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Fabrice_d
Junior Member
Username: Fabrice_d

Post Number: 122
Registered: 05-2007
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 05:34 am:   

So now, to fire this board a bit, in your opinion, which magazine is the best SF magazine today: Asimov's? F&SF? Another one (not likely)?

in terms of qualities of the stories of course; as for the covers, Asimov's is far far behind F&SF.

My opinion on F&SF? perfectible. it has many flaws

- it is much too short (only the october/november issue is satisfying in terms of quantity). As for the other issues, you just have the time to begin reading, and you're already at the end of the magazine

- it has too many fantasy stories. And these so called fantasy stories are too good. Even I, a pure SF reader, enjoy them. It's unbearable.

- the cover art is too stunning and magnificent. After seing a F&SF cover, Analog and Asimov's covers look grim and poor (only Interzone is competing with F&SF in that regard)

- there's no editorial from the editor (except from time to time, and even that is a flamethrower, since these rare editorials are so good, that you're enraged when receiving the next issue without an editorial)

- the delivering time to overseas subcribers is tooooo loooong. After waiting 2 months before reading your issue, you want a double issue every month! And there's only one double issue every year!

- not many F&SF anthologies. the next is probably the 60th anniversary anthology, and I suspect that the editor is probably willing to SELL it to subscribers and readers, instead of GIVING it. The Arrogance! Every subsriber since more than 12 years should have a free copy. I'm saying! And fuck the bottom line!

Well, despite all these flaws, F&SF is still very readable, and probably the best SF magazine today.
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Greg
New member
Username: Greg

Post Number: 8
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 10:14 am:   

Not only is F&SF cover art strong; the covers are strong. Though I suppose Asimov's (and that other one) might deserve special environmental bonus points for wrapping their fine monthly story collections in biodegradable tissue paper...
GSH
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Erik_olson
New member
Username: Erik_olson

Post Number: 18
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Monday, April 14, 2008 - 06:55 pm:   

Asimov's has covers?
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Gordon_van_gelder
Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 615
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - 06:01 am:   

Thanks for your post, Fabrice. The last time anyone said something so nice, they immediately followed the comments by asking me to lend them money.
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Nightfall
New member
Username: Nightfall

Post Number: 21
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 - 05:14 pm:   

Hey Gordon,
Can I borrow ten dollars?
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Gordon_van_gelder
Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 618
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 07:37 am:   

What? Without buttering me up first?
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Nightfall
New member
Username: Nightfall

Post Number: 23
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 05:34 pm:   

I'm sorry, your right. Your the best editor in the whole wide world. :-)
Keep up the good work, you have a very good magazine.
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Gordon_van_gelder
Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 619
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 05:47 pm:   

Your ten-spot is on the table over there. Pay me back when you get a chance.
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Nightfall
New member
Username: Nightfall

Post Number: 24
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 06:06 pm:   

Thank you very much. I'll pay you back by buying every issue of F&SF. It's my favorite magazine.
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Harpal
New member
Username: Harpal

Post Number: 13
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 02:42 am:   

I been buying F&SF for nearly 10 years since the SF shop shut down by sub but no Asimov so I can't really say which is best (but I bought some back issues of Asimov over ebay and from them my opinion is asimov could give F&SF a run for its money)
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The_nameless_city
New member
Username: The_nameless_city

Post Number: 12
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 10:23 am:   

I have never read Asimov's and have never been tempted to. Read a few "Amazing Science Fiction" back in the day. Whatever happened to that?

I love the covers of F&SF but I miss the variety of styles that used to appear on them. Guertin's cover for "Cathadonian Odyssey" (9/74) and the covers by Mazey and Schell (also from that time) were interesting departures from the norm. ARGH am I stuck in the 70s?? OH NO SOMEBODY HELP ME!!!!
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Gordon_van_gelder
Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 622
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 11:15 am:   

Amazing died and came back a few times in the last twenty yeas, but its last death (about 2-1/2 years ago, I think) seemed pretty final. The current owners are Paizo Publishing.

Thanks for the feedback on the covers. I think we've done a few covers like the ones you mention---most notably Bryn Barnard's cover on the Dec. 2005 issue---but I have to admit that those Mazey and Schell covers were never favorites of mine. You can find them all online here: http://www.sfcovers.net/Magazines/FSF/navbar.htm
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The_nameless_city
New member
Username: The_nameless_city

Post Number: 13
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 11:33 am:   

Gordon thank you for that link, I love that site! I agree about Mazey and Schell but they sure did "shake things up" a bit.

