Sci-Fi Fanzine Archives

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There are a couple of places where fanzines have been archived online, the two main ones being Fanac and eFanzines.com.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.

CPASF Pamphlet 2 - "Rejected - Convention Committee

CPASF Pamphlet 2 - Rejected - Convention Committee Cover

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.”

 

Scottishe 46 - December 1967

Scottishe 46 - December 1967

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

Opuntia

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

The Zine Dump

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

Claims Department

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

Bunyip and ayotochtlit

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.

 

Free Masks at the Main Library

Mask Drive Station

The Library is now home to a community mask station provided by Bloomington Mask Drive! Located in the vestibule of the Main Library, the self-serve station is stocked with free masks for adults and children and can be accessed during Library hours.

Wearing a face mask is one of the simplest, most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 and face coverings are required on Library premises. The Library is delighted to partner with Bloomington Mask Drive to offer free masks to the community and further its goal to provide a self and welcoming place for all.

Bloomington Mask Drive was founded by Kelly Clark and Nola Hartman, a former MCPL Librarian, with the mission to slow the spread of COVID-19 by providing clean, high-quality, homemade fabric masks to residents of Bloomington and Monroe County free of charge.

“Nola has told me many times that she feels that the Library is the heart of a community. So we are extremely excited to be back here and to have the Library's support,” said Clark.

The Library’s mask station is the fifth of its kind, and the first located in downtown Bloomington. It was constructed locally, free-of-charge, by Zolt Levay. The station is stocked with three types of masks: type A with extra protection for at-risk individuals, type B breathable masks, and type C sized for children 2–8 years old. Distributed in sets of two, masks are double layered and pleated to provide a close fit. Masks are washed, sorted, and quality-controlled using protocols developed by trained medical professionals, and using clean handling procedures.

Since the project began in March, the Bloomington Mask Drive has recruited over 350 volunteers and distributed more than 30,000 masks! One volunteer, Valerie Merriman, a former member of the Library Board of Trustees, has contributed hugely to these efforts. Through her unique connections, Merriman procured mask materials such as elastic and interface fabric that were difficult to find locally.

“I was able to search across the country and find a place in Missouri that had materials,” Merriman said. “We’ve been able to get all these materials wholesale, which has made all of the difference since we don’t charge for masks and rely on donations.”

Merriman is on a short list of mask drive volunteers who made over 1,000 masks individually. More than 1,200 by her count, actually. “I’ve been keeping track of my empty spools of thread and bolts of fabric. But it’s a labor of love, because it’s so needed.”

As more Bloomington Mask Drive stations are installed around Bloomington, the demand for masks increases. Visit BloomingtonMaskDrive.com to learn more about the organization, including how to become a volunteer! 

 

Library Announces New Associate Director

Grier Carson, Associate Director

The Library is excited to announce Grier Carson as its new Associate Director!

“Grier has a strong foundation and experience working in libraries and serving our own community, alongside a vision and passion for access, service, and programs,” said Marilyn Wood, Library Director. “He brings exceptional leadership qualities to our team.”

Grier began his path to librarianship here in Bloomington. As an undergraduate at Indiana University, Grier studied English literature and art history. “Old stuff has everything to do with why I work in libraries,” he said. “Literature led me to libraries; it’s a big part of who I am.” Grier received his Master of Library Science from IU’s School of Library and Information Science in 2006.

After graduating in 2006, Grier’s career led him to Lake Forest Academy, a boarding school in Illinois where he worked his way from librarian to Director of Libraries and Academic Technology. There Grier proposed and implemented a 1:1 iPad program, one of the first of its kind in the United States. Grier recalls that the process was “exciting, but also scary…a glorified gaming device ended up being transformative as an educational tool.”

Grier and his family moved back to Bloomington in 2013, when he became the Director of Putnam County Public Library. At Putnam County, Grier oversaw important renovations and expansions and increased outreach efforts. He also developed a training program for new librarians, hiring recent graduates with fresh ideas.

In 2018, Grier became Access and Content Manager at MCPL. In this new position, he pushed to make the Library less format-focused and more attentive to content and accessibility. Grier oversaw the expansion of the Library of Things and the addition of new digital services such as Kanopy, a film streaming service. Grier also took a leadership role in planning for a new Southwest branch where the collection would reflect the same vision.

In his new position as Associate Director, two priorities stand out to Grier––an ongoing effort to build bridges in the Library and community, and planning for a new Southwest Branch, slated to open in 2022 adjacent to Batchelor Middle School.

Although the new branch is still in the design phase, Grier sees it as a transformative thing. “It turns us into a bigger library system. With this additional access point, we’ll be even more accessible than we were before,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to live in a place where the public library is as strong and valued as it is here in Monroe County and look forward to evolving with the Library.”

