George R.R. Martin (grrm) wrote,
George R.R. Martin

Best Fanzine

What the hell is a fanzine, you ask? It's an amateur magazine, produced by and for fans, and once upon a time fanzines were the center of science fiction fandom. In those days they were produced on mimeographs, xerox machines, or (shudder) ditto, obtainable for "sticky quarters" or "the usual," which usually meant you sent your own fanzine in trade or wrote a LOC. (That's "letter of comment," folks). The "Best Fanzine" award is one of the oldest and most traditional of the Hugos.

The category is still around, of course, and some traditional fanzines still survive, but they are no longer quite as central to the subculture as they once were, and the Best Fanzine category doesn't seem to draw many nominations these days. It seems to me, though, that there is a new center springing up right before our eyes here on the internet. Webzines, blogs, and online journals and review sites are proliferating right and left, and there are probably as many of them around as there were mimeo and ditto'd zines in their heydey.

These are the fanzines of the 21st century, and I think it is time we recognized the best of them in the Best Fanzine category of the Hugos. It doesn't have to be done on a mimeo to be a fanzine, boys and girls.

Last year I suggested that I HOPE I DIDN'T JUST GIVE AWAY THE ENDING and PAT'S FANTASY HOTLIST were both worthy of Hugo consideration. Stego didn't publish enough new material in 2007 to warrant a nomination this time around... but Pat St. Denis certainly did. PAT'S FANTASY HOTLIST is a must-read site, I think, a constant stream of reviews, commentary, interviews, contests, giveaways, and discussion, updated at least weekly and often daily. True, true, this guy Pat is a Dallas Cowboys fan, but his site is good enough that I'll even give him a pass on that.

If you haven't seen the Hotlist, check it out at Scroll back through the Archives, and you'll be reading for days.

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist will be first on my list of Best Fanzine nominations this year.


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