I’ve just finished reading issue #1 of b0t zine on my Android phone. b0t zine is a new Internet-native fanzine which is being published in .epub format. EPUB is a free, open-source standard for online publications which is compatible with a host of systems and programs — it is readable on Windows and Macintosh computers as well as Android phones, Apple iPhones and iPads, the Barnes & Noble Nook and a number of other devices.
Of primary interest to readers of this blog, I hope, is that my essay, “Goddamn Future Music,” is included in this issue of the ‘zine. I also really enjoyed the other articles — especially Jeremiah Tolbert’s moving “Science, Faith and Fire Lizards” which reminded me so much of my own path to science fiction. Matthew Sanborn’s short story was sharp, quick and fun. I’m also very grateful to editor Grant Stone’s review of Endhiran, which tipped me off to the fact that there is a movie out there that combines Bollywood and robots. I can’t wait to see it!
A few tips for potential ‘zine readers: Possibly the easiest way for many people to read this magazine will be using the Firefox plugin EPUBReader. Just install it like any other plugin to Firefox, then drag the b0t zine file into the Firefox window and it will open automatically. On Android I experimented with two different aps, Alkido and Laputa. In both cases I had to manually import the zine. On Alkido, put the file into the /ebooks/import/ folder on your SDCard; on Laputa the directory is /Laputa/import/. Then use the import command in either program. I decided that I liked Alkido’s interface much better.
Unfortunately, the editor was not able to include the image which was to accompany my article. My essay concerns the classic movie Forbidden Planet (1956), its landmark soundtrack by pioneer electronic musicians Bebe & Louis Barron, and the profound effect that music had on me. I originally hoped to include a screen capture from the movie, showing character actor Walter Pidgeon (as Dr. Edward Morbius) playing music on what is essentially an alien .mp3 player. Since the photo had to be cut, I’m including it here for your enjoyment.
While re-watching the movie for the article, I took a few other entertaining screenshots and uploaded them to my twitpic. Check out Serious Leslie Nielsen, cavorting Anne Francis, or Dr. Morbius ogling his half-dressed hologram daughter.
If you need some music to listen too while reading b0t zine, I recommend either episode of the new This Ambient Life podcast. Not only is it enjoyable, chill ambient music but it ties in nicely with the content of my essay.
I’d love to hear what you think of my essay, but I think the whole magazine is worthwhile. So what are you waiting for? Go read b0t zine #1.