Visions of Paradise

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Online Fanzines

Do any of you remember the good ol’ days of the 1960s-1980s where many fanzines were actually devoted to science fiction? That is not particularly common anymore. I read quite a few zines regularly, but precious few of them have much emphasis on f&sf.

But that is not a problem since there are many websites and blogs devoted to f&sf, and several of them update fairly regularly. So here is my periodic updating of websites/blogs which I find good reading for serious f&sf fans. They are in roughly descending order regarding how frequently I check them. I check this website every day, since it is a comprehensive daily listing of what’s currently available online. It categorizes its links as Free Fiction, Interviews & Profiles, News, Articles, Events, and More Fun Stuff. In addition, it contains video clips, book reviews, tables of contents for upcoming collections/anthologies, and a fascinating feature Mind Meld in which a cross-section of writers/critics/fans discuss various topics. [I confess that I am a bit prejudiced here, since I have been asked to participate in several Mind Melds myself.] If there is any indispensible f&sf website, SF Signal is it. I also check this website daily, but its contents are not as valuable as SF Signal, nor is it updated as frequently. It is primarily a news site, similar to its parent Locus Magazine, but it also has links to various news items and reviews online. This is strictly a review site, updated twice-monthly. It is probably the most consistent location for new reviews. It also lists recent releases in books, media sf, and graphic novels. This is a weekly sf zine, offering a mix of new fiction, articles and reviews. It is one of the oldest, most reliable online zines, and its format seems to be a role model for many new online zines. This is a long-running website devoted to reviews of short fiction, both zines and books. While it has occasional blips of inactivity, it is still a worthwhile source for reviews. This is Don D’Ammassa’s review site. Since he is one of the most prolific readers and reviewers of the past 40 years, and he updates regularly, this is a great place to catch up on reviews and recommendations. I just wish he would return to compiling his annual best-of-the-year lists [the site contains such lists for 1992-2004]. Jim Black has promised to be a more consistent blogger this year, which I hope is true since his combination of reviews and discussions of sf is one of the more interesting blogs on my favorites list. It does not hurt that his taste is very similar to my own, of course.

Next time I’ll discuss the fiction websites which I frequent regularly.


  • This was another good idea for a post. I have been following all of the sites you listed except for Don D’Ammassa's review site. I added it to my list tonight.

    Thank you for the kind words about Science Fiction Times. The last week saw limited posts due to very long days at work. Starting Monday, I will be back to regular postings. I hope to build up some extra posts in case this happens again.

    By Blogger Jim Black, At 10:47 PM  

  • During the 80s (I think), did you read the Science Fiction Review by Richard Geis? It was one of my favorites.

    By Blogger Jim Black, At 10:50 PM  

  • I wrote 2 columnes for science fiction review (a brief column reviewing ASIMOV'S and a long-running column called "ten years ago in sf"). I have been writing fanzine columns pretty much uninterrupted since that time. currently I am doing 1 column, plus my own monthly zine VISIONS OF PARADISE which I post at (although much of the zine appears first in my blog).

    you should try, since some of the zines there contain a fair amount of f&sf talk.

    By Blogger adamosf, At 6:00 AM  

  • Thank you for letting me know about I will check it out.

    By Blogger Jim Black, At 2:52 AM  

  • YAY for Science Fiction Review and Geis!

    SFSignal is also a daily read over here, though I have to admit the same prejudice (participation in Mind Melds).

    I'd really like to be able to get back to some kind of regular posting schedule on the SF side of things, but writing all day for the paintball site (and other projects on the side) sees SF hitting the "no more energy left" barrier.

    Oh, and I come here too, lol

    By Blogger Crotchety Old Fan, At 4:01 AM  

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