I'm a little late celebrating one of my own anniversaries, but perhaps you'll graciously allow this belated notice.
When Bruce Sterling chose to end his subversive cyberpunk zine CHEAP TRUTH, he bade his loyal followers to carry the torch onward with their own zines.
You can read all the issues of CHEAP TRUTH here, BTW:
I listened, and obeyed.
Thus was ASTRAL AVENUE born in November of 1986, named after an actual Providence street.
But whereas Bruce was a relentless serious thinker and manifesto maker, I just wanted to be a clown and holy goof. Which is not to say I didn't have points to make. Witness my first-issue, front-page excoriation of the egregious Stephen King. But I was always a Yippie Abbie Hoffman to Bruce's SDS Tom Hayden.
ASTRAL AVENUE was a gloriously old-fashioned cut-and-paste operation. I was still operating with a Commodore 64/128, printing text on a daisy-wheel printer. I'd lay out the pages and rush to Kinko's. Back home, I'd collate, staple, tape mailing labels to all the issues, and hit the PO, all on my lonesome. Ah, what heady memories!
I kept rigorously and pridefully to a monthly schedule for 12 issues. Circulation topped a little over 100 at the height of the run. My mailing list included an equal number of pros and fans, who all were enthusiastic responders. It was during this time that someone first addressed me as "DiFi, as in SciFi," a nickname I've since cherished and used.
I ceased independent operations after issue 12, but then allowed Michael Adkisson of the semi-pro zine NEW PATHWAYS to convince me to run a column by the same name and with the same satirical, semi-serious spirit in his pages. That lasted about another ten issues, as I recall.
Today, the yellowing masters of the zine sit in a closet, the glue slowly disintegrating, releasing their collaged scraps to accumulate like the snows of yesteryear.