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Site created by:
Michael Gartlgruber
Last Updated: 1 Dec. 1998

The origin of the modern Zine dates back to the science fiction fanzines of the early 1930s and 1940s. Using the mimeograph duplicating machine, science fiction fanzine publishers and members of discussion groups had the ability to contact each other. Hundreds or maybe thousands of people started amateur fanzines to open discussions on the science fiction stories they read.

The fanzine was out of the mainstream, and alternative publishing in general saw a revolution during the mid-60s in response to the need for rebellion and growing social unrest. With the use of the less expensive offset printing technology, many publishers created their own alternative newspapers, most notably those that eventually made up the Underground Press Syndicate in 1967. The founding members were the Los Angeles Free Press, the East Village Other, the Berkeley Barb, San Francisco's Oracle, Detroit's Fifth Estate, Chicago's Seed and Austin's Rag.

The science fiction fanzines of the 30s and 40s and the alternative newspapers of the 60s evolved into the punk fanzines of the late 70s. Most of the punk fanzines disappeared as soon as the music did.

Another Zine revolution began during the 80s, coinciding with the popularity of the Xerox copy machine and the personal computer. People could now use the latest technology to create Zines on a PC, and then copy them at the nearest coping store. Now many more people had the access to create their own zines without having to hurdle the obstacle of high printing costs.

With the popularity of the internet, the process has become even less expensive. People can now create zines that are purely digital. In theory, Zines never have to see paper.

E-Zines offers the advantage of a lower cost to produce and a potential audience much larger than a paper Zine could ever achieve. Because of these advantages, the number of e-zines on the web is growing at a huge rate.