Science fiction fanzines, 1940s-1970s

Over at Thought Catalog, Mark Dery ruminates on Lenny Kaye's legendary collection of science fiction fanzines from the 1940s-1970s, on display next weekend at the New York Art Book Fair.

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Pesco on the "World Wide Weird"

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Just like Boing Boing, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. To celebrate, I wrote an essay titled "World Wide Weird." It's part of the "The Webby 25 for 25," a series of pieces presented by The Webby Awards, The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and the World Wide Web Foundation. From my essay:

I’m a collector of unpopular culture.

Since I was a teenager, I’ve been attracted to the fringes of art, literature, music, science, and technology. I grew up hanging around alternative record stores, dialing into underground Bulletin Board Systems, trading photocopied ‘zines, scouring used book stores, watching third-generation dupes of psychotronic films, and researching anomalous phenomena at the local library. I am most at home on the fringes of thought, reason, and expression. I delight in the serendipity and synchronicities that reveal themselves during my expeditions into the outré.

The Web amplified my appetite and became a compass on my journeys into high weirdness. Indeed, I saw it as the ultimate card catalog of curiosities.

"The World Wide Weird"

Saturday: Pravic Science Fiction Extravaganza with Rucker, Davis, and Pesco (San Francisco)

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On Saturday (April 12), the excellent Pravic science fiction 'zine will hold its second live extravaganza in San Francisco. I'm honored that I've been added to the amazing bill featuring talks by two of my own big influences -- SF legend Rudy Rucker and Erik Davis, author of Techgnosis and co-host of the Expanding Mind podcast. I'll be sharing some thoughts on "Science, Art, and Magic." Hosted by Pravic commanders David Gill and Nathaniel Miller, there will also be readings by Ian Kappos, Ben Weiner, Michael Buckley, Daniel Gonzalez, Suhail Rafidi, and Nikita Allgire, music by Feral Luggage, and trivia, prizes, food, and beer! The free event is at Brainwash Cafe from 7pm-11pm. Hope to see you there! Pravic's 2nd Science Fiction Extravaganza

RiYL podcast 032: Robert Newsome of The Atomic Elbow


Recommended if You Like is Boing Boing's weekly podcast of conversations with musicians, cartoonists, writers, and other creative types.

The Atomic Elbow is a professional wrestling fanzine published by Robert Newsome with a circulation of 100 copies [same as the first issue of bOING bOING! - Mark]. I interviewed Robert at Java Joe's in Athens, GA. If you aren't a fan of professional wrestling, you will probably become one after listening to Robert's insightful remarks.


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RiYL podcast 023: Burn Collector zine publisher Al Burian


We meet the Burn Collector author at a cafe in Berlin to discuss teaching comics, the legacy of World War II, surviving as a writer and cold war era punk rock.

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Interested in sponsoring one of Boing Boing's podcasts? Visit Podlexing!

Online scans and text of young Ray Bradbury's 1939 zine Futuria Fantasia


Project Gutenberg hosts a trove of the first four issues of Futuria Fantasia, the sf zine that Ray Bradbury started as a 19-year-old in 1939. They included his fiction and articles, and the Gutenberg editions are glorious. If that wasn't enough, Librivox volunteer Lois Hill has read aloud the Spring 1940 issue, with material from Lyle Monroe, J. E. Kelleam, Hank Kuttner, J. H. Haggard, Ron Reynolds, Damon Knight, and Hannes V. Bok.

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S.F. tomorrow (8/8): Boing Boing, the Beats, and Underground Publishing

Allen ginsberg william burroughs and sphinx 1953

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, I hope you'll join me tomorrow evening, August 8, for "Boing Boing Presents: The Beats' Influence on Underground Publishing," a panel discussion at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. The program is part of "Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg," an intimate portrait of the Beat generation in the form of Ginsberg's snapshots. I'm looking forward to interviewing several personal friends and inspirations on stage, starting at 6:30pm. The panel is free with museum admission! My guests include:

* V. Vale, founder of Search & Destroy and RE/Search

* RU Sirius, founder of Mondo 2000, High Frontiers, and Reality Hackers

* Ron Turner, founder of Last Gasp Books

* Layla Gibbon, editor of Maximum Rocknroll

"Boing Boing Presents: The Beats' Influence on Underground Publishing"

SF 8/8: Boing Boing, the Beats, and Underground Publishing

Right now, San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum is exhibiting "Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg," an intimate portrait of the Beat generation in the form of Ginsberg's snapshots, hand-annotated years later. On Thursday, August 8, Boing Boing is presenting a panel at the museum about the Beats' Influence On Underground Publishing. I'm honored to have the opportunity to interview live on stage several icons of San Francisco's counterculture press who had a huge influence on my life and career:

* V. Vale, founder of Search & Destroy and RE/Search (check out their new site!)

* RU Sirius, founder of Mondo 2000, High Frontiers, and Reality Hackers

* Ron Turner, founder of Last Gasp Books

* Layla Gibbon, editor of Maximum Rocknroll

The panel is 6:30pm - 8pm and free with museum admission. Hope to see you there!

"Boing Boing Presents: The Beats' Influence on Underground Publishing"

Zine newsstand in Brooklyn subway station

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The Newsstand is a subway shop inside Brooklyn's Lorimer/Metropolitan station that specializes in zines. Great idea! (And yes, it's already been nicknamed the "hipster newsstand.") Paper magazine interviewed the proprietors:

Lele Saveri: I think the zine idea was also because of the location. You're in the subway and people are used to grabbing something to read for the train ride. If it's not a newspaper or magazine, you just download [something] on your phone. [Zines] are something people can get for cheap and a unique thing. Also, you're [physically] underground and zines have always been about the underground world.

Jamie Falkowski: I think that space is really interesting because it's so different from going into a regular newsstand. You have to spend time and look at all the different titles and find the thing that speaks to you.

LS: Everyone who works at the stand are people who have been related to the zine world forever. They know exactly what they're selling. It's not like a dude who sells magazines and doesn't even look at them. Every day there's a new person and every day the person is curating or moving things around. I swear you'll see new stuff every day.

"MEET THE FOLKS BEHIND THE LORIMER STATION ZINE STAND"

What we're reading—"Gather," a food-centric journal of culture


Gather Journal, Spring/Summer 2013 issue.

About their wonderful publication launched just about a year ago, Michele Outland and Fiorella Valdesolo say: "We started Gather because of a shared love of food and cooking, and a desire to create a magazine with staying power on your bookshelf; one that you could return to again and again for inspiration. If we can, with our recipes, words, and images, inspire a great meal and maybe a smile, then we are satisfied."


Janet Leigh's legendary shower scene in "Psycho," inspiration for the pie above.

I'm satisfied. After seeing a mention in the Instagram feed of a favorite LA chef, I picked up the latest issue: a film-inspired “Rough Cut” edition.

The cover photo is a pie recipe tableau inspired by the shower scene in Hitchcock's "Psycho."

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SF: Saturday event for new science fiction 'zine Pravic

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NewImageI recently posted about Pravic, an excellent new science fiction 'zine edited by David "Total Dick-Head" Gill and Nathaniel K. Miller. The second issue features fiction by Rudy Rucker, Robert Onopa, and others while the hot-off-the-copier third issue includes work by Mike Buckley, John Biggs, Carl Fuerst, Ian Kappos, and Gill, along with a transcribed conversation about Futurama. To celebrate, they're hosting a Pravic SF Extravaganza this Saturday, June 15, at San Francisco's Brainwash Cafe. Gill, Ben Loory, David Gill, Suhail Rafidi, and Ian Kappos will read and have a panel discussion. There'll also be special surprise guests, trivia contests, and live music from Wizard Master and Feral Luggage. The festivities start at 7pm. Support the SF 'zine scene! Pravic SF Extravaganza and Issue Three Release Party

