Year-in-Review: 2017 Magazine Summary
[Editor’s note: This is the first time we have run the yearly Magazine Summary online. Text has been edited for formatting.]
The short fiction market was strong throughout 2017. We added a few online markets to our review, though we did see a number of print markets shift to online only (that sticky distribution problem) and a number of venues went on hiatus or closed because of financial difficulties.
The print magazines that we count for our charts held their numbers in spirit (and total pages), but not in number of issues. With Analog and Asimov’s going to all doubles, the total number of issues dropped to 30 from 38. We use the Statement of Ownership, plus numbers as provided, to get subscriber and newsstand sales, though this becomes less comprehensive as customers move to digital editions. We have included print-plus-digital circulation figures for Analog, Asimov’s, and Locus wrapped into subscription numbers, keeping sell-through accurate for print. There is no digital circulation information from F&SF. (This summary has been edited for length. For the complete article, see the February 2018 issue of Locus.)
Analog produced six tall, digest-size double issues with 208 pages. Cover price was $7.99. There were seven novellas, 22 novelettes, 71 short stories (way up from last year’s 50), six “Science Fact” pieces, and five “Probability Zero” pieces, for a total of 100 pieces of fiction (up from last year’s 84), plus 12 poems. Covers included a simplistic spacescape, a 17th-century explorer examining a modern city through a telescope, an expressively painted spaceship, and an attractive, graphic-novel style dangling worker in a harness being attacked by birds. Editor Trevor Quachri said, “We’re kicking off 2018 with The Quantum Magician, a three-part serial from Derek Künsken, which is our first in our double-issue format, and… we’re rolling out a spate of new social media accounts, with Twitter – @Analog_SF – our first up, with Instagram and others to follow.” Analog paid 8-10 cents per word for short fiction, and 6 cents per word for serials. [Professional]
Asimov’s produced six tall, digest-size double issues with 208 pages. There were five novellas, 20 novelettes, 47 short stories, and one complete short novel, for 73 pieces of fiction, plus 38 poems. Converting to six double issues per year gave more pages for fiction, allowing an entire short novel by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and a series of connected tales by James Gunn related to his Transcendental Trilogy. Cover price was $7.99. Covers were high quality, including a subtly painted image of gray stone horses breaking out of a wall around a writing man, bright and bold red skinks emerging from a glowing screen, a figure in a cityscape composed of books, and a landscape with a murmuration of sleek red robot birds. Editor Sheila Williams said, “Asimov’s had a terrific 40th anniversary year. To commemorate the momentous event, we threw a party at NYC’s Housing Works Bookstore Café. Over a hundred and fifty readers, writers, and SF publishing professionals attended.” The magazine showcased exciting work by Greg Egan, Karen Joy Fowler, Connie Willis, Jack McDevitt, Dale Bailey, Jim Grimsley, Lisa Goldstein, Rich Larson, David Gerrold, Ian R. MacLeod, Sandra McDonald, Ray Nayler, Jay O’Connell, Will McIntosh, Tom Purdom, Kit Reed, Rudy Rucker, Allen M. Steele, Harry Turtledove, Carrie Vaughn, Rick Wilber, Nick Wolven, and many others. Asimov’s paid 8-10 cents per word. [Professional]
F&SF produced six digest-size double issues with 258 pages: four novellas, 23 novelettes, and 34 short stories for 61 pieces of fiction, down from 64 last year, plus five poems. The cover price went up to $8.99 from $7.99 in January. Covers were mixed SF and fantasy, including two tiny dinos piloting a craft resembling a Pink Lady 1950s Chrysler; a dragon facing a fighter surrounded by ruins; and two close-up portraits: a black woman in a celestial landscape and a white woman in front of a stone wall with ghostly figures.
Gordon Van Gelder was publisher; C.C. Finlay was editor. Finlay noted awards attention for William Ledbetter, who won the Nebula Award for Best Novelette for “The Long Fall Up” (F&SF, May/June 2016); Nebula Award finalist “The Liar” by John P. Murphy (F&SF, March/April 2016); and Locus Awards finalists F&SF (Best Magazine) and C.C. Finlay (Best Editor). Finishing his third year as editor, Finlay was also a World Fantasy finalist for Special Award, Professional, and publisher Gordon Van Gelder was WFC guest of honor.
F&SF published the first new story in a decade by Samuel R. Delany (“The Hermit of Houston,” F&SF Sept/Oct 2017). Other notable writers included Eleanor Arnason, Richard Bowes, Richard Chwedyk, Gardner Dozois, Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Matthew Hughes, Naomi Kritzer, Marc Laidlaw, Rich Larson, William Ledbetter, David Erik Nelson, Larry Niven, Rachel Pollack, Robert Reed, Michael Swanwick, Kate Wilhelm, and Nick Wolven. Twenty-four made their F&SF debut this year, including G.V. Anderson, Monica Byrne, Meg Elison, and Wole Talabi. “The diversity of new writers and the abundance of international writers continues a trend in the magazine that started when we began to accept electronic submissions on a regular basis in 2015…. We currently have two major novelettes in translation lined up for 2018, one by the Chinese writer Chi Hui and another by the Czech writer Hanuš Seiner.” Pay rate was 7-12 cents a word. [Professional]
INTERZONE & BLACK STATIC
Interzone, from TTA Press in the UK, <www.ttapress.com>, had six bimonthly issues, 17 x 24 cm, perfect bound, with 96 pages and a glossy color cover; interiors were color on uncoated stock. There were 33 pieces of fiction, down from last year’s 34, plus some non-fiction and reviews of books and films. Covers by Dave Senecal were luminous portraits experimenting with pixelization, fragmentation, and the superimposition of mechanical and textured elements over human forms. Cover price went up to £5.99 from £4.99 starting with the May/June issue. Andy Cox was editor. [Semiprozine, per semiprozine.org]
There were six issues of Black Static, also from TTA Press, 17 x 24 cm, perfect bound, with 96 pages and a glossy color cover; interiors were b&w. There were 33 pieces of fiction, down from 34 last year, plus commentary, book and film reviews, and interviews. Covers were of good quality, including a closeup of a fanged skull wearing a battered helmet, two backlit figures in a greenhouse filled with butterflies, and a crowned figure wrapped in a shroud. Cover price went up to £5.99 from £4.99 starting with the May/June issue. Andy Cox was editor. TTA is one of the few fiction markets that does not post pay rates. [Semiprozine, per semiprozine.org]
Issues included reviews, news, convention coverage, special features, listings, international reports, interviews with new and established authors, Spotlights, and regular commentary from Cory Doctorow and Kameron Hurley on alternating months. The cover price remained $7.50 for print and $5.50 for digital.
We ran 525 reviews of SF, fantasy, horror, and YA fiction works, up from 471 last year, including 196 reviews from short fiction venues; in addition there were 28 reviews of notable audiobooks. There were six Spotlight features on authors, editors, and others. Convention coverage included Worldcon, World Fantasy, Readercon, StokerCon, the Nebula Awards Weekend, WisCon, Norwescon, Locus Awards, ICFA, the Williamson Lectureship, etc., plus international conventions Hal-Con in Japan, ICon in Israel, Estcon in Estonia, and international reports on India, Hong Kong, Portugal, and Finland. Cover art by design editor Francesca Myman included a marine-inspired space vessel, an engraved barbed-wire heart, a pensive biomechanical female silhouetted on an image of the moon, and others. The April issue featured art by Kinuko Y. Craft. New designer Stephen H. Segal did two covers at the end of the year. Divers Hands added occasional reviews by Niall Harrison, Paul Kincaid, Angela Slatter, Arley Sorg, and Bruce Sterling.
