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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the M. Horvat Genre Apazines Collection

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1943-2002
Creator: Horvat, Martin M.
Extent: 58.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0825
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: A collection of science fiction, fantasy, mystery and other genre apazines (publications similar to newsletters or fanzines, and published by fan groups called Amateur Press Associations, or apas).

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: The M. Horvat collection of genre apazines was acquired by the University of Iowa Libraries from Martin (Mike) Horvat in December 2004.

Preferred Citation: M. Horvat Collection of Genre Apazines, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Biographical Note

Martin M. (Mike) Horvat is a printer and collector in Stayton, Oregon. For many years, his collecting focused on general circulation science fiction magazines and fanzines. Horvat founded the American Private Press Association and for a time in the 1980s edited South of the Moon, a catalog of publications of amateur press associations. As a result of this endeavor, and because Horvat himself was a prolific amateur publisher and apa contributor, he ended up collecting a vast archive of apazines as well.

Historical Note

The term "apa" refers to an Amateur Press Association. An amateur press association is a group of like-minded people, distributed across a wide geographical area, who join together to discuss common interests using the forum of a collated series of individually printed publications. Apas originally came into existence in the late 19th century through the efforts of amateur journalists. However, starting in the early 20th century, apas came to be primarily associated with science fiction, fantasy, and other genre fans.

During the early years of science fiction fandom, fans communicated their views and opinions by publishing letters in the letter columns of professional SF magazines like Astounding Stories. They would then begin writing directly to each other, and developed "fanzines" in order to communicate to multiple people at once. Fanzines gradually evolved from simple letterzines to more sophisticated magazine-style publications. In short order, fans wanting to save on time and rising postage costs, as well as trying to foster a specific sense of community among a like-minded group of people, developed the notion, patterned on the amateur journalist efforts of old, of collating fanzines into a single bundle for distribution. Thus the fannish apas were born.

Apas provided effective and entertaining methods for fans separated by distance to communicate before the advent of electronic mail, electronic bulletin boards, or blogs. By instituting a system for the central collation of publications into a single apazine, apas saved costs and eliminated the need for fans to produce more fanzines than they would be able to distribute easily on their own.

The first science fiction apazine was Fantasy Amateur, the official organ of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association. It began publication in 1937, after noted SF fan and editor Donald Wollheim established FAPA. Wollheim saw an answer to the ongoing problems of the haphazard world of SF fanzines in the ways in which amateur journalist groups such as the National Amateur Press Association and the New England Amateur Press Club operated their associations and encouraged correspondence between members. Apas became a popular way for fans to exchange opinions, stories, illustrations and writings as the century continued, and the 1960s and 1970s resulted in an explosion of genre apas.

The collection contains a large number of different apazines. Most of these are concerned with science fiction and fantasy (both literary and in other media), but there are also apazines devoted to other genre topics, including comics, role-playing games, and mysteries. The earliest items in the collection include some early issues (1940s) of the first science fiction apa, Fantasy Amateur, but the collection reaches into the 21st century with issues of apazines that in some cases continue to be published today.

The apazines in the collection are arranged alphabetically by the formal name of the apa, not the name of the apa's official organ. In many cases the official organ for the apa bears a different name from that of the apa itself - for example, Dapa-Em's official organ was entitled Elementary.

How Apas Work

With a few exceptions, apas tend to function in a similar fashion. An apa is centrally coordinated by an Official Editor (sometimes called a Central Mailer). Apa members send the OE enough copies of their individual fanzine contributions to be distributed to all the members. The OE is responsible for collating the fanzines into a single publication (the "apazine") and distributing it to the members. The OE also manages the apa's subscription lists and publication deadlines. Most apas are headed by an "official organ"; that is, the administrative zine of the apa that not only contains the OE's own contributions but the lists of current and waiting members, apa rules and constitutions, and member notices (including which members are required to submit material for the next issue).

