Outre’ #1: Cover, flash fiction, natter.

Back in the mists of prehistory when I was fifteen, I edited Outre’ #1, the first of six issues of that zine and the first fanzine I ever edited. Probably I should just let sleeping BEMs lie. Lots of zine editors from back in Sixties would rather their first effort remain unseen, and that’s not a bad idea, really. But the Outre’ was distributed through the Southern Fandom Press Alliance (SFPA), and it occurred to me that a) Ned Brooks, SFPA’s archivist, would have a copy of the issue, and b) there were a couple parts of OutreKM1coverit I wouldn’t mind seeing after all these decades. One was the editorial natter at the start of the issue, in which I had retraced my path into SF fandom. The other was a flash fiction (or short-short, as we called them back then) by my pal John Battle, who was fourteen. Ned was kind enough to scan those and email them to me and sent me the zines’ cover by George Proctor, too. (Seen to the left). George was actually a good fan artist and he’d generously sent me a lot of fine art. Since I’d never stenciled any art before, a laborious, painstaking process, I picked the simplest drawing he sent by far, hoping it’d be within my ability to trace onto a mimeograph stencil with a metal stylus. And it was–almost anyway. Anyway, John’s flash fiction and my natter follow. I’ve taken the liberty of downloading some images from the internet that were not in the issue and using them to illustrate my natter.


John Battle

Every Sunday afternoon the Wilsons, Harry and Jane, drove to the mountains, and this Sunday was no exception. As usual, they fussed the whole trip. (They called it discussing.)

Therefore, it seems proper that we should come in on them just when they are “discussing” where to stop for supper (which was still two hours away).

“Now, Harry,” Jane was saying, “you know I can’t stand the food there. Besides, it’s nothing but an old beer joint!”

“Beer joint!” Harry exploded. “Well, I don’t see why that should bother you…” Here he stopped talking, for the car in front of them had suddenly swerved off the road and hit a tree. Harry screeched to a stop and pulled over to the side of the road.

The woman jane found in the wrecked car was on the edge of hysteria. “He disappeared,” she cried. “He just disappeared.”

“Who?” Jane asked.

“My husband!” she sobbed, and fainted,, dead to the world.

“Oh, dear, Harry, I believe she’s fainted. Harry, go to the car and get that old army blanket from the trunk.”

“Harry, what’s taking you so long?” Jane yelled over her shoulder. “Harry, hurry up! Harry! Harry? Harry…”

John was the only other guy around my little hometown who read SF as far as I knew. He was also the first writer friend I had. Back then writing was this mysterious, magical, holy activity to me. (OK, it still is). “Next?” was the first story ever written by someone I knew. I can’t tell you how excited I was when John handed it to me and I started to read. I thought it was great, and I still think it’s pretty decent flash fiction. It held your interest?


Southern fen, noticing an alarming number of Yankees on the roster, take heart! Although I live in Illinois, I’m in S.F.P.A as a Southern-type fan.

When I wrote to David Hulan asking admittance to S.F.P.A., the Northern quota was filled. But Hulan agreed with me about a certain part of my letter. I had said that I should be let in as a Southern member because “I lived in the same fanish wasteland as the rest of S.F.P.A.’s members.” So Hulan finally let me in as Metropolis being a suburb of Paducah, Kentucky (which for all practical purposes, it is).

What was meant, when I told Hulan I should get in as a Southern fan, was this: Metropolis is right on the boundary between Kentucky and Illinois. On clear days (or cloudy) I can see Kentucky. Metropolis is further south than parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and most of Missouri. What makes matters worse, is nobody considers Southern Illinois a fanish wasteland–except the fans who live here–both of us.

I had some apprehension when I heard Hulan had been forced to gafiate, and Plott was taking his place. But Plott, tru-blu fan he is, said he’d stick with Hulan’s judgment. So here I am, you lucky dogs, you.

Now for a little info about OUTRE’ itself . . . I don’t know what I’d call it, straight apazine or straight genzine. Neither, I’d say.

I’ve got quite a bit of material b others, but then again, I’ve got quite a bit of my own material, such as Editorial, Book Review and Mailing Comments, which should account for 6 or 7 pages.

Truthfully, I’m aware that this issue leans towards the genzine-type mag. But, if this is so, my next three issues will be as apa-ish as any in S.F.P.A. , not because I want it that way, but because it has to be that way. What with school, correspondence, stf reading, etc., I’ll only have the time to print a small natter zine with maybe one or two short stories in each. But come the September mailing, genzine haters watch out!
And, hey, fellas, by the way, kinda go easy on me in your MCs. Remember, not only is this the first issue of the first apazine I’ve produced, it’s the first issue of the first fanzine I’ve ever edited.

I’ve covered nearly every aspect of OUTRE’ except for one thing—it’s editor. And we can’t have that, can we? Well, not in MY zine, anyway! So here goes:

Famous Monsters, my favorite monster magazine when I was ten (and twenty).

Famous Monsters, my favorite monster magazine when I was ten (and twenty).

I’m 15; counting Monster Mags, Horror anthologies ordered from their pages, science-fiction comix and even a few sci-fi novels here and there, I’ve read stf for about five years. Bought my first prozine nearly two years ago now, February ’62, AMAZING.

However, if it hadn’t been for a letter by Rick Sneary in Forry Ackerman’s SPACEMAN #2, I’d still be a little lost fan drifting around the misty worlds of monster-dom. Sneary just wrote in and talked about all the fun he had had as a fan. The very day I read his letter, I went out and bought a copy of AMAZING. (Anyone corresponding with Sneary, pass along my thanks).

After reading the mags a while, I got irritated with a letter-hack named Pat Scott

Spacemen cover

Spacemen cover

(McClean). So I wrote a burning letter to her, to which she gave a friendly reply. And she just happened to mention the N3F. When I replied, that I neither knew what the N3F was or maintained membership, she sent me a membership application blank. And after keeping it around the house three or four months, I finally sent it in.

As a welcome-in-present of sorts, Art Hayes sent me a whole gob of his ‘zine, TTH. I found in one of them an article by Dave Hulan, plugging S.F.P.A. I answered, and I’ve already told you what happened after that. Anyway, here I am.

The February, 1962 issue of Amazing Stories, which I bought at Julie's Sweet Shop, hot off the presses.

The February, 1962 issue of Amazing Stories, which I bought at Julie’s Sweet Shop, hot off the presses.

About kentmcdanielwrites

Writer and musician.

8 Responses to “Outre’ #1: Cover, flash fiction, natter.”

  1. Oh my goodness. Wow. I don’t even remember writing that! You sure it was me? I actually like it, too. Thanks, Kent!

    Hey, I’m gonna

  2. (oops) Hey, I’m gonna be a school bus driver in the fall! Needed a job to supplement my social security. Working on getting my commercial driver’s license this summer.

    Love your stories and posts. Keep it coming.


    • As a school bus driver you will have abundant opportunities measure your patience, tolerance, and compassion. :o) I didn’t know that you’d retired. Last I knew, you were back in the tech writing gig.

  3. Interesting to get a look at the zine.

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