back to John Hertz, fanwriter


John explains:

My fanzine Vanamonde is named for a creature in Arthur C. Clarke's novel The City and the Stars. In the science fiction community a fanzine is an amateur publication by fans, for fans; not usually fiction, but remarks and interchange with other fans and fanzines, sometimes directly about s-f, sometimes like beads for which s-f is a thread: all ornamented with graphics by our own fanartists.

Vanamonde is two pages a week, first published in APA-L (Amateur Publishing Association — Los Angeles), then mailed monthly to people outside that apa. Over the years Van has acquired quite a wide circulation, which presents an interesting challenge. By now most of the people who see Van don't have the other side of the conversation. I have to write so that doesn't matter — if I can.

A little more than half of Vanamonde is reviews, essays, verse, notes of things I've been reading, plus drawings and letters sent by people outside APA-L. A little less than half is apa comments; if I do my work, they may be the best part.

Amateur journalism, a hobby unrelated to s-f, originated apas in the late 19th Century; we fans started the first s-f apa in the mid-1930s to exchange fanzines; since then, many, some lasting a little while, some for decades. Our first, FAPA (Fantasy Amateur Press Association), still goes on. FAPA is quarterly; APA-L appearing weekly was breathtaking when it began in the mid-1960s, remains extraordinary today.