So you're asking yourself, "So what's this whole APA thing about
APA's have a long a unusual history. Long before
the internet people would join APA's for several reasons. It was usually because
they had a common interest in something and a willingness to write about it. While basically a
fanzine, there are some differences. The best comparison I can make is to liken
an APA to a discussion forum, in print. X number of people
join, and send in whatever they have to talk about or wish comments on
for that issue. Then, the Central Mailer (me in this case) collects all of the
submissions, collates it all together, and mails everyone a complete issue.
As an example: a new APA is forming, Tarn Rider, devoted to Gor.
After finding ten people (the CM decides to limit it to ten members) willing to
admit that they actually enjoy the Gor novels, he
sets some rules (like how often issues will come out, etc.). Each of the ten
people send in their material, the CM shuffles the
papers and then mails one to each member.
Oh yeah, and APA stands for either Amateur Press Association or Amateur
Press Alliance depending on who you ask.
What goes in an APA?
I can't speak for all APA's, but
the contributions usually consist of material like introductions (at least for
their first issue), essays, personal stuff, fiction and art.
All of the Above, being a gaming APA devoted to GURPS, generally
receives rules discussions, scenario springboards, campaign discussions,
characters, new rules, and pretty much the stuff you'd expect from a gaming
Where's the discussion forum part come in?
The one thing that makes APA's
different from your regular gaming magazines or fanzines are the mailing
comments. These are where the members write in and comment (sometimes in great
detail) about what everyone else wrote in the previous issue. In this way we
challenge each other, to both improve our writing skills and to build on each others
So, tell me about All of the Above.
All of the Above is a quarterly APA with its primary
focus on GURPS. GURPS
is, of course, Steve Jackson Games' Generic Universal Role Playing System.
Now, just because our primary focus is on GURPS doesn't mean that other
material isn't welcome. I'm fairly open minded, and as
long as we don't get too far off the subject, members are welcome to discuss
whatever they want.
Currently our membership roster is open, with 19 members, leaving eleven open
slots. I know that 30 seems to be a small number, but APAs can get quite unwieldy when they get too large. With
our current roster we're averaging around 150 pages or so per issue.
Are there any requirements for members?
A few, none of which are tough to deal
with. All members are expected to contribute (I'd rather not tie
up slots with lurkers). When you contribute you must email me an electronic copy of
your submission at my email address. Please contact me on what type of file formats
that I can use. I prefer that you
leave at least a three quarter inch margin on the left and right side to allow
for binding. Please number your pages!
Once I have everyone's submission I collate them all together, and create a
PDF file, readable by Acrobat Reader.
But what if your roster is full by the time you contact me?
True, but we do have a waiting list. If you're interested in being a member,
drop me a line. It's possible that an opening is available. Who knows maybe I
can find a way to squeeze you in even if the roster is full. We are flexible,
but what we want most are people who are willing to write something GURPS
related on a quarterly schedule.
Several of our members have posted part or all of their submissions to their
personal web pages here are some links:
Art copyright (c) 1994 Dan Smith.
Colorized by Robert Gilson
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