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

Reviewed by Paul D., Senior Information Assistant

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia is also available as an ebook through Hoopla.

Civil Discourse

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky is an exciting, well-crafted, character-driven adventure, reminiscent of the Percy Jackson series’ Greek Myth formula. Seventh-grader Tristan, struggling to find himself living in the shadow of his father and grandfather and still reeling from the unexpected death of his best friend, is thrust into a fantastical world of West African and African-American myth and folklore. The story is action-packed and has many memorable moments, both thrilling and laugh-out-loud funny, thanks to the engaging narration and the well-drawn supporting cast. Black history and the vibrant settings and characters are tied together with strong themes of emotional intelligence, friendship, and storytelling as a means of strengthening cultural identity. This book would make an excellent jumping-off point for personal reflection or family discussions about Black identity, masculinity, and the Black American cultural experience. Appropriate for ages 7+

This review is part of the Finding Value series, inspired by the eleven core values central to our mission. Tune in as Library staff review books and movies that highlight the values accessibility, civil discourse, inclusiveness, integrity, intellectual freedom, lifelong learning, literacy, respect, safety, service, and stewardship. 

VITAL Services Online

VITAL Services Online

The global pandemic has closed classroom doors around the world, but adult literacy and language services remain essential during this time of health crisis and uncertainty. According to Proliteracy, over 36 million adults in the United States cannot read, write, or do basic math above a third grade level. Adults lacking these essential skills have increased vulnerability to COVID-19, and are at greater risk for financial instability and other social issues.

Volunteers in Tutoring Adult Learners (VITAL) provides learning opportunities for adults who want to improve their reading, writing, math, or English-language skills. In order to safely continue services, VITAL services online provides distance learning opportunities that are flexible and can adapt to changing circumstances.

VITAL learners in a Zoom session

Virtual English Language Groups

VITAL volunteers offer weekly English language practice on Zoom. These small groups of English language learners practice speaking and listening, learn new vocabulary, improve pronunciation, and learn about American culture. The next session of English language groups begins September 6, new learners are welcome to join at any time.  

 

Guided Self-Paced Learning 

VITAL staff provide an initial assessment and help adult learners set goals for learning at their own pace, at times that are convenient for them. While the Library is closed, assessments will be conducted virtually via phone or video conferencing. Based on student preferences and technology access, we’ll recommend high quality print or online resources for learning:

Learning independently can be challenging. VITAL staff will help with selecting and accessing resources, and provide ongoing support, encouragement, and technology assistance for self-paced learners. When available, volunteer tutors may be assigned to help meet individual learning goals. 

Complete the  VITAL Interest Form to get started with VITAL services online.  VITAL staff will respond as soon as possible.  

VITAL services are evolving to meet the needs of the community, details on expanded services will be forthcoming.  

 

Fantasy Escape Room

Fantasy Escape Room

Do you enjoy puzzles and fantasy games? Test out the library's fantasy escape room! With themes reminiscent of a Dungeon and Dragons game, you can attempt to escape the Wizard Tower. You don't have to complete all of the puzzles to finish the game, but completing different puzzles means different endings. 

You can attempt this escape room by yourself or as a group. Click on hints on the way if you need help. This escape room is intended for teens but adults and children can test out their mettle too! Good luck!

Enter the Escape Room

Quaranzine, Vol. 4

Quaranzine Vol. 4

Welcome to the fourth edition of MCPL’s community Quaranzine!

There are two different versions––one is for reading on a screen, and the other has been imposed so it can be printed at home, folded, stapled, and read in that fashion. Select short-side binding on most printers to print correctly.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this zine. Please consider contributing to the next issue, coming Oct 1!

Many students are back in session, and once again it fells like Bloomington is booming. We are continuing this project, because as we have been warned, COVID-19 is still rampant, and the pandemic is not over yet. So please keep wearing your mask, washing your hands, and practicing safe distance practices. We want a safe and healthy Bloomington. We hope that you enjoy what our contributors have made and shared. Your continued support has been amazing, both in contributing and reading, and we’re already looking forward to the next edition. It’s almost Fall, and the Harvest Full Moon!

quaranzine_call_for_submissions.png

Want to contribute to the next volume?

Send your art and thoughts in the form of an 8.5” x 5.5” page of words or images, a photograph or an image, or about 250 words about something. Recipes, pictures, fun projects, and more––all ideas that highlight the community and uplift voices are encouraged and welcome!

Please reach out to quaranzine [at] mcpl.info with any questions or entries. Submissions for the fifth volume will be accepted through September 28. Submissions will be compiled and posted to this site by October 1st.

