Warren Ellis - SF MAGAZINES: Yes, I’m Here To Ruin Everybody’s Day Again
Warren Ellis looks at the annual decline of subscriptions and cries "doom!" He then suggests that web-based magazines are the way to go. I have to agree here with the honorable sir.
Readers, you may not all be aware of this but for the past eight years we here at Poor Mojo's Federated Concerns have been publishing a weekly Almanack of Fiction, Poetry and Rants. And advice columns written by our editor-in-chief, the Giant Squid. We do on occasion print science fiction and horrow and we would *love* to print more of it in our long-running magazine. If you or those you associate with are the types to sit down and write up a story or poem or essay that involves science fictional elements, we would love to have a look at it with an eye towards publication.
Keep us in mind.
ANALOG came off best, though it should be noted that ASIMOV’S has staunched some horrific bleeding, having lost almost a quarter of its audience in 2005.
These are the walking dead.
Cases are always made that in fact these magazines are on strong — or at least survivable — financial ground. Even ignoring the fact that the money they offer for fiction is pitiful, I think that matters less than that they are reaching massively fewer people every year.
One of the reasons we care, of course, is that we associate print magazines with an intelligent curation process overseen by functional salaried adults. That’s why so many people still look askance at the online scene as "not proper magazines." The people who believe that got their wish last month, when one of the editors of HELIX SF had his covers pulled as a bigot with clear psychological issues by a disgruntled writer. It gives credence to the bias, unspoken or otherwise, that a print magazine is a job of work and an online magazine can be thrown up by any drooling lunatic with access to the net and a credit card. A fanzine by any other name.
Regular readers will know that I like sending traffic to the likes of CLARKESWORLD and FARRAGO’S WAINSCOT etc from time to time. Aside from (patchy, beautiful) McSWEENEY’S, these are the places I look to for short fiction now. No real fireworks yet, no real movement, none of them seem to be really cresting the other in terms of profile, but the best work there has been head and shoulders over pretty much anything I read from ASIMOV’S, F&SF or INTERZONE (with one exception in the latter case) over the last several months.