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Title: Niekas
Publisher: originally published by The Tolkien Society, Belknap College, NH
Editor(s): Ed Meskys and others
Date(s): 1962-1998 (?)
Medium: print
Fandom: Tolkien & Science Fiction & Fantasy
Language: English
External Links:
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Niekas is a gen anthology of art, reviews and articles. The title is Lithuanian, meaning "nothing," or "nobody."

Ed Meskys states (The View From Entropy Hall #12) "I started a separate mailing-comments zine for the APA, and changed its name to NIEKAS and started the numbering over again with the June 1962 issue.... Since there was no Tolkien fanzine being published I decided to devote NIEKAS to Tolkien and try to run at least one Tolkien related piece in each issue."

There were forty-eight issues.


Originally, Meskys (at the time a professor and a member of The Tolkien Society at the now-defunct Belknap College in Center Harbor, New Hampshire) edited in collaboration with Felice Rolfe, but by the late 1980s he was editing it by himself. The magazine originated as an apazine before being expanding to a full-fledged fanzine (Meskys later wrote, "I started a separate mailing-comments zine for the APA, and changed its name to NIEKAS and started the numbering over again with the June 1962 issue.... Since there was no Tolkien fanzine being published I decided to devote NIEKAS to Tolkien and try to run at least one Tolkien related piece in each issue."[1]), as it began to play a prominent role in the early development of Tolkien fandom.[2] Issue #7 included a letter from C. S. Lewis to Meskys that mentions The Lord of the Rings.

Some Contributors

Included Jack Harness, Bjo Trimble, Dave Locke, Arthur Thomson, Anthony Boucher, Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny, Diana Paxson, Clyde Kilby, Vaughn Bodē, Jack Gaughan, Tim Kirk, Charles N. Brown, Piers Anthony, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ben Indick, S. T. Joshi, John Boardman, Don D’Ammassa, Sam Moskowitz, Andrew J. Offutt, and Darrell Schweitzer.

Issue 1

Niekas 1 was published in June 1962.

Issue 2

Niekas 2

Issue 3

Niekas 3

Issue 4

Niekas 4

Issue 5

Niekas 5

Issue 6

Niekas 6 was published in September 1963.

  • no Tolkien content
  • other unknown content

Issue 7

Niekas 7 was published in December 1963. It was edited by Meskys and Felice Rolfe.

  • Contains a poem by C. S. Lewis (Reprinted from Punch) and a letter from C. S. Lewis to Ed Meskys that mentions The Lord of the Rings.
  • other unknown content

Issue 8

cover of issue #8

Niekas 8 was published in March 1964.

Issue 9

cover of issue #9, Jerry Burge

Niekas 9 was published in September 1964 and contains 76 pages. Edited by Anne Chatland, Ed Meskys, Felice Rolfe. Cover by Jerry Burge. Bacover by Glenn Primm. With art by Jack Harness, Dave Thewlis, Felice Rolfe, Bjo Trimble, Ken De Maiffe, Glenn Primm, Richard P. Schultz, Robert E. Gilbert, Larry Kafka, Dave Locke, and Atom.

  • The Marchin’ Barnacles: by Carl Frederick
  • Mailing Uncomments from Mayhem House: by Felice Rolfe
  • "A Glossary of Middle-earth. Part I: Hobbits" by Al Halevy (Tolkien)
  • A Hornbook for Critics: by John Baxter
  • The Science Fiction Books of 1963: by Anthony Boucher
  • Tree and Leaf: a review by Dave Thewlis (Tolkien)
  • first published appearance of Philip K. Dick’s seminal article, “Naziism and the High Castle.”
  • More Mayhem : by Felice Rolfe
  • Our Printing Press: by Liz Lokke
  • A “letter”: by Felice Rolfe
  • Vazhenda: by Anne Chatland

Issue 10

cover of issue #10, Dennis Smith

Niekas 10 was published in December 1964 and contains 52 pages. Cover art by Dennis Smith. Other art by Dave Thewlis, Harry Douthwaite, Ken De Maiffe, Dennis Smith, Ed Meskys, Felice Rolfe, Carl Frederick, Robert E. Gilbert, Jack Harness, Barry Greene, and Dave Locke.

