Outworlds 71 Is A Labor of Love and One of the Largest Fanzines Ever

Issue 71 of Outworlds was assembled and ready for layout (articles, editorial, plus 140 pages of LoCs) when Bill Bowers died on April 17, 2005. It finally appeared today.

First published in 1970, Outworlds was nominated five times for the Hugo and won the FAAn Award in 1999. Bill was the Fan Guest of Honor at the 1978 Worldcon in Phoenix.

Stephen Leigh called Bill “a man of lists, who recorded the books he read, the movies he saw, the words he published; who wanted nothing more than to live surrounded by the books, the music, the movies he enjoyed so much; an intensely private individual who would still rip open his heart and display it publicly in his fanzines.”

Unlike Last Dangerous Visions, the last issue of Outworlds wasn’t necessarily expected, although Dave Locke sent the files to Pat Virzi in the hopes that Bill’s last zine could be pubbed.

Fifteen years later, at this year’s Corflu, Pat recruited Jeanne Bowman, Alan Rosenthal, and Rich Coad as co-editors, and with the help of myriad fans they have completed the project.

Designed as a “Ace Double(:Bill)” zine, Outworlds 71 is on one side, and “Afterworlds” with commemorative writings about Bill on the other. [Update: Jeanne Bowman says the publication is unidirectional as Amazon would not publish an Ace Double format for the final edition.]

The 506-page epic is available today on Amazon for $20.

It’s possible that only Richard Bergeron’s Warhoon 28 is bigger — Lloyd Penney counted 616 pages in that zine.

And there is an army of contributors —


OUTWORLDS 71: Cover Graphic by Ditmar (Dick Jenssen). Contributors include Gregory Benford, Bill Bowers, Wm. Breiding, Joe Haldeman, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Devon Leigh (Interview with Tanya Huff), Stephen Leigh, Denny Lien, Susan A. Manchester, Chris Sherman, A.L. Sirois, Skel, Sherry Thompson, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr.

The Lettercol (as of 3/26/99) includes Lenny Bailes, Gregory Benford, Sandra Bond, Syd Bounds, Richard Brandt, Wm. Breiding, Ned Brooks, Brian Earl Brown, rich brown, Marty Cantor, Joe Christopher, Buck Coulson, Al Curry, Gary Deindorfer, Larry Downes, Carolyn Doyle, Ahrvid Engholm, George Flynn, Brad W. Foster, E.B. Frohvet, Bruce R. Gillespie, Mike Glicksohn, Merlin Haas, David R. Haugh, John Hertz, Irwin Hirsh, Lee Hoffman, Alan Hunter, Dirk Jenssen, Karen Johnson, Arnie Katz, Jerry Kaufman, Linda Krawecke, Robert Lichtman, Dave Locke, Joseph T Major, Susan A. Manchester, Art Metzger, Murray Moore, Lloyd Penney, Patty Peters, Curt Phillips, Dave Rowe, Chris Sherman, Skel, Bob Smith, Dale Speirs, Milt Stevens, Mae Strelkov, Sherry Thompson, Roger Waddington, Michael W. Waite, and Harry Warner, Jr.; WAHFs from Harry Andruschak, John D. Berry, Sheryl Birkhead, Jeanne Bowman, G. Sutton Breiding, Kevin L. Cook, Dick Geis, Ed Gorman, Terry Jeeves, Randy Mohr, Jodie Offutt, Al Sirois, Craig Smith, Toni Weisskopf, Paul Williams, and Billy Wolfenbarger. 

Interior Art by ATom, Randy Bathurst, Sheryl Birkhead, Grant Canfield, Derek Carter, Jackie Causgrove, Jim Cawthorn, Vic Kostrikin, Kurt Erichsen, Brad W. Foster, Jack Gaughan, Mike Gilbert, Derek Grime, David R. Haugh, Alan Hunter, Terry Jeeves, Ivor Latto, Linda Michaels, Randy Mohr, Peggy Ranson, William Rotsler, Stu Shiffman, Craig Smith, Steve Stiles, Taral Wayne. 

Photos by Wm. Breiding, Christina H. Hionides, Stephen Leigh, Andrew Porter, Chris Sherman, Skel, Michael W. Waite. 


AFTERWORLDS: Cover art by Rick Lieder. Contributors include: Alyson Abramowitz, Steven Black, William M. Breiding, Cy Chauvin, Larry Downes, Carolyn Doyle, Michael Glicksohn, D Gary Grady, Andy Hooper, Rob Jackson, Denise Leigh, Stephen Leigh, Susan A. Manchester, Patty Peters, Chris Sherman, Leah Zeldes Smith, Geri Sullivan, Pat Virzi, Billy Wolfenbarger, Joel Zakem, and (of course) Bill Bowers. Memories, Musings, Classic Letters of Comment (old and new), and more, from Gregory Benford, Dick Bergeron, Sheryl Birkhead, Sutton Breiding, Wm. Breiding, rich brown, Linda Bushyager, Grant Canfield, Terry Carr, Derek Carter, Buck Coulson, Al Curry, Michael Dobson, Brad W. Foster, Mike Glicksohn, Mike Glyer, John Hertz, Arthur Hlavaty, Norm Hochberg, Frank Johnson, Jerry Kaufman, John M. Koenig, Tim Kyger, David Langford, Hope Leibowitz, Devon Leigh, Robert Lichtman, Eric Lindsay, Dave Locke, Rich Lynch, Sam McDonald, Art Metzger, Paul Novitski, John Purcell, Dennis Quane, Schirm, Chris Sherman, Skel, Rick Sneary, Suzanne Tompkins, Taral Wayne, Billy Ray Wolfenbarger, Susan Wood, Joel Zakem. 

