SF fanzines prefigured blogs: Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert traces the roots of Internet culture to science fiction fanzines:

Then the university intervened, and I found myself publishing The Spectator (not precisely an original title), a weekly tabloid of arts and politics at the University of Illinois. I had become too busy for fandom, and found it wise to GAFIA (get away from it all). I have always been convinced that the culture of sf fanzines contributed heavily to the formative culture of the early Web, and generated models for web site and blogs. The very tone of the discourse is similar, and like fanzines, the Web took new word coinages, turned them into acronyms, and ran with them. Think about it. Science fiction fans in the decades before the internet were already interested in computers, big-time–first with the supercomputers of science fiction myth, and then with the earliest home-built models. Fans tended to be youngish, male, geeky, obsessed with popular culture, and compelled to circulate their ideas. In the reviews and criticism they ran, they slanted heavily toward expertise in narrow pop fields. The Star Trek phenomenon was predicted by their fascination years earlier with analysis of Captain Video, Superman, X minus One and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, and there were learned discussions about how Tarzan taught himself to read.


(via Making Light)