Femizine is a science fiction fanzine from the UK.
Femizine was begun in the 1950s. It was supposedly edited by non-existing fan “Joan W. Carr” who, in reality, was a hoax created by male fan H.P. “Sandy” Sanderson. As a sergeant in the British Army stationed in North Africa, Sanderson was far enough away from UK fans to invent a meeting with a female sergeant also serving in Africa who‘d expressed an interest in fandom. “She“ was soon writing to various fans back in England and, at a time when there were few female fans, was asked, and agreed, to edit Femizine, which became a focal point for 'femme fannes' in the UK. When the hoax was finally revealed early in 1956, it shocked many fans. However, the fanzine was taken over first by Pamela Bulmer and then later by Ethel Lindsay, who continued to publish issues.
Issue #2 was published in Summer 1954 and co-edited by H.P. Sandy Sanderson as "Joan Carr", and Ethel Lindsay.
Femizine # 5, released February 1955, was edited by H.P. Sandy Sanderson as"Joan Carr". Contributors include editor “Carr,” Daphne Buckmaster (Esprit, Random), Pamela Bulmer, Grace Burns, Joan Burns, Frances Evans, Ethel Lindsay (Scottishe), and “Franceska.” Front cover art is by Joan Burns, interior art by Grace Burns, Daphne Buckmaster and “Carr.” The letter column includes contributions from Ken Bulmer (Science Fantasy News), Dave Cohen, Frances Evans, Dean Grennell (Grue, Filler), Chuch Harris, Ethel Lindsay, Stuart Mackenzie, Archie Mercer (Vector), Eric Needham (Now & Then), Fred Smith (Haemogoblin), Dave Vendelmans (Alpha), Walt Willis (Hyphen),and Helen Winick. There was also a letter from Sally Ann Bloch, supposedly the 11-year old daughter of SF writer and longtime fan Robert Bloch.
Issue #6, from April 1955, was edited by H.P. Sanderson as "Carr". Contributors to this issue include Pamela Bulmer, Frances Evans, Ethel Lindsay, Madeleine Willis, and “Franceska.” Front cover art is by “Carr,” interior art by Daphne Buckmaster, Frances Evans, Harry Turner (Now & Then) and “Carr.” The letter column includes contributions from Tony Glynn, Jim Harmon, Mal Ashworth (Rot), Ron Bennett (Ploy), Eric Bentcliffe, George Charters, Eva Firestone (The National Fantasy Fan), Dean Grennell, Alfred Hind, Archie Mercer, Fred Smith, Gerald A. Steward (Canadian Fandom, Gasp!), Harry Turner, Brian Varley, Dave Vendelmans, Mike Wallace, and Helen Winick.
Issue #7, 1955, was edited by H.P. Sanderson as "Joan Carr" with co-editor Pamela Bulmer. It featured a front cover by Daphne Buckmaster, and contributions from Pamela Bulmer, Irene Gore (Brennschluss), Ethel Lindsay, “Franceska,” Dorothy Ratigan (Satan's Child), Ann Steul, and Helen Highwater. The letter column includes contributions from Mal Ashworth, Ron Bennett, Robert Bloch, Daphne Buckmaster, Pat Darrell, Dick Ellington (Metrofan, The Bosses' Songbook), Dean Grennell, “Franceska”, Joy Goodwin (Science Fantasy News), Irene Gore, Eric Jones, Archie Mercer, Fred Smith, William F. Temple, Harry Turner, Brian Varley, Mike Wallace, and Helen Winick.
Issue #8 of March 1956 was the first issue to be edited solely by Pamela Bulmer, while H.P. Sanderson faded into the background. Robert Bloch, in his review for Imagination Vol. 7. No. 5, of 1956, writes, "The Anglofan version of HODGE- PODGE is called FEMIZINE. Its new editress is Pamela Bulmer and issue No. 8 contains material by Roberta Wild, Ethel Lindsay, Francezka, Madeleine Willis and Diane Berry (John Berry’s Other Wife). There is also an example of nepotism from H. Ken Bulmer, and a very interesting report on a German science-fiction convention by Anne Steul. The letter-column is typically topical and full of subject-natter."
InTHEN Volume 2, Chapter 3, Rob Hansen writes about issue #9; "...in May the ninth issue of FEMIZINE duly appeared with 'HOAX' emblazoned across its cover over a drawing of a deceased Joan Carr. Inside, Sanderson, Evans, Lindsay, and Bulmer laid out the whole hoax for a shocked British fandom. People had been so completely taken in that they were stunned by the revelation and immediate reactions to it were muted."
Rob Hansen continues, "In September 1958, Ethel Lindsay re-launched FEMIZINE under the name DISTAFF. The fanzine was welcomed by Britain's female fans but the name-change wasn't, so with its next issue, the eleventh, it reverted to its old name."
Issue 11, published May 1959, was edited by Ethel Lindsay. Contributors included Daphne Buckmaster, Pamela Bulmer, Miriam Carr (Goojie Publications), Joy Clarke, Betty Kujawa, and Jean Young (Garage Floor).
Femizine of Spring 1960 was reviewed by Ron Bennett of Skyrack #18, of May 1960, "When so many fanzines are beating one another over the eds trying to become the Focal Point of fandom, it’s pleasing to receive a fanzine which possesses such a marked degree of informality. For some reason I’m wildly reminded of Georgina Ellis’ Wendigo, and it’s about time we had another fanzine like that. Ethel is backed up by Bjo Wells (who introduces Elinor Busby, my favourite Fan-I-said-hello-to-but-little-more-to) and Ina Shorrock (who introduces husband Norman). Janey Johnston writes on cats, Juanita Coulson writes on Charles Eric Maine and Margaret Picken and Sheila Ashworth report on the Liverpool party over New Year. Joy Clarke reviews fanzines in microelite. A short letter column makes up an enjoyable issue."
Femizine 15, released in 1960, was the last issue Ethel Lindsay edited. Ron Bennett, in Skyrack of October 1960, write in his review, "FEMIZINE 15 With this issue of the all-femmefan fanzine FEZ, Ethel, who has had a hard time soliciting material of a high enough standard to ensure her own enthusiasm, has decided to retire from the editorial chair. This issue ties up the loose strings with a number of interesting letters but also contains an article on women in fandom by Daphne Buckmaster and an outstandingly worthwhile article by Joyce Slater."
In concluding the story of Femizine, Rob Hansen writes, "Lindsay published FEMIZINE, which continued to be a showcase for the talents of female fans, until its fifteenth and final issue in September 1960."