Interior Art/Fillos by Sheryl Birkhead, Bill Bowers, Jeanne Bowman, Grant Canfield, Derek Carter, Al Curry, Alex Eisenstein, Kurt Erichsen, Connie (Reich) Faddis, Brad W. Foster, Bill Glass, David R. Haugh, Alan Hunter, Jonh Ingram, Terry Jeeves, Tim Kirk, Stephen Leigh, Linda Michaels, Pat Mueller, Peggy Ranson, William Rotsler, Dave Rowe, Schirm, Stu Shiffman, Dan Steffan, Taral Wayne. 

Photos by Fred A Levy Haskell, Andy Hooper, Rob Jackson, Denise Leigh, Stephen Leigh, Rich Lynch, Sam McDonald, Andrew Porter, Jeff Schalles, Chris Sherman, Skel, Joel Zakem.


[Update 11/13/20: Added Alan Rosenthal as co-editor. Added new info about only unidirectional format being available in final edition.]

Final Outworlds Issue To Be Published – “Afterworlds”
Needs You

Cover of Bill Bowers’ previous issue of Outworlds in 1998.

By Jeanne Bowman: Issue 71 of Outworlds was mostly assembled and ready for layout (articles, editorial, plus 140 pages of LoCs) when Bill Bowers finished his personal run on April 17, 2005.

Fifteen years later, at this year’s Corflu, Pat Virzi co-opted Jeanne Bowman and Rich Coad as co-editors to help complete this project from the files Dave Locke sent her. Pat promises production values that Bowers would have loved, but without the tiny type. The volume will be an Ace Double(:Bill) zine, with Outworlds 71 plus Afterworlds (a collection of commemorations to Bill) on the flip side.

If you knew Bill or his zines, we’re asking for your help. We are seeking contributions for Afterworlds: art, photographs, poetry, a paragraph, an article, one last letter of comment. You could send us your favorite photos of Bowers and tell us a story about them. Tell us some random memories of Bill – maybe about the first time you met, or the last time you talked to him. Tell us what Outworlds and Bill’s other zines meant to you.

Please help with a contribution to Afterworldsby June 25. Because how cool would it be to have this pubbed by Bill’s birthday (and the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing)?

Wondering what to say?  Here’s a bit of what we’ve already received:

I’m really one of his artists, not one of his commentators. Doing stuff for OW was a privilege when most of the other publications around him were so poorly executed. – Derek Carter

…But that was Bill for you; in his fanzine he was front and centre, but he never seemed to place himself at the centre in personal socializing. – Skel

…His last few years were hard, and now he’s gone, but it’s a pleasure remembering him and Outworlds now. – Arthur D. Hlavaty

Please send your questions, contributions, reflections, or remembrances to Jeanne Bowman and Pat Virzi at outworlds2020@gmail.com.

“If you all come through, I’m obviously in deep shit. So, go ahead: Make My Issue!” – Bill Bowers, “A Call to Arms .02” contributor request, May 1998

Corflu Fifty Picks Geri Sullivan

By Rob Jackson: As Corflu Fifty administrators, Rich Coad and I are delighted to announce that Geri Sullivan has accepted the group’s nomination to travel to Tynecon III: The Corflu in Newcastle in March next year. (She not only said yes, but Rich says she said “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, oh my god, yes!”) The con committee have already decided she will be given free membership of the convention, but other details will be announced later.

Corflu Fifty members are invited to support the fund in the usual way $25 or £15, or whatever extra you would like to give – and those who are not members of the Corflu Fifty are cordially invited either to join (so you can help choose future nominees, of course), or to contribute to support Geri’s trip this coming year. If you would like to join or contribute, please get in touch with Rich or me for details.

Mail checks made out to Rich Coad, at 2132 Berkeley Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95401; or PayPal to richcoad@gmail.com (I think if you say it’s a gift and personal there is no fee).

For UK contributions, either by old-fashioned cheque posted to me, Rob Jackson, at Chinthay, Nightingale Lane, Hambrook, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 8UH, or by PayPal to  jacksonshambrook@uwclub.net, (friends and family, I think you call it).

Corflu Fifty Picks Curt Phillips

Rich Coad has announced Curt Phillips is the winner of the Corflu Fifty fan fund, wrote Randy Byers on the Trufen list. The fund will allow Phillips to go Corflu Zed in Seattle next year.

You can learn some more about Curt from this autobiographical bit on his website. He has an array of interests, the most dramatic being his participation in historical re-enactments. Click on the link to see Curt in uniform with the 30th Infantry Division at the 1998 Battle of the Bulge re-enactment.

Rich Coad told how the fund got started, in Vegas Fandom Weekly #98:

The Corflu Award is an outgrowth of the successful oneoff funds to bring Bruce Gillespie and William Breiding to Corflu Titanium in 2004 and to bring Harry Bell to Corflu Quire in 2006…. Andy Porter came up with the excellent suggestion of getting a group of fifty fans, each willing to donate 25 dollars or 15 pounds, to be the fund-raisers.

The Corflu Fifty supported Steve and Elaine Stiles’ trip to Corflu Silver in Las Vegas this year. And as Randy Byers says, the name Corflu Fifty reflects how many contributors they want to have, versus the 25 they already have. Interested fans can contact Rich Coad at richcoad @comcast.net [remove the extra space].

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]