Posts Tagged: Fanzines

The Drink Tank #315, Handicapping the HugosIssue #315 of The Drink Tank, the Hugo Award-nominated fanzine edited by Christopher J. Garcia and James Bacon, just hit newstands and it’s dedicated entirely to examining this year’s Hugo ballot. It’s called “Handicapping the Hugos.”

Also included are thoughts on the awards from Charlie Jane Anders, Niall Harrison and some guy named “Aidan Mohr.” Despite the mispelling of my name, I’m absolutely thrilled to have been invited to take part in the analysis with several other Hugo-nominated fan writers (and Niall Harrison, who, damnit, should be a Hugo-nominated fan writer by this point,) all of whom have a strong online presence.

Also of interest are Garcia’s thoughts on the inclusion of SF Signal in the “Best Fanzine” category:

OK, there’s been a lot of folks in the blog community that were not happy with the Hugos last year.

They point out that much of fandom is blogs and podcasts and so on and they wanted to see them represented on the Hugo ballot. And there were others who didn’t like that and it went on and on. Aidan Mohr [sic] was one of the loudest folks decrying the lack of blogs and so on. There were others, but his were the most widely discussed among the folks I know. This nomination was probably not directly tied, though even I was a little surprised that it didn’t do better in the nominations last year . I expect it to destroy the rest of us completely. [W]hen it ended up somewhere around number 13 or so. It’s got a huge following, far bigger than any of the other nominees, or probably in total!

So, go read “Handicapping the Hugos”, The Drink Tank #315. You’ll find insight into the ballot and also and interesting look at how another portion of the fan community views the awards and the nominated books/stories/writers/editors.

If you’re interested in learning more about The Drink Tank, its editors and the fanzine culture in general, check out Garcia’s “Ma Vie En Zines,” and article he recently wrote for A Dribble of Ink exploring fanzine history and culture.

Cover for GranfalloonIn the beginning, there were zines. Shortly after fish crawled out of the primordial ooze, and were greeted by First Fandom, zines started to appear. Science Fiction fandom wasn’t even invented when folks started doing the earliest things we’d call fanzines. Mostly, they were related to sports at first, and later to film stars and the like. Science Fiction fandom evolved and became the group most strongly associated with fanzines, largely because we popularized the name ‘fanzine’. Over the years, zines became the primary way that fans communicated when they couldn’t be in the same place physically. Over the years, this was slowly replaced, first by more frequent cons and ever-growing clubs, later by electronic bulletin boards, then USENET, then CompuServe, then AOL, and nowadays we’re up to blogs and such. Zines themselves evolved, first in the technology used to create them, later in the way they were presented. Most fanzines today are either done completely electronic or have a PDF version that echoes a printed version. And there are a few that have no electronic version at all. Not a lot, but there are some. We’ll get into that later.

I came into fanzines twice. My Dad loved ‘em. He had a fairly good little collection that he had for years. I used to color in them, but I learned how to read from issues of Granfalloon and Niekas. Over the years, I drifted out of fandom, only to return around 2004, finally starting my own zine, The Drink Tank, on January 31st, 2005. Over the last seven years, I’ve expanded the number of zines I’ve done, have got myself nominated a few times for the Hugo, managed to somehow win one of the things, and have made friends from around the world. That’s what zines have done for me.
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Muddy Colors on the Art of FanzinesThis is a great post by Arnie Fenner on the Muddy Colours blog about the history of Fanzine art.

In the pre-Internet era, young artists, writers, and entrepreneurs often combined their interests to produce fanzines (or “semi-pro zines” if they paid for content), small press publications that filled a void in the marketplace and actually advanced the appreciation for the subjects (comics, SF, film, horror, etc.) highlighted in the magazines. Artists and authors were able to hone their craft or, if they were already working professionals, experiment with subjects or ideas they normally didn’t have the opportunity to explore; publishers wet behind the ears were able to learn the ins and outs of the business while refining their design and editorial skills; readers were able to get something more than what the professional houses were putting on the news stands. Win, win, win.

Fanzines are the precursor to blogs like A Dribble of Ink and use a medium that really allows the editors to embrace Fantasy and SF artwork, something that many blogs struggle with. It’s a great read, especially if you love the art aspect of the genre as much as I do. For that matter, Muddy Colors is a must-follow blog for those interested in art. It features great content from Daniel Dos Santos, Donato, Justin Sweet and many other artists.

Hugo Awards Logo

It’s Hugo Award season. You know what that means, right? And endless line of authors/publishers/writers/editors/artists parading their 2011 works and begging you to vote for them. And bloggers, like me, for A Dribble of Ink. I’m eligible for ‘Best Fan Writer’ for this blog, my contributions to SF Signal and my twitter feed (that counts, right?). A Dribble of Ink is eligible for ‘Best Fanzine’ (which is still a ridiculous and antiquated category). So, think of me when you’re filling out your ballot. Lord knows I’d appreciate it and would love to see a blogger (myself or another) make the short list.

Every year, I like to gather together some of my favourite bloggers/fan writers and give them some extra exposure. If you’re voting for the Hugos, consider these bloggers/blogs for the ‘Best Fan Writer’ and ‘Best Fanzine’ awards!

My Favourite Blogs of 2011

Staffer's Musings, edited by Justin Landon

Staffer’s Musings, edited by Justin Landon

Landon’s blog is new to the scene, but in the nine months he’s been around, he’s become one of my favourite voices in the community. He’s funny, but manages to use that sense of humour to eloquently and convincingly articulate his opinions and insights (even if I don’t always agree with him). He seems to post a new review each day, and he’s begun to interview authors. I expect big things of Landon in 2012. Plus, he looks like this.

Some posts of note:

His blog:
His twitter: @jdiddyesquire
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