One of the earliest international zine cultures was born out of science fiction fandom. Starting in the 1930s, science fiction fans began to publish what they called fanzines. These were usually collections of fan content and a community dialog. Many sci-fi writers got their start writing for and publishing fan zines. These zines usually consisted of content like reviews, trip reports, and letters to the editors. You can learn more about their history in the Zinebook article From Fandom to Feminism: An Analysis of the Zine Press by Heath Row.
There are a couple of places where fanzines have been archived online, the two main ones being Fanac and eFanzines.com. Fanac is a archive of fan content dating back to the start of fanzine history, with more than 11,000 issues archived. eFanzines is more of a place to find issues of fanzines as they are published. Both archives have amazing content, and are both worth a look. Here are some interesting titles.
From May of 1938, this zine consists of two speeches that were written but never given to a Newark sci-fi fan convention. The organizers of that convention required that all speeches be preapproved, and these two were rejected. Both address the perils of Fascism and call of sci-fi fans to rise against it and advance the cause of science and work towards a better world. This fanzine caused quite a stir in the sci-fi fandom, and caused a split in the NY sci-fi community, and led to the formation of the Futurians. “We are not scientists, we are its defenders. It is the duty of science-fiction to point out continually that science must win, that progress must go on, that reaction and fascism must be defeated.”
Published somewhere in the middle of its run (1954 - 1981) this issue of Scottishe is a fascinating slice of 60s UK sci-fi geek life with laments for the Man from U.N.C.L.E drawing to a close and the disappearing of Teddy boys. There are many more issues of this fanzine on Fanac.
Opuntia is a long running fanzine that still is published today, coming out about once a month. It covers a huge range of fandom, reviewing sci-fi and mystery and includes interesting slices of life from the author’s home of Calgary.
The Zine Dump is a modern day Factsheet Five-like publication for the modern fan zine world. It is a fan zine that reviews other fan zines, and is a great place to learn more about the fan zine community. This issue covers the 2020 Hugo awards for fanzines.
Claims Department is a fanzine involving one man’s life and travels, including photographs and insights into the things he sees in his daily life. Includes becoming a dad, visiting museums and art galleries, and preferences on books and movies.
Bunyip and ayotochtlit is a fan zine dedicated to publishing original fiction and nonfiction submissions via science fiction, only limiting to no slasher-horror. This is an interesting way to read peoples’ stories and varying versions of what science fiction means to different people.