  • Song of the Ring (a poem by) Roger Zelazny, p. 10 (Tolkien)
  • A Glossary of Middle Earth (compiled by) Al Halevy (Tolkien)
  • Autumn’s End: a poem by Felice Rolfe
  • Films, Fandom and the Future: by John Baxter
  • When I Was a Lad: by Felice Rolfe
  • Dear Crabby: by Dana Warren and M. Troll’s ghost writer
  • The Marchin’ Barnacle: by Carlton L. Frederick
  • Unique Sinister Type Notification: by Philip K. Dick & Jack Newkom

Issue 11

Niekas 11 was published in March 1965.

front cover of issue #11
  • edited and published by Felice Rolfe and Ed Meskys. Its 80 pages are neatly mimeographed on a variety of shades of Twiltone, with a lithographed cover by Jerry Burge and an 11x17-inch lithographed pull-out insert by Bill Reynolds. Other artwork is by Diana Paxson, Glenn Primm, Andrew Porter, Bernie Zuber, Jack Harness, Richard P. Schultz, Hannes Bok, Astrid Anderson, Robert E. Gilbert, Poul Anderson, Arthur Thomson (“ATom”), Randy Scott and others including both editors. The back cover is by Bjo Trimble.

The highlight of this issue is the first published appearance of Philip K. Dick’s essay, “Schizophrenia and ‘The Book of Changes’.” Other contributors include Rolfe and Meskys with their editorial columns; “The Marchin’ Barnacles,” a column by Carl Frederick; an installment of Al Halevy’s “A Glossary of Middle Earth”; “SF in the Public Library” by Grace Warren, “Of Hannes Bok” by Emil Petaja; a book review by Astrid Anderson (Bear) (then 10 years old); “The Arcane Blade” by Charles Bain Jr.; a review column by Meskys, Edward Wood, Andrew Garrison and Liz Lokke; “Destiny,” a poem by Stephen E. Pickering; and a letter column featuring Peter Singleton, Carl Frederick, Mike Irwin, Banks Mebane, Billy Pettit, George Wells, Phil Harrell, Michael Moorcock, John Foyster, Harry Warner Jr., Earl Evers, John Baxter and Roy Tackett, among others.

Issue 12

Niekas 12 was published in August 1965, contains 82-pages, edited and published by Ed Meskys and Felice Rolfe.

cover of issue #12
  • A discussion of Hannes Bok in three articles by Jack Gaughan, Avram Davidson and Grania Davidson (now Grania Davis). Avram’s is the longest and is titled, “My Neighbor, Hannes Bok.”
  • Responses to Philip K. Dick’s article, “Schizophrenia and the Book of Changes,” in the previous issue by a variety of hands including several from Dick himself.
  • “A Glossary of Middle Earth” by Al Halevy (the final of several installments).
  • “G&S Notes from England” by Anthony Boucher, a letter written on the Queen Elizabeth. Gilbert & Sullivan was a popular topic in the fandom of the time.
  • Books and movies reviewed by Jerry Pournelle, Charles Brown, Ed Meskys, Ed Wood and Felice Rolfe
  • Other contributors include Carl Frederick, Banks Mebane, Diana L. Paxson (a poem), Mark Walsted, Robert Coulson and Stephen Pickering. The front cover is by Jerry Burge, the back by Bjo Trimble. There are over a dozen interior illustrations by Diana L. Paxson, and other interior art by Robert E. Gilbert, John-Henri Holmberg, Dan Adkins, Jack Gaughan, and Bjo Trimble, among others. The letter column includes George Hay, Alex Eisenstein, Harry Warner Jr., George Scithers, Fred Lerner, Peter Singleton, Dwain Kaiser, Ned Brooks, Jim Linwood, Mike Moorcock, Archer Mercer, Dean Dickensheet, Charles Brown, Ruth Berman, Robert Coulson, Seth Johnson, Banks Mebane.

