National Fantasy Fan Federation
The National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F or NFFF) is one of the world's oldest science fiction fandom
Science fiction fandom
Science fiction fandom or SF fandom is a community or "fandom" of people actively interested in science fiction and fantasy and in contact with one another based upon that interest...

 organizations. The organization was founded in April 1941 when all science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

, horror
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

, and fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 literature was lumped into one category called "fantasy." The group actively encourages the development of writers, editors, and artists.


The group was founded by a loose cadre of members of Boston, Massachusetts-based Stranger Club who were inspired by the Damon Knight
Damon Knight
Damon Francis Knight was an American science fiction author, editor, critic and fan. His forte was short stories and he is widely acknowledged as having been a master of the genre.-Biography:...

 article Unite - or Fie! published in that month's Fanfare. Knight said the withering of "New Fandom" should be counteracted by the creation of a general-purpose organization to link avid readers of all forms of speculative fiction
Speculative fiction
Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as...

. The club still exists today and continues to reach many of its members by regular mail, though it now has a growing online presence with its Web site and related mailing lists via the Internet.

Organization and Services

The N3F has a president, treasurer, secretary and directorate which handles the day-to-day operation of the club's business. The president and directorate are elected by the membership.

The club's activities revolve mainly around its bureaus, which are headed by club members who volunteer for the positions and are appointed by the president. Bureaus can consist of one to more than one person, depending on the level of participation by club members. Current bureaus include art, computer gaming, correspondence, welcommittee
A welcommittee is usually a group of volunteers of an organization with the goal of reaching out to new members in a sort of Welcome Wagon-approach...

, Mangaverse, teaching SF, Future Fandom, Writer's Exchange and fan clubs.

Perhaps the heart of the N3F's bureau activities are the round robins (RRs), which are conducted by both regular mail and e-mail. RRs, as they are called, are groups of members with interest in a specific topic (a particular writer, or a subject such as comics, cats in SF, dragons, horror, Star Trek, time travel, etc.). Each RR has a Robin Master, who starts the group with sending a letter or e-mail to one of the other members; that person adds their contribution and sends both items on to the next person in the group. Each time the packet returns to a member, they remove their previous contribution and insert a new one, often containing responses to what other RR members have written. This is one of the club's oldest and longest-lasting activities, because it allows members to comment on topics of their interest without requiring them to travel or meet others in person.

Notable N3F members and former members

  • Forrest J Ackerman
    Forrest J Ackerman
    Forrest J Ackerman was an American collector of science fiction books and movie memorabilia and a science fiction fan...

  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
    Marion Zimmer Bradley
    Marion Eleanor Zimmer Bradley was an American author of fantasy novels such as The Mists of Avalon and the Darkover series. Many critics have noted a feminist perspective in her writing. Her first child, David R...

  • Howard DeVore
    Howard DeVore
    Howard DeVore was an American archivist, science fiction collector, dealer, expert on pulp magazines, APA and fanzine writer, con-runner and active volunteer in science fiction fandom....

  • Damon Knight
    Damon Knight
    Damon Francis Knight was an American science fiction author, editor, critic and fan. His forte was short stories and he is widely acknowledged as having been a master of the genre.-Biography:...

  • Jacqueline Lichtenberg
    Jacqueline Lichtenberg
    Jacqueline Lichtenberg is an American science fiction author.Many of her early novels are set in the Sime - Gen Universe, which she first described in a short story in 1969. Her other writings have dealt with fantasy and occult subjects, including articles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

  • Russ Manning
    Russ Manning
    Russell Manning was an American comic book artist who created the series Magnus, Robot Fighter and illustrated such newspaper comic strips as Tarzan and Star Wars...

  • Sam Moskowitz
    Sam Moskowitz
    Sam Moskowitz was an early fan and organizer of interest in science fiction and, later, a writer, critic, and historian of the field.-Biography:...

  • Jack Speer
    Jack Speer
    John Bristol Speer was an attorney, practicing law for over 60 years; a judge; and a member of the Washington House of Representatives....

  • Donald A. Wollheim
    Donald A. Wollheim
    Donald Allen Wollheim was an American science fiction ' editor, publisher, writer, and fan. As an author, he published under his own name as well as under pseudonyms, including David Grinnell....

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