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F&SF to change publishing schedule

(63 posts)
  • Started 10 years ago by Gordon Van Gelder
  • Latest reply from Badfish

  1. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    I thought I'd better start a new thread for this subject, but as mentioned in the "thin December issue" thread, F&SF is going bimonthly.

    The March 2009 issue will be the last monthly issue. Starting with the April/May 2009 issue, we'll be publishing one issue every two months. Each issue will be 256 pages (16 pages longer than our last Oct/Nov issue) except for this year's anniversary issue, which will be a jumbo.

    Subscribers don't need to take any action. If your current sub expires with the April 2009 issue or with the May 2009 issue, your sub now expires with the April/May 2009 issue.

    We've made the change because rising costs---especially postal costs---and the current economy put us in a position where we either had to raise our rates severely or cut back somewhere. Given the state of the economy, I decided a cutback in frequency made the most sense. We'll lose a little more than 10% of our content this year, but we should be in a great position for the coming years.

    I know it's a big change and it will take a little while to get used to it, but I think it will work out fine. Thank you all for your support.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  2. SHamm
    Member

    Just out of curiosity, what's the new cover price?

    Posted 10 years ago #
  3. ByronBailey
    Member

    Wow! That is a big change. I wish you the best of luck.

    All of my hexegonal skulled friends are quite excited about the change and plan to subscribe now that there's an issue for each side their brain.

    I myself am not quite as excited, though. It's probably the least evil one can make out of an evil situation. I can't fault you. Still, judicious sacrificing of a virgin or ten can usually prevent situations from becoming this evil.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  4. harpal
    Member

    Sad but times are tough, I hope you keep the science column by Pat Murphy and Paul going (I know its not every month) but when my yongest son ask me a question about science and Pat and Paul have covered it in their column we try some of their experiments and he enjoy that

    Posted 10 years ago #
  5. EThomas
    Member

    I'm very sad, but I've thought it over since I was so negative in the other thread, and I still would rather get _F & SF_ so infrequently than not at all. :(

    Posted 10 years ago #
  6. EThomas
    Member

    You might want to post this in the blog, too.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  7. Anonymous

    Gordon, I think you've made a good decision and I support it fully. It's obvious that the SF magazine market in a decline and I think the reasons are equally apparent and not easily dealt with, but your decision to publish fewer but bigger issues is - I think - a big step towards providing a more secure future for the magazine that all of us here love. I would point out that something that every reader of F&SF might do to help secure that future is to do whatever we can to help develop additional suscribers. Earlier today I posted a message to this effect on several of the SF related Internet groups that I'm a member of. I included the F&SF website where subscriptions may be purchased and made a personal appeal to all who enjoy reading top quality SF to make an effort to seek out F&SF. I don't know if anything will come of all that, but at least 1000 SF fans have learned today that the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is important to me. I hope the effort pays off.

    Curt Phillips

    Posted 10 years ago #
  8. DouglasCohen
    Member

    Well we at Realms of Fantasy would like to offer greetings to our bimonthly brethren. :)

    Now in all seriousness, I wish you the best of luck with the coming change. Happy New Year.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  9. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Thanks, Doug. You and Shawna can let me in on all the secrets of Bimonthlism now.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  10. MichaelMain
    Member

    I am disappointed but wish you the best in making the changes that you see as necessary. The current page size and font are nice, so I hope those don't change.

    Keep bringing us the good stories. My recent favorites include:

    Albert E. Cowdrey, "The Overseer" (fantasy)
    Robert Reed, "Five Thrillers" (sf)
    James L. Cambias, "The Dinosaur Train" (sf)
    James Stoddard, "The First Editions" (fantasy)
    Wayne Wightman, "A Foreign Country" (sf)
    Robert Reed, "Salad for Two" (sf)
    Robert Reed, "The Visionaries" (sf)
    Robert Reed, "Leave" (sf)
    Albert E. Cowdrey, "A Skeptical Spirit" (fantasy)
    S. L. Gilbow, "Rebecca's Locket" (sf)
    John Kessel, "Pride and Prometheus" (fantasy)
    Charles Coleman Finlay, "The Texas Bake Sale" (sf)
    Albert E. Cowdrey, "Seafarer's Blood"
    Charles Coleman Finlay, "The Minutemen's Witch" (fantasy)
    Barry B. Longyear, "The Monopoly Man" (fantasy)
    Mario Milosevic, "Winding Broomcorn" (fantasy)
    Jerry Oltion, "All in Fun" (fantasy)
    Dean Whitlock, "Changeling" (fantasy)

    Posted 10 years ago #
  11. MattHughes
    Member

    Whatever it takes to keep the wagons rolling on.

    Matt Hughes
    http://www.archonate.com

    Posted 10 years ago #
  12. Anonymous

    Can't say I'm thrilled with this news but I still support the magazine. I mainly hope it isn't the onset of Cheyne-Stokes breathing. Doing my part, though, just renewed for two years (this will be my 30th year of subscribing.)

    Posted 10 years ago #
  13. jason
    Member

    Sad news indeed. But that said, I understand this decision and fully support it. I'll continue to be an avid subscriber and reader and look forward to many more years of F&SF enjoyment.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  14. Anonymous

    Gordon: if those 256 pages are enough for nearly 60 stories per year, I´m all for it.

