I picked up this book long ago in paperback, read the first chapter or so, and sent the book to my mother. My parents have been quite understanding of my interest in science fiction, but I don't believe they've ever quite understood it. The first chapter, and indeed the rest of the book, is a wonderful introduction to science fiction and the culture it engenders. I don't know if my mother has ever read this, but I'm glad that it was there to send to her. I picked up this book again three years ago from an ad in Locus. It sat on my bookshelf until this past semester, when I did a study of science fiction fandom for my sociology class. David Hartwell's excellent study then came in quite handy as a reference tool and quotebook for the paper that I wrote. Useful? Quite. I recommend it as probably the best study so far on science fiction fandom, mainly because it is the only one. Other books make reference to the subculture; only Hartwell dedicates an entire book to it. If you've ever wondered why fans are as they are, this might be your answer.