Factsheet Five

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Factsheet Five
Factsheet Five issue 64 cover
Format Print
Editor Mike Gunderloy ("Æditor", 1982-1991), Hudson Luce (1991), R. Seth Friedman (1992-1998)
Publisher Pretzel Press
Origin Alhambra, CA, USA
Language English
Frequency NA
Active 1982 - 1998
Topics Reviews, Zines
Number of Issues 64
Follows NA
Precedes NA
Associated Publications FringeWare Review, Unshaved Truths
Website factsheet5.org

Factsheet Five was a periodical mostly consisting of short reviews of privately produced printed matter along with contact details of the editors and publishers.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, its comprehensive reviews (literally thousands in each issue) made it the most important publication in its field, heralding the wider spread of what would eventually be called fanzine or zine culture.

Before the widespread adoption of the web and e-mail beginning around 1994, publications such as Factsheet Five formed a vital directory for connecting like-minded people. It was the literary equivalent to such phenomena as International Sound Communication in the period of cassette culture.


The magazine was originally published in 1982 by Mike Gunderloy on a spirit duplicator in his bedroom while he lived in an Alhambra, California slanshack. The original focus was science fiction fanzines (the title comes from a short story by science fiction author John Brunner), but it included other reviews. Bob Grumman contributed a regular column on avant-garde poetry from 1987 to 1992.

Gunderloy later moved to Rensselaer, New York, where he continued to publish. By 1987, he was running a zine BBS, one of the first associated with an underground publication. In 1990, Cari Goldberg Janice and (briefly) Jacob Rabinowitz joined as co-editors. Gunderloy quit publishing Factsheet Five following the completion of Issue #44 in 1991.

Hudson Luce purchased the rights to Factsheet Five and published a single issue, Issue #45, with the help of BBS enthusiast Bill Paulouskas, cartoonist Ben Gordon, writer Jim Knipfel, and artist Mark Bloch, who had authored a mail art-related column called "Net Works" during the Gunderloy years.

R. Seth Friedman then published the magazine for five years in San Francisco, with the help of Christopher Becker and Jerod Pore, until Issue #64 in 1998. Circulation grew to 16,000 during that time.

Gunderloy currently works as a computer programmer and farmer. He co-authored the book SQL Server 7 in Record Time ISBN 0-7821-2155-1.

In other media

Jerod Pore collected articles and reviews from the print version of Factsheet Five, and with them produced Factsheet Five - Electric, one of the first zines to use the Usenet newsgroup alt.zines. Beginning in the late 1980s, Gunderloy and Pore also established a substantial online presence on the WELL, an influential, private dial-up BBS.

Three books were published based on Factsheet Five: How to Publish a Fanzine by Gunderloy (1988; Loompanics), The World of Zines, by Gunderloy and Janice (1992; Penguin) ISBN 0-14-016720-X, and The Factsheet Five Zine Reader by Friedman (1997; Three Rivers Press) ISBN 0-609-80001-9. Until 1989, Gunderloy collected and, in turn, made available several versions of the Gemstone File. A number of Gunderloy's zine reviews from Factsheet Five also appeared in edited form in High Weirdness by Mail.

Mike Gunderloy's Factsheet Five Collection of over 10,000 zines and mail art is now held at the New York State Library in Albany, New York, where it occupies 300 cubic feet (8.5 m^3). However, only about 4000 zines in the collection have been cataloged. About 1/4 of the zines in the collection are listed on Excelsior, the New York State Library's electronic catalog; staff of the Manuscripts & Special Collection can help locate other items. Two hundred and forty zines that R. Seth Friedman donated are in the collection of the San Francisco Public Library


Issue User Link Notes
Issue 01
Issue 02
Issue 03
Issue 04
Issue 05
Issue 06
Issue 07
Issue 08
Issue 09
Issue 10
Issue 11
Issue 12
Issue 13
Issue 14
Issue 15
Issue 16
Issue 17
Issue 18
Issue 19
Issue 20
Issue 21
Issue 22
Issue 23
Issue 24
Issue 25
Issue 26
Issue 27
Issue 28
Issue 29
Issue 30
Issue 31
Issue 32
Issue 33
Issue 34
Issue 35
Issue 36
Issue 37
Issue 38
Issue 39
Issue 40
Issue 41
Issue 42
Issue 43
Issue 44
Issue 45
Issue 46
Issue 47
Issue 48
Issue 49
Issue 50
Issue 51
Issue 52
Issue 53
Issue 54
Issue 55
Issue 56
Issue 57
Issue 58
Issue 59
Issue 60
Issue 61
Issue 62
Issue 63
Issue 64

External Links

Official Website (defunct)

ZineWiki - Factsheet Five