clarity to my outlook. Now's my chance to be dead right.

Needless to say, it won't pay to be frivolous with this further extension of my powers. I have caused too much confusion already, and it's time to set matters straight. This will be a little painful, but bear with me.

What is a fake fan? It is a troubling question. I have consulted the dictionary of fannish terms that Dr. Gafia posts occasionally to Usenet. I discovered an entry for fringe fan but none for fake, and I was momentarily cowed into the belief that there was, in fact, no such thing.

Still, I must have heard the term "fake fan" used somewhere. Andy's question only reinforced my sense of a mystery that others were avoiding. If he, who causes nations to tremble, did not know the answer, who did?

It was Lesley who finally gave me the clue I needed. In her misleadingly titled "Confessions of a Fringe Fan," she admits, "I've never been able to claim SF . . . as a favorite." Furthermore, she condescends to tell us, "It's true I enjoy socializing with the fans I've met, but it was really the chance to write that drew me toward the Apparatchiki."

Well might she take solace in Tucker's comment that fandom absorbs all kinds!

Labels may suck, but, by gum, they stick, too. Lesley Reece, YOU ARE A FAKE FAN!!!

It brings me no pleasure to arrive at this conclusion, but the facts are undeniable. Most damning of all, of course, is the disinterest in SF, but this merely grasping interest in fandom is the final nail in the coffin. In these two attributes, we find the definition that has, till now, eluded us.

I'm not a hard man -- although death has left me a little stiffer than usual. (And you can stop that beavising right now!) While it's true that I'm holding Lesley up for ridicule, I do so only in the interest of understanding. The truth shall set you free.

If Lesley takes the hard facts to heart, I believe she will find new opportunities opening to her. For example, I hear that the Fake Fan Writers of America need a Past President.

Some will see in these pronouncements a dictatorial attempt to eliminate rivals to my position as Past President of the Fringe Fan Writers of America. So be it. (I will point out to Mr. Lichtman that Tami has disqualified herself by claiming trufan status.)

You can't, after all, assassinate a dead man.

"Mercuristic," he chuckled to himself.

[APAK logo] Issue #74, February 14th, 1997

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