Czech Sci-Fi Fanzines Online Collection
Concerning the unique online fanzine collections, fanzines originated as magazines from Czechoslovak science fiction clubs. Becoming published online, transformed the fanzines’ original form, giving opportunity for their digitisation.
Show on map
Name of collection
Provenance and cultural activities
Fanzines are magazines that have been published by sci-fi clubs in Czechoslovakia since the early 1980s. Gradually this activity expanded so much that at the end of the 1980s there was no sci-fi club that would not publish its own magazine. Some magazines were rarely published, some regularly. The magazines were reproduced in many different ways, whether it be on perforated paper, recycled, photographs or were offset printed.
One of the first Czechoslovak sci-fi fanzines came from a group of friends from the village of Předenice, which was composed of an anthology of short stories called “Vega”, in 1977. At the beginning of the 1980s, a fandom centre was founded in Pilsen, Prague and Teplice. It was in Teplice that the magazine "Sci-Fi", also known as the "Teplický věšťník", began to emerge. The first volumes were published in a volume of about 30 pieces and were composed mainly of the stories of club members. The magazine was forbidden four years later in 1984, when the story with a religious motif was published in the twelfth issue, and the founder of the club had banned the magazine, which led to the disappearance of both the magazine and the club. Probably the most influential was the magazine “SF”, which was published as a supplement to the journal of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University in Prague. This magazine brought the word "fanzine" into the reality and was the first Czechoslovak fanzine to fill the hole in production, a professional science fiction magazine. The second half of the 1980s is referred to as the golden era of fanzines. The number of sci-fi fans has risen, which has resulted in more sales and interest, as well as greater printing and reproduction possibilities, so the fanzines were also emerging in smaller cities. After the Velvet revolution, the fanzine became basically extinct, surviving in very few areas.
The Communist regime did not support the fandom, nor did it officially allow it, most of the time it was mildly tolerated. Fan activity had been consistently observed, and this also attracted attention. The common interest and attention of the regime resulted in the union of this subculture and, above all, the possibility of its recognition, which was important for its members. So, fanzines were taken in the same way, as another type of samizdat, that presented alternative cultures and a way of life; yet their importance and their very existence remain in the background of research interest.
The Web archive of the Fanzines originated from the effort to save this phenomenon. Magazines often lay in cellars or attics, and because of the poor quality of the paper material, they began to fall apart. Some of the magazines were near-illegible at the time of release, so the printed content began to disappear and the pages began to tear. Karel Dvořák, who started publishing his own fanzine "Ufík" in the 1980s, and decided to collect as many of these magazines as possible and gradually digitise them in his spare time. Fanzines are freely downloadable in various formats (DOC, PDF, EPUB).
Description of content
The Fanzines website contains 90 digitised fanzines that originated in Czechoslovakia during the 1980s. Each link contains a sub-page where you can select individual numbers that are freely accessible on the site.
The collection also contains the "Background" tab, where various materials that are related to fanzines are digitised.
You can also find digitised magazine envelopes, as well as a detailed list and short description of each magazine, along with the information on where it came from and at what time.
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 100-499
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
Show on map
Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- completely open to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Vrtálková, Anna
Fanziny. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://fanziny.4fan.cz/fanziny.php?x=0&y=0&z=0
Macek, J. (2006). Fandom a text: fandom - subkultura textu : profesionální česká SF a F periodika před rokem 2000.
Neff, O., & Olša, J. (1995). Encyklopedie literatury science fiction.Olša, J. (1996). Fanziny před listopadem 89.
Langer, A. (2006). Průvodce paralelními světy: nástin vývoje české sci-fi 1976-1993.
Dvořák, Karel, interview by Vrtálková, Anna , September 27, 2018. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection