Science-fiction fanzine

A science-fiction fanzine is an amateur or semi-professional magazine published by members of science-fiction fandom, from the 1930s to the present day. They were one of the earliest forms of fanzine, within one of which the term "fanzine" was coined, and at one time constituted the primary type of science-fictional fannish activity ("fanac").

Origins and history

The first science-fiction fanzine, The Comet, was published in 1930 by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago. The term "fanzine" was coined by Russ Chauvenet in the October 1940 issue of his fanzine Detours[1]. "Fanzines" were distinguished from "prozines", that is, all professional magazines. Prior to that, the fan publications were known as "fanmags" or "letterzines."

Traditionally, science-fiction fanzines were (and many still are) available for "the usual," meaning that a sample issue will be mailed on request; to receive further issues, a reader sends a "letter of comment" (LoC) about the fanzine to the editor. The LoC might be published in the next issue: some fanzines consisted almost exclusively of letter columns, where discussions were conducted in much the same way as they are in internet newsgroups and mailing lists, though at a relatively slow pace.

Since 1955, the annual Worldcon has awarded Hugo Awards for Best Fanzine; awards for Best Fan Writer and Best Fan Artist were added in 1967 and have continued since then.


During the 1970s and 1980s, some fanzines - especially sercon (serious and constructive) zines devoted to sf and fantasy criticism, and newszines such as Locus - became more professional journals, produced by desktop publishing programs and offset printing. These new magazines were labeled "semiprozines", and were eventually sold rather than traded, and paid their contributors. Some semiprozines publish original fiction. The Hugo Awards recognized semiprozines as a separate category from fanzines in 1984 after Locus won the award for best fanzine several years running. (See Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine). Well-known semiprozines include Locus, Ansible, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and Interzone.


Amateur press associations (APAs) publish fanzines made up of the contributions of the individual members collected into an assemblage or bundle called an apazine.

The first science-fiction APA was the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA) formed by a group of science-fiction fans in 1937. Some APAs are still active as hardcopy publications, and some are published as virtual "e-zines," distributed on the internet.

Other types of fanzines

The term "fanzine" is also used to refer to fan-created magazines concerning other topics: the earliest rock-and-roll fanzines were edited by science-fiction fans. A significant part of modern computer/Web/Internet slang, abbreviations, etc. is derived from the jargon of the fanzine fans. See fanzine, fanspeak.

The fanzine movement is now well represented on the Web; see webzine.


Fanzine readers and producers naturally gather at science fiction conventions, but there are also small conventions dedicated to fanzines. The first fanzine-only annual convention was Autoclave, held by a Detroit-based fan group for several years in the 1970s. In 1984, the first Corflu was held in Berkeley, California. A second convention, Ditto, started in Toronto in 1988. Both of these conventions continue to take place each year.

See also


  1. ^ "Fanzine" in "Science Fiction Citations" for the Oxford English Dictionary

External links

A Guide to Middle-earth

A Guide to Middle-earth was the first published encyclopedic reference book for the fictional universe of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, compiled and edited by Robert Foster. The book was published in 1971 by Mirage Press, a specialist science fiction and fantasy publisher, in a limited edition of 2000 copies (750 numbered hardcovers and 1250 unnumbered paperbacks). A paperback edition was issued by Ballantine Books in 1974.The author profile on the first edition describes Robert Foster as the then-"Tengwar Consultant" to the Tolkien Society of America, and the book incorporates material previously published in the science fiction fanzine Niekas.

A much-expanded edition incorporating entries for The Silmarillion was issued in 1978 by Ballantine under the title The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, and a further revised edition (ISBN 0-345-44976-2) was published in 2001 in time for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Lester del Rey praised the 1971 version for covering "literally everything you wanted to know about Middle Earth and were unable to discover before."

Apparatchik (fanzine)

Apparatchik (APPAЯATCHIK), nicknamed Apak, was a tri-weekly science fiction fanzine by Andrew Hooper, Carl Juarez, and Victor Gonzalez. It was a nominee for the 1996 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine. The final, 80th, issue was dated June 20, 1997.

