Science-Fiction Five-Yearly

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In November, 1951, Lee Hoffman published the first issue of Science-Fiction Five-Yearly (SFFY), a light-hearted fanzine that came out once every lustrum till 2006. It was distributed through FAPA until the 1980s and was mailed to a few hundred fans, friends, and family members afterward.

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 John Berry, and, starting in 1966, Ted White. Ted 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 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 Geri Sullivan 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. Art by ATom, Bill Rotsler, Steve Stiles, Dan Steffan and Stu Shiffman featured.

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 Geri Sullivan 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 Geri 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 they were printing the issue's final pages.

Randy Byers signed on to co-edit SFFY #12 with Geri Sullivan. At 58 pages, it was the largest issue of SFFY yet, though SFFY #2 came close with 56 pages. In addition to SFFY regulars and other contributors of yore, SFFY #12 included SFFY neos Jae Leslie Adams, Harry Bell, Claire Brialey, Graham Charnock, Rich Coad, John Hertz, and Christina Lake. SFFY #12 won the 2007 Best Fanzine Hugo.

Unfortunately Hoffman died of a massive heart attack on February 6, 2007 bringing to a close both the life of a remarkable woman and the publication of the Science-Fiction Five-Yearly.

Other Awards

Issue Date Pages Editor Notes
1 November 1951 30 Lee Hoffman
2 November 1956 56 Lee Hoffman
3 November 1961 Lee Hoffman
4 November 1966 40 Lee Hoffman In FAPA #117
5 November 1971 46 Lee Hoffman, Bob Toomey
6 November 1976 32 Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes
7 November 1981 32 Lee Hoffman, Dan Steffan
8 November 1986 34 Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Stu Shiffman
9 November 1991 44 Geri Sullivan, Jeff Schalles
10 November 1996 48 Geri Sullivan, Jeff Schalles, Andy Hooper
11 November 2001 42 Geri Sullivan, Jeff Schalles, Terry Hughes
12 November 2006 58 Geri Sullivan, Jeff Schalles, Randy Byers Final issue

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