Liza Groen Trombi was editor-in-chief; Kirsten Gong-Wong was managing editor. The biggest change was a massive overhaul of Locus Online, <www.locusmag.com>, with a new design and interface. The site is now publishing significantly more content, with reviews going up daily, plus news and articles, an archive page for SF Crossing the Gulf (a podcast by Karen Burnham & Karen Lord), and more guest posts on the Roundtable Blog, edited by Alvaro Zinos-Amaro. The site had an average of 101,100 unique visitors per month, up from 84,500 last year. [Related Work]
We list print magazines by apparent publication frequency, consistency, and pay rate, since these are the clearest demarcations. We asked publishers in which Hugo category they would place, and have included the information provided this year (or last year) in brackets at the end of each write up; for the rest we have used the data from <semiprozine.org> or our best determination.
Galaxy’s Edge produced six issues between 103-121 pages, edited by Mike Resnick and published by Shahid Mahmud, with 72 works of short fiction, six installments of serializations, and 23 pieces of non-fiction. Cover price was $6.99. Issues were 19 x 24.5 cm, perfect bound, with color matte covers, mostly futuristic and space scenes, and b&w interiors on book print. There were 7,000 average unique monthly website visitors, with 450 subscriptions, up from 300 last year, and retail sales of about 300 per month. Mahmud said, “Chinese language rights for publication within China have been sold to Chinese publisher Chengdu Eight Light Minutes Culture Communication Co., Ltd…. As of January 1, 2018, the whole magazine is free online at <www.galaxysedge.com> with a totally redone website.” Submissions were invitation-only; pay rate was $.07/word for new fiction. [Professional, from semiprozine.org]
Fiction River, <www.fictionriver.com>, an “original anthology magazine,” produced five tall, digest-size issues, perfect bound with glossy color covers and b&w interiors, from 255-281 pages, with 81 pieces of fiction in themed issues from “Feel the Fear” to “Tavern Tales” to “No Humans Allowed”. Series editors were Kristine Kathryn Rusch & Dean Wesley Smith. Pay rate was $.06/word and up. WMG Publishing also produced three volumes of Fiction River Presents with reprinted stories from previous issues. [Professional]
The three issues of On Spec, <www.onspec.ca>, a Canadian digest, 107-124 pages, perfect-bound, included 20 pieces of fiction, six poems, and some non-fiction. The semi-gloss covers were high quality, ranging from a fantasy portal set into a red tree to an astronaut surfing on a comet. Cover price was CA$6.95. Print runs were 550-675, up from 450-500 last year, with 400 subscribers, up from 375, with digital subscriptions on Weightless. Diane L. Walton was managing editor, and The Copper Pig Writers’ Society was publisher. Walton said, “We continue to rely primarily on arts funding from the Alberta government, and this pays our main production costs. We have not increased our payment to writers, because the government funding is never guaranteed from one year to the next.” Pay rates ran from C$.03 to C$.125/word. [Semiprozine, per semiprozine.org]
New to us and in its second year of publication, Into the Ruins, <intotheruins.com>, produced four perfect-bound issues with b&w interiors and glossy color covers of painted landscapes, from 107-114 pages, with 20 short stories and some non-fiction. Editor was Joel Caris, who said, “The magazine focuses on futures that are beset by climate change, ecological disruption, political and economy dysfunction, and low-energy ways of life.” Into the Ruins was available by POD and PDF at <payhip.com/figurationpress>. Average circulation was 306, mostly print subscribers with some digital-only and newsstand sales. Pay rate was $.005/word and copy. [Semiprozine]
Space and Time, <www.spaceandtimemagazine.com>, produced two 48-page, full-sized issues, b&w with glossy color covers, with 14 stories and nine poems. Cover price was $6.00. Total print run was around 2,000, with 75 print and e-subscribers, and 50% sell-through. Editor-in-chief Hildy Silverman said, “I’m not certain what the future holds for Space and Time as of this writing, due to yet another increase in shipping costs and Ingram selling their magazine distribution business.” Pay rate was $.01/word, $5.00 per poem. [Semiprozine]
Lontar: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, <www.lontarjournal.com>, produced two issues in 2017, 16.5 x 21.5 cm perfect bound, 132-145 pages, with striking color covers of a bat-winged archer and a mermaid with a sliced tail. The issues included nine short stories, two installments of a serialized novel, and 13 poems. Founding editor Jason Erik Lundberg plans to cease publication in 2018 with a double-sized issue #10: “There are a number of reasons why, related to funding and sales and waning enthusiasm, but most of all it’s because I want to end things on a high note…. We’ve had a solid run, and published some phenomenal writing, and I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.” Print run was 500 copies per issue, with a digital subscriber base of 75. Pay rate for short stories was SGD$30. [Semiprozine]
Shoreline of Infinity, based out of Scotland, published 52 stories exploring an uncertain future, 31 poems, and some non-fiction in four regular issues from 134-142 pages and one special issue for the Edinburgh International Book Festival at 224 pages, all perfect-bound, digest-sized with b&w interiors and glossy color covers. Editor Noel Chidwick said, “We have published some cracking stories from known writers (e.g. Ken MacLeod, Nalo Hopkinson, Ada Palmer, Eric Brown, Adam Roberts) as well as new and up-and-coming writers…. In 2018, watch out for more audio drama to be distributed via podcast, and for our special issue to celebrate International Women’s Day.” Pippa Goldschmidt & Caroline Grebbell will guest edit for a women’s only issue in March 2018. The magazine had a print run of 150, and was available digitally from Amazon and <www.shorelineofinfinity.com>. Print prices were £5.50-£10.00, digital £2.60. Subscriber base was 40, with 3,500 average unique website visitors monthly. Pay rate was £10/1,000 words. [Semiprozine]
Bourbon Penn, <www.bourbonpenn.com>, published 13 “highly imaginative stories with a healthy dose of the odd” in two perfect-bound issues, 12.75 x 20 cm, with a color gloss cover and b&w interior, available online and in Kindle. Editor Erik Secker said, “The types of stories that received the best response were the ‘weird’ or ‘unclassifiable’ stories.” There were around 100 print sales and 500 average monthly unique website visitors. Pay rate was $.01/word. [Semiprozine]
Skelos: The Journal of Weird Fiction and Dark Fantasy had two perfect bound issues, 18 x 25.5 cm, with glossy color covers of vintage Blake and Doré art and b&w interiors with some illustrations, 193-201 pages, with 20 stories, four novelettes, and 17 poems. Managing editors were Mark Finn, Chris Gruber, and Jeffrey Shanks. [Not yet eligible]
