Monday, January 14, 2019

Canadiana Obscura: Zosma fanzine

I've been casting a wide net while researching Canadian horror, supernatural, and dark fantasy work for inclusion in The Great Fright North. When it comes to fanzines, often I won't know if they're suitable for the book until I actually hunt them down and read through copies, since a title alone doesn't always indicate content.

Such is the case for Zosma, a fanzine published c. 1978-81 by Steve George in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Now that I've had a chance to read through several issues, it does warrant a mention since occasionally it included horror film reviews. But because this is a very rare fanzine, I wanted to write a bit more about it here.

Based on the eight issues available, it seems the fanzine itself primarily focused on science fiction, with a mix of reviews, articles, and short fiction. Steve George's regular contributors included Mary Long, Mike Nichols, Eric Olsen, and Tim Ender. Cover artists were Jerry Collins, Ed Ackerman, and George himself.

Zosma 13,  June/July 1979 (v2n1)
  • Cover art by Jerry Collins
  • "Special Late Issue"
  • "After the Ball Was Over" by Mary Long
  • "Michael G. Coney (an informal review)" by Mike Nichols
  • "The Origins of the Silent H" by Miranda Thomson
  • "Letters"
  • "Thoughts from the Depths" by Steve George
  • "Why You Got This"

Zosma 14, Summer 1981 (v2n2)
  • Cover art by Jerry Collins
  • Produced two years after issue #13
  • "Loss of Innocence" by Mary Long
  • "Thoughts from the Depths" by Steve George
  • "Is SF Alive and Well?" by Shaun Noble
  • Miscellanea
  • "Fanzine Writing" by Steve George
  • Letters

Zosma 15, June 1981 (v2n3)
  • Cover art by Ed Ackerman
  • "SF Proliferation" article by Tim Ender
  • "Going Up" fiction by Eric Olsen
  • "Mankind’s Last Hope" fiction by Lyn Muir
  • Editorial
  • Miscellaneous reviews

Zosma 16, July 1981 (v2n4)
  • Cover art by Jerry Collins
  • "Zosma Zack Speaks" by the editor
  • "Inside, Outside" article by Eric Olsen
  • "The Fanzine Man" parody by William Klutzwinkle
  • "Solar Sailing" column by Harry Andruschak
  • Miscellaneous Notes by the editor

Zosma 17, August 1981 (v2n5)
  • Cover art by Moran
  • "Thoughts from the Depths" by Steve George
  • Book and Movie reviews, by various
  • "Which Way is Up?" column by Tim Ender

Zosma 18, September 1981 (v2n6)
  • Cover art by Peter George
  • "Thoughts from the Depths" by the editor
  • "Which Way is Up?" by Tim Ender
  • "Murder in Jellystone Park" essay by Steve George
  • "Fanzines Found in a Bathtub" reviews by Stanislaw George

Zosma 19, October 1981 (v2n7)
  • Cover art by Jerry Collins
  • Reviews by misc.
  • Letters to the editor

Zosma 20, November 1981 (v2n8)
  • Cover art by Jerry Collins
  • Editorial by Steve George
  • "You Never See Teeth Marks on Louis XV Furniture" fiction by Mary Long
  • "My Cosmic Philosophy and How it Relates to Itself" by Conrad Fort
  • "The Sinful Fanzines" by Fritz George
  • "Goodbyes" by the Editor

In issue #20, George notes that he's committing to a bi-monthly schedule for 1982, however I have been unable to uncover any additional issues of Zosma.

His name may be familiar to some, especially for fans of Canadian horror. Steven R. George, as he became known professionally, had a prolific career as a horror author from 1989-1995, with 14 books published by Zebra. Not too bad for someone who started his writing career publishing a fanzine when he was just 17 years old!

Click here for his author page at


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