A “zine” or “fanzine”, according to the dictionary, is an amateur magazine or collection of articles or stories written by fans of a particular interest group, such as a literary genre (Amine), a musician or music type (early baroque), or a television series (such as Star Trek). These fanzines are then circulated to others sharing the same interests and passions.
Media fanzines contain one or more stories written by either a single author or multiple authors. Most will generally focus on one television series (such as “Starsky & Hutch”) or a “crossover” fanzine might feature two or more television series blending into a single story. Writers make use of characters as they are portrayed on a television series, or how the writers perceive them. Writers and readers are prodominantly female. Fanzine writers do not claim to own the characters or the depicted universes, and copyrights are only for the storylines of the individual stories.
For example, “The Man From UNCLE” was a TV series in the 1960s with Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin as the main characters. While there were four seasons of episodes, there are still many opportunities for us fans to imagine more storylines using the characters, and playing in a universe made for us by the amazing creators of the show.
So why do this? Well, besides giving free promotion to these TV shows (many are no longer aired and are largely forgotten) we have fallen in love with the characters. There may be books in print about the show and characters, but they generally cater to a young male audience, and the average fanzine reader we’re told is a woman in her fifties. An authorized Star Trek novel might feature space ships, battles between aliens, females in scanty clothing, and problems with antimatter thrusters–all aimed at what a young male reader might find interesting. Women want to know… what was it like living on a spaceship with 500 other crewmembers for five years? Or… how did Kirk FEEL when his brother and sister-in-law were killed? Or when Spock almost died? Fanzines are a place where we can tell our stories.
Why charge for these fan-written novels? I try to keep my prices low, just to cover the cost of maintaining the website to share with others, and my costs for writing the stories. This is not a big business… Just a sixty-year-old woman sharing her stories with friends.