Cemetery Dance, <www.cemeterydance.com>, had one saddle-stitched issue, 108 pages with a cover price of $9.99 and a glossy color, b&w interior with art, eight short stories, and extensive non-fiction. Publisher was Richard Chizmar; general manager was Brian James Freeman. The print run was 10,000 copies, with half going to subscribers. Pay rate was $.05/word. [Professional]
Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, <www.smallbeerpress.com/lcrw>, produced one saddle-stitched, oversize chapbook, b&w interior, 52 pages, eight stories, and 2 poems. Cover price was $5.00. Print subscriptions rose to 240 from 224; ebook subscriptions were 350. Co-editors were Gavin J. Grant & Kelly Link. Pay rates went up to $.03/word, $25 minimum and $10 per poem. [Semiprozine, per semiprozine.org]
We saw two issues of Neo-opsis, <www.neo-opsis.ca>, 80 pages, digest-sized with 16 stories, two poems, and assorted non-fiction, smooth book print inside, with semi-gloss color covers. Editor was Karl Johanson. Print run was flat at 1,000, with 125 subscribers up from 100, and a bookstore distribution of 425 with 42% sell-through, and 40 other assorted issue sales. Cover price was C$9.00. Fiction pay rate was C$.025/word, capping at $125. [Semiprozine]
Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism, <www.phantomdrift.org>, had one 178-page issue titled “Creatures Born of a Long Denial” with 14 stories and 26 poems, 19 x 23.5 cm perfect bound with a b&w interior and a color matte cover. Matt Schumacher was the new managing editor, with new fiction editors Martha Bayless and Peter Grandbois. Contributing editor David Memmott said, “We sell less than 500 copies through our website and Ingram’s distribution and our payments to contributors come from a $3 reading fee through Submittables.” Cover price was $15.00. Pay rate was $5 per page, minimum of $10. [Semiprozine]
Publisher David B. Riley has returned to Science Fiction Trails after a four-year hiatus, <www.steampunktrails.blogspot.com>, with one full-sized and perfect-bound issue, 86 pages with eight original weird Western science fiction stories and a glossy color cover of an alien strapped to a steam train. The magazine “will remain an annual and will be back with our 13th issue this summer. . . as both a print and e-zine.” Price was $6.50. [Semiprozine]
We were excited to see one issue of the newly relaunched Omni, <omnimagazine.com/>, following reacquisition of the Omni trademark this year by original owner Penthouse, headed by Kelly Holland. The issue was perfect bound, full-size, 120 pages, with color interiors on coated stock and a semi-gloss color cover with silver lettering and art of a face and a spiral clock, with three original short stories and interviews, essays, and news stories on topics of science, art, and innovation. Editor-in-chief was Pamela Weintraub, and fiction editor was Ellen Datlow. Weintraub said, “We’ve had a strong positive response. The contributors we had for the issue, both in fiction and non-fiction, were well-known writers and journalists, and we worked hard to recapture the Omni DNA, but for the zeitgeist of now.” Datlow notes that “two of the three stories from the issue have been picked for year’s bests.” Print run was 105,000 copies, widely available in bookstores. Penthouse plans another issue for summer 2018.
We saw one issue of Finnish Weird, saddle stitched, 50 pages with a color cover, and a color interior with illustrations, book reviews, and three pieces of Finnish speculative fiction. Editor-in-chief was Toni Jerrman, who noted, “It’s very probable that there won’t be any more issues of Finnish Weird…. According to 3.3.14 [of the WSFS Constitution] Finnish Weird is a fanzine (no payment to anybody and given out mostly for free) and by 3.3.13 Tähtivaeltaja [a Finnish-language magazine] is a semiprozine (was generally available only for paid purchase) and that’s how they are seen in Finland. But according to 3.2.11 they might both be considered professional, which is quite a surprise for me. Both ‘zines are published by Helsinki Science Fiction Society, which is a noncommercial, nonprofit literary society run mostly by volunteers. I’m the only one getting some pay for all the work I do for Tähtivaeltaja – and at the moment well over quarter of my yearly income comes from there. Mostly because during the last few years my freelance work has dried out…. So it’s very hard to think of that as professional, but I’d say that 3.2.11 claims clearly so.” Print run was 500 copies, most given out for free at conventions worldwide, with issues available free in ebook and PDF formats at <www.finnishweird.net>. [Professional]
One issue of Aliterate, <www.aliterate.org>, from non-profit Genre, Ltd., focused on literary genre fiction, mostly science fiction and fantasy with some Western, noir, and horror. Issue #2 was perfect bound, 120 pages, 15 x 23 cm, with a blue spot-color cover of a collapsed dragon, with b&w interior and six short stories. Editors were R.S. Mason, Brendan Hickey, Alicia Kort, Emilio T. Jasso, and Joshua Pevner. Print run was 1,000 and pay rate was $.06/word. [Not yet eligible]
Dark Discoveries, <www.darkdiscoveries.com>, sent one perfect-bound, full-sized, 108-page issue, color interiors on uncoated stock, and a glossy color cover featuring writer Paul Tremblay, with six stories and assorted nonfiction. Publisher was JournalStone, headed by Christopher C. Payne; editor-in-chief was Aaron J. French. Payne said, “The magazine is on hold for now. Losing way too much money. We will see how the industry changes over the next year, but for now we are suspending it.” Pay rate was $.06/word, maximum $300. [Semiprozine]
We saw 11 issues of new magazine Alien Dimensions, <aliendimensions.com>, with SF, fantasy, and metaphysical stories, totaling 65 pieces of fiction. The first three issues of 2017 were perfect bound, 15 x 23 cm, with glossy color covers and b&w interiors, and the remainder were PDF. Covers were simple space-themed and digital stock art. The magazine was available in ebook and POD through Amazon. Cover price was $6.95. Pay rate was $10 per story. [Semiprozine]
For poetry, we received three issues of Dreams & Nightmares, <www.dreamsandnightmaresmagazine.com>, priced at $5.00 with 43 poems total. Print run was 150, with a subscriber base of 85. Editor David Kopaska-Merkel said, “I am seeing more submissions from poets outside the US. I am enjoying broadening my perspectives.” Pay rate was $12 plus two copies. [Semiprozine]
Star*Line, <www.sfpoetry.com/starline.html>, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, produced four issues priced at $5.00, with 347 poems total. Pay was $.03/word, minimum of $3. Star*Line transitioned from longtime editor F.J. Bergmann to new editor Vince Gotera for issue 40.4. The SFPA also published 79 poems in Eye to the Telescope, a quarterly online speculative poetry journal with a different theme and editor each issue: <www.eyetothetelescope.org/about.html>. [Semiprozine]
ONLINE: MAGAZINES, FICTION WEBSITES, AND PODCASTS
We’re writing up 64 sites: magazines, fiction sites, podcasts, and more.
