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  1.  (1609.1)
    i came back to comics after publishers started hiring graphic designers like Chip Kidd, Rian Hughes, and Muller to push the packaging of their properties forward.

    Rian Hughes has been designing comics for twenty years. It wasn't comics, man -- it was you.

    has anything done for print science fiction what the sci fi channel's commercials have done for their network?

    ...I... I don't even know where to start...
  2.  (1609.2)
    has anything done for print science fiction what the sci fi channel's commercials have done for their network?

    If by that you mean raped the genre hollow and filled the void with Cylon tears and stargate dolls, then no.
    • CommentTimeMay 15th 2008 edited
    You know, the less funny punchline here is that, yes, something did: SciFi Channel's SciFiction website, curated by Ellen Datlow, did for (admittedly not print) short sci-fi stories what the SciFi Channel's commercials do, insofar as hiply branding even those things that are not exactly hip.

    I'll go so far as to grant the premise that SciFi Channel promos do the job of making things look flashier or edgier* than they are. (*Whatever that means.) The style of the SciFi channel's promos (not to be confused with the style of the movies and programs the promos are selling) is more modern and exciting than the look of Analog. Yes.

    The SciFi Channel also contributes to the notion that sci-fi is a necessarily visual medium, which is as toxic to the success of genre prose as it is inaccurate. But maybe that's all that's behind the look of Asimov's: "Those damn kids are their moving pictures think that's what sci-fi is!"
  3.  (1609.4)
    What gets me about the Sci-Fi Channel, or rather repels me like a vampire before a cross, is the utter blandness of it all.

    Stargate? Fucking syndicated tv from the 90's and they've got what, 2 series of it running? Flash Gordon, I got 5 minutes into that and felt like setting myself on fire to feel warm again. BSG isn't awful, but it's never lived up to the boldness of it's premise. And the constant crying.

    All those B-movies they crank out are just dead embarrassing. Enough putting out bad things because goofy is funny and Bruce Campbell is a hoot, try something new and good. They did some great work with Dune and the Children of Dune. Fuck, they got William Hurt and Susan Sarandon to get on board.

    The promos are brilliant. I know a video artist who worked on some pieces for them a couple years ago. They had a pretty free hand in making visually striking imagery. Now just fill the rest of the channel with that.

    They removed their fiction archive a while back. They blamed it on "rights issues" and a scarcity of users.
  4.  (1609.5)
    All beyond the point. To say has anything done for print science fiction what the sci fi channel's commercials have done for their network? is to say why is it that every single publisher has not gotten together to do for the whole of print sf what one single tv channel did for itself?

    Don't be bloody stupid.
    • CommentTimeMay 16th 2008
    When you put it that way, Warren... yeah. I feel pretty dumb.

    An issue I really want to question, though, and hear about from people smarter than me, isn't "Why aren't the old magazines changing with the times?" (Because I imagine the answer to that is sassy and unsatisfying.)

    What I'm curious to read are responses to this: What's a good motivation for creating a cutting-edge genre-fiction magazine? We've talked about why people do or don't buy these magazines... but I'm curious to know why you who are making them are making them? (I'm not trying to be dickish here—I'm glad someone is still fighting this fight—but I'd like to hear why you do it.)

    And: What's a good motivation for selling a story to a magazine? Is it just publicity? Are we submitting bids for time beneath somebody else's hot lights?

    I know one reason I shop my short fiction to established venues is because I (pathetically) seek approval from those I respect. That's a shitty reason. (As you said, Warren, this isn't camp.)

    So what are good reasons?
  5.  (1609.7)
    I wonder, is there a sci-fi version of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern? Beautifully designed hardcover collections of short stories that are reprints or commissioned items, available on the website or through subscription with a frequently updated web presence that provides different content, but a similar feel?

    I've got a subscription, and you better believe I keep those hardcovers on my shelf with all the other books. Sci-fi magazines just get thrown away. Magazines are disposable culture, but they don't have to be that way.
  6.  (1609.8)
    I wonder, is there a sci-fi version of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern?

