Czech Sci-fi Fanzines in the Era of Late Socialism and Early Post-socialism


Fanzines have been among the most significant means of communication for the subculture of fans and “users” of the fantastic arts, so-called sci-fi (SF) fandom, since the birth of the genre. This is also the case in Czechoslovak (later Czech and Slovak) fandom, for which fanzines primarily represented the activities of SF clubs. The community of Czechoslovak fans mostly belonged to the “grey zone” of late socialist society, where fandom members were more or less tolerated. After 1989, Czechoslovak SF fandom changed into a more formally organised structure; some of the existing SF fanzines disappeared and others became the basis for professional magazines or publishing houses. However, traditional fanzines connected with SF clubs have continued. Fanzine production has at the same time gradually moved into the sphere of digital publishing (e-zines/webzines). Digitisation of fanzine publishing clearly reflects changes in SF fandom, which has been oscillating between a social alternative to and cooperation with the cultural industry.