|Synonyms:||e-zine, Ezine, E-zine, e-Zine, electronic zine, online zine, webzine|
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E-zines or online fanzines have grown increasingly popular as a way of offering edited and formated fan fiction to fans at low or no cost. Early e-zines were often distributed as text files as part of a mailing list, basically collecting online stories into a single document. Other e-zines started off as print fanzines, but switched to electronic mode due to lack of interest in the printed format. This was most typically the case for letterzines or newsletters. For example, the Pern fanzine Out of the Blue switched to both electronic and print formats in 1995. A few e-zines that started as a free email newsletters also offered a paid mail version. The Starsky & Hutch e-mail newsletter Black Bean Soup was also available by mail for a nominal fee from 1994 to 1999. By 1998, most subscribers were online and were obtaining copies of Black Bean Soup through email or download.
Today e-zines are often offered in PDF format in order to preserve art and design layouts. Layout preservation is important to some publishers like Oblique Publications. Other fanzines are designed to be read solely online via a web browser. Pages are shortened to be more easily seen on the smaller computer screen and art is integrated throughout the text. As more and more fans migrate to e-readers, fanzines may one day be offered in Kindle or e-book friendly formats. To date, that has not yet happened. For a list of e-zines on Fanlore click here.
There has been some discussion over the issue of charging for access to e-zines. Typically, these types of pay e-zines are offered simultaneously with a print zine and are seen by some fans and fanzine publishers as a way of allowing international fans to enjoy fanzines without paying for high mailing costs.
Other fanzines that are offered in e-zine format are ones offered after the fanzine print run has been sold out (See Serge Protector). These types of e-zines are most often offered for free. However, in 2009, one fanzine publisher, after selling out of print copies, advertised their fanzine's availability as a PDF file ("$20.00 download or $24.00 CD mailed anywhere in the world -- the higher price includes agenting fees"). The email was forwarded to the TSstoryfinders Yahoo Group in February 2009, prompting discussion both on-list and off regarding the question of selling fanfiction for profit. (Profiting from fanfiction). More info is also available here.
While many fans are comfortable with the idea of paying for a print fanzine's materials and production costs, e-zines for payment still remains controversial in fandom.
Some of the more notable e-zines have been:
- The Prize (Highlander zine) (Highlander) (1994)
- Out of the Blue (Pern) (1995-present)
- Black Bean Soup (Starsky & Hutch (1995-1999)
- Serge Protector (Due South) (2000)
- The OaT Zine (Once A Thief) (2001)
- My Mongoose (Sentinel (2001-present)
- Side by Side (Star Trek: TOS zine) (Star Trek) (2001-2007)
- The Noble Steward's Chronicles (LOTR) (2004-2008)
- Shousetsu Bang*Bang