Science fiction fandom is, more or less, the people consciously interested in Science Fiction and in contact with people who share that interest. Fandom usually has a life of its own, but not much in the way of formal organization.
Science fiction fandom started through the letter column of Hugo Gernsback's magazines. Not only did fans write comments about the stories -- they sent their addresses, and Gernsback published them. Soon, fans were writing letters directly to each other, and meeting in person when they lived close together, or when one of them could manage a trip (travel was harder in the 1930s than it is today).
Another major activity is writing for fanzines (see also other article science fiction fanzines). These amateur publications may or may not discuss science fiction, and are often traded rather than sold.
Many professional science fiction authors started their interest in science fiction as fans.
Fandom is responsible for a number of inventions, notably filk.
Fandom includes sub-sets of fans that are principally interested in a single writer or genre: so, for example, one could talk of 'Star Trek fandom' as an entity. (So much so, that they are better known as "Trekkers" (or "Trekkies") by the rest of fandom).
Notable figures in the history of fandom include:
- Open Directory category: Fandom
- The Fanac fan history project
- Who's Who in SF Fandom
- THEN: A History of UK Fandom 1930-80 by Rob Hansen