sercon adj.

of fans or fan activities: (obsessively) concerned with matters of criticism or scholarship, rather than fandom itself; cf. faan n.

[< serious and constructive]

SF Fandom

  • [1952 A. H. Rapp, L. Hoffman & R. Boggs Fanspeak 11/1

    serious constructive fan. One who thinks fan activity is less of a hobby than a means of advancing mankind toward the utopias described in science fiction. Serious constructiveness also extends to…publishing ‘high-minded’ fanzines in order to impress and recruit outsiders.]

  • 1955 ‘W. Tucker’ Neo-Fan’s Guide to Science Fiction Fandom 2 page image

    Serious Constructive Fan…. This fan often believes he has a Mission in fandom; he labors for some lofty Purpose…. The abbreviation infrequently used is ‘SerConFan’.

  • 1957 R. A. Madle Inside Science Fiction in Science Fiction Quarterly Nov. 92/2 page image Robert A. Madle

    But TTT [a zine] wasn’t 100% ‘sercon’ (today’s fannish term for ‘serious-constructive’—usually mentioned with derision).

  • 1958 R. Bloch Fandora's Box in Imagination Apr. 122/1 Robert Bloch

    One of the best 'zines on the market…. It’s a ‘sercon’ effort, with plenty of humor in a satirical vein. Ibid 122/2 [He] is more or less ‘sercon’ but this is (to my way of thinking) a desirable trait in a science-fiction fan—as opposed to jazz fans, sports-car fans, comics fans and other enthusiasts who are apt to decry a ‘sercon’ interest in science fiction.

  • 1974 Newark (Ohio) Advocate 23 Feb. 4/5

    What do sercon fanzines signify? To treat that is to ask: What part does trivia—nonearthshaking nonevents—play in anybody’s life?

  • 1991 L. Niven, J. Pournelle, & M. Flynn Fallen Angels 92 Larry Niven Michael F. Flynn Jerry Pournelle bibliography

    You'll find plenty to entertain you. Not every fan activity is sercon.

  • 2001 P. Di Filippo On Books in Asimov’s Science Fiction May 139/2 page image Paul Di Filippo

    Issue Number 52 of this ‘sercon’ zine features an informative profile of the late Doc Lowndes by Mike Ashley.


Research requirements

antedating 1957

Earliest cite

SF Quarterly

Research History
Bill Mullins submitted a 1974 cite from the in the Newark, Ohio Advocate.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1959 cite from Fancyclopedia II.
Fred Galvin submitted a 1958 cite from Ralph M. Holland's "Ghu's Lexicon".
Jesse Sheidlower submitted a 1955 cite from the first edition of the Neo-Fan's Guide.

Last modified 2021-01-02 09:56:08
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.