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When SF Was Odd
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While reading the science fiction fanzine Odd #9, a facsimile of which Shelby Vick with assistance from Ned Brooks has kindly supplied to eFanzines, I was struck by how much the status of science fiction has changed since 1951 when the fanzine appeared. Consider the following news:

"Of late there have been an awful lot of original novels being sold to book publishers. Up until recently there had only been "The Carnalian Cube", "Kingslayer", and "The Forbidden Garden". None of these saw first magazine publication as had most other SF books. But in the last year and a half we've seen all sorts of SF novels making their appearances that had never seen magazine publication as had most other books before them. There wee "Pebble in the Sky", "The Man Who Sold the Moon", "The Big Eye", "Kinsman of the Dragon", and Grey's "Murder Millenium Six" to mention a few. Prime has a new DeCamp novel and Doubleday has Asimov's "The Stars Like Dust", and Wyndham's "Day of the Triffids" ready for publication....It looks like the big push to publish original SF novels is on."

It's easy to forget that little more than fifty years ago that crazy Buck Rogers stuff was largely relegated to the pulp magazine ghetto. And what sf writer of the era would have had the audacity and foresight to predict a near future in which science fiction and fantasy novels head bestseller lists and every other blockbuster movie seems to fit those genres?

Sf enthusiasts, who had to publish their own amateur magazines to share their obscure interests, have seen the world come around to their way of thinking to an extent I doubt anyone could've imagined.

Fanzines, of course, evolved into something far beyond forums for sf talk. Despite their crude production -- mimeo, ditto, even hectography was used -- they formed a sophisticated communication network. Fans edited and wrote their own zines, wrote articles for each other and traded letters of comment. The lettercolumns in fanzines were, and are, ongoing discussions, updated with each new issue.

When I became involved in sf fandom in the seventies, publishing a zine on a handcranked ditto machine to natter about my personal interests and life and to talk to others all over the world was a novel idea. I'm sure there were other small postal networks similar to sf fandom, but it was a difficult concept to even explain to the average person.

Today everybody and his brother has a blog.

First the world caught up with our tastes, now they've caught on to our methods.

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