OtherRealms is a Science Fiction Fanzine I put out between 1986 and 1992. It was primarily focussed on reviews and criticism of Science Fiction and Fantasy, but also contained other material that I found interesting. Beyond my own writing, it contained the work of many others, some fans like I was at the time, others authors in the field who were looking for an outlet for informal pieces. Authors who were to be found in OtherRealms included Mike Resnick, Jack Chalker, Charles de Lint, Harry Turtledove, Melissa Scott, Kevin J. Anderson, Michael P. Kube-McDowell, and Lawrence Watt-Evans. I’m proud to admit that at the 1989 World SF convention in Boston (Noreascon Three), OtherRealms was nominated for a Hugo award for Best Fanzine, and I was nominated for Best Fan Writer. I’m even prouder to note that I finished ahead of No Award in both categories, even though there was a voting controversy which affected the Hugos that year.
32 issues have been published. 30 of them were available on the net, while 31 and 32 were paper only. OtherRealms grew out of a wish to find a better way to publish material on the net. You have to realize that back in 1986, things were plain text and distribution was by e-mail and USENET. Even then, USENET was showing signs of strain from growth and popularity, but none of us had a clue how good we had it at the time. USENET today is nothing but a shadow of what it was, quality-wise. A second reason for OtherRealms (other than thinking I had something useful to say) was that I was fighting a serious, nasty writer’s block, and I felt that putting myself on a writing schedule and forcing myself to write (or embarass myself in front of the readers waiting for each issue) would help me break out. It did, but it also took on a life of its own and became a much larger thing than anyone expected.
Of course, in today’s World Wide Web world, OtherRealms looks (and is) horribly primitive. But it was one attempt to find a better way to deliver and distribute information on-line, long before the WWW existed (or was even under consideration). I’ve considered bringing OtherRealms back at times (and when I shut it down, I had two more issues under development; one a standard OtherRealms, one a parody/honorarium issue about Mike Resnick called OtherRealms: The Alternate Resnicks. I still have all of the pending material in a box somewhere, but after all of this time, I expect it to never see the light of day (unless, god forbid, it becomes an English thesis some day long after my death….)
I still have (somewhere in my files) the original PageMaker documents for the printed versions of many of these issues. I’ve considered turning them into PDF’s and putting them online, but I haven’t had the time to do it, and I’d have to think long and hard about whether I legally have the copyright permissions to do so, or whether I’d have to track down the authors to grant permission. If I decide it’s the latter, it’ll never happen. If not, it’ll simply probably never happen…
Please abide by the copyright notices in the issues — people’s lack of concern over copyright protection was one reason I removed them from the net. Don’t screw it up for others.
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