mundane n. 2

a person who is not a science-fiction fan; an outsider

SF Fandom

  • 1963 Whatsit #4 (June) 5 page image

    The ‘persecution complex’ that presently makes fans more tolerent [sic] of each other than they are of mundanes (or one mundane is of others) would be absent.

  • 1969 H. Warner, Jr. All Our Yesterdays 145 Harry Warner, Jr. bibliography

    He claimed that he was immediately honored by fourteen fans and eight mundanes at a banquet staged for him by the Oak Grove Science Fiction Society.

  • 1988 W. Relling Adventures in Scream Trade in Horrorstruck Mar.—Apr. 41/1

    That’s one of the things I've noticed at cons. You hear the name ‘mundanes’ bandied about a lot. There are the ‘fans’ and the ‘mundanes.’ The mundanes read Shakespeare and Joyce Carol Oates; they don’t just read the latest gore novel.

  • 1989 Nova Express Spring 10/1

    The Demon Barber and I played Shock the Mundanes. The door would open up and we would start a sentence in mid-imaginary conversation, like—‘Of course, they never found the body.’

  • 1992 G. Wolfe Aussiecon Two Guest of Honor Speech in Castle of Days (1995) 429 Gene Wolfe

    Some have announced with even greater pride that they never read fantastic literature, or that they haven’t read a word of it for the past five or ten years—that they are in fact closet mundanes.

  • 1994 Interzone Mar. 26/2

    Have you heard the term ‘mundanes’? It’s a throwaway word for everybody but ‘us fans gathered here today.’

  • 1998 Interzone Feb. 45/1

    Readers and writers believed that the genre, if lacking the power of specific prediction, was still somehow better aware of, or more attuned to, the future, and that its enthusiasts were better prepared for the future than the mundanes.

  • 2013 C. Clare Introduction in Shadowhunters & Downworlders xii Cassandra Clare bibliography

    In fact, the non-magical humans in the Shadowhunter books are called mundanes, a term borrowed from my gamer friends, who call everyone who doesn’t play Dungeons and Dragons a ‘mundane.’


Research requirements

antedating 1963

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a cite from Gene Wolfe's Aussiecon Two Guest of Honor speech, in a 1995 reprint of "Castle of Days".
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1988 cite from an article by William Relling, Jr. in Horrorstruck.
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 2013 cite from Cassandra Clare.

SF sense added to OED3 in March 2003, with an earliest date of 1959.

Last modified 2021-03-22 09:04:54
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.