Mike Salovesh t20mxs1 at CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU
Tue Jun 22 03:36:30 UTC 1999

Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM wrote:
> Barry is investigating the dialect known as fannish or fanspeak. Concerning
> "stf", on which he quotes as follows ---
> >>>
>      FANTASTIC ADVENTURES, August 1951, pg. 120, col. 1:
>      Pardon my ignorance, but what does "stf" stand for?  "S-F" is obviously
> science-fiction; is "stf" a variant?
>      (...)
>      _S-F stands for science fiction; while STF is just a variation meaning
> scientific fiction,  ................Ed._
> <<<
> -- it's pretty much obsolete, AFAIK, but was pronounced, or -eable, /stef/, and
> had the virtue of yielding the adjective "stfnal" /'stef.n at l/ [@=schwa]
> 'science-fictional'.

You're dang tootin it's pretty much obsolete.  Hugo Gernsback, editor of
Amazing Stories, preferred "stf" in his editorial comments circa 1930.
One of his successors, Ray
A. Palmer, continued the custom some 20 years later; that was only one
of his peculiarities.

I vaguely recall that Gernsback used stf as and abbreviation for
"science type fiction". Sfandom's general adoption of the term "sf"
(and, arguably, the term "science fiction" itself) probably was
influenced by the title of the leading sfzine from the late 1930s to
perhaps the early 1950s: _Astounding Science Fiction_, usually called

--  mike salovesh       <salovesh at>        PEACE !!!

P.S.:  No, I wasn't around in 1930, but I was an ardent fan
in the 1945 to 1955 Golden Age of SF.  (Only an utter barbarian would
argue that 1945 to 1955 was not a Golden Age for sf.  I wouldn't care to
debate whether it was the "original" Golden Age, or only the second or
third of its ilk, since that's partly a matter of taste.)

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