    Of course I´ll continue to renew and support the magazine.

    Keep up with the good work!!

    Posted 10 years ago #
  15. Hillro
    Member

    This sounds like as good a plan as any. Good luck!

    Posted 10 years ago #
  16. FabriceDoublet
    Member

    I come back from sunny vacations and what do I find? A bimonthly F&SF? Sad news, if not unexpected. Count on me.

    Faithfully yours.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  17. RandyRay
    Member

    This is my first time to post here. I've been reading F&SF since 1982, and I'm sad to see it go bimonthly too. At the same time, I want to do anything I can to help my favorite fiction magazine stay in business. Are lifetime subscriptions still available?

    Posted 10 years ago #
  18. Anonymous

    Instead of mourning over this "sad news," I suggest that each of us who can afford to do so ($35, + $12 for folks outside the US? That's a lot for some people, I know, but I myself throw $35 away every week or two on this and that....) SHOW HIS OR HER SOLIDARITY BY BUYING A GIFT SUBSCRIPTION for someone, maybe a young person, who isn't acquainted with F&SF. I've just dropped my order in the mail. Come on, you guys!!!
    Miki Thornburg

    Posted 10 years ago #
  19. EThomas
    Member

    Randy, lifetime subscriptions are still available...and actually, there currently is a pretty nice deal for lifetime subscribers that you can ask them about.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  20. JeffSmith
    Member

    So, Gordon, here's a geeky question: What about volume numbers? One volume a year now (just like in 1951)? And when would a new volume start, the Feb-Mar issue? 8 issues in the current Volume 116?

    Just trying to keep things organized here...

    I had just decided to read an old issue between new issues. but this interferes with the neatness of that long-term scheme.

    I guess my new plan will be to read a new issue if I have one, and an old one if I don't. I just started the Jan 08 issue. Instead of going to the Fall 49 issue next, I'll read the Feb 08 issue next since that's already here.

    What? I just try to keep a tiny bit of order in the chaos I usually travel in...

    Posted 10 years ago #
  21. Annie
    Member

    As I said in the other thread - good luck with the new schedule.

    Just a thought: won't you save even more money if you stop sending all these renewal notices especially internationally? Won't it be easier (and cheaper) to get them in the same envelopes that are used for the magazines themselves instead of paying the postage for yet another one(or 3) letter? Just thinking aloud.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  22. roy
    Member

    Annie some subscribers fall behind in their reading, or save issues for a long journey, and leave unread issues in their envelopes until they get round to them. Then they find their subscription needed renewing 3 months earlier.
    I sell magazines at conventions (not F&SF but IZ) and one problem is subscribers telling me they have a pile of unread issues waiting when I try to persuade them to renew or subscribe to one of our other magazines.
    Also I believe US subscribers don't get envelopes but a magazine with an address label on the cover.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  23. PaperPilot
    Member

    US readers do get a magazine with an address label on the cover, with subscription cards tucked inside. But these cards are for new subscriptions, not renewals.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  24. Annie
    Member

    roy,

    I was talking for international subscribers only - I know that this cannot work for the US ones. International are already treated separately - the issues are in envelopes. I usually open my mail even if I do not have the time to read it... ok... then put a stamp on the envelope or something saying that you need to renew. I am looking at my renewal mails, it looks lie $0.94 per envelope - I doubt it is that expensive in the States... but it surely sound as a lot of money... As I said - just thinking aloud.

    And IZ have a someone better renewal notice system - it's in the magazine - I do not think I had seen a separate letter from them?

    I always have piles of issues that I need to go through and I still subscribe and renew when I can... One day I will get to all the magazines... but I might not have the money to buy as many or the magazines might be out of business by then because everyone just have piles at home.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  25. Gordon Van Gelder
    Editor/Publisher

    Annie, it would be impossible for us to send renewal notices with subscription copies. The two are handled separately.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  26. Annie
    Member

    "someone better" had to be "somewhat better" above. I need coffee...

    Well - if it can't, it can't. It was just an idea anyway.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  27. Ruala
    Member

    Hey!!!! Don't ignore Miki's suggestion. It was fabulous! Find a young person and get them reading. Excellent!

    Posted 10 years ago #
  28. roy
    Member

    IZ sometimes sends reminder letters after a sub has lapsed but normally we assume subscribers will see the note in the magazine.

    Posted 10 years ago #
  29. FabriceDoublet
    Member

    Annie is right, IZ doesn't send renewal notices. There is a page in the middle of the magazine that says when your sub is about to expire (in the two last issues of your current subscription). Since the notice is handwritten, I guess they do it directly at IZ "headquarters".

    Maybe F&SF could use email renewal notices, at least for the subbers who subscribe via internet, which is my case, since it is so much easier than by snailmail. When I began my first subscription, in 1995, I had to wait to have vacations in the USA, spend part of my vacation time searching for a F&SF issue in newstands, and buy it in order to put my hands on the marvellous subscription card in the magazine. Now, it's so much easier for international subbers!

    Posted 10 years ago #
  30. EThomas
    Member

    If you are interested in buying gift subscriptions:
    https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/buy-giftsub.htm

    Posted 10 years ago #

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