Dick Smith (software)

Richard H.E. Smith II is a Chicago, Illinois- and Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based software engineer, computer consultant and a science fiction fanzine publisher.

File 770

File 770 is a long-running science fiction fanzine, newszine, and blog site published/administered by Mike Glyer. It is named after the legendary room party held in Room 770 at Nolacon, the 9th World Science Fiction Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, that upstaged the other events at the 1951 Worldcon.Glyer started File 770 in 1978 as a mimeographed print fanzine to report on fan clubs, conventions, fannish projects, fans, fanzines and sf awards, and to publish controversial articles. In the 1990s, Glyer moved production of the fanzine to computer desktop publishing, and on January 15, 2008, he began publishing File 770 as a blog on the internet.File 770 has won the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine seven times, in 1984, 1985, 1989, 2000, 2001, 2008, and 2016. In 1984 and again in 2016 both File 770 and its owner/editor Mike Glyer won Hugo Awards (the latter the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer).

A print version of File 770 has been produced every year from 1978 to the present. began hosting PDF versions of the paper issues in 2005. While File 770 remains a traditional paper fanzine published once or twice a year, much additional news and expanded content is available daily in its on-line blog site version edited by Glyer.

Futuria Fantasia

Futuria Fantasia was an American science fiction fanzine created by Ray Bradbury in 1938, when he was 18 years old. Though only 4 issues of the fanzine were published, its list of contributors included Hannes Bok, Forrest J. Ackerman, Henry Kuttner, Damon Knight, and Robert A. Heinlein.


Grue may refer to:

Grue (monster), a predator invented by Jack Vance and featured in the Zork series

Grue and bleen, portmanteau words formed from green and blue, coined by Nelson Goodman to illustrate his new riddle of induction

Grue, a linguistic and translation concept (see Distinguishing blue from green in language)

Grue, Norway, a municipality

Crane (bird), a gruiform

Grue (Freedom City), an alien race in the role-playing game Mutants and Masterminds

Isle-aux-Grues, an island in Quebec, Canada

Grues, Vendée, a commune in France

Grue (river), a river in north-west Italy

Grue (surname), notable people with the surname Grue

Grue, an influential science fiction fanzine published by Dean Grennell

An early form of Nutraloaf, a food served in prison, known as "grue" to prisoners in the Arkansas penal system as described in the 1978 Hutto v. Finney decision

A pen name used by cartoonist Johnny Gruelle

Grue/Brian Laborn, a supervillain in the web novel Worm

Grue, used by Robert Louis Stevenson in David Balfour “But I begin to Grue at the sound of it.” (Chapter 2 early)

Used like the creeps in The Nine Tailors a 1934 mystery novel by the British writer Dorothy L. Sayers

Guy H. Lillian III

Guy H. Lillian III is a Louisiana lawyer, former letterhack and science fiction fanzine publisher notable for having been twice nominated for a Hugo Award as best fan writer and having had a row of 12 nominations (without winning) for the Hugo for best fanzine for Challenger. He is the 1984 recipient of Southern fandom's Rebel Award.

Having studied English at Berkeley, writing at the Greensboro, and law at New Orleans, he practiced as a defense lawyer in the field of criminal law in Louisiana as his day job. As of 2015, Lillian is a resident of Florida.

As a noted letterhack and fan of the comic book Green Lantern, Lillian's name was tributized for the title's 1968 debut character Guy Gardner.

Izzard (fanzine)

Izzard was a science fiction fanzine edited by Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Teresa Nielsen Hayden. It was nominated for the Hugo Award in 1984. Contributors included Terry Carr, Steve Stiles, Greg Benford, Ted White, Greg Pickersgill, Avedon Carol, Dave Langford, Stu Shiffman, Taral Wayne, Ray Nelson and Alexis Gilliland.

Juanita Coulson

Juanita Ruth Coulson (née Wellons) (born February 12, 1933) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer most well known for her Children of the Stars books, published from 1981 to 1989. She was a longtime editor of the science fiction fanzine Yandro.She is also known for her filk music, receiving numerous awards for her songwriting.

