mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
mabfan

Who Mourns for SCI FICTION?

When I posted a few days ago about the loss of SCI FICTION and the state of the short fiction market, I left out a few thoughts that I felt were more controversial. The reason I did so is that I don't want to be one of those doom-sayers who keep predicting the death of science fiction. As Gardner Dozois tends to note in his annual Year's Best collections, every year people predict the death of science fiction, and every year it trudges along.

But there is one thought that I've now decided to share. With all the Internet discussion lamenting the end of SCI FICTION, it occurred to me that I haven't seen one post from anyone who isn't either a writer, aspiring writer, or an editor.

In other words, I haven't seen a single reader or fan -- defined as someone who simply reads science fiction, and has no desire to write it -- post about how upset they are over the loss of the webzine. I'm also on a few fannish email lists, and I haven't seen any expressions of concern there either.

Am I wrong? Are there any laments about the end of SCI FICTION coming from people who self-identify solely as readers, or fans, who aren't either professional writers or aspiring writers or editors? Is there anyone out there bemoaning its loss simply for the stories, and not also for the fact that they've just lost a lucrative market for their fiction?

If not, that's a chilling thought to consider. Because it would imply that the only people who really care about short science fiction are those who harbor thoughts of make a living from writing. And there's not enough of those to be the audience.
Tags: science-fiction, supporting-fiction
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