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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 03:36 pm:   

I'm curious about reactions to Interzone's announcement that it's going bimonthly after a decade of monthly issues. To me, this marks a fundamental shift in the field. For the first time since 1923, there will be no monthly professional fiction magazine published in the field. While we've been heading towards this for a while - something underscored by the recent cutbacks at Analog and Asimov's - it still seems pretty staggering. Short fiction - which is artistically in amazingly good shape - appears to be losing its meagre foothold in the marketplace, making it harder and harder for short fiction writers to get their work seen.
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Mark Gerrits
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 02:50 am:   

But Sci-Fiction and Strange Horizons can be thought of as monthly pro fiction magazines, though admittedly they don't publish as much fiction per month as the paper magazines.

The non-pro market seems to be blooming (though I don't really have an idea how it was doing in the .../60s/70/80s to compare)

Pete Crowther had some, I thought, sensible things to say at The Alien Online a while back on why short fiction is in such decline (link, the relevant part starts in the middle somewhere) His basic premise was: We don't have much free time and the time we do have, we spend stressed out because of abysmal job security, etc. Every time you start a short story, it requires a lot of work on the reader's part: getting acquainted with the new characters, world, etc. With a novel (especially the huge tomes of today) you only have to do that once and can then just cruise on the next time you pick it up.
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Jonathan
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 04:29 am:   

Hi Mark

I think SciFiction is one of the most promising things to appear on the short fiction scene in some time, but neither it or Strange Horizons (which is closer to a very good semiprozine) are monthly print magazines. My point is that the losss of this long established front line is a major shift. The increasing importance of e-publishing seems to me to be more of the response to this fact, than an argument against it.

Jonathan
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Al Reynolds
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 08:42 am:   

Jonathan

Pretty bad news if you ask me, although not entirely unexpected given the recent spate of double-dated issues. I'm surprised there hasn't been more commentary on it. I think, also, that Interzone was monthly for quite a bit longer than a decade - more like 13 or 14 years. But it's a lot better news than Interzone folding completely, I suppose, so we should probably look on the bright side. It must be very demanding putting together such a mag month in, month out - the ultimate thankless task, I suspect. But there's no doubt that the UK SF magazine scene is in much poorer shape than it was only two or three years ago.

Al R
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Neilw
Posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 06:52 am:   

Al - I was very disappointed by the IZ news too. Although as to your point about the magazine scene being poorer than it was a few years ago - I agree in general although I thought I heard that PS Publishing were launching a magazine of some sort.

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