Niekas

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Niekas (from Lithuanian: nothing or nobody) was a science fiction fanzine published from 1962–1998 by Ed Meskys – also spelled Meškys[1] – of New Hampshire. It won the 1967 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine,[2] and was nominated two other times, losing in 1966 to ERB-dom[3] and in 1989 to File 770.[4]

For the initial five issues, Meskys – at the time a professor and a member of The Tolkien Society at the now-defunct Belknap College in Center Harbor, New Hampshire – edited Niekas by himself, after which he was joined by Felice Rolfe and Anne Chatland. The latter left after issue #8.[5] By the late 1980s he was editing the zine by himself. It originated as an apazine before being expanding to a full-fledged fanzine. Meskys continued publication when his employment moved to Mankato State University in Mankato, Minnesota.

Meskys later wrote, "I started a separate mailing-comments zine for the APA, and changed its name to Niekas and started the numbering over again with the June 1962 issue.... Since there was no Tolkien fanzine being published I decided to devote Niekas to Tolkien and try to run at least one Tolkien related piece in each issue."[6] The zine played a prominent role in the early development of Tolkien fandom in the United States.[7] Issue #7 included a letter from C. S. Lewis to Meskys that mentions The Lord of the Rings.

In coming years, contributors included Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov, John Boardman, Vaughn Bode, Anthony Boucher, Marion Zimmer Bradley ("Bloodthirsty for Power: Vampirism in Hambly’s Those Who Hunt the Night"), Charles N. Brown, Algis Budrys, Avram Davidson, Philip K. Dick ("Naziism and the High Castle"), Raymond Z. Gallun, Jack Gaughan, Harry Harrison, S. T. Joshi, Clyde Kilby, Tim Kirk, Sam Moskowitz, Andre Norton, Andrew J. Offutt, Alexei Panshin, Diana Paxson, Jerry Pournelle, Darrell Schweitzer, Arthur Thompson (ATom), Bjo Trimble, Donald A. Wollheim, Roger Zelazny ("Song of the Ring", a poem).[8]

A "Glossary of Middle Earth" by Al Halevy was an ongoing feature,[5] as was material by Robert Foster, who later published The Complete Guide to Middle-earth,

In 1968, Niekas ceased publication after issue #20, but was revived in 1977 for issue #21.[5] By 1995, Meskys – who had become blind – was the fanzine's editor-in-chief, with Mike Bastrow listed as editor and designer.[5] The final issue of Niekas, #48, described itself as published by Meskys and edited by Joe R. Christopher.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Society History". Mythopoeic Society. When, in 1972, Ed Meškys was unable to continue running The Tolkien Society of America (originally the New York Tolkien Society founded by Richard Plotz in 1965), its assets and memberships were absorbed by The Mythopoeic Society. 
  2. ^ "1967 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  3. ^ "1966 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  4. ^ "1989 Hugo Awards". World Science Fiction Society. Retrieved 2010-09-02. 
  5. ^ a b c d Clute, John and Nichols, Peter. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1995) ISBN 0-312-13486-X p.871
  6. ^ Meskys, Ed. The View From Entropy Hall #12, cited in "Niekas" Tolkien Collector's Guide
  7. ^ Hunnewell, Sumner Gary ("Hildefons Took"). Tolkien Fandom Review: from its beginnings to 1964 Arnold, Missouri: New England Tolkien Society, 2010; pp. 3-4
  8. ^ Clute and Nichols (1995) for Anthony, Asimov, Boucher, Budrys, Davidson, Dick, Gallun, Gaughan, Harrison, Moskowitz, Norton, Panshin, Pournell, Wollheim and Zelazny, names only