Kittywompus At Least Acknowledges the Existence of Electronic Fanzines
As my fanzine log progresses, I realised that I needed to find a way of handling electronic zines. The original plan was to just incorporate them in the log when they arrived. But they're mostly more frequent than paper fanzines (for example, there is one I get weekly), and would quickly overwhelm the log. So here's a special page just for electronic zines. I've listed them alphabetically. Individual entries may grow as I think of more things to say, and I'm sure the overall list will grow.
As of November 2000, this listing is not up to date. In particular, I have not yet managed to list the vast electronic output of Las Vegas fandom.
Ansible, Dave Langford, 94 London Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5AU, UK
Is there anyone reading this who doesn't already see Ansible? Dave Langford has won multiple Hugos, both for Ansible and for his fanwriting generally. We all tend to take Ansible for granted, but it's one of the delights of attending the monthly "London Circle" meetings at the Florence Nightingale pub in Waterloo. Dave packs in much of the subculture's essential news, along with loads of gossip, jokes and innuendo, into two tiny, closely typed pages. But I didn't get the paper version this month, because Steven was defective during his trip to the Dead Nurse and forgot to pick up a copy. So this time I've had to settle for, an electronically enhanced e-mail. These days Ansible seems to focus more on the publishing & professional end of SF, but it's still essential fanreading.
Bob Devney has been nominated for a Hugo for best fanwriter for the last three years, largely, we presume, on the basis of The Devniad. I get the impression that he is a mainstay of NESFA and of its apa, so presumably there is some enthusiastic local voting going on here. Of the five nominees for best fan writer this year, the only one who really impresses me as a writer is Langford. The others produce pleasant, competent prose. But you will never find yourself lost in delight at a beautiful turn of phrase from Bob Devney, Evelyn Leeper, Steven Silver or Mike Glyer.
The Devniad is reliably diverting, though. I'd like to see fewer film reviews and more fannish anecdotes, but there you go. This issue also includes some letters from correspondents, a funny anecdote about a capybara, and entirely too many mailing comments. I know they're the lifeblood of an apa, but they do nothing for fanzines that also appear in a wider context.
Emerald City, Cheryl Morgan Fairly frequent web zine Email email@example.com to be put on a notify list, or to receive the zine as a text file. Emerald City is a very flexible webzine; it's also available in Word or PDF versions as well as HTML, each formatted for both A4 and letter. And you can have the HTML in a nice, restful black on white 'print edition' rather than the standard, eyeball-bending, emerald green background. I recommend this, even for reading online.
Emerald City feels more like a paper fanzine than most webzines do, and indeed I get the impression that Cheryl produces it on the web as a cost cutting exercise, rather than because she's exploring the new media wondrousness of it all. In tone it has never quite escaped from being a 'my first fanzine' sort of perzine. Each issue has a little bit about what Cheryl's doing lately, and a nice chunky pile of book reviews. Assiduous readers will have noticed that book reviews tend to bore me. So Cheryl has an uphill battle. Occasionally she writes at more length about some current topic of fannish interest, and I always find that much more engaging.
This issue (#57) has a standout book review, though, as Cheryl compares and contrasts JK Rowling and Diana Wynne Jones. Like most adult SF fans who do this, she finds Diana much the better, but I'm not sure I agree with her reasons for doing so. She believes that the Harry Potter books represent the "sort of books that parents want their children to read". As a parent, I feel maligned by this, even though I'd be happy for my kids to read Harry Potter. But the slightest contact with children between the ages of 8 and 11 or so puts the lie to this notion; they're all completely obsessed with the Harry Potter books, much to the bemusement of many of their parents. Nevertheless, a much better article than the average book review.
That article was inspired by a panel on the Harry Potter phenomenon that's planned for Wiscon. In one of these weird Zeitgeist thingies, we're having an independently conceived but otherwise pretty similar panel at <plokta.con>.
