Sunday, October 15, 2006

Science Fiction Fanzine



Blogging is nothing new. It's been going on at least since the 1860s when the amateur press movement started. H.P. Lovecraft's writing career, for instance, took off in 1914 thanks to this little world of home-made magazines. Since World War 2 they've been called fanzines, and they've been integral to the science fiction and alternative music subcultures. Now they've largely transcended their paper substrate and entered the realm of immediate low-cost digital availability. Fanzines are on the net. The amateur press movement has exploded into the blogosphere.

Paradoxically, one of the few groups that still produce paper fanzines is science fiction fandom. In this day and age, these avant-garde champions of futurity still cherish the mimeograph and the Xerox machine, still hate the Post Office, still keep paper mailing lists. It's part of their subcultural identity. But a lot of the material in the paper zines also appears on-line.

Yesterday I was given one of these increasingly rare cultural artefacts by the kind and charming Anna Davour. It's the expanded paper incarnation of her blog and contains a lot of interesting stuff, including book reviews and discussion of the relationship between fanzines and blogs. I particularly liked Anna's piece on baby carrying shawl fandom.

Shawls are more Bronze Age than futurism, but Swedish sf fanzines have had a nebulous relationship to actual sf for decades. They're the lifeblood of a subculture more than commentary on a literary genre.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Karen said...

Not really related but my sister in law used a sling (kinda like the shawl you briefly mentioned) with both her kids. Just thought I'd share that since I couldn't really contribute to the SF part of your post!

15 October, 2006 21:25  
Blogger Martin said...

I carried my kids in a strap thingy that's popular in Sweden, BabyBjörn brand. In China, people just couldn't believe their eyes.

15 October, 2006 21:55  
Blogger Åka said...

If I had written this article in English, I think I would have called it "Baby wearing fandom". Some more terminology: what we call "sjal" in Swedish is usually called "sling" or "wrap" (the long ones), and the asian varieties with straps are called "asian baby carriers", or the specific names like mei tai, onbuhimo and so on.

17 October, 2006 09:46  
Blogger Martin said...

But won't the baby be cold if wearing only fandom?

17 October, 2006 10:59  
Blogger Åka said...

Are you kidding? A baby nicely snuggled in a whole cozy fandom will be so comfy.

18 October, 2006 21:13  
Blogger Martin said...

Sounds great! When your little one has grown out of the baby stage, then maybe I can borrow your fandom? You never know when I new little Rundkvist might pop out and need som T.L.C.

18 October, 2006 22:37  

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