Barmaid

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Barmaid is a science fiction fanzine by Yvonne Rowse.

Barmaid was first published in the 1990s in Worcester, UK. Issue 4 was released in December 1998, issue 8 in 1999, issue 9 in February 2000, and the last issue, #10, in December 2000.

From the review by Tommy Ferguson in the first issue of Kerles, "First fanzines. I bet that phrase brings back a mixture of horror and pleasure to a lot of minds. Personally, it was of high hopes, illegibility and barely understandable use of the English language. For others I know it was slightly better, though not much. Today, I set off on a new fanzine project, but at least, if not readable, it is legible. Barmaid 1 is an excellent start… T he contents then. Well, quite good actually. All of the main articles are short and snappy, running to just over a page, setting out their stall quite well and leaving the reader with enough of a hook to want to reply. The best article in this issue is Storage Solutions; inevitably about storing books. A quintessential fannish topic if ever there was one, here it is given no spin, no weird perspective; nether is it done with a clever knowiness: "I know this is old hat, but look at how smart I’m being with the metaphors." Yvonne just details her system, if it can be called such, in a way that we can all relate to: "I have a chair in the living room. If I’m sitting in that chair when I finish a book I put it on the windowsill, on the floor or on the ‘table for putting stuff on’ next to my chair. The book will eventually get put away."

I know most of the people reading this review will ‘have a chair,’ and will also have a ‘table for putting stuff on’ in their home somewhere. This typifies the writing throughout the zine: fannish. It is about us, the kind of people we are and how we got there. Later Yvonne considers other fannish faves as well: ‘Normal?’ and ‘What Will People Think?’ with the same straightforward writing that engages us simply because she writes about us. These articles illustrate what Yvonne is currently thinking about, the topics that occupy her mind when she is not doing other stuff. And the rest of the zine is full of this other stuff. A frequent criticism of fans is ‘get a life!’ but Yvonne shows us in sidebars and linos that she already has one of those (I quote in full): "Whilst writing the above I had to listen to what happened in ‘The Werewolf of Fever Swamp’, I had to go off and give birth to a litter of two puppies (I was pretending, OK?) and I had to make up a cheese sauce. The cheese sauce burnt to the bottom of the pan, the article was less than coherent, I didn’t really listen to the werewolf plot but I managed the giving birth to the satisfaction of my daughter." Not my idea of an wonderful life, I must admit, but the fanzine comes close to my idea of an wonderful fanzine. And this is issue one, there’s more where this came from."

Barmaid won the Nova Award for Best Fanzine in 1999.

In 2000, Yvonne won the FAan Award for Best New Fanzine Fan, and the Nova Award for Best Fan Writer.

Yvonne Rowse has also published the titles Adverse Camber, Inconsequential, iShoes, and Joie De Vivre.