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Sci Fi & Fantasy Fanzines at UMBC

Learn about sci fi fanzines in general, UMBC's collection of fanzines, and other collections of fanzines

Science Fiction & Fantasy Fanzines

What are fanzines? 

Fanzines are amateur fan publications.  Our collection consists of science fiction and fantasy fanzines.  


From Wikipedia: A science fiction fanzine is an amateur or semi-professional magazine published by members of science fiction fandom, from the 1930s to the present day. They were one of the earliest forms of fanzine, and at one time constituted the primary type of science-fictional fannish activity ("fanac").

The first science-fiction fanzine, The Comet, was published in 1930 by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago. The term "fanzine" was coined by Russ Chauvenet in the October 1940 issue of his fanzine Detours[1]. "Fanzines" were distinguished from "prozines", that is, all professional magazines. Prior to that, the fan publications were known as "fanmags" or "letterzines." (Also Wikipedia)


From Georgia Tech: A fanzine is a fan-created publication dedicated to a specific genre typically read by other fans who have similar interests. The term fanzine is a combination of the words "fan" and "magazine" which implies the general vehicle for which these fan-made articles are distributed. Fanzines, which are also called "zines," can take the form of graphic novels, comic books, stories, editorials, and other such formats.


From Notes from Underground by Stephen Duncombe: "noncommercial, nonprofessional, small-circulation magazines which their creators produce, publish, and distribute by themselves"


Completely new to sci fi fanzines and fandom?  Check out the The Trufan’s Advisor: An Introduction to Core Fandom!


Introduction to Science Fiction Pulps & Fanzines Online Exhibit

Online exhibit describing sci fi pulp magazines and amateur fanzines, created by UMBC students Amy McGarrahan (former Special Collections Intern) and Nicole Smith (former Special Collections Student Assistant).


Science Fiction Fanzines at UMBC

The Coslet-Sapienza Collection of fanzines at UMBC 

This exhibit goes into detail about our fanzine collection and includes in-depth essays written by 2018 CoLab participants Marzuq Hakim, Ashley Mitchell, and Rebecca Wireman.  Learn more about the CoLab project here.

UMBC holds tens of thousands of science fiction and fantasy fanzines.  We are embarking on a project to get them cataloged.  In the meantime, find out more about our collection:

Learn more about the Coslet-Sapienza collections here.