Tor.com, under the Macmillan umbrella, published 40 short stories and novelettes (down from the prior year’s 60), plus 11 flash fiction pieces on the theme “Nevertheless, She Persisted,” artwork, non-fiction, and more. Associate publisher Irene Gallo reported one million unique visitors per month, noting, “July 2018 will be Tor.com’s 10th anniversary. To celebrate we will be publishing a hardcover anthology, Worlds Seen in Passing: Ten Years of Tor.com Short Fiction in September.” Pay was $.25/word with royalties. [Professional]
Clarkesworld, <clarkesworldmagazine.com>, published 12 issues, with 58 original stories, 24 reprints, 82 podcasts, and non-fiction. The website had 40,000 unique visitors per month, up from 39,000; podcast unique listeners increased by 1,000 to 12,000. Publisher Neil Clarke said, “I went full-time working on CW, Forever, and other projects…. We published a trial novella and have another scheduled…. Our partnership with Storycom for Chinese translations has finished its third year and we’re planning to celebrate with an anthology.” There were 3,500 digital subscribers (up 200), and a flat 200-250 digital single-issue sales monthly. Clarke said, “Readers responded well to: ‘A Series of Steaks’ by Vina Jie Min Prasad, ‘The Secret Life of Bots’ by Suzanne Palmer, ‘The Last Boat-Builder in Ballyvoloon’ by Finbarr O’Reilly, ‘We Who Live in the Heart’ by Kelly Robson. Vina is my pick for best new author.” Clarkesworld paid $.10/word up to 5,000 words, and $.08 thereafter. [Professional]
Forever Magazine, <forever-magazine.com>, Neil Clarke’s “reprint only” project, published 12 monthly issues in 2017, with a total of 36 stories. [Professional]
Lightspeed Magazine, <www.lightspeedmagazine.com>, edited and published by John Joseph Adams, produced 12 issues with 95 SF and fantasy stories in the regular editions (47 originals, 48 reprints), including one original novella published in two parts (also 12 reprint novellas exclusively available in digital editions), plus interviews, podcasts, and more. The most popular stories on the website by views were “The Worldless” by Indrapramit Das; “Octopus vs. Bear” by Kendra Fortmeyer; “Tongue” by Ashok K. Banker; “Probably Still the Chosen One” by Kelly Barnhill; and “Seven Salt Tears” by Kat Howard. “We published an original novella for the first time – Jeremiah Tolbert’s ‘The Dragon of Dread Peak’…. Also ‘The Greatest One-Star Restaurant in the Whole Quadrant’ by Rachael K. Jones has gotten a lot of excited reader response.” For the 100th issue in September, Adams is planning a larger-than-normal issue. Average monthly unique visitors in 2017 was 24,000, down from 25,000 in 2016, with 2,300 ebook subscribers – steady from prior year. Pay was $.08/word. [Professional]
Nightmare, <www.nightmare-magazine.com>, also helmed by Adams, published 12 regular issues with 24 original stories and 24 reprints. Issues had interviews, author spotlights, podcasts, and monthly column “The H Word”. Adams noted the most popular stories on the website were “Don’t Turn on the Lights” by Cassandra Khaw; “Loneliness Is in Your Blood” by Cadwell Turnbull; “Redcap” by Carrie Vaughn; “The Sound of” by Charles Payseur; and “The Spook School” by Nick Mamatas. Average monthly unique visitors was 8,000, down from 10,000. There were about 950 ebook subscribers, down from 1,000. Pay was $.06/word. [Professional]
Strange Horizons, <www.strangehorizons.com>, published 53 weekly issues with a total of 47 stories, as well as poetry, reviews, and articles, with a recurring book club roundtable discussion. Special issues included the Resistance issue, the Storylogical crossover, the fund drive special issue, and the Arab League Community and Diaspora issue. Associate editor Vanessa Rose Phin said, “2017 saw the transition from Niall Harrison to Jane Crowley and Kate Dollarhyde as editors-in-chief. The nonfiction essay ‘Kirk Drift’ for Erin’s column Freshly Remember’d continues to be the most popular piece published on our site this year…. We added content warnings to our site in November.” Phin reported about 40,000 unique visitors per month, up from 35,000. Pay for fiction was $.08/word. [Semiprozine]
SH‘s sister magazine Samovar, “a quarterly magazine of and about translated speculative fiction,” edited by Sarah Dodd, Laura Friis, and Greg West, launched in March, producing four issues with nine stories and their accompanying translations.
Uncanny, <uncannymagazine.com>, published six issues, with 35 original stories including one novella, six novelettes, 28 short stories, and seven reprints, as well as essays, poems, interviews, and podcasts. Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damien Thomas were co-editors-in-chief and were Hugo and World Fantasy Award finalists. The mag won the Best Semiprozine Hugo and was a Locus Award finalist. Alyssa Wong’s novelette “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay” won the Locus Award and was a Hugo and Nebula finalist. Brooke Bolander’s short story “Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” was a finalist for Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. Theodora Goss’s poem “Rose Child” won the Rhysling Award, and Galen Dara’s cover “Bubbles and Blast-Off” won a Chesley Award. Julia Rios (poetry/reprint editor) and Amal El-Mohtar (podcast reader) left Uncanny, and new poetry/reprint editor Mimi Mondal, interviewer Shana DuBois, and podcast reader Stephanie Malia Morris started. 2018 plans “include a special dinosaur-themed issue and the Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction special issue.” They reported about 1,600 subscribers (up from 1,300) and averaged 27,000 unique visitors, with 130 Patreon patrons. Pay was $.08/word for fiction. [Semiprozine]
Beneath Ceaseless Skies, <www.beneath-ceaseless-skies.com>, a bi-weekly “literary adventure fantasy” magazine published and edited by Scott H. Andrews, produced 26 issues containing 53 pieces of original fiction (43 short stories, nine novelettes, and one novella), one reprint, 22 podcast episodes, and their eighth Best of BCS reprint anthology. Andrews said, “Accolades included a fifth Hugo finalist for Best Semiprozine, a seventh World Fantasy Award finalist, and two stories named finalist for the Nebula Awards.” The website averaged 61,000 unique visitors per month, up from 37,500; podcasts averaged 13,000 downloads per episode, up from 10,000. Highlights of 2017 included their 500th story in November, their ninth anniversary double-issue in October, and episode 200 of the BCS podcast, a five-hour, full-length novella. A successful ebook subscription drive funded the raising of the submission word-count limit to 14,000 words. Plans for 2018 include their fourth science-fantasy theme month in February; their 250th issue in April; and their tenth anniversary in October. Pay rate was $.06/word. [Semiprozine]
Apex, <www.apex-magazine.com>, published 35 original stories plus poetry, essays, and interviews in 12 monthly issues. The most popular stories “fall into two categories: stories of magical realism from non-white cultures and weird, dark SF.” Some of the most popular work came from Chesya Burke (“‘Say, She Toy”), S.B. Divya (“An Unexpected Boon”), Iori Kusano (“Next Station, Shibuya”), Lia Swope Mitchell (“Mag, the Habitat and We”), Annie Neugebauer (“So Sings the Siren”), Rebecca Roanhorse (“Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™”), and Ursula Vernon (“The Dark Birds”). The site received 14,500 average monthly visitors, with about 1,392 subscribers. “The big news is that we’re doing a print edition to accompany the online and ebook issues.” Pay rate was $.06/word. [Professional]
Terraform, <motherboard.vice.com/terraform>, a spin-off of the Motherboard technology site devoted to “future fiction,” published some 28 fiction pieces, plus excerpts, articles, and more. Editor was Brian Merchant. Pay rate was $.20/word. [Professional]
Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, <www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com>, published 34 stories in six issues, plus podcasts, interviews, and more. Editor-in-chief Scott Roberts said, “Samuel Marzioli’s ‘A Mundane Encounter with a Civilized God’ (IGMS #55) is everything a short story should be – surprising but familiar, entertaining and strange. And Steven R. Stewart’s ‘God in the Window’ (IGMS #56) is a tour-de-force of the horror genre – atmospheric, dark, smart, and yet again: familiar. E. Catherine Tobler’s SF short, ‘Murmuration’ was one of my favorite SF stories of the year…. Tobler is one of the best short story writers working.” IGMS paid $.06/word for original fiction. [Semiprozine]
