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.

Dery writes:


Lenny Kaye—longtime guitarist in the Patti Smith Group, rock writer, editor of the legendary anthology of garage-sale gleanings Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968—has spent much of his life excavating the cultural landfill….

Kaye's metamorphosis into what zealots called a "faan" coincided with his move, in 1960, from Flatbush, Brooklyn to New Brunswick, New Jersey. (A "faan," he notes, in his exhibition catalog essay, was an enthusiast so deeply burrowed into the imagined community of SF devotees that he saw "science fiction, and consequently the world, through the prism of fandom, rather than vice-versa.") Having skipped a grade in school, Kaye was younger than his ninth-grade classmates at an age when the social distance between, say, 15 and 16 is measured in light years. "I didn't really have a lot of close friends," he says, "so I found my subculture in science-fiction fandom."

"Tattooed Dragon Meets The Wolfman: Lenny Kaye's Science Fiction Fanzines"