Wonderful collection of zines 1984–93 donated to library

Josh Glenn has a great post with lots of photos of his collection of zines from 1984-1993, which he donated to University of Iowa Libraries. I hope they scan them soon!
Recently, the University of Iowa Libraries acquired the Joshua Glenn Zine Collection — somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 zines that I squirreled away during the so-called Zine Revolution (1984–93, according to my eccentric reckoning), plus scores of letters from zine publishers, plus all sorts of ephemera related to the printing, distribution, and promotion of zines including my own: Luvboat Earth and Hermenaut. My collection — including such titles as 8-Track Mind, 2600: The Hacker Quarterly, ANSWER Me!, Baby Split Bowling News, babysue, The Baffler, Bananafish, Beer Frame, Ben is Dead, Bimbox, Bitch, Boiled Angel, bOING bOING, Bunnyhop, Bust, Chip’s Closet Cleaner, Crank, Crap Hound, DishWasher, Duplex Planet, Ersatz, FAT!SO?, Flatter!, Flipside, Forced Exposure, The Freakie Magnet, Giant Robot, Gourmandizer, Grand Royal, Heinous, Hey There Barbie Girl!, Hip-Hop Housewife, Holy Titclamps, I Hate Brenda Newsletter, Idiotooth, It’s A Wonderful Lifestyle, King-Cat Comix, Lizzengreasy, The Lumpen Times, The Match, Maximumrock’n'roll, McJob, Mommy and I Are One, Motorbooty, Murder Can Be Fun, Mystery Date, Organ & Bongos, Pagan’s Head, Rollerderby, Scram, Sidney Suppey’s Quarterly and Confused Pet Monthly, Stay Free, Teenage Gang Debs, Temp Slave, Thrift SCORE, Tiki News, Tray Full of Lab Mice, Verbivore, Wandromedia, and X Magazine — will be added to the U. Iowa Libraries’ other excellent collections of zines and amateur press materials.
Wonderful collection of zines 1984–93 donated to library

Pravic: new SF zine

NewImage Pravic is a new science fiction zine edited by David "Total Dick-Head" Gill and Nathaniel K. Miller. The copy machine just spit out the second issue, featuring fiction by Rudy Rucker, Robert Onopa, Cal Godot, and Gill. Also, a special bonus rumination: "Are The Melvins sci-fi?" Single print copies are $3 to your door or $1 for a PDF digital download to your desktop. Pravic: A New Grammar for Science Fiction

HOWTO make a magnetic detachable stapler for center-stapled booklets and the like


On Instructables, DIYHacksAndHowTos has a great method for separating a cheap stapler and sticking magnets on both halves, enabling you to center-staple booklets and the like. Every year or two, I do something zine-like that requires this sort of thing, and I always end up wasting money on a long-reach stapler that's always lost by the time the next project rolls around. (Don't get me wrong, long-reach staplers are awesome, but if you only need to do booklets once every year or two, they're a lot of investment). This is what I'll do next time (and as a bonus, it'll be great for kid craft projects where we want to use a staple in th center of a large sheet of paper).

One limitation of a typical office stapler is that it only lets you staple about 3 1/2" into the paper. This isn't enough for a lot of projects. If you want to put together your own comic book or a large banner, you are usually stuck stapling your project onto a piece of cardboard or carpet and then bending the legs of the staple by hand. They do sell extra long staplers or staplers with swivel heads but they still have their limitations.

A better option would be to make a stapler with a detachable base. The base would be positioned under the paper and aligned to the top half of the stapler with magnets. This would allow you to staple any area of a project regardless of location. So in this project, I am going to show you how to convert a standard stapler into a two part magnetic stapler.

How to Make a Two-Part Magnetic Stapler by DIYHacksAndHowTos (via Lifehacker)

The Zine Scene in 2013

Chris Berube at the NYT:
Zine makers face two types of questions when they disclose their hobby. The uninitiated wonder if a zine is similar to a magazine or if it’s something different entirely. And people who are familiar with zines from their 1990s heyday wonder that anyone is still making them.