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Supporting Short Speculative Fiction

Yesterday, Douglas Cohen, the assistant editor of Realms of Fantasy magazine, decided to start a Subscription Drive for the short fiction markets that publish science fiction and fantasy.

Cohen quotes from the latest report in Gardner Dozois's Year's Best Science Fiction Collection, which points out that the circulation of the short fiction magazines continues to drop. Cohen decided to do something about it. His post is a general subscription drive for all the short fiction magazines. He's hoping to encourage people to support them and keep the world of short speculative fiction alive.

I don't know if my own link back to his post will help, although I do encourage people to read what he has to say. As many of you know, I'm a big supporter of short fiction and would like to see the markets for it stay in business. I've said so before.

For example, in November 2005, I posted a similar plea under the title Thoughts on the End of SCI FICTION and the Status of the Short Fiction Market. I went into the details of the economics of short fiction magazines, pointing out that there were only five categories of places where short SF/F could be found, and that all five are in some sort of danger. It seems that what I said back then still fits today:


In the end, if you really enjoy reading short science fiction and want to see it continue, you ought to subscribe to the magazines that publish it: Analog, Asimov's, F&SF. If you find yourself visiting a webzine regularly, you ought to click the donations button at least once a year, and give them what you would pay for a year's worth of stories.

And this goes for aspiring writers as well as readers. Because if you harbor a hope of one day appearing in those pages, well, the only way those pages are going to exist is if people keep supporting them financially so they stick around.


(Thanks to stevenagy and jimvanpelt for pointing me to the original douglascohen post.)

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