[A few apas, however, are rotational in nature. That is, each apa member publishes a fanzine in rotation with the others and mails it themselves to the individual members. The chief example of this sort of apa is Fantasy Rotator, produced by the apa The Cult. The Cult functioned more like an open letter between friends because the material, usually -- but not always -- a letter, was sent to a designated Member (an "Official Arbiter") who edited, published, and distributed the FR by him- or herself. FRs were published, on average every three weeks by the 13 Cult Members in rotation; hence the title "Rotator". In addition, members could issue their own material to the apa in so-called "fractional rotators", or "f/r"s. The fractional numbers assigned to each f/r seem to have been selected at random. For example, during the assigned period of FR 639, a Cult member might issue his own f/r to accompany FR 639, and title it FR 639.141092.

In addition, the Cult's waiting list was unlike those of other apas. There were two separate lists, and people on both lists were encouraged to participate. In fact, people on the Active Waiting List were required to participate (the minimum of one letter to every other FR or one postcard to every FR). CULT publications were distributed both to Members and the Active Waiting List. The Inactive Waiting List had no activity requirements, although they could be very active. Distribution of publications to the Inactive Waiting List was not required, but anyone who wrote regularly received most of them.

Other rotational apas include the Terrean Amateur Press Society (TAPS), which operates its official editorship among all members on a rotating basis. TAPS also permits the issuing of 'fractional rotator'-like individual publications, called "artificial satellites, or "AS"s.) Likewise, the Slanderous Amateur Press Association also uses a rotating editorship.]

Most apas require members to submit a minimum amount of material in a specified format to a specified number of mailings. This minimum activity (or "minac") is usually specified by the OE and/or the established rules of the apa. Most apas also require each member to maintain a credit balance in a central funds account to cover common reproduction costs and postage.

Apas that require members to submit multiple copies of their contribution usually set a limit to the number of members and run a waiting list if necessary. In many cases people on the waiting list are permitted to contribute to mailings and may receive excess apazines provided by the members. Occasionally apas are formed by waiting list members who are tired of the wait: for example, Junior Apa-Five (later Imaginapa) was created by a few fans who had been on the Apa-Five waiting list for what they felt to be too long a time and were impatient to participate in apa activity.


Apazines have historical signficance in that many contain the amateur work of famous genre writers and illustrators. Much of this material predates the writers' fame, although this is not always the case. In addition, many apa members, though not professional writers, were significant voices in the world of fandom. Examples of apas with contributors of significant literary importance in the field include Apa-Five (Frank Miller), Apa-L (Alan Dean Foster; David Gerrold; Larry Niven); Apanage (Jane Yolen); Elanor (March Laumer); Fantasy Amateur (Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robert Silverberg, Donald Wollheim); Rehupa (Charles de Lint; Michael Stackpole); and SAPS (Jack Chalker; Gordon Eklund) .


The apazines in the Horvat Collection comprise a number of different genre topics. Some were continually dedicated to a particular subject, while in other cases the free-flowing nature of fandom in general or of the apa permitted an apa to concern itself with a number of different topics. Others may have begun with the idea that they would be dedicated to a particular topic, but as they progressed started dealing with other subjects as well. As Randy Linder, the publisher of X-APA zine Mutant Force put it, "While I assume that most of X-APA's membership got together because of their interests in comics in general and the X-Men in particular, the reason we stay is because we enjoy getting to know each other and ongoing commentary on any and all subjects."

The subjects given below are sometimes, though not always, those with which the associated apa explicitly identified itself.

AAPA: Far-left politics (Anarchist Amateur Press Association)

ALPS: Music (Amateur Long-Playing Society)

Alarums and Excursions: Role-playing games

ANZAPA: Science fiction (Australian and New Zealand Amateur Press Association)

APA-?: Writing

APA-27: Science fiction (Florida Amateur Press Association)

APA-45: Science fiction

APA-55: Science fiction

APA-69: Sex

APA-Faber: Paper arts

Apa-Five: Comic books

Apa-H: Hoaxes and humor

APA: JARNEVON: Science fiction

Apa-L: Science fiction (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society)

APA: NESFA: Science fiction (New England Science Fiction Association)

APA-NYU: Science fiction (New York Amateur Press Association, originally based at New York University)

APA-PI: Science fiction

APA-Q: Science fiction

APA-Renga: Renga (a form of Japanese collaborative poetry)

