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.

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