CONTENT: Editorial: Fandom as cult? I Dream of Jeannie retro-review. Essay on an artist’s work ethic. Steve Stiles Hugo advocacy. Fictional character Saara Mar birthday. Excellent loc column. Essay: In Defiance of the Received Wisdom of Ayn Rand. COMMENT: Perzine.Taral is Canada’s most prolific fan writer and artist. Been going strong since 1970s. His editorial and musings on commissioned art suggest he is getting tired and jaded to the point of ‘Been there. Done that. Nothing new under the sun.’ But also concern over the lack of recognition or egoboo available to fen who put huge effort into fandom/zinedom. I was always under the impression it was ever thus. Still, in the past, at least, zines generated an enormous response percentage compared to say, newspapers (Don’t get excited kid. Tomorrow they’ll use your column to wrap fish.”) Lots of people read newspapers and magazines (even online ones) but few can be bothered to write letters to the editor. Those that do tend to be cranks. In the days of paper hard-copy zines the level of response was both high and (most of the time) relatively civil. Today, ezines are read, but not responded to (either because the reader figures they have no obligation since it cost the editor nothing to send it to them, or because the few fen active in zinedom are too busy producing their own zines to take time out to write locs). Taral seems to think lack of response means no one reads his work, so what’s the point of knocking himself out for nothing? But I think zines are in fact read, and appreciated, enjoyed even, but the modern trend is not to respond, a trend which is unfortunate for faneds as it lessons the influx of egoboo, but is irrelevant to the fact that zines do indeed get read. Hence the rising importance of segoboo (self egoboo) wherein the faned imagines ‘the’ reader who enjoys his work and that’s the person he writes for. Any response, any response at all, is mere icing on the cake. Or to put it another way, I view zinedom as the ideal hobby for solitary individuals who take pride in the creation of their zines and simply assume that other fen appreciate the effort when they read their latest publication. One should not not require ‘proof’ in today’s era since praise is no longer in vogue. In his editorial Taral wonders if fandom is now a ‘cult’ since, to him, all modern fen seem very much alike. Personally, I would call fannish zinedom a ‘religion’, inasmuch as it requires ‘faith’ to be successfully motivated to carry on. In short, the evolution of fandom has transferred emphasis from egoboo to segoboo, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from pubbing their ish in my opinion. It’s just the way things are these days.
See Taral zines