Paperback Parlour

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A bimonthly fanzine of the BSFA devoted to reviews of British paperback books, launched in February 1977 as Paperback Parlour. From issue #19 (April 1980) the title was changed to Paperback Inferno, since #66 (June/July 1987) with the subtitle The Review of paperback SF on the cover. After issue #97 (actually 93rd, see below) in summer 1992 it was incorporated into the quarterly Vector. It had ISSN 0260-0595.

Especially in its first years, much of the contents (brief reviews of everything not covered in more detail by someone else) was written by the editor. Joseph Nicholas was editor of issues #15 through #54, titling his editorials/column "Blood on the Racks" for most of his run and "Wasn't Born to Follow" in the final issues; see also his brief (600 words) "A Memoir of the Paperback Inferno" in Vector #200 page 7 (1998; supposedly also in the earlier #150, 1989, but can't be found there). From #55 Andy Sawyer took over, whose editorial was usually "Paperback Purgatory".

The confusion in numbering Volume/Nr was caused by the Paperback Parlour skipping the June 1979 issue and starting the Volume 3 again afterwards. Then in summer 1983, Inferno numbering somehow jumped forward by four issues (details are unclear, and contradictory in various sources), necessitating differentiation like "#44, Volume 7, No 2, 40th issue" in the BSFA bibliography (only the main number was given on the cover/copyright section/colophon), and there seem to be further errors around numbering #47 in the first half of 1984, after which volumes were abandoned and numbering brought in line started with the new #44 sequence (so multiples of 6 were reached in June).

Issue Date Pages Editor Notes
V1.1 February 1977 8 Phil Stephensen-Payne
V1.2 April 1977 10 "
V1.3 June 1977 8 "
V1.4 August 1977 8 "
V1.5 October 1977 8 "
V1.6 December 1977 6 "
V2.1 February 1978 10 "
V2.2 April 1978 12 "
V2.3 June 1978 10 "
V2.4 October 1978 8 "
V2.5 #11 October 1978 8 "
V2.6 #12 December 1978 24 "
V3.1 #13 February 1979 6 "
V3.2 #14 April 1979 6 " last issue by Stephensen-Payne
V3.1 #15 August 1979 10 Joseph Nicholas skipping June and misnumbered (within volume)
V3.2 #16 October 1979 12 " misnumbered
V3.3 #17 December 1979 10 "
V3.4 #18 February 1980 8 " last issue as Paperback Parlour
V3.5 #19 April 1980 10 " now named Paperback Inferno
V3.6 #20 June 1980 12 "
V4.1 #21 August 1980 12 "
V4.2 #22 October 1980 12 "
V4.3 #23 December 1980 12 "
V4.4 #24 February 1981 12 "
V4.5 1981 12 "
V4.6 1981 12 "
V5.1 1981 12 "
V5.2 1981 14 "
V5.3 #29 December 1981 12 "
V5.4 1982 12 "
V5.5 1982 14 "
V5.6 1982 14 "
V6.1 #33 August 1982 14 "
V6.2 #34 1982 12
V6.3 #35 December 1982 16 "
V6.4 #36 February 1983 14 "
V6.5 #37 April 1983 14 "
V6.6(?) #38 June 1983 14 " Misnumbered as Vol 6 No 4
V7.1 #39(?) August 1983 16 " ISFDB says the four numbers were skipped already by now: "Unusually, this issue has a date on it. States 'Volume 7, No 1, Whole Number 43, August 1983'".
V7.2 #44 October 1983 16 " #44, Volume 7, No 2, 40th issue
V7.3 #45 December 1983 16 " #45, Volume 7, No 3, 41st issue
V7.4 #47(?) February 1984 16 " listed as skipped further "#47, Volume 7, No 4, 42nd issue" but #46 in table overview, one must be a typo. ISFDB has "Whole number 46"
V7.5 #47 April 1984 16 " repeats(? to get back to "proper") #47; Volume 7, No 5, 43rd issue
V7.6 #47 June 1984 16 " repeats again likely by mistake: #47, Volume 7, No 6, 44th issue. However "Whole number 48" in ISFDB
49 August 1984 16 " "#49, 45th issue" only, abandoning volumes. Skipping over 48 would make sense to straighten the sequence 44–49 retroactively
50 October 1984 156
52 February 1985 16
53 April 1985 16
54 June 1985 16 " last Nicholas issue, editorial "Welcome to the Pleasure Dome" already by Andy Sawyer
55 August 1985 16 Andy Sawyer
56 October 1985 16
57 December 1985 16
58 February 1986 16
60 June 1986 16
61 August 1986 16
62 Octtober-November 1986 16 58th issue; started listing dates bi-monthly as before, even month and the following odd. Slash and abbrevs used in the copyright detail, final issues with graphical cover and masthead switched to dash there but not consistently
63 DecDecember 1986-January 1987 16 note the format of straddling the New Year as per cover scan; differs on BSFA site
64 February 1987 16
65 April 1987 16
66 June-July 1987 16 added subtitle The Review of paperback SF (note lowercase p) on the cover, and "A British Science Fiction Association magazine" at the bottom
67 August 1987 16
68 October-November 1987 16
69 December 1987 16
70 February 1988 16
71 April 1988 16
72 June 1988 16
73 August 1988 16
74 October 1988 16
75 December 1988 16
76 February 1989 16
77 April 1989 16
78 June 1989 16
79 August 1989 16
80 October 1989 16
81 December 1989–January 1990 16 date per cover
82 February 1990 16
83 April 1990 16
84 June 1990 16
85 August 1990 16
86 October 1990 16
87 December 1990 16
88 February 1991 16
89 April 1991 16
90 June 1991 16
91 August 1991 16
92 October 1991 16
93 December 1991 16
94 February 1992 16
95 April 1992 16
96 June–July 1992 16
97 August–September 1992 16 final issue

The semi-official BSFA bibliographic website (split to Parlour and Inferno) linked below and used in the table above as primary source only lists authors and titles but does not have the full content. The Paperback Inferno entry at ISFDB (which also shows covers from #62 on) differs significantly in some (mis)numbering details.


Publication Website Website 19771992
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