Issue 13

Niekas 13

Issue 14

cover of issue #14

Niekas 14 was published in 1965 and contains 74 pages. It has articles, reviews, indexes and the like on the genre. This issue includes artwork by Dan Adkins and a review of the Australian Science Fiction Index by Ed Wood

Issue 15

Niekas 15 was published in March 1996.

cover of issue #15
  • edited and published by Felice Rolfe and Ed Meskys. Its 66 pages are neatly mimeographed on a variety of shades of Twiltone, with lithographed covers by Dennis Smith (front) and Diana Paxson (back). Other artwork is by Paxson, Jurgen Wolff, Ray Nelson, Ran Scott, Jack Harness, Jack Gaughan and Dian Pelz.

Contributors include Rolfe and Meskys with their editorial columns; “Patterns,” a column by Diana Paxson; “Marchin’ Barnacles,” a column by Carl Frederick; “Throw Him to the Barnacles!” by Nan Braude; “Fantasies for Children and Other People” by Charlie & Marsha Brown, Ruth Berman and Meskys; “We Happy Few” by John Boardman; “The Function of Myth in the Psychic Economy of Modern Man” by Stanislaus Riukas; “The Two Cultures: A Review” by Ray Nelson; “Keepingism” by Wallace West; “SF Around the World: Italy Revisited” by Riccardo Valla; “The Ivory Tower,” fanzine reviews by Ben Solon; “Review and Comment,” book reviews by Lester Anderson, Steve Perrin, Bruce Robbins, Jerry Pournelle and Ed Wood; “Late Night Impressions” by Harry Sanders; and two letter columns (one with comments grouped by subject, the other general) with contributors including Ray Nelson, John Boardman, Robert Bloch, Banks Mebane, Mike Klassen, Michael Moorcock, Ben Solon, Graham Hall, Phil Harrell, Don Martin, C.W. Brooks, Rick Brooks, Keith Freeman, Alan Shaw, Charlie & Marsha Brown, Archie Mercer, Seth Johnson, George Hay, “Carl Brandon Jr.,” Dainis Bisenieks, Roger Klegg, Leland Sapiro, Bruce Robbins, Ruth Berman, Nan Braude and Avram Davidson.

Issue 16

cover of issue #16, Dennis Smith
back cover of issue #16, Tony Glynn

Niekas 16 was published in June 1966 and contains 100 pages. This issue includes artwork by Dennis Smith, Diana Paxson, Tony Glynn, Jurgen Wolff, David Peloquin, Ross Chamberlain, Glenn Prim, Jack Gaughan, Johnny Chambers, Atom, and "?."

This issue reprints Men, Halflings & Hero Worship by Marion Zimmer Bradley from FAPA.

Issue 17

Niekas 17 was published in November 1966 and contains 90 pages.

cover of issue #17
  • Bumbejimas: Glossary Erratum (editorial comments) (Tolkien)
  • "A Glossary of Middle-earth - Part II - Places: Adorn to Forodwaith" by Bob Foster (Tolkien)
  • "The Nazgul's Steed" (poem) by E. E. Evers (Tolkien)
  • "Tolkien, Ethics and the Glossary" in the letters section (Tolkien)
  • articles, reviews, indexes and the like on the genre. This issue includes artwork by Diana Paxon & articles by Piers Anthony, Ban Solon & others w/a review by Ed Wood

Issue 18

Niekas 18 was published in Spring 1967 and contains 68 pages.

cover of issue #18
  • Contains a seven page single spaced unedited transcript of an interview with J. R. R. Tolkien
  • articles, reviews, indexes and the like on the genre. This issue includes artwork by Diana Paxon & articles on Middle Earth by Bob Foster with work by Ben Solon and a Henry Resnick interview with JRR Tolkien

Issue 19

cover of issue #19

Niekas 19 was published in December 1968 and contains 70 pages. Ed Meskys, Felice Rolfe, eds.

