Science-Fiction Five-Yearly

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Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #12 - November 2006 (4.3MB)

Science-Fiction Five-Yearly

a brief history by guest editor-publisher Geri Sullivan

In November, 1951, Lee Hoffman published the first issue of Science-Fiction Five-Yearly, a light-hearted fanzine that's been coming out once every lustrum since. It was distributed through FAPA until the 1980s and has been mailed to a few hundred fans, friends, and family members ever since.

In SFFY #2, Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg each started serials, !Nissassa and Stars of the Slave Giants, writing respectively under the names Nalrah Nosille and Calvin Aaargh. Other early contributors included Robert Bloch, Andy Young, Walt Liebscher, the Irish John Berry, and, starting in 1966, Ted White. Ted has appeared in every issue since, and Harlan picked up !Nisassa again in 1996, turning it into the longest-running genre serial in the process.

Colorful art has identified SFFY since the beginning. LeeH achieved multi-color effects with the aged AB Dick mimeograph Robert Silverberg gave her and it was 20 years before the first all black and white issue appeared.   Only two such issues exist, both from the 1970s, which perhaps says more than we want to know about that decade. Color returned to SFFY with a spot of red on the 1981 cover, then a spot of yellow in 1986. More and more color crept in over the next 20 years, none more so than in 2006, when I discovered just what happens when you put a sheet of Fibertone through an ink jet printer a mere 4 days before the SFFY 12 collation. You're as likely to find art by ATom, William Rotsler, Steve Stiles, and Lee Hoffman in issues of yore as in the current one. Dan Steffan and Stu Shiffman are more recent regulars, dating back through the last 20-25 years of SFFY's existence.

In 1971, LeeH took on Bob Toomey as Assistant Editor, then repeated the experience with Terry Hughes five years later. A new SFFY tradition was born. Dan Steffan served as Assistant Editor in 1981, Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden took the helm in 1986 along with Art Editor Stu Shiffman. At the 1990 Corflu in New York, rich brown approached me about taking on the task for SFFY #9. Jeff Schalles joined in, rich provided the necessary introductions, and SFFY history took another turn. LeeH soon renamed the job "guest editor-publisher." Jeff and I remained on board for the next three issues, joined by Andy Hooper for SFFY #10 and by the returning Terry Hughes for SFFY #11. Alas, a brain tumor limited Terry's participation; he died right as we were printing the issue's final pages.

Randy Byers signed on to co-edit SFFY #12 with me and seems to have survived the experience. At 58 pages, it's the largest issue of SFFY yet, though SFFY #2 came close with 56 pages. In addition to SFFY regulars and other contributors of yore, we're pleased to welcome SFFY neos Jae Leslie Adams, Harry Bell, Claire Brialey, Graham Charnock, Rich Coad, John Hertz, and Christina Lake to this ish.

The Fanac website hosts a SFFY archive containing scans and html text from all previous issues. See

Sadly, Lee Hoffman died at the age of 74 on February 6th 2007, shortly after SFFY 12 was published. The present editors of SFFY have announced that the run of the fanzine Lee started so long ago is now complete. is now hosting the special birthday tribute to Lee Hoffman, originally published in 2002 to celebrate her 70th birthday.

Last revised: 25 February, 2007

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