What’s in a name?
Our official name is the National Fantasy Fan Federation. An N and 3 F’s … NFFF … or N3F, for short.
But what does our name mean?
Let’s break it down word-for-word.
The first word in our name is “National.” Well, that’s a loaded word. But in our case, “national” means the Nation of All People.
When we were first formed in the early 1940s, the term “fantasy” was not limited to sword and sorcery-type fiction. So, for us, “fantasy” means all forms of speculative fiction that falls into the realm of what people today think of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, spy-fi, supernatural horror, urban fantasy, fairy tales, epic fantasy, hard science fiction, space opera, anime, mecha, steampunk, cyberpunk, the Old Ones, (we can go on and on and on). So, We just lump it all into fantasy – the world of “what if?”
A fan is an enthusiast who actively seeks out and does things about that enthusiasm. For us, fans (some of us say “fen” as the plural of fan), are enthusiasts of speculative fiction who actively seek to share or take action to do things in regard to that enthusiasm – things like reviewing things for others, learning to write or draw your own stuff, publishing fan magazines, designing games, mentoring new people, writing articles, or having opinions to share with the world.
Originally, N3F was designed by grand scheme-minded people during World War II and the time the United Nations was being formed … to be a grand governing body for all fans and fan clubs. That idea fell flat – and was pretty much a failure from the beginning. It seems kind of silly now, looking back. Instead for us, “federation” means group of people coming together to help each other achieve things that we cannot do on our own. We’re here is you need us and try to stay out of your way if you don’t.
So, in conclusion, the N3F is a worldwide group of enthusiasts of speculative fiction who actively encourage and help others to explore their own fandom.
(David Speakman, N3F President, July 2013)