  • "A glossary of Middle Earth, continued" by Bob Foster (pp. 16-22)
  • "Tolkien Dust Jackets" by Daina Paxton (artwork meant to wrap around the Ballantine paperbacks) (pp. 23-26)
  • "The Green Dragon (Tolkien Society Newsletter, reprinted)" (pp. 31-32)
  • "Many Meetings with Tolkien (transcripts of talks by Dr. C. S. Kilby and Dick Plotz)" (pp. 39-40)
  • Clyde Kilby talks about his time visiting Tolkien and his work on The Silmarillion
  • Dick Plotz states that Tolkien discovered Mordor while on a cruise in the Mediterranean. He sailed past Stromboli while it was erupting at night, and according to Plotz "he'd never seen anything that looked so much like Emyn Anar."
  • other unknown content

Issue 20

cover of issue #20

Niekas 20 was published in 1968. This was a low budget fanzine printed on cream color construction paper. 108 pages. Type is printed in black with interior illustrations printed in red, blue or green. Artwork by Vaughn Bodē, Jack Gaughan, Tim Kirk, John Boland and many others. Lunacon 1968 guest of honor speech by Donald Wollheim, fanzine reviews by Charlie Brown and more.

  • "Tolkien Dust Jackets" drawn by Diana Studebaker
  • "A Glossary of Middle-earth: Geography, concluded" (compiled by) Bob Foster (pp. 15-21)
  • also contains a Philip K. Dick piece and some early Piers Anthony works

Issue 21

Niekas 21 was published in 1977. It has the subtitle, "The Confused Fanzine."

Issue 22

Niekas 22 was published in 1980. I has the subtitle, "The Irregular Fanzine."

Issue 23

Niekas 23 (after a hiatus) was published in August 1980. It has the subtitle, "The Awfest Fanzine."

Issue 24

Niekas 24 was published in November 1980. It has the subtitle, "The Beaudoin Fanzine."

Issue 25

Niekas 25 was published in February 1981.

Issue 26

Niekas 26 was published in May 1981.

Issue 27

Niekas 27 was published in August 1981.

Issue 28

Niekas 28 was published in November 1981.

  • Isn’t It Romantic" by Anne Braude (part 1) (Tolkien)
  • "Notes from Elfhill" by Diana Paxton - contains her report from Mythcon XII
  • other unknown content

Issue 29

Niekas 29 was published in February 1982.

  • "Across the River" by Fred Lerner (Tolkien related content)
  • "Isn’t That Romantic -- Part II" by Anne Braude (Tolkien related content)
  • other unknown content

Issue 30

Niekas 30

Issue 31

Niekas 31

Issue 32

Niekas 32

Issue 33

Niekas 33

Issue 34

Niekas 34

Issue 35

Niekas 35

Issue 36

Niekas 36

Issue 37

Niekas 37

Issue 38

Niekas 38

Issue 39

Niekas 39 was published in 1989 and contains 56 pp. in glossy cardstock wraps. Front cover "Middle-earth Think Tank" by Larry Dickison. Back cover "Misty Mountain Goblin" by Tim Kirk.

  • "Tolkien's Military" by Betty J. Bruther (pp. 12-19).
  • Full page map of Middle-earth by James Cook, reproduced from "The Dictionary of Imaginary Places" by Alberto Manguiel and Gianni Guadalupi. Military analyses of the battles in The Lord of the Rings.
  • other unknown content

Issue 40

Niekas 40

Issue 41

Niekas 41

Issue 42

Niekas 42

Issue 43

Niekas 43

Issue 44

Niekas 44

Issue 45

cover of issue #45

Niekas 45 was published in July 1998 and contains 124 pages. It is a special issue devoted to Dark Fantasy - Essays on Gothic and Modern Horror Fiction. Published by Ed Meskys. Edited by Joe R. Christopher.

  • Highlights include Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Bloodthirsty for Power: Vampirism in Hambly’s Those Who Hunt the Night”
  • Ben Indick’s “H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King: A Pair of New Englanders”
  • S. T. Joshi’s “The Weird Work of L. P. Hartley.”
  • Other contributors: Mike Ashley, John Boardman, Mary Ann Brandenburger, Anne Jannet Braude, Bruce Byfield, J. Jordan Cannady, Margaret L. Carter, Stephanie Chidester, Don D’Ammassa, James David Fay, W. Paul Ganley, Cynthia Whitney Hallett, Marsha Jones, Robin M. Latimer, Fred Lerner, Tamar Lindsay, Pat Matthews, Ed Meskys, Sam Moskowitz, Sheryl A. Mylan,

Andrew J. Offutt, Nancy-Lou Paterson, Darrell Schweitzer, Tom Whitmore and Catherine Jewel Wilterding.

Issue 46

Issue 47

Issue 48