Long before there were websites like this one, there were fanzines — lovingly created hand-crafted tributes to all things science fictional, in which everybody could express their viewpoints. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has a wonderful profile of Cuyler "Ned" Brooks, a former NASA engineer who's been creating fanzines for 50 years. Says Baen Books' Toni Weisskopf:
Fanzines really did anticipate the Internet in that ... there were no boundaries... You could talk intelligently about [science fiction] no matter how old you were, if you were a girl, or housebound. I'd like to say there were fewer flame wars, but there weren't. It was just slower. It was, though, more likely to nurture longer, more thoughtful pieces, not [limited by] how many characters in a tweet. You can post a note on Facebook now, but it won't be beautifully illustrated with gorgeous typesetting.