Zines are a great way to express yourself--you write/draw/collage/create whatever your heart desires, make copies, and distribute them wherever you want. They’re a part of a rich history of self-publication, from Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” to Sci-Fi fanzines to punk and feminist (and so much more!) zines that capture the DIY spirit. Long before blogs, zines were an excellent way to give voice to marginalized people and create communities--and they still are!
A cursory look at contemporary sci-fi and fantasy novels shows a surprising lack of cultural diversity among characters. If you look at the big summer blockbuster movies or popular television shows, this feeling is reinforced. A peek below the surface however shows that there are writers from various backgrounds who have produced some fantastic work. If you aren’t a hardcore fan of the genre or unless you accidentally stumble across some of those titles, you won’t know about them.