Abyss & Apex Magazine, <www.abyssapexzine.com>, published 25 stories, book reviews, editorials, and poems in four quarterly issues. Editor and publisher Wendy S. Delmater said, “Our darker fantasy did very well this year…. We get exponentially more fantasy than SF and want to see more science fiction…. A&A published 40% female writers, which is slightly below our usual 41-43%. We believe Angus McIntyre, Sean Patrick Hazlett, Ryan Row, Janet K. Nicolson, Thomas K. Carpenter, and Jon Rollins are all authors to watch.” Average unique visitors per month were 18,400, up from 11,050. Pay was $.06/word to 1,250 words with a flat rate of $75 for longer. [Semiprozine]
Fireside, <firesidefiction.com>, produced 12 issues in 2017, with one novelette, one novella, 15 short stories, and 30 flash fiction pieces. Pablo Defendini took over as publisher, and Julia Rios became editor after Brian White in July. Defendini said best responses were to “stories of resistance, empowerment, and justice…. We redesigned our website, rethought our editorial workflow from the ground up…, Julia Rios came on, published the second installment of the #Blackspecfic Report.” Unique visitors averaged around 8,000 per month, with 600 ebook subscribers. Fireside paid 12.5 cents per word. [Semiprozine]
Daily Science Fiction, <dailysciencefiction.com>, published 260 stories in 2017, delivered to subscribers by email and published on the website; co-published and co-edited by Michele-Lee Barasso & Jonathan Laden. They had 12,500 subscribers, up from 12,000, and 20,000+ unique visitors per month. Pay was $.08/word up to 1,500 words. [Semiprozine]
The Dark Magazine, <www.thedarkmagazine.com>, published 24 “dark and strange” stories in 12 issues, as well as nine podcast adaptations. It was co-edited by Sean Wallace & Silvia Moreno-Garcia, with assistant editor Jack Fisher. Wallace said, “Two stories that most represented the magazine included ‘The Whalebone Parrot’ by Darcie Little Badger and ‘Twilight Travels with the Grape-Paper Man’ by Sara Saab.” The Dark received about 3,600 unique visitors monthly, up from prior year’s 2,000, and had about 158 paid subscribers (up from 112), and 1,458 newsletter subscribers, up from 1,200, “along with some 300 listening to or downloading the podcasts.” They hope to fundraise by Kickstarter going forward. Pay was $.03/word. [Professional]
Australian Aurealis, <aurealis.com.au>, published 35 stories in ten issues, including their triple-sized 100th issue. Editor Dirk Strasser said, “We publish the full range of speculative fiction…. Evocative stories which feature a sense of strangeness are usually well-received, but so are humorous stories where the humor is derived from the characters.” Subscriptions increased 10.5% from2016 to 2017. Pay rate was AUS$.02/word. Parent company Chimaera Publications also ran the Aurealis Awards. [Semiprozine]
New Myths, <sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/home>, published 20 short stories, 11 flash fiction pieces, plus poems, non-fiction, and art, in four planned issues. “We would like to see more hard science fiction submissions…. Susan Shell Winston took over most of the editing responsibilities from Scott T. Barnes in 2017.” Barnes reported “conservatively” 1,000 steady readers per quarterly issue. Pay was 1.5 cents/word, minimum payment of $30. [Semiprozine]
Andromeda Spaceways, <andromedaspaceways.com>, an Australian publication with speculative fiction “and more from local and international authors and illustrators,” published four issues with 42 stories and five poems as well as a “2016’s Best Stories” anthology. Helmed by editor Terry Wood, issues were also edited by members of ASM Publishing Inc’s association: Wayne Harris, Joel Schanke & Jessica Nelson-Tyers, and Tom Dullemond. Wood said, “2017 is the second year where ASM has been able to publish quarterly and is the first year we have been able to produce a ‘Best Stories’ anthology. We hope to repeat that in 2018.” Pay for original short fiction was A$.01/word, A$20 (min) and A$100 (max). [Semiprozine]
Mithila, <mithilareview.com>, published three of four scheduled issues, plus a special double issue devoted to Asian SF, for 17 stories. Editor Salik Shah commented, “Excellent stories with protagonists from marginalized groups or communities in speculative literature such as Islam or LGBTQ got the best response this year. We would like to see all kinds of stories from marginalized or underrepresented groups in 2018.” They paid “$10-25 per story/poem depending on our Patreon funding. We’re working to raise funds to pay $50-100 per story in 2018. Our Patreon+sales/subscription numbers come around 50.” There are 2,500-3,500 unique visitors per month. [Semiprozine]
Newcomer Fiyah, <www.fiyahlitmag.com>, the “Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction,” published 20 short stories and two novelettes in four scheduled issues. Editor Justina Ireland said, “People really enjoyed both novelettes (‘Chesirah’ by L.D. Lewis and ‘Cracks’ by Xen) and there was also a decent amount of buzz for other shorts, especially those dealing directly with social issues via an SFF lens.” For 2018 they hope for SF and fantasy from and by authors from “the African continent and diaspora that reject regressive ideas of blackness, respectability politics, and stereotype.” Pay was $150 for short stories, $300 for novelettes, and $50 for poetry. They had 298 subscriptions, sold 1,073 individual issues, and had 1,784 average monthly visits. [Semiprozine]
Persistent Visions, <persistentvisionsmag.com>, published 19 pieces in 2017, edited by Heather Shaw, before she stepped down in October. Publisher and now-editor Christophe Pettus said, “We really want to focus on fiction that talks about how people relate to each other, and how they *could* relate to each other, in a future time or different world.” They averaged about 1,000 unique visitors/month, up from prior year’s 500. Pay was $.07/word. [Semiprozine]
Omenana Magazine of African Speculative Fiction, <omenana.com>, founded by Mazi Chiagozie Nwonwu & Chinelo Onwualu, published works “from writers from Africa and the African Diaspora,” producing two of three planned issues in 2017, with 12 fiction pieces, plus non-fiction and art. Onwualu said, “I do think that Africans approach genre writing from a different point of view than the West so… I’m just looking for well-told tales….” A SFWA grant will take care of their financial needs for the next 12 months and allow them to get a wider range of art. Pay was “N1 NGN per word.” The site received an “average of 1,000 visitors a month” and has 3,000+ subscribers, up from the prior year’s 2,203; the magazine averages 1,000 downloads a month, up from 700. [Semiprozine]
Shimmer, <www.shimmerzine.com>, produced 24 stories in six issues. Editor Beth Wodzinski said, “One story that seemed to strike a chord with readers was Maria Haskins’s ‘Hare’s Breath’. Our all-time most popular story remains ‘The Earth & Everything Under’ by K.M. Ferebee, which is a great exemplar of what we want: gorgeous writing about loss and love. Fran Wilde’s ‘Only Their Shining Beauty Was Left’ (from 2016) made it on the WSFA ballot this year.” Subscriber numbers are under 100. Each story averaged about 1,500 views over a year, with the most popular around 2,500 views. Shimmer paid $.05/word. [Semiprozine]
See the Elephant Magazine, dedicated to “progressive and humane short fiction,” published one issue in 2017 with nine original stories and two reprints. Publisher/editor Melanie Lamaga said, “The stories I and See the Elephant‘s readers are most interested in are stories with both entertainment value and social relevance by diverse authors.” Pay was $.06/word for original work. [Semiprozine]
GigaNotoSaurus, <giganotosaurus.org>, published one longish fantasy or SF story monthly, online and in ebook formats: “Longish meaning longer than a short story, and shorter than a novel.” Editor Rashida J. Smith said, “We were honored to be a Hugo Award Finalist in the semiprozine category.” Pay rate was $100/story.
