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June 2002
 
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Editorial - June 2002
by Gordon Van Gelder

This issue marks two small milestones.

The first was pointed out by Mike Ashley, magazine scholar and deserving winner of this year's Pilgrim Award from the SF Research Association. Mike noted that by his reliable count, we have now published as many issues overall as has Amazing Stories (602), thus tying us for the second most prolific sf magazine. We're still a long way from catching up with Analog and its astounding run of 868 issues, but this milestone's a nice one to pass.

On a smaller scale, this month also marks my fifth anniversary as editor of the magazine.

When I started, I was also working at St. Martin's Press, where I was the in-house editor for two annual Year's Best anthologies (the Dozois volume and the Datlow & Windling collection). I knew that a lot of readers had given up on the sf magazines, choosing instead to read the two big Year's Best compilations in order to keep up with the field.

The goal I set myself was to win back these readers . . . and I figured the best way to do so is by publishing more good stories than the various best-of-the-year anthologies can reprint. Of course, I didn't count on additional anthologies springing up, but I'm happy to report that twenty-five stories from our pages were listed in the annual Locus recommended reading list. (That's up from eight stories on the same list in my first year, 1997.) What's more, at least four stories that weren't on the Locus list will be reprinted in one anthology or another . . . and many other favorites (mine and fans') that were just as good didn't get recognized. Kudos to all of our contributors: you continue to amaze me, even after the thousands of submissions I've read.

As nice as the critical reception is, what matters most is the response of you readers. So for my fifth anniversary, I'm asking you to speak up. Will you take a few minutes to fill out our new reader survey on our Website?

We last conducted a reader survey in the summer of 1994. The changes we've seen since then are too numerous to list---different columns, different columnists, etc. What do you think of them?

There are several personal questions in the survey; these are included so we can give a better profile of our readership to potential advertisers. Your individual information will not be disseminated, nor will it be retained after we complete the survey.

You can find the survey online by going to our Website at www.fandsf.com and following the links there. If you don't have computer access, drop us a note at PO Box 3447, Hoboken, NJ 07030 and we'll send you a hard-copy version.

To thank you for taking the time to fill out the survey, we're giving away a few items to random respondents:
3 survey respondents will receive a free copy of Oi, Robot, the collected F&SF contests, edited by Edward L. Ferman.
2 survey respondents will receive a set of greeting cards featuring Mel Hunter's classic robot art.
1 lucky respondent will receive a lifetime subscription.

If you already have a lifetime subscription, I hope you'll fill out the survey anyway. If yours turns out to be the lucky winner, we'll try to give you a second lifetime. Failing that, we'll figure out something.

And hey, if you happen to know someone who gave up the magazines, let them know what they're missing, will 'ya?

---GVG

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