Science Fiction Pages

Science Fiction site from Eric Lindsay

Rambling writings, mostly reviewing written science fiction, science fiction conventions, science fiction fandom, and travel relating to these, together with letters from readers, and some diary notes. I write it for my friends, some of whom I've never met. If you don't enjoy fanzines, too bad, but I didn't write it for you.

There is a long established literary tradition of fanzines, as a special form of communication amongst science fiction fans. There is also a long established specialist vocabulary used by fans. When I use a word, I may use it in the fannish sense, not always as it may be used by the mundane world.

Sympathetic accounts of sf fandom include Harry Warner Jr., All Our Yesterdays (Advent, Chicago, 1969) and A Wealth of Fable (Scifi, Van Nuys, 1992), while a more one sided view of the beginning is Sam Moskowitz's The Immortal Storm (Hyperion, 1974). Various science fiction authors have written acounts of their fannish past, including Damon Knight's The Futurians (John Day, NY, 1977), Frederik Pohl's The Way The Future Was (DelRey, NY, 1978), while some of Robert Bloch's early fannish writing appeared in The Eighth Stage of Fandom (Advent, Chicago, 1962). The most recent (and possibly easiest to obtain) account is probably David G Hartwell's Age of Wonder, subtitled exploring the world of science fiction (Tor, NY, 1996).

Gegenschein was first published in 1972, when it was done (as is traditional in fandom) with a "mimeo" (Rex Rotary stencil duplicator in my case), and much hand cranking. Despite the advent of computers and copiers, mimeo remains the "traditional" form for fanzines. I still regard this as a mimeo fanzine ... that happens to be on the web.

Gegenschein started out as a genzine, with material by diverse hands. For reasons lost in the mists of memory, I changed it to a personalzine in the late 1970's. Probably driven by a lack of time, although it might equally have been because I was feuding with someone.

I've finally converted computer written back issues into web pages. Those labelled .txt are straight ascii files, .htm are standard HTML 4 Strict files, sometimes with tables and photos, while .ps are editable Postscript files that can be viewed using Ghostscript, or printed on any Postscript printer. Any marked .qs are in QuikScript which lacks the QS Postscript prepended to it (you can take the appropriate Postscript from any of the .ps files). The few issues labelled .doc are either Lotus Manuscript or one of the many MS Word for Windows formats. Look in the directories in-misc and in-pdf for these extra versions.

When I get some time, I will convert the Postscript files to Adobe PDF format, for those who can't cope with Postscript. There are free viewers for many platforms. You can get Sander van der Wal's EPOC version for Psion PDAs here. Get Pdf for EPOC PDA's -> sf