Perihelion, <perihelionsf.com>, a monthly online hard SF magazine, published about 70 stories in eight “monthly” issues in 2017, suffering “a rather catastrophic systems collapse. We spent close to $2,000 on new equipment and having our systems worked on.” Editor Sam Bellotto, Jr. commented, “We had been getting close to 3K page views per day.” Pay rate was $.01/word. [Semiprozine]
Mythic Delirium, <mythicdelirium.com>, edited by Mike Allen, published four issues with 12 short stories total. They averaged 950 unique site visitors per month, down from 1,800. Allen said, “The most-read was weird horror tale ‘The Famine King’ by Darcie Little Badger, from our Winter issue…. The most read story on the site was Nebula Award finalist ‘Sabbath Wine’ by Barbara Krasnoff, first published in Clockwork Phoenix 5 in 2016.” Allen reported monthly unique averages of 1,036; paid subscriptions dropped from about 100 to less than 50 due to Kickstarter rewards expiring. For their 20th anniversary, the Spring 2018 issue will be a double issue. They paid $.02/word up to 4,000 words, $5/poem, and $50 for cover art. [Semiprozine]
Kaleidotrope, <www.kaleidotrope.net>, a quarterly magazine, published 20 stories and nine poems. Editor Fred Coppersmith said, “Most recently, ‘The Ouroboros Bakery’ by Octavia Cade has probably gotten the best response, earning a spot on the Nebula recommended reading list.” Pay was $.01/word, $5 for poetry, $60 for artwork. [Semiprozine]
Gamut, <gamut.online>, published 50 original stories and 43 reprints, 52 poems, 36 columns, and 14 essays/non-fiction articles in 12 scheduled issues. Editor-in-chief Richard Thomas said, “Best responses were for stories that were innovative, from voices people loved, and/or new authors that have burst onto the scene.” They had about 850 subscribers and about 1,000 unique visitors per month. Pay rate was $.10/word. [Professional]
Grimdark, <grimdarkmagazine.com>, published 31 stories in four issues, and one anthology, focused on “the grittier nature of people in futuristic or fantasy settings.” Adrian Collins was founder and editor-in-chief. Collins said, “2017 was a learning year, where I got taught a few very harsh (and very expensive) lessons on print distribution in particular…. I’m looking forward to growing in a controlled sustainable fashion in 2018.” Website views averaged 2,000/month. Pay was A$.07/word up to 4,000 words. [Semiprozine]
New Zealand magazine Capricious, <www.capricioussf.org>, edited by A.C. Buchanan, published three issues with 12 “original, and often weird” stories. Rates varied by issue; previously listed $.04/word. [Semiprozine]
Liminal Stories, <liminalstoriesmag.com>, a bi-annual publication searching for “weird fiction, magical realism, soft science fiction, and those uncategorizable stories that straddle the line between genres,” published 14 stories and five poems in 2017. Shannon Peavey & Kelly Sandoval were senior editors/publishers. Helena Bell joined as senior poetry editor. Sandoval said, “Readers seemed to respond strongly to stories with powerful, unique voices that engaged with difficult emotional content and showed a level of awareness for the current social and political moment.” They saw about 1,600 unique visitors/month. Pay rate was $.06/word for short fiction, and $50/poem. [Semiprozine]
Flash Fiction Online, <flashfictiononline.com>, a monthly edited by Suzanne Vincent showcasing “some of the best darn flash fiction there is,” posted 12 scheduled issues for a total 48 flash fiction pieces – 36 original and 12 reprints – in 2017. Publisher Anna Yeatts said, “There’s a definite fan base for dark fantasy and horror among our readership as well as an appreciation for a literary style, meaning a beautifully written story.” Pay rate was $0.06/word or more at a flat rate of $60.00 for original stories between 500-1,000 words. Monthly unique visitors were 54,051. They have 139 subscribers between Weightless Books, Revive the Drive, and Patreon. [Semiprozine]
Anathema, <www.anathemamag.com>, focusing on “weird, slipstream, surrealism, fabulism, and more by queer people of colour on every range of the LGBTQIA spectrum,” published 14 stories in three issues. Editor Michael Matheson said, “We want to see more Indigenous/Aboriginal and Latinx-authored works, in addition to what we normally see….” Pay was C$100 for cover art, C$50 for fiction and non-fiction. “The aim is to eventually pay pro rates.” Matheson reported around 450 unique visitors/month with nearly double that as new issues release.
Diabolical Plots, <www.diabolicalplots.com>, edited by David Steffen, published 21 original stories on the website in 12 monthly issues, plus 20 reprints in The Long List Anthology Volume 3, and non-fiction. Steffen said, “Weird fiction, whether fun or dark, tends to hit my tastes the best, and I think is what regular readers of Diabolical Plots look for.” Pay was $.08/word, 1 cent/word for reprint fiction + pro-rata share of 50% of royalties for the anthology. Steffen said the Diabolical Plots newsletter has over 200 subscribers. Unique visitors to the site averaged about 1,900 per month. The Long List Anthology 1 and 2 sold over 5,000 copies in 2017. [Semiprozine]
The Future Fire, <futurefire.net>, a quarterly magazine of progressive, feminist, queer, eco, multicultural, and cyberpunk fiction published four issues with 20 short stories and six poems. Editor Djibril al-Ayad said, “The stories that really seem to resonate with readers… are the stories of quiet, existential horror, rather than sense-of-wonder big SF or wild-ride action adventure.” Al-Ayad reported “around 3,000 unique visitors per month.” Pay was $20 for short fiction and $10 for poems. [Semiprozine]
Helios Quarterly, <heliosquarterly.com>, published four issues and 30 stories. Editor ElizabethO. Smith said, “Our science fiction got the best response this year along with female protagonists in warrior-like roles.” Average unique monthly visitors were 5,000, with five subscriptions and 50 downloads. Pay was $.03/word for short fiction, $.06/word for micro fiction, and $.25/word for poems.
