Science-Fiction Five-Yearly

Lee Hoffman, et al



a brief history by guest editor-publisher Geri Sullivan

In November, 1951, Lee Hoffman published the first issue of Science-Fiction Five-Yearly, a light-hearted fanzine that's been coming out once every lustrum since. It was distributed through FAPA until the 1980s and has been mailed to a few hundred fans, friends, and family members ever since.

In SFFY #2, Harlan Ellison and Robert Silverberg each started serials, !Nissassa and Stars of the Slave Giants, writing respectively under the names Nalrah Nosille and Calvin Aaargh. Other early contributors included Robert Bloch, Andy Young, Walt Liebscher, the Irish John Berry, and, starting in 1966, Ted White. Ted has appeared in every issue since, and Harlan picked up !Nisassa again in 1996, turning it into the longest-running genre serial in the process.

Colorful art has identified SFFY since the beginning. LeeH achieved multi-color effects with the aged AB Dick mimeograph Robert Silverberg gave her and it was 20 years before the first all black and white issue appeared. Only two such issues exist, both from the 1970s, which perhaps says more than we want to know about that decade. Color returned to SFFY with a spot of red on the 1981 cover, then a spot of yellow in 1986. More and more color crept in over the next 20 years, none more so than in 2006, when I discovered just what happens when you put a sheet of Fibertone through an ink jet printer a mere 4 days before the SFFY 12 collation. You're as likely to find art by ATom, William Rotsler, Steve Stiles, and Lee Hoffman in issues of yore as in the current one. Dan Steffan and Stu Shiffman are more recent regulars, dating back through the last 20-25 years of SFFY's existence.

In 1971, LeeH took on Bob Toomey as Assistant Editor, then repeated the experience with Terry Hughes five years later. A new SFFY tradition was born. Dan Steffan served as Assistant Editor in 1981, Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden took the helm in 1986 along with Art Editor Stu Shiffman. At the 1990 Corflu in New York, rich brown approached me about taking on the task for SFFY #9. Jeff Schalles joined in, rich provided the necessary introductions, and SFFY history took another turn. LeeH soon renamed the job "guest editor-publisher." Jeff and I remained on board for the next three issues, joined by Andy Hooper for SFFY #10 and by the returning Terry Hughes for SFFY #11. Alas, a brain tumor limited Terry's participation, he died right as we were printing the issue's final pages.

Randy Byers signed on to co-edit SFFY #12 with me and seems to have survived the experience. At 58 pages, it's the largest issue of SFFY yet, though SFFY #2 came close with 56 pages. In addition to SFFY regulars and other contributors of yore, we're pleased to welcome SFFY neos Jae Leslie Adams, Harry Bell, Claire Brialey, Graham Charnock, Rich Coad, John Hertz, and Christina Lake to this ish.

SFFY PDFs are also online at

-- Geri Sullivan

Unfortunately Lee Hoffman died of a massive heart attack on February 6, 2007 bringing to a close both the life of a remarkable woman and the publication of the Science-Fiction Five-Yearly. For more insights about the life and times of Lee Hoffman please go to her website put up by her nephew Gary Ross Hoffman, RIP: LeeH by Geri Sullivan, and Happy Birthday, LeeH! on this site

Title WholeNum Year Editors Pages
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #1 1 1951 Lee Hoffman 30
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #2 2 1956 Lee Hoffman 56
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #3 3 1961 Lee Hoffman 31
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #4 4 1966 Lee Hoffman 40
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #5 5 1971 Lee Hoffman / Bob Toomey 46
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #6 6 1976 Lee Hoffman / Bob Toomey / Terry Hughes 30
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #7 7 1981 Lee Hoffman / Bob Toomey / Dan Steffan 30
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #8 8 1986 Lee Hoffman / Patrick Nielsen Hayden / Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Stu Shiffman 34
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #9 9 1991 Lee Hoffman / Jeff Schalles / Geri Sullivan 41
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #10 10 1996 Lee Hoffman / Andy Hooper / Jeff Schalles / Geri Sullivan 44
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #11 11 2001 Lee Hoffman / Geri Sullivan / Jeff Schalles / Terry Hughes 40
Science-Fiction Five-Yearly #12 12 2006 Lee Hoffman / Geri Sullivan / Randy Byers 58

Data entry by Judy Bemis
Hard copy provided by Geri Sullivan

Updated November 22, 2002. If you have a comment or question about these Web pages please send a note to the Fanac Webmaster. Thank you.