WHAR FROM?!!!?

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WHAR FROM?!!!?

Postby John Thiel » Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:13 pm

I'm from Surprising. And we have an issue up, the new January 2007 one. It's at http://surprisingstories.dcwi.com
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Postby John Thiel » Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:25 pm

Well, the May one's up now, same URL, with a feature on sf women. People at "chat" don't chat so much, unless they're working out their problems--but what did some of you think about the zine?
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zine

Postby admin » Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:45 am

SF magazines, whether they are in print or on the web, have an uphill battle, loosing readers at a rapid rate. Even the "big three", Asimov's, Analog, and F&SF, have lost most of their readers. Interzone is hanging in there, but it never had many readers in the first place, though its reputation for publishing some of the best sf is solid. On the web, SciFiction, which regularly won awards, was killed by the suits, who care about nothing but the bottom line, and who don't read anyway. That leaves Intergalactic Medicine Show and Baen as the top two webzines.

Your zine is not really in competition with the other magazines -- in fact there never has been any real competition among sf zines. What is good for one is good for all. The problem is that most people don't read short fiction any more. Short fiction was popular when people worked longer hours, and would read a story over lunch or before bedtime. Now, most readers read novels, in a big gulp, over summer vacation.

Still, I wish you luck.
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Postby John Thiel » Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:17 am

Hm, I'm trying to think of a way to tell my writers that.
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writers

Postby admin » Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:48 am

Your writers know.
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Postby Brightonian » Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:33 pm

I wonder if Asimov's and Analog might gain more readers if they ceased printing on toilet paper, and instead produced something that average punters would not be embarrassed to read on public transport.

On the other hand, they might lose their few remaining readers who like to feel they are still somehow connected to the Golden Age.
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Amazing

Postby admin » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:24 am

Ted White, before he was thrown in jail with all the other dangerous pot smokers, turned Amazing Stories into a really sharp looking magazine, with great covers and nice paper, excellent stories. This was back in the 1980s. He did everything right, but it didn't help sales. I would like it if the big three (now the little three) used good art on the cover, but that is just because I like good art, and know there are good artists looking for work. It probably would not help sales, because the only people who buy are the old faithful.
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Postby temp » Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:51 pm

Having never read much short sci fi in the past, on a whim I decided to get a year subscription to F&SF Nov. 05 to nov 06.

I did not renew, and I still have June to Nov. 06 sitting around waiting for me to get to them...I don't know, I just can't get into it and I find it more of a chore reading these than the pleasure I was hoping for. Can't put my finger on exactly why I didn't like it. Maybe the stories were just not good, but for now this has deterred me from trying this short story idea again. I'm sticking with full length novels.

An irony though I guess is that I just finished reading a few Charles Stross novels which I think were adapted from his previous award winning short stories.
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F&SF

Postby admin » Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:52 am

This is just a guess, but my hunch is that you prefer adventure sf to literary sf. F&SF and Asimov's have, IMHO, gone overboard on the literary angle, which wins awards but is not much fun to read. The characters are unlikable and nothing much happens. Analog is still more open to adventure sf. You might give it a try. The top online magazines are consciously trying to publish stories with likable characters and happy endings, so you might also take a look at Intergalactic Medicine Show and Baen's.
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