HomeAll postsThrough the Looking Class: being schooled by the SMoFs

Through the Looking Class: being schooled by the SMoFs

The Inner Cabal, a small but enlightened kingdom ruled meticulously by the Big Name in Fandom (BNF) and his council, the Secret Masters of Fandom (the SMoFs), have most graciously pointed out to me the error of my ways.

Papa SMoF
Papa SMoF

I have created an online-magazine, falsely claiming it to be a fanzine.  The BNF has gently pointed out that fanzines are not about the genre of science fiction and fantasy, but are instead about the fans who worship at his shrine.  By ignoring the well of wisdom and history lovingly maintained by the Inner Cabal, I have robbed you, cherished reader, of the opportunity to enrich your life by reading about the esteemed activities of fans in locations as far flung as the capital of BNF’s kingdom.

The High Priestess herself, consort of BNF, has graciously offered her subjects’ time and energy to school me.  It is very difficult to find female SMoFs, thus I am over-awed by her generosity in bestowing her unique time and attention upon my poor self.  Her Highness is most displeased with my arrogance in daring to start a fanzine without first kneeling at the SMoFs’ feet to learn the secret arts of the fanzine editor.  Had I knelt at the feet of older and wiser men before having the temerity to venture forth on my own, I would have learnt to emulate their standards, reproducing a lesser imitation of their glorious works instead of creating something offensively different.

When a certain venerable elder, the Merlin of BNF’s kingdom, wrote to me criticising Dark Matter, offering no positive comment nor, indeed, any comment other than ‘downsize or fold’ amidst expressing his ire, I should have immediately repented upon my knees.  Instead, I responded by flippantly calling that august personage a ‘hater’ and disregarded his pearls of wisdom cast before myself, a comparative swine.

Merlin most generously added me to an emailing list without my knowledge; in my deplorable ingratitude I considered unsolicited emails to be spam!  Oh, the ignominy of my arrogance causes my face to flame with embarrassment, in this, the hour of my humiliation!  To think I had not noticed these emails amidst the flood of unsolicited and solicited mail I receive, oh shame!  When I searched for these emails I discovered, to my consternation and horror, that Google appears to have intercepted them, mistakenly discarding them as spam on my behalf.  These emails served as carrier pigeons for words of wisdom like cherished morsels falling from BNF’s banquet table to nourish impoverished vagrants beneath.  Alas, I am inconsolable.

The Inner Cabal has raised a number of charges against me; like Galileo pressed by the Church, I confess and repent of all!

UPDATE:  Reliable sources inform me that the woman I mistakenly described as Her Majesty the Queen is, in fact, called High Priestess.  Complete with capital letters.  I stand corrected and have made the necessary changes. 

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Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


  1. Put it this way I had heard of Dark Matter Fanzine before but not of Fanfluff er stuff. Guess I’m not a Trufen fan whatever. And having read both of them I’d rather read the former which has the added bonus of not making me retch with disgust.

    Keep going Nalini

  2. How dare you do what you want to do with your zine. My Gods woman. Don’t you know there are hard and fast rules????


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