Staff Picks: Animorphs series

Before she was known for releases like Crenshaw and the Newbery award winning The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate brought the Animorphs saga to the world. The series shows Applegate's impressive skill as a writer, as she weaves an accessible sci-fi story of epic sweep and exciting action sequences with surprisingly sophisticated world-building and affecting character development. The narrative also touches on themes regarding the traumas of war (through a kid-friendly lens) and mankind's relationship to the environment. All of the above is spread across the series in books of digestible length. Appropriate for ages ~7+, but contains a level of depth that can engross readers of any age!

One Million Minutes!

A Summer Reading Progress bar showing 1,000,000 minutes.

1,102,067! That’s how many minutes you read as part of the Library’s 2020 Summer Reading Games, which went digital this year. 1,574 participants (815 kids, 178 teens, and 581 adults) completed challenges, reviewed books, and logged their minutes read.

The Summer Reading Games couldn’t happen without the support of the Friends of the Monroe County Public Library! Not only did the Friends sponsor the annual summer reading program, they pledged to donate $2,000 to Hoosier Hills Food Bank if the Library’s community-wide reading goal of 200,000 minutes was met. 

The goal was met less than two weeks into the games and the check was presented to the food bank!

The president of the Friends of the Library Board presents a check for a check to representatives from the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

Because the initial goal was achieved so quickly, the stakes were raised with a stretch goal of 1 million minutes! Should the new goal be met, some individual Library staff pledged donations to the following local organizations totaling $1,525. 

  • Shalom Community Center
  • Hotels 4 Homeless
  • Middle Way House
  • Banneker Community Center
  • Stages Bloomington
  • Friends of the Library

Monroe County readers responded, surpassing 1 million minutes on July 27, with just four days to go! 

Readers earned badges and tickets towards prize drawings for the minutes they read and the challenges they completed. Prizes included LaunchPad tablets, headphones, Kindle Fire tablets, gift cards to local business, and more. Winners are being notified now! 

Throughout the summer, additional monetary donations served as benchmark prizes within the games, benefiting Shalom Community Center, Youth Services Bureau, and Stepping Stones. Hundreds of books were also donated to local Little Free Libraries and to area daycares and camp groups, including The Nest, the daycare at New Hope for Families

While in-person events weren’t possible this summer, Library staff hosted dozens of virtual programs through YouTube and Zoom. The three most popular programs were Sam Tries: Origami, Painting Weatherproof Pots, and Yummy Food: Virtual Storytime! These programs, and many more, can be viewed anytime on the Library’s YouTube Channel.

Although the 2020 Summer Reading Games looked different than previous years, you took the changes in stride and embraced the online challenge, continuing the summer reading tradition and allowing the Library to support local organizations in need! Congratulations!

Electric Zine Maker

Electric Zine Maker and zine jam

Electric Zine Maker is a super awesome new tool for making zines of all kinds, but especially printable mini-zines! It is one of the most unique looking tools out there, with an interface that proudly screams early 90s internet weirdness and delights in secrets and strange features. It was created by developer Nathalie Lawhead, and to celebrate its launch, she held the Electric Zine Jam on itch.io at the end of June.

Itch.io is a platform for indie devs to host their creations. These are often video games, but really many different kinds of interactive art are hosted there. Sometimes a developer will host a jam, a type of contest or event where people create works from scratch in a short time frame following some kind of theme or restriction. The most popular type of jam is a game jam, but you can have a jam for anything! There were some amazing zines made for the Electric ZIne Jam, below are a couple of highlights:

how to remember how to be human

how to remember how to be human

How to remember how to be human is a reflective mini-zine about taking care of yourself, and how this whole worldwide lockdown has been a good moment to realign for some folks.

 

This Cat has Many Bones

This Cat has Many Bones

There are actually two little mini-zines here, This Cat has Many Bones is a surreal cosmic horror/cute story with really awesome drawings.

 

This Old Lady

This Old Lady

A dreamy mini-zine made from pictures found in a box of a once young lady’s life from 1929-1936. In French and in English.

 

comfy channels to relax and go to bed to zine

comfy channels to relax and go to bed to zine

This mini-zine highlights some really chill and relaxing YouTube channels to unwind to. Most of the channels featured are slow, methodical crafts presented without much commentary, but Jelle’s Marble Runs also gets a shoutout too!

 

If you make a page with the Electric Zine Maker you should consider submitting it to the Library’s Community Quaranzine!

call_for_submissions_vol_4_facebook.png

Want to contribute to the next volume?

Send your art and thoughts in the form of an 8.5” x 5.5” page of words or images, a photograph or an image, or about 250 words about something. Recipes, pictures, fun projects, and more––all ideas that highlight the community and uplift voices are encouraged and welcome!

Please reach out to quaranzine [at] mcpl.info with any questions or entries. Submissions for the fourth volume will be accepted through August 29. Submissions will be compiled and posted to this site by early September.

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