Wild Sharkaah a.k.a. Wild Shaarkah

by Eva Hauserová
(a.k.a. Eva Hauser)

All files are in PDF format except as noted

Wild Sharkaah #1

The notion that I might publish my own fanzine was still quite revolutionary in post-Communist Czechoslovakia in 1990. We had lived in a totalitarian society until November 1989, and in many ways, my fanzine was an expression of that intoxicating sense of personal freedom that followed. I had turned 35 almost exactly a week after the student demonstrations that led to the fall of Communism and I was determined to make the most of it. The very fact that I could go to one of the newly opened copy shops and get my fanzine xeroxed was a novelty. Under socialism, photocopiers were carefully guarded and strictly for official use. Every sheet of paper that came out of them had to be protocolled. Private individuals were not allowed to make copies at all.

The other thing about fanzines was that they opened up new horizons – the possibility of establishing a dialogue with people from the West – that very different world, from which we had been walled off (literally) for all those years. In the pre-internet age of the 1990s, fanzines played the same role as blogs and social media today, enabling me to make friends with sf fans all over the world, and they gave me a ready-made support network, when I started going to cons. Already in the summer of 1990, I went with a group of colleagues from Ikarie, the new Czech prozine, to ConFiction, the Hague Worldcon, and that same autumn we also went to Eurocon in the south of France. I later also attended Worldcons in Chicago and Glasgow.

However, the most important way in which Wild Shaarkah impacted my life was in my selection as the European candidate for GUFF in 1992, which enabled me to attend Syncon in Sydney and to travel extensively around Australia. Without Wild Shaarkah, I would never have been selected (people wouldn't have known who I was), and I am still grateful for this opportunity, which was quite unprecedented in post-Communist Central Europe.

The title of my fanzine, Wild Shaarkah, probably seems a little odd to English-speaking readers. It is derived from Divoká Šárka, the name of a nature reserve near my house on the outskirts of Prague. Divoká means "wild" (though in the sense of the natural environment), while Šárka is a proper name. Perhaps naively, I though the name might remind people of a shark, which I liked. But I was also referencing the quasi-historical figure of Šárka, who in Czech mythology was one of the leaders of the 7th Century women's revolt against patriarchy called “the Maidens’ War.” Arguably, then, she is the first Czech feminist and the traditional location of her headquarters was just a couple of miles from my home. It was too good a connection to miss.

Eva Hauserová (a.k.a. Eva Hauser)
November 2018

Wild Sharkaah #1
Wild Sharkaah #2
Wild Sharkaah #3
Wild Sharkaah #4
Wild Sharkaah #5
Wild Sharkaah #6
Wild Sharkaah #7

Last revised: 9 December, 2018

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