Among science fiction, comic book, media and fantasy fans, a Big Name Fan (BNF) is a member of a fandom who is particularly well-known, liked and celebrated for their writings in fanzines, semi-professional magazines and (more recently) blogs; or for other contributions such as art and (in some communities) fanfiction. They may have fans of their own, who praise them and seek out their work.

BNFs may have their autographs requested at conventions;[citation needed] they are often invited as Guests of Honor at conventions, and in some fandoms may be paid to speak as guests at commercial shows which pay for appearances. One cannot proclaim oneself to be a BNF, as to do so might invite derision or ridicule.

The term dates back to 1955 or earlier.[1] It was recorded in 1955, in Bob Tucker's The Neo-Fan Guide [2]; other early references include 1959's Fancyclopedia II [3] and Donald Franson's 1962 work A Key to the Terminology of Science-Fiction Fandom [4]. In its original sense, 'BNF' referred to "one well known within the world of science-fiction fandom" [5]

Fans report ambivalent feelings towards BNFs. The title BNF also carries a negative connotation of being arrogant and self-important.[citation needed] Accordingly, many people who are deemed BNFs resist using that designation.


  1. Coppa, Francesca (2006). "A Brief History of Media Fandom". In Hellekson, Karen; Busse, Kristina. Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 41–59. ISBN 978-0-7864-2640-9. 
  2. Tucker, Bob (1955). The Neo-Fan Guide. Retrieved 2006-06-22. 
  3. Speer, Jack (1959). Dick Eney (ed.), ed. Fancyclopedia II. Retrieved 2006-06-22. 
  4. Franson, Donald (1962). A Key to the Terminology of Science-Fiction Fandom. Retrieved 2006-06-22. 
  5. Southard, Bruce (1982). "The Language of Science-Fiction Fan Magazines". American Speech (Duke University Press) 57 (1): 19–31. doi:10.2307/455177. Retrieved 2006-06-22. 

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