The Femzine

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The Femzine was a science fiction fanzine published by The Fannettes.

The Fannettes were a group of women who were all science fiction fans, and The Femzine served as their official organ. The organzier of the group was Marian Cox, later known as Marian Oaks. The Femzine was published in the early 1950s in Sioux City, Iowa, U.S.A.

In his notes for "Fractured Fandoms", Richard Lynch writes, " the first half of the 1950s, Oaks had published what may have been the first fanzine, FEMZINE, that specialized in featuring material by women." Femzine was reviewed in Startling Stories of February 1953; the reviewer writes, "...Contains stories, poetry, news, a crossword puzzle. More power."

Members of the Fannettes included Margaret Dominick (DEA), Vee Hampton, Carol McKinney (Deviant), Eunice Schaver, and Maril Shrewsbury, among others.

Well known is Marion Zimmer Bradley's letter to The Femizine in which she stated her reasons for choosing not to contribute to the fanzine, "Women alone, sans masculine influence, impetus, or admiration, produce nothing of any worth."

Reviewing The Femizine in Imagination Volume 4, No. 6 in her column "Fandora's Box", Mari Wolf writes, "This is the all-girl fanzine. (Men can read it, but they can't write for it, nor belong to the sponsoring club, the Fanettes.) As Marian says, 'The club was established to learn if women can accomplish anything without the aid of male fans.' Well, the girls of the Fanettes seem to think so. They're having a fine time, and they're putting out a fanzine that really has that feminine touch."

In the late 1950s, Marian Oaks hosted the 'Baltimore SF Forum', as it was known, in her home. The group, which included John Hitchcock, John Magnus (SF, Varioso), Raleigh Multog, Ted Pauls, George Wetzel, and Ted White (Zip, Stellar), met monthly till around 1962.

Marian Cox Oaks contributed to a number of fanzines of the day, including writing the column, "The Ill Wind" for Vega, and wrote letters to the science fiction pulp magazines such as Thrilling Wonder Stories, later quoted in books such as Partners In Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction, by Eric Leif Davin, and The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction by Justine Labalestier.

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