Fanzines

A selection of fanzines from the UNB Saint John library's Science Fiction & Fantasy Collection


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A Bas
A Bas
A Bas was an early Canadian fanzine edited by Boyd Raeburn. Published in Toronto, Ontario, A Bas lasted for 11 issues in the 1950s. It was initially linked to The Toronto SF Society (a group who called themselves "The Derelicts"). A Bas was far removed from the professional SF magazines of the time; its mimeographed issues often focused on aspects of 1950s fan culture. It contained a regular feature called "Derelicti Derogations" that was based on conversations held during fan meetings; this provided a sample of the specialized language that was used in contemporary fandom.
Algol
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.
Amra
Amra
Amra was a fanzine devoted to the fantasy pulp fiction of Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan the Barbarian (‘Amra’ was an alias used by Conan). The zine was created in the late 1950s as a newsletter for the Hyborian Legion, a circle of Howard fans. Most of its 76 issues were edited by George H. Scithers; the last one appeared in 1982. Amra was slightly larger than octavo sized and was offset-litho printed. Issues featured fanfiction, poetry, illustrations, editorials, etc. During its lifespan, Amra won the Best Fanzine Hugo award twice (1964 and 1968).
Dark Fantasy
Dark Fantasy
An octavo-sized fanzine published by Howard E. Day (aka: Gene Day) of Gananoque, Ontario from 1973-1980. It contained fantasy/horror fiction and artwork by a variety of contributors. Some of the writers and artists became well-known beyond zine circles such as Charles de Lint, Dave Sim, and Neal Adams. Day himself was known for his artwork in Marvel Comics titles like Master of Kung-Fu and Star Wars. Dark Fantasy is also notable for containing the earliest "Imaro" stories by Charles Saunders. Imaro was Saunders' attempt to create a heroic fantasy universe that was inspired by African mythology and involved realistic portrayals of black characters. This was a significant shift in a genre that was, at the time, infamous for its use of racial stereotypes and caricatures.
Fantasy Commentator
Fantasy Commentator
Fantasy Commentator was an early American fanzine by A. Langley Searles. It was launched in 1943 and continued uninterrupted for a decade (28 issues); Searles resumed publication in the late 70s and continued producing issues into the 2000s. Fantasy Commentator was a predominantly text-based mimeographed criticalzine that contained scholarly articles, reviews, and bibliographies. Searles was a committed fan of the works of pulp writer H.P. Lovecraft and his circle; his zine became a platform for this interest and often included Lovecraft-related content. As well, The Immortal Storm, Sam Moskowitz's history of Science-Fiction fandom, was originally serialized in Fantasy Commentator.
Fantasy-Times
Fantasy-Times
One of the longer running Science Fiction/Fantasy fanzines, Fantasy-Times was first published under the name Fantasy News in 1938. It was renamed Science Fiction Times in 1957. Most of the publication's 465 issues were edited by James Taurasi. Several well-known figures in 1950s SF fan culture contributed content, including Forrest J. Ackerman and Sam Moskowitz. The publication was a reliable newszine that featured up-to-date information about the contemporary SF/F scene (especially focusing on professional SF writing). Issues were short and minimalistically produced on mimeograph; this cut down on production time and ensured that the publication could respond to current happenings in a timely fashion. Fantasy-Times won the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine in 1955; it was the first publication to receive this distinction.
Inside and Science Fiction Advertiser
Inside and Science Fiction Advertiser
This title resulted from a merger of two 1950s fanzines: Ron Smith’s Inside and Roy Squires' Science Fiction Advertiser. It featured early Science Fiction/Fantasy-related literary criticism. This type of analysis was especially significant because it was occurring in an era before the genres had begun to receive serious attention in scholarly literature. The editorship was later passed to Leland Sapiro, who renamed the publication Riverside Quarterly in 1964. RQ continued to focus on academically-minded criticism. In 1956, Inside and Science Fiction Advertiser won the Best Fanzine Hugo award; it was the second publication to receive this distinction.
Light
Light
Light was a long-running Canadian fanzine published by dedicated Science Fiction fan Leslie Croutch. He began to self-publish fanzines in the 1930s from his home in Parry Sound, Ontario. Croutch initially used a hectograph to produce 5-10 copies of each issue. He switched to mimeograph in 1942 and increased his print runs. His first creation, Croutch Magazine Mart News is recognized as the second Canadian fanzine. The first issue of Light appeared in 1941 and the publication continued for three decades. An avid self-publisher who stated that he had mimeo ink in his veins, Croutch produced 175 issues in ~276 months. Light provided a way for Croutch to share his interests with likeminded individuals; the issues often included pieces of Croutch's own SF-related creative and critical writing.
Locus
Locus
Locus was a highly regarded Science Fiction publication. It was nominated for the Best Fanzine Hugo award 13 times and won on 8 occasions. It was an example of a publication that began life as an amateur mimeographed newszine and, later, became a professional journal. In its early days, Locus a single double-sided sheet long and had a minimalistic format that allowed it to be produced quickly and cheaply. For this reason, it maintained a reliable bi-weekly schedule and became a go-to news source for the fan community.
Luna
Luna
A newszine that was published from 1969-1977 by Frank and Ann Dietz. It focused on current events in the contemporary Science Fiction scene and also included reviews and interviews. As well, it featured information about international SF happenings, which was less common in zines at the time. Luna Monthly began life as an octavo-sized lithographed publication, but transitioned to being typeset in 1971.
Mimosa
Mimosa
Like Yandro, Mimosa was also published by a husband and wife team: Richard and Nicki Lynch. The couple was actively involved in the SF fan community and Mimosa's content reflected that involvement; it predominantly contained content about SF fan culture and the history of fandom. It was a highly regarded publication in the fanzine community; it was nominated for the best fanzine Hugo award every year from 1991 to 2004, winning in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998, and 2003. Mimosa also featured the work of Sharon N. Farber, who was nominated for the Hugo Fan Writer award from 1994–97.
Nyctalops
Nyctalops
A 1970s-80s fanzine edited by Harry O. Morris and Edward Berglund. It was inspired by the weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his contemporaries and contained critical essays about their work. The zine also printed fantasy/horror artwork and fiction and was especially noteworthy for containing the early short stories of American philosophical horror author Thomas Ligotti. 19 issues of Nyctalops were published.

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