Mike Glicksohn

Michael David Glicksohn, better known as Mike Glicksohn (May 20, 1946 – March 18, 2011) was a Canadian high school math teacher and the co-editor of the science fiction fanzine Energumen with his then-wife Susan Wood (Glicksohn). Energumen won the 1973 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine, after having been nominated the two previous years Glicksohn was nominated for an individual Hugo in 1977.He was born May 20, 1946 in Portsmouth, England, and died March 18, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario. He was a Guest of Honor at Aussiecon 1, the 33rd World Science Fiction Convention, in 1975.

Mimosa (magazine)

Mimosa was a science fiction fanzine edited by Richard Lynch and Nicki Lynch. It won six Hugo Awards for Best Fanzine (in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998 and 2003) and was nominated a total of 14 times (1991-2004).

Published from 1982 until 2003, Mimosa focused on discussions of the history and impact of science fiction fandom. Contributors included Forrest J Ackerman, Ron Bennett, John Berry, Vin¢ Clarke, Sharon N. Farber, Dave Kyle, Mike Resnick, Bob Shaw, Harry Warner, Jr., Ted White and Walt Willis.

Nova Express (fanzine)

Nova Express was a Hugo-nominated science fiction fanzine edited by Lawrence Person. Nova Express is named after William S. Burroughs' Nova Express and the fictional magazine Nova Express in Alan Moore's Watchmen. It remained in publication between 1987 and 2002.


Plokta is a British science fiction fanzine, first published in 1996, which has won two Hugo Awards.

Subtitled "The journal of superfluous technology" the magazine includes articles (largely unrelated to science fiction), photographs, illustrations and cartoons. The production team has been nicknamed "The Plokta Cabal".

The editors are Alison Scott, Steve Davies and Mike Scott. "The Plokta Cabal" also includes Steven Cain, Marianne Cain, Giulia de Cesare and Sue Mason (who has won two individual Hugos for Best Fan Artist). They have also organised a number of related conventions.

Plokta has been nominated nine times for a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine, and won in 2005 and 2006. It also won the Nova Award for Best Fanzine in 2000 and 2002.The name Plokta is taken from the humorous acronym for "Press Lots Of Keys To Abort", a technique for stopping computer program execution when one doesn't know the proper procedure to do so.

A Captain Britain villain for Marvel Comics created by Dr. Who writer Paul Cornell has been named 'Dr. Plokta' after the fanzine.

Richard E. Geis

Richard E. Geis (July 19, 1927 – February 4, 2013) was an American science fiction fan and writer, and erotica writer, from Portland, Oregon, who won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 1982 and 1983; and whose science fiction fanzine Science Fiction Review won the 1969, 1970, 1977 and 1979 Hugo Awards for Best Fanzine. His The Alien Critic won the Best Fanzine Hugo in 1974 (in a tie with Algol), and in 1975 as sole first place.

He was nominated for the Hugo for Best Fan Writer from 1970–71 and 1973-1986 inclusive; his science fiction fanzines were nominated for the Hugo for Best Fanzine from 1968–1971 and 1974-1983 inclusive: a total of 30 Hugo nominations and 13 Hugos. Many of his recent SF-related writings may be read on his page at of 2005, Geis said he had published 114 books, "110 of them soft-core porn".

Sky Hook

Sky Hook was a science fiction fanzine published by Redd Boggs from 1948-1957. It was nominated for the 1954 Retro Hugo for Best Fanzine.Contributors included Poul Anderson, James Blish, Philip Jose Farmer, Dean Grennell, David Keller, Virginia Kidd (as "Virginia Blish"), Sam Moskowitz, William Rotsler, and Jack Speer.

Slant (fanzine)

Slant was a science fiction fanzine edited by Walt Willis in collaboration with James White. It won the retro-Hugo for Best Fanzine of 1954, awarded in 2004.

Steve Stiles

Steve Stiles (born 1943) is an American cartoonist and writer, coming out of the science fiction fanzine tradition. He won the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist.

The Comet

The Comet was an American science fiction fanzine, the first of its kind.

Trap Door (magazine)

Trap Door is a science-fiction fanzine published by Robert Lichtman, with the first issue appearing in October 1983.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.