APA-THEE: Science fiction

APA-V: Science fiction

APA Enterprise: Star Trek

Apalon: European myths and legends

Apaloosa: Science fiction (Amateur Press Association of the Palouse)

Apanage: Children and young people's fantasy literature

APATOONS: Cartoons and animation

APPLESAUCE: Science fiction

AZAPA: Science fiction (Arizona Amateur Press Association)

Background Noise: Science fiction (Honolulu Science Fiction Society)

BCAPA: Science fiction (British Columbia Amateur Press Association)

BondApa: James Bond films

Canadapa: Science fiction

Capacity: Science fiction (Chicago Amateur Press Association)

CAPRA: Film (Cinema Amateur Press Association)

CHAPS: Western literature (Cowboys and Horses Amateur Press Society)

Clarion: Science fiction

Connection: Science fiction

CRAPzine: General fannishness

C/RAPA: Science fiction (Cascades/Rockies Amateur Press Association)

C/RAPA-PI: Science fiction

C/RAPA, Jr.: Science fiction

The Cult: Science fiction

DAAPA: Science fiction (Dallas Area Amateur Press Association)

Dancer: Science fiction

D'APA: Science fiction (Denver Area Amateur Press Association)

Dapa-Em: Mysteries

Definitive Article: Doctor Who

Edgar Apa: Science fiction

Elanor: Fantasy, especially the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams

FAPA: Science fiction (Fantasy Amateur Press Association)

Final Frontier: Star Trek

FLAP: Science fiction (Fannish Little Amateur Press)

Frefanzine: Libertarian science fiction

Galactus: Comic books (especially Marvel Comics)

GESTALT: Science fiction (GESTALT Amateur Publishing Society)

Herbapa: The theology of the fannish "ghod" Herbie

Imaginapa: Comic books

IS-P'APA: Science fiction

K-a (K(C)apa-Alpha): Comic books (Comics Amateur Publishing Association)

Junior Apa-Five: Comic books

LASFAPA: Science fiction (Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society)

MELVIN: General fandom

MENTAT: Computers and computing

Milwapa: Science fiction (Milwaukee Amateur Press Association)

Mixed Company: Gender relations

Minneapa: Science fiction

MISHAP: Science fiction (Michigan Society of Amateur Publishers)

N'APA: Science fiction (National Fantasy Fan Federation/Neffer Amateur Press Alliance)

Necronomicon Apa: The works of H.P. Lovecraft

OMPA: Science fiction (Off Trails Magazine Publishers Association)

Pathos: Science fiction (Suffolk East Science Fiction Association)

Phoenix: Science fiction

RAPS: Science fiction

Rehupa: The works of Robert E. Howard, and sword-and-sorcery fantasy in general (Robert E.
HORVAT, M. The M. Horvat National Fantasy Fan Federation Collection, 1942-2008. 1.5 ft.
Collection of materials from the National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F), a major and venerable SF fannish organization. Materials include administrative documents, publications, and records from N3F subsidiary bodies. MsC886. (Finding Aid)
HORVAT, M. The M. Horvat Collection of Science Fiction Convention Materials, 1943-2000.
Materials produced for or relating to numerous science fiction conventions, including progress reports, advertisements, newsletters, and assorted ephemera. MsC884. (Finding Aid)
HORVAT, M. The M. Horvat Collection of Science Fiction Fanzines, 1925-2002. 96 ft.
A large collection, stretching across the 20th century, of science fiction fanzines, together with some assorted "genzines" (general issue magazines concerned with SF). MsC791. (Finding Aid)
ROW, HEATH. Heath Row Amateur Press Association Collection, 1934-2010. 2.0 ft.
Zine writer and editor, and member of multiple amateur press associations. Includes apa publications, apa official organs, and assorted loose ajay publications. MsC 364. (Finding Aid)
RUBEN, ELLIOTT M., 1916-2009. Elliott M. Ruben Amateur Press Association Collection, 1926-2009. 30 ft.
Amateur journalist and member of a number of amateur press associations. Bundles of apa publications, apa official journals, correspondence, official apa documents, and Ruben's childhood efforts at printing. MsC336. (Finding Aid)

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This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Fandom-Related Collections
Zines and the Amateur Press