Algol

Algol was an example of a publication that began life as a DIY fanzine and eventually morphed into a professional magazine. Started by Andrew Porter in 1963, Algol became known for serious critical discussion of Science-Fiction (known as ‘sercon’ in the zine community). The publication’s early issues were published on a primitive duplicator in Porter’s high school, but, after issue #16, it shifted to photo-offset printing; later issues were fully typeset. Algol attracted the contributions of well-known writers in the SF field such as Brian W. Aldiss, Poul Anderson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Frederick Pohl, Ursula Leguin, Philip K. Dick, Robert Silverberg, and Harlan Ellison. Porter also emphasized visuals in his publication and included artwork by comic artists like Terry Austin, Jim Steranko, and Vaughan Bode. Although Algol won the Best Fanzine Hugo award in 1974, it was later reclassified as a semi-professional zine because it no longer had the characteristics of an amateur publication (it paid its contributors, made a profit, and had print runs of over 1000). With issue 34, Algol changed its name to Starship and continued its transition toward professional status.