She lists the Hugo nominees, and comments briefly on them. In this section there's an extract from a conversation with Neil Gaiman that stands head and shoulders above everything else in this issue of Emerald City. So it's worth going to look at just for that. This is followed by a chunk of sniping at the 'SF fanzine community', whatever that may be. I find SF fanzines a pretty heterogeneous bunch of publications, and the people who produce them a pretty heterogeneous bunch of people. But I'm clearly part of this community, and I can't remember us all sitting around at Corflu deciding who we ought to be blackballing. Hey, maybe that was going on in some other party? If what Cheryl means is that some people don't want to trade a paper fanzine for her webzine, or that some people think her fanzine is crap, then she needs to relax, stop reading reviews, and live with it. You're never going to please all the people all of the time, and nobody ever said that webzines were automatically part of the usual.
5 July 2000: Issue #58 is out now, and mentions KTF. Incestuous business, this fanzine stuff.
The Fan in My Grave, Bill Bowers, 4651 Glenway Avenue, Cincinnati OH 45238-4503, USA
DAPA-Em is apparently a mystery apa, and Bill explains that this contribution is completely off-topic for that context. Instead, it is a four page meander about this business of aging, and of wanting to leave one's mark on the world. He concludes that, at least in part, his mark is the five thousand pages of his edited and published fanzines. I reflected, that one of the odd, unexpected, fringe benefits of having a child was that it has allowed me to take twenty years or so off from the business of worrying what the purpose of life is. An interesting read, though not as compelling as Bill's "regular" e-perzine, Xenolith.Fans Across the World Newsletter, Bridget Wilkinson, c/o 15 Manor Drive, Southgate, London, N14 5JH, Great Britain
Monthly e-zine, appearing on the first Thursday of the month. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or there is a web archive.
In a world full of dull but worthy fanzines, this may be the, um, worthiest. Odd pieces of news of interest to an international audience, and a listing of cons with an international focus.
Although MT Void claims to be a clubzine, 90% of every issue is written by Mark and Evelyn Leeper. Mostly Mark, recently. It's always worth reading Mark's editorials, and his film reviews cover the field of SF, fantasy and slipstream movies very thoroughly. A weekly! Such energy; but given the frequency, it's a shame there's no letter column.
Paper Snarl has general news and information of interest to the SF art community, feature articles such as interviews with artists, articles about particular articles, and lots of plugs for Paper Tiger products, readers' websites and so on.
5 June 2000: In issue 12, Paul wonders whether books like Wasp would be published these days, interviews Jim Burns and Brom, includes an article by Jane and Howard Frank on engineering publicity for their book, and -- probably of most interest to mainstream fandom -- has solicited an article from Yvonne Rosseau about the politics of the Ditmars. I discover to my horror that the Australian Natcon constitution, which I have cited as a model of its type, has been overhauled. The overhaul began with a repeal of the provision that "no amendment will be in order if it has the effect of increasing the number of words in the constitution". There's also a range of letters; I could do without the ones that say how great the zine is, or wax poetic about Paper Tiger books. But I suppose it comes with the territory.
WiGGLe, Rafe Culpin (I've taken out Rafe's e-mail address at his request, but if you're not a spambot, it should be obvious what it is from the website address).
Personal announcements of births, weddings, gigs, parties, filk events and so on, occasional lyrics, gossip from the monthly WiGGLe meetings, news of filk cons and albums, and other information of interest to filkers. Particularly notable for the annual roundups of addresses (on paper only) and e-mail addresses.
As you might expect, a clubzine. Minutes of meetings, news likely to be of interest to members, the odd article (imaginary "50 and -50 years ago in WSFA" I get, but what's the point of a story about Alexis Gilliland's light fittings?), Buffy fan fiction, plenty of in-jokes and fretting about where the con might be held, and details of Joe Mayhew's illness, since when Joe has sadly died.
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Last updated on June 20, 2000
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