Strange Constellations, <www.strangeconstellations.com>, published 12 issues with 13 stories under Creative Commons license. Editor R.S. Mason said, “I like seeing character-driven stories about marginalized people, so more of that is always welcome.” Pay was $30/story. [Semiprozine]
LampLight, <lamplightmagazine.com>, a dark fiction periodical edited by Jacob Haddon, published 25 stories (including 5 reprints) in five issues. Pay was $.03/word to $150 max, $.01/word for reprints. [Semiprozine]
Lackington’s, <lackingtons.com>, published four issues and 22 stories. Ranylt Richildis was editor-in-chief. They plan to temporarily reduce publication to biannual. Richildis said, “We’re equally excited by stories by folks from/in countries that have not traditionally been given much space in English-speaking markets, Black writers, LGBTQ+ writers and disabled writers.” Pay was $.01/word. [Semiprozine]
Compelling Science Fiction, <compellingsciencefiction.com>, published by Joe Stech and edited by Stech and Emily Goodin, published 37 SF stories “that are self-consistent, scientifically plausible, and technically detailed when necessary,” in seven planned issues. Stech said, “In 2018, we’ll be moving to a biannual winter/summer schedule….” Average unique visitors was 1,871; pay was $.06/word. [Semiprozine]
Non-profit mag Electric Spec, <www.electricspec.com>, published four issues with 20 stories. Editors were Nikki Baird, Lesley L. Smith, and Grayson Towler; Betsy Dornbusch was emeritus editor. In 2016 the site received about 1,367 unique visitors a month. Pay was $20/story. [Semiprozine]
Newcomer Arsenika, <arsenika.ink>, edited by S. Qiouyi Lu, published two flash pieces, four poems, two flash reprints, and four poem reprints in two issues. Pay was $60 for fiction. They had 14 patrons/subscribers.
The Sockdolager, <www.sockdolager.net>, “mostly SF and fantasy” edited by Alison Wilgus & Paul Tuttle Starr, published one issue (combining Spring and Summer) with 11 stories, instead of quarterly, due to a hiatus. “In 2018 we’d like to put a one-off themed anthology out.” Payment was $.02/word; $15/reprint story.
Multi-contributor blog Amazing Stories, <amazingstoriesmag.com>, did not publish in 2017. Editor Steve Davidson plans to publish one piece of fiction per week in the future, “utilizing the NBC licensing fees as seed money.” Davidson reported “41,000 registered members (still growing by about 25 per week).”
Three-Lobed Burning Eye, <www.3lobedmag.com>, edited by Andrew S. Fuller, published no issues in 2017, saying, “We’ve been reading submissions all year, and haven’t found the fiction we want for our next issue….” They plan to publish an issue in Q1 of 2018. “We would like to see more literary fantasy, horror and science fiction, more magical realism, more slipstream, more weird western, more Weird, and more cross-genre.” [Ineligible due to no issues published]
Shattered Prism, <shatteredprism.com>, edited by Carmelo Rafala & Amir Naaman in 2016, was “handed over to Bill [Campbell] at Rosarium Press;” Campbell said the magazine is on hiatus. [Professional]
Mothership Zeta, <mothershipzeta.org>, closed in 2017, publishing one issue in February with eight stories, plus non-fiction, with a cover by Elizabeth Leggett. Editor was Mur Lafferty. [Semiprozine]
Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, <www.fantasticstoriesoftheimagination.com>, closed after its January regular issue and its “People of Color Take Over” flash fiction anthology/special issue. Warren Lapine was publisher and editor-in-chief.
Marguerite Kenner, COO of Escape Artists Inc. and editor/host of Cast of Wonders, said EA published a combined total of 223 episodes, “over half of which featured original short or flash stories,” with Escape Pod (SF), Podcastle (fantasy), Pseudopod (horror), Cast of Wonders (YA), and more. Kenner said, “EA podcast episodes are downloaded over 365,000 times a month. Our estimated audience sizes are: Escape Pod (37,000), PseudoPod (32,000), PodCastle (16,000), and Cast of Wonders (12,000).” All four EA markets pay $0.06/word for original fiction.
There were 52 episodes of Escape Pod, <www.escapepod.org>, “The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine,” including their 600th episode. Editors were Divya Breed and Mur Lafferty; Tina Connolly hosted. [Semiprozine]
Podcastle, <www.podcastle.org>, produced 52 episodes, including their 500th episode. Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali & Jen R. Albert were co-editors, with Setsu Uzume as assistant editor and Graeme Dunlop as host. [Semiprozine]
Pseudopod, <www.pseudopod.org>, “the sound of horror,” produced 59 episodes of “dark, weird fiction… grim realism or crime drama, to magic-realism, to blatant supernatural dark fantasy,” and released The Century of Horror collection to EA’s patrons and donors. Shawn Garrett and Alex Hofelich were co-editors, and Alasdair Stuart was host. [Semiprozine]
Cast of Wonders, <www.castofwonders.org/>, published 60 episodes.
Kenner added, “March 2018 will be the fourth anniversary of the annual Artemis Rising event, and Cast of Wonders will continue its Banned Books Week special next autumn.”
The Coode Street Podcast, <jonathanstrahan.podbean.com>, with hosts Jonathan Strahan & Gary K. Wolfe, produced 23 episodes, down from 32. Professional SF, fantasy, and horror writers were featured in roundtable-style discussions and interviews, including Nnedi Okorafor, Paul Kincaid & Ken Macleod, Kij Johnson, and more. [Fancast]
Writing Excuses, <www.writingexcuses.com>, produced their 12th season and posted 53 educational episodes by writers for writers. Primarily hosted by “core crew” Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler, and Dan Wells, they also utilize various host groups and occasional guests. [Related Work]
Galactic Suburbia, <galacticsuburbia.podbean.com>, produced 20 podcast episodes of SF news and commentary with Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Alex Pierce. “We introduced a Slack for our Patreon supporters, which has been very positive.” An average episode varies from 600 to 1,000 listeners. [Fancast]
District of Wonders comprises three podcast venues: StarShipSofa, Tales to Terrify, and Far Fetched Fables, all produced by Tony C. Smith. StarShipSofa, <www.starshipsofa.com>, published 54 stories in 50 weekly episodes hosted by Smith and fiction editor Jeremy Szal. Szal said, “We’ve gone out of our way to increase the diversity of narrators.” They averaged 7,000 downloads per episode. FarFetchedFables, <www.farfetchedfables.com>, edited by Gary Dowell and hosted by Nicola Seaton-Clark, produced 48 audio episodes with short stories and flash fiction. Dowell said, “We shifted to a bi-monthly schedule in late 2017, and hope to go back to weekly in 2018…. Acast reports 199,294 “listens” for the year, which averages out to ~4152 ‘listens’ per episode.” Tales to Terrify, <talestoterrify.com>, hosted by Stephen Kilpatrick and edited by Kilpatrick and Scott Silk, published 52 episodes, most with one or two stories. Starting January 2017 all three paid $50/story. [Fancast/Semiprozine]
Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy, <geeksguideshow.com>, hosted by David Barr Kirtley and produced by John Joseph Adams, published 52 episodes. Kirtley’s highlights for 2017 included having Neil Gaiman on the show, the Wired.com post “Only You Can Stop The Expanse from Becoming the Next Canceled Sci-Fi Classic” went viral, “Are Audiences Too Lazy to Appreciate Blade Runner 2049?” racked up almost 50,000 likes on Facebook, and “This Scientist Wants to Bring Star Trek Values to Congress” had over 62,000 likes on Facebook and almost 80,000 upvotes on Reddit. They had about 35,000 unique monthly visitors. [Related Work]
Former SF Signal podcast producer Patrick Hester and musician John Anealio edited Functional Nerds, <www.functionalnerds.com>. They posted 48 episodes. Hester lauded episode #324, “With Steven Barnes. The interview has been touted as one of our best hours ever recorded, and had me in tears while recording it.” Average of 1,200 downloads per episode. [Fancast]
Fangirl Happy Hour, <www.fangirlhappyhour.com>, “Ana and Renay on the intersections of fandom, literature, and culture,” produced 37 episodes. “Episode 82 and Episode 83 were our most popular episodes this year…. We discussed desert island books, our favorite Kate Elliott novels, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and White Tears by Hari Kunzru.” They reported 51,088 downloads total. [Fancast]
Glittership, <www.glittership.com>, edited by Keffy R.M. Kehrli, published 10 original stories, 10 reprints, and six original poems in 18 episodes. Kehrli said, “Best responses this year were ‘A Spell to Signal Home’ by A.C. Buchanan, ‘The Last Spell of the Raven’ by Morris Tanafon, and ‘Lessons from a Clockwork Queen’ by Megan Arkenberg.” Pay was $.03/word for originals with approximately 1,000 episode downloads/month. [Fancast]
Of course we don’t have space to list everyone, but we’ve done our best to take an expanded look at who is out there publishing SFnal short fiction online. If you have information about other exciting online venues we should cover, do let us know.