    There's not even an sf version of Granta, really.
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2008
    There's not even an sf version of Granta, really.

    Production-wise, there is, I think. Except, I suppose, we're not wholly sf.


    So, what does this new publication look like? Well, it certainly isn’t like any pulp publication I’ve seen before. It’s roughly the same size as Asimov’s and Fantasy And Science Fiction - more of a paperback size than magazine size. It consists of 196 pages and is bound solidly, with a tight spine like a book. The paper is good quality, it looks like its been selected for its readability, especially in sunlight; it’s a lower contrast pulp (i.e. not completely white) making it much easier on the eyes. And it works.

    We slide in nicely on the bookshelf alongside Granta, zyzzyva, and others.
  7.  (1609.10)
    I just got my first copy of Weird Tales, to which I subscribed in no small part due to this thread.

    I was reading it at lunch yesterday out in the park near my office. Lots of people my ages (20's-30's) were hanging out having lunch as well. It's a quiet place, so you get alot of readers on break.

    I got at least half a dozen of them (men and women) asking me about the magazine.

    One guy flipped his shit when he saw a new Moorcock story, another wanted me to make a copy of the China Mieville interview.

    To a person they wanted to know where they could get a copy and why hadn't they seen it at Barnes and Noble/Borders.

    Pretty random sampling, people are out there who are excited by this content.
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2008
    Names. Names. Mr Ellis is right, again. We haven't any big names in Issue #4 so do you think those people would be as excited about Murky Depths?
    • CommentAuthorS.H. Segal
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2008
    There's not even an sf version of Granta, really.

    Two young magazines that I enjoy very much, that I think are shooting for that sort of literary identity, are Shimmer and Sybil's Garage.
    • CommentAuthorS.H. Segal
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2008
    Of course there's also the great zine Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, run by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant, which I'd suggest is the closest thing in voice and attitude to a "McSweeney's of speculative fiction," though its physical format is very, very DIY.
    • CommentAuthorS.H. Segal
    • CommentTimeMay 27th 2008
    Okay, so I've started a separate Weird Tales thread here in Fantastika! as Warren suggested each participating magazine editor do. First item of pimpage there is our new, year-long, online, Lovecraftian art series, Steven Archer's 365 Days of Blasphemous Horrors.
    • CommentTimeJun 2nd 2008
    . . . Murky Depths has at last set up it's own RSS news feed. To subscribe visit the Murky Depths website or go direct to the news feed.
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2008
    S.H. Segal - Okay, so I've started a separate [...]thread here in Fantastika! as Warren suggested each participating magazine editor do.
    That was a shrewd move on Mr Ellis's part. You can pimp to your hearts content on your own thread 'cause no-one visits it! - That's a lie actually. Our website does get a few hits direct from there. But . . .
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2008 edited
    We haven't had any covers on show here recently so here's the latest issue of Murky Depths. I'd be interested to know what people think particularly after the slating we received in some circles for Issue #3 (there were people elsewhere who thought it was fabulous though).

    Issue #4
    • CommentAuthorbt
    • CommentTimeJun 5th 2008
    Here's another new magazine, kind of a retro pulp thing, going the invited stable of writers route, though not with the real big names, like Warren's suggesting, but with peons -like me- whose work the editor likes.

    Dark Worlds
    • CommentTimeJun 6th 2008 edited
    Dark Worlds does look pretty retro. The cover almost belongs in the SF Karma thread.
    • CommentTimeJun 7th 2008 edited
    Lucifal - I'd be interested to know what people think

    The image has issues but it somewhat works for me, the type at the bottom is fine, the main problem I have is the logo. The central image is overpowering the logo, partially because of your choice in typeface, and partially because of the colours you chose. And as for the image, head-goggles-tentacles-golem just don't come together for me, maybe you need less?