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It was not a unique kind of forum, following in the footsteps of many earlier "sercon" zines such as RIVERSIDE QUARTERLY, QUANTUM/THRUST, SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW, ALIEN CRITIC, et al. But it certainly captured the zeitgeist.
Mind you, a “sercon” fanzine that mainly is about science fiction and fantasy is still a fanzine, and the writing there is still fan writing.
On the other hand, there are the “sercon” fanzines, meaning fanzines “of serious content,” focused on the sacred task of commenting on, and judging, the increasing output of SF/fantasy literature.
Programming bovil SorcererCon Verdict: an excellent relaxacon with sercon-style programming.
The Whatever isn’t a “sercon” fanzine full of earnest reviews redolent of dreary aspirationalism, it’s a snappy, wisecracking “fannish” fanzine that covers whatever happens to currently interest John Scalzi.