Our gauge for quality is based on our short fiction Recommended Reading list; see chart. We recommended 124 pieces of short fiction from 2017, up from 123. Recommended stories appeared in 18 magazines or online venues, down from last year’s 24. Anthologies had 28 recommended stories, up from last year’s 21, plus an additional five from collections, up from last year’s one. Major anthologies were The Book of Swords and Infinity Wars with six stories each, and Black Feathers, Cosmic Powers, Haunted Nights, and Mad Hatters and March Hares with three stories each. Tor.com led the magazines/sites with 13 stories, followed by Lightspeed with 11, Clarkesworld with nine, and Uncanny with eight. Asimov’s and Beneath Ceaseless Skies both had five. The remaining magazines had four or fewer recommended titles.
There were three issues of the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, <www.fantastic-arts.org/jfa>; editor was Brian Attebery. The issues were dated 2016 but came out in 2017, with 556 pages of critical essays and reviews on a variety of topics ranging from “Hacking the Scientific Imagination” to “Gender and Ethnicity in Post-Apocalyptic Suburbia”. [Professional]
Scholarly journal Science Fiction Studies, <www.depauw.edu/sfs>, published three issues, totaling 654 pages, including a special issue on Spanish SF. Editor Arthur Evans noted that “more and more university libraries are choosing to subscribe as e-only.” The magazine was available in print and digital formats with electronic access through JSTOR. The subscriber base was 700, with an average print run of 450. [Related Work]
We saw four issues of academic journal Foundation, <www.sf-foundation.org/publications/foundation/index.html>, including a special issue on SF Theater. Editor Paul March-Russell said, “It seems to me that the SF community, both here in the UK and in the US, has become more fractured with groups tending to concentrate around their own individual interests…. In terms of future developments, Paul Kincaid will be contributing a semi-regular feature on the art of criticism, which has been shaped by his own experience of the shadow Clarke jury.” Starting spring 2018, Andy Sawyer will be replaced as Book Reviews Editor by Will Slocombe in the UK and Sean Guynes in the US. Publishers on either side of the Atlantic should send books to the respective editor. A special issue on Frankenstein’s legacies is planned. Print runs are between 320-350, with a subscriber base of around 300. [Professional]
The Cascadia Subduction Zone: A Literary Quarterly, <www.thecsz.com>, published by Aqueduct, produced three issues of 22-26 pages, with essays of social and literary criticism related to speculative fiction, poems, reviews, and art. Cover price was $5.00. Managing editor was Arrate Hidalgo. Other editors were Nisi Shawl, L. Timmel Duchamp, and Kath Wilham. [Related Work]
There were two issues of scholarly journal Extrapolation, published by Liverpool University Press, one regular issue and one double issue, totaling 351 pages, with essays on a variety of critical topics. The journal suffered a blow with the death of managing editor Mike Levy; Andrew Butler will assume that role beginning January 2018. Issues were available in print and PDF from <online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/loi/extr>. [Professional]
We saw two issues of Wormwood, published by Ray Russell and Rosalie Parker of Tartarus Press, with critical works exploring the fantastic, supernatural and decadent in literature <www.tartaruspress.com/wormwood.html>. Mark Valentine was the editor. Print run was 400. Russell said, “We don’t have subscribers, but on publication generally sell 200 immediately, and 300 within the first year. Half are sold by us direct, and half by specialist dealers.” Cover price was £9.99. [Semiprozine]
There were two issues of Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association, edited by Glyn Morgan and Anna McFarlane, with articles and reviews on SF in books, games, television, music, and film. New editors Polina Levontin and Jo Lindsay Walton re-launched Vector’s website <www.vector-bsfa.com> and plan themed issues on SF and economics and speculative art. Cover price was £4.00. We also saw Issue I of The BSFA Review, a new spin-off focused on reviews and edited by Susan Oke, and one issue of Focus, the BSFA’s magazine for writers, edited by Dev Agarwal. [Semiprozine]
There were two issues of SF Commentary, 64-96 pages, with reviews, essays, and articles. Editor and publisher Bruce Gillespie said that for the time being, for reasons of financial hardship, the fanzine will be available online only in PDF format, free from <www.efanzines.com/SFC>. [Related Work]
Seven issues of The New York Review of Science Fiction were available in PDF, epub, and mobi through Weightless Books, and in POD editions. Publisher was Kevin J. Maroney. Monthly ebook subscribers remain 150-200, with half of each issue’s content available free at <www.nyrsf.com/toc>. Maroney said, “We have two major goals for 2018: Resuming monthly publication and getting electronic versions of our first 272 issues up for sale.” Pay rate has increased to $10-$50 plus copies. [Semiprozine]
One of the things trending in 2017 was the push for more international and marginalized voices – now seeing an effect in short fiction in both the stories and the markets available. This makes for a lovely breadth of fiction, and we look forward to seeing more of that going forward. Unfortunately, another of the trends of 2017 seemed to be magazines closing or on hiatus. Magazines new and old, print and online, are still struggling to raise money in the current free internet economy, leaning on fundraising (Kickstarter, etc.) and recurring donations (Patreon and PayPal) in order to pay creators the rates they deserve (even though they are often not paying themselves or other editors who work on the publications). Advertising has shifted so much that many of the new magazines have never had a direct advertiser, let alone a major advertiser, which historically made up 50% of magazine revenue. In contrast, online ad placement services like Google AdSense pay only pennies a day and are meager replacements. If you enjoy these magazines, remember to subscribe, donate, and support, even if the material online is free, so that they can continue to publish.
This and more like it in the February 2018 issue of Locus.