Tag Archives: fanzine

[Sep. 28, 1962] Seduction of the Innocent (special sci-fi fanzine edition)

[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]


by Gideon Marcus

My father used to say that the road to drug abuse didn’t start with pot, or smoking, or even alcohol.

“It all begins with milk,” he’d say.

The funnel that leads to a life of science fiction fanaticism is not quite so broad, but there sure are a lot of entry points.  For instance, one can’t read the newspaper without some update on the Space Race or a new drug.  Sci-fi movies, while often terrible, are ubiquitous.  Science fiction novels are starting to take off just as the monthly digests are at their nadir.  Marvel Comics has launched several new sf-related titles.  Conventions are increasing in number.  Yes, the tentacles of fandom are many, indeed.

My introduction was the October 1950 debut of Galaxy magazine.  Sure, I’d read and watched some science fiction before then, but it hadn’t grabbed me consistently.  Galaxy was pure quality in every issue, and I soon bought an addiction…er…subscription.  Well, there were so many other magazines on the shelf next to Galaxy, surely some of them must be good, too, I reasoned.  By 1954, I was regularly also reading Fantasy and Science Fiction, Astounding, Imagination, Fantastic Universe, Satellite, and Beyond.  Let me tell you — keeping up was a chore!  I was almost glad to have the field winnow a bit toward the end of the decade.

In 1958, I began writing this column, and my reading became more disciplined, more with an eye toward providing content to my readers (who numbered about three at the time; thank you, Stephanie, Janice, and Vic).  The trick then was to ensure I had enough material to fill 10-15 articles a month.  Three magazines and the odd space shot weren’t enough to do the trick.  So I started reading the science fiction novels as they hit the newsstands.  Not all of them, mind you, but the ones that looked interesting.  I began going to the cinema with the Young Traveler for all of the sf flicks, good, indifferent, and (too often) bad.  The Twilight Zone debuted in 1959, and that became a regular viewing experience.

There’s nothing a fan likes more than meeting other fans, so of course, attending conventions became a must.  And then I wasn’t just going to conventions; I became a panelist, a sought out guest.  There began to be rumblings that Galactic Journey might be on the ballot for a Best Fanzine Hugo sometime soon, so I broadened my reading material to include other fanzines.

This, then, is my current state…buried under a pile of reading material faced with a daunting publication schedule.  Thank goodness many of the Journey’s readers have become associates, bringing their unique (dare I say, superior) talents to this ever-burgeoning endeavor.

So this month, I’ve got a couple of special treats, which I shall provide largely without comment.  The first is a fanzine revival by Uberfan Al haLevy.  Rhodomagnetic Digest was a stand-out ‘zine for several issues in the early ’50s.  Al revived it this year, and I recently got my hands on the second issue.  Highlights include the converage of the Labor Day “Nonvention,” a sizeable California gathering for the folks who couldn’t make Chicon III; and a comprehensive encyclopedia of Tolkein’s hobbits.  The latter looks to be first in a series, and I’m certain Middle Earth fans will find it useful. 

Present #2 is a science fiction movie magazine, Spacemen .  I hadn’t even been aware of its existence, but a friend left his copy of Issue 5 here last weekend, and I found it interesting enough to share.  It’s a retrospective issue, full of lore going back several decades, the most compelling of which (to me) was the interview with Buster Crabbe about his work portraying Buck Rogers, which he did after his stint as Flash Gordon.  Lots of good pictures and some fascinating advertisements in the magazine’s aft section.

I hope you enjoy these off-the-beaten-path pieces of sf fandom goodness.  And if these be the items that tip you from FIJAGDH (Fandom is Just a G-D Hobby) to FIAWOL (Fandom is a Way of Life)…

…welcome aboard!




[January 25, 1962] Shameless self-promotion (Nominate Galactic Journey for the Hugo!)

Each year, authors compete through the written word for the honor of owning a miniature replica of a spaceship.  Since 1953, the Hugo Award has been the most regular and prestigious honor bestowed to those of us in the science fiction and fantasy genres.  They represent a true expression of democracy, being nominated and voted by the fans.  It is not just the authors who are recognized: editors, filmmakers, even fans can win the golden rocket statuette.

And that’s why we are asking for your nomination.

Galactic Journey has brought you the latest in science fact and fiction for over three years, since October 1958.  It’s been a tremendous pleasure and privilege to review the monthly sff digests, the new books, the best (and worst!) scientifiction TV shows and movies, enormously rewarding to report on the myriad space shots as they happen.  Coverage of 1960’s pitched election season was eye-opening and exciting. 

Though it was not originally our mission, the Journey has become a progressive entity, focusing on the women and minority contributors that add to the diversity and value of our fandom, yet who are overlooked and underrepresented. 

Oh, how we’ve grown in three years!  Since this column’s humble beginnings, our staff of two has grown to ten, including an overseas correspondent.  Last June, we began providing the latest news on the right-hand side of our pages.  In August, no less a personage than Rod Serling honored us for our coverage of The Twilight Zone.

The Journey is a labor of love.  We have never charged a dime for it, nor have we offered space for paid advertisements.  It is free, and it always will be.  Our reward is the many friends we have made and the support of our fans.

If you enjoy this column (and we assume you must if you are here reading this article) then we ask but one favor.  The ability to nominate and vote for Hugo candidates is limited to those with membership to the annual Science Fiction WorldCon.  It’s a fun event, and you should attend if you can. 

However, even if you cannot be physically present, you can purchase a “supporting membership.”  This will enfranchise you to vote, and the WorldCon committee will send you a ballot posthaste.  If you nominate the Journey for award, please do so in the “Best Fanzine” category [this article originally recommended nomination for “Related Work,” but we have been advised that this is incorrect].

But you must purchase your membership by January 31 to be able to vote, so don’t delay!

We at the Journey would greatly appreciate your support, both in the form of nomination and publicizing this notice.  If you could spread the word amongst your circles, wherever you post your bills, this would spread awareness of this campaign far beyond the reach of our personal presses.  Plus, studies show that people who dig the Journey are the coolest cats, the envy of their peers.

Be a cool cat.  Vote for the Journey.  Spread the word.  And thank you for being part of the Galactic Journey family.