Here Today, Zine Tomorrow

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Title: Here Today, Zine Tomorrow
Creator: Lucy Gillam
Date(s): July 8, 2000
Medium: online
Topic: Fanfiction, Zines, Pull to Publish
External Links: Here Today, Zine Tomorrow/WebCite
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Here Today, Zine Tomorrow is an essay by Lucy Gillam.

It is part of the Fanfic Symposium series.


I have never bought a zine.

This is not a political or ideological statement. I have nothing against zines, and have the deepest respect for the tradition and history they represent, and their role in the fannish community.

No, my reasons are purely practical. Being a grad student/TA/now adjunct faculty at a large state university, my funds are, to say the least, limited. $30 in my budget is a lot of money. It's two months' food for my cats. It's lunch and a matinee with my sweetie. It's a Bahktin reader, a Batman compilation, and a trashy paperback from Amazon. I just don't see spending that money on something I get for free on the net.

Again, I'm not judging anyone who does spend their money on zines. I understand that there are things (print medium, print format, artwork) that make zines worth spending money on. However, since I don't mind reading on the screen (sometimes prefer it, in fact), and am not really into fan art (again, just a preference), zines just aren't something I need in the same way I need cat food, lunch with my sweetie, and Bahktin/Batman.

Naturally, I utter noises of frustration when I read advertisements for zine stories by my favorite writers, but my choice is my choice, and I accept the consequences of it. I certainly would never fault a writer for choosing to publish in zines. Whine about it, maybe, but not fault them :).

You know there's a "however" coming, don't you? You know I'm not writing a column about how I'm all fine and dandy with something. So, I'll get on with it.

However, what I do fault people for is the practice of, in one way, shape, or form, making stories available on-line and then making all or part of it available only in zines. In some cases, as when stories are pulled from the net to be published in a zine, I'm just puzzled. In others, as when sequels to net stories are pubbed in zines, or a work in progress is pulled from the net and finished in a zine, I feel outright bait-and-switched.