I have scanned, enlarged and framed several FSF covers and have hung them as decor in my apartment, most recently David Hardy's cover for December 1978 ("Quiet Sea"). I photoshopped out the horrid UPC code box thing though. There are about three more framed and hanging in other spots and I have one in my office at work too. I promise they are only for my use and am not profiting from them by selling them. Does FSF keep the original artwork? Just curious.

Dave
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The_nameless_city
New member
Username: The_nameless_city

Post Number: 14
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 01:08 pm:   

Oops I meant to post as David Sanders...I am totally confused about user name vs. full name
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Charles_coleman_finlay
New member
Username: Charles_coleman_finlay

Post Number: 100
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 07:44 pm:   

Gordon, thanks for posting that link to the covers. It's amazing to see how, for example, Ron Walotsky's style evolved over 35+ years of F&SF covers while still remaining recognizably his style.
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Erik_olson
New member
Username: Erik_olson

Post Number: 19
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 10:32 pm:   

The two magazines are differentiated and I like it that way. I expect to find "hard' sf from Asimov's, if there is any, or at least to have the empirically minded stuff. For instance Andy Duncan's The Chief Designer. And then F&SF had Albert Cowdrey's Political Officer. I expect Charles Stross pseudo-techie stuff to stay over there, because I can't stand large doses of it. Stories like Mystery Hill I expect over here. Walter Jon Williams' Argonautica was a fine empirical tale, the only speculative element being the fabulustic parallels, and I would have been pleased to find it in F&SF, but over there it was. Carol Emshwiller appears all over, defying categorization.

F&SF has funny stories. Asimov's has the computer age shtick. F&SF has good covers with sans-serif fonts and plain brown-wrapper titles inside. Asimov's typography still believes stretched letters are the future. Only F&SF stays timely, with sly references to events of the day. Asimov's may present the Wired Magazine view of the future that will never happen, but only F&SF could tell us impossible, handy things like where is the Elvish sword from Zork today: on eBay (The Ant King: A California Fairy Tale.) Or tell a ghost story about a shoe.

I hope it's clear where my imagination's first shopping loyalty is. In case it's not, I'll just close with "Hiya!" (Thanks Richard.)
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Gordon_van_gelder
Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 623
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 05:41 am:   

Charlie---

That SFCOVERS.NET site has been a great reference for years. Just recently I was able to direct a Hollywood producer (his assistant, actually) to it so they could pick which Emsh covers to use in the opening credits for their film.

I miss Walotsky a lot. In my heart, I think he and Emsh are probably the two quintessential F&SF cover artists, followed closely by Mel Hunter. And I regret that I wasn't able to get Stanley Meltzoff to do another cover for us before he passed away. Our current artists are doing great stuff now, but they don't have any way of winning over my inner thirteen-year-old the way Walotsky and Emsh did. I just hope they're having the same affect on thirteen-year-olds today.

Erik---

Thanks for the nice and insightful post. I have to say that I liked Andy Duncan's "The Chief Designer" a lot and I don't think it would have been out of place in F&SF . . . but you're probably right that it was a better fit in ASIMOV'S.

Oddly enough, we have another story in inventory that makes reference to that Elvish sword, though in a very different manner from Ben Rosenbaum's story.

Let's all work on Rich Chwedyk to get him to finish another 'saur story.
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Slushgod
New member
Username: Slushgod

Post Number: 9
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 12:49 pm:   

Erik --

"The Political Officer" is not by Albert Cowdrey--it's by the guy who posted a comment right before you did: Charles Coleman Finlay. If you liked that, though, you should be pleased to hear we'll be running the sequel to that story, "The Political Prisoner," sometime in the near future.
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The_nameless_city
New member
Username: The_nameless_city

Post Number: 16
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 01:06 pm:   

After reading this thread, I must say I am now interested in getting a copy of Azimov's and reading it for comparison to FSF.
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Daneyul
New member
Username: Daneyul

Post Number: 19
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Thursday, May 01, 2008 - 11:27 am:   

To me, F&SF seems more...personable. There seems to be a lot more interaction with readers here and other places and I get the sense that there's more concern for, and involvement with, the readers. Not sure why, but Asimov's just doesn't feel that way--it has a more aloof quality to it, both editorially, and in the stories themselves. The overall result: I pick up Asimov's a few times a year. I subscribe to F&SF.

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