The Best of Xero

™ and ©

Xero was a science-fiction fanzine of such quality as to win the Hugo Award for best of the year in 1963. It was also one of the kick-offs for comics fandom, although comics fandom would have emerged without it. In any case, its Golden Age comics articles, appearing less than a decade after the inception of the Comics Code, demonstrated that research coupled with nostalgia and a way with words could excite adults’ interests. But the All in Color for a Dime series wasn’t the sole influence of an amateur magazine that was only circulated to a limited audience for less than five years. Roger Ebert, for one, was a subscriber. In the introduction, he writes, “It was in the virtual world of science fiction fandom that I started to learn to be a writer and a critic,” and concludes, “Today fandom survives on the Web.” Here are nostalgia, history, entertainment—in the form of material from such contributors as James Blish, Lin Carter, Avram Davidson, Harlan Ellison, Frederik Pohl, Steve Stiles, Roy Thomas, Don Thompson, and Donald E. Westlake. Pricey but excellent.

— Maggie Thompson

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#1 Hardcover

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258 pages; B&W