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  1.  (1609.161)
    >>>They tap into multiple revenue streams, something sci-fi magazines can do in their own way. Imagine having access to a database of Weird Tales going back over it's history, being able to print off scans of actual pages from the older issues.

    I can assure you, I've been imagining it.
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      CommentAuthorLucifal
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2008 edited
     (1609.162)
    S.H. Segal - I doubt most glossy national mags of any quality are getting away with paying much less than a dollar a word. Sure, there are pulp/niche/nonprofit mags that pay less, but not slick publications.
    OK, so Murky Depths won't buy you a round of drink, or even one drink for flash fiction, but I think we're pretty slick (but then I would say that wouldn't I?) I'd love to be in a position to pay serious money to anybody who sent me a story which was good enough for us, regardless of "name", but I can't see that happening soon.
    WordWill - At least, and unhappily, I think that ASIMOV deserves to languish. Hoping for a sea change from the old guard seems like folly. (Except, maybe, WEIRD TALES, who seems to be trying to straddle the divide between an 85-year-old reputation and a more modern relevance.)
    And yet even Weird Tales looks and feels the same, despite it's new masthead, as it did 50 years ago - but it's still sitting next to my bed unread so I can't comment on the content yet.
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      CommentAuthorWordWill
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2008
     (1609.163)
    Looking back at Wired, I see that Leinad Zeraus has sold 1,200 copies of Daemon, apparently between "fall 2006" and March of 2008. I know of unpopular roleplaying game supplements that sell better than that in an 18-month window. Yet, still, there's something thrilling about the notion that he still owns that work outright, and that he's gotten it in front of people through independent marketing. But I remember when I read that article in the mag, I was expecting it to take a much bigger number of sales to get Wired's attention. Anyway, I'm having trouble placing the outcome of this one book on the spectrum of success in my head. Which makes it intriguing. Waffle, waffle.

    Would that success have been bigger, do we think, if the blog-vector marketing had been bolstered by, say, a chapter of his book appearing in an online or print magazine as a short? My gut says no, but my guts don't know shit.

    Thinking about it, I come back to the central message of this thread: Right now, novels are the way to achieve "success" as a fiction writer (he said narrowly). The only reason to write short fiction is out of a love for the form. It is the responsibility of short-fiction publishers, e.g. magazines, to make short fiction attractive again, not wait for it to become attractive again. Otherwise, why not write and self-publish your novel? You might not make much more money, but then you're a novelist, and that's the word people seem to care about.
  2.  (1609.164)
    Terry -- I think you may have heard undertones of criticism in my last post that weren't intended to be there. Believe me, I'm the last person to diss on a low budget. Weird Tales has one too. I should have reiterated in my last post: As it states in our guidelines, WT's standard rate for buying fiction is 3 to 4 cents a word. I just wanted to explain for those who don't work in the field that not only do "major national magazines" pay a whole lot more than we do, but even smaller regional magazines pay significantly more than we do. But I wasn't identifying "slick" with "good," I was identifying "slick" with "high production values." Please don't feel besieged -- I'm on your side! Power to the independent press, y'know?
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      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2008 edited
     (1609.165)
    And yet even Weird Tales looks and feels the same, despite it's new masthead, as it did 50 years ago


    Weird tales 1988:


    Weird tales - 2008:


    F&SF 1988:


    F&SF 2008:


    ANALOG 1988:


    ANALOG 2008:


    (Edited to add: Actually, I'll admit that if you squint the Weird Tales covers do have similar shapes and colors... That would have been really cool if I'd done it on purpose.)
  3.  (1609.166)
    I love the new masthead on weird tales. Because it's WEIRD.

    SF&F's masthead...swap out the title for "Orthodontics Monthly" and would anyone notice?

    Analog is improved, but it's still called Analog, with no sense of irony.

    Of all those Weird Tales seems to be the only one that wants my money and interest. The others seem to be saying "well, if you've finished reader's digest and the doctor is really booked up today..."
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      CommentAuthorWordWill
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2008
     (1609.167)
    Nice array there, Ariana. Sort of saddening, but informative. Maybe it's just me, but ANALOG's older masthead seems like it'd be more eye-catching today.
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      CommentAuthorAriana
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2008
     (1609.168)
    Maybe it's just me, but ANALOG's older masthead seems like it'd be more eye-catching today.
    If they wanted to embrace the name and go retrofantastical specficalooza, absolutely.
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      CommentAuthorwarrenellis
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2008 edited
     (1609.169)
    ASIMOV'S, 1978



    ASIMOV'S, 1986



    ASIMOV'S, 1998




    ASIMOV'S, 2008

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      CommentAuthorkaolin
    • CommentTimeMay 2nd 2008
     (1609.170)
    I'm really liking the older lettering for everything except maybe weird tales.
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      CommentAuthorLucifal
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008 edited
     (1609.171)
    There is supposed to be a review of Murky Depths #1 in the latest Asimov (edit: Actually it'll be in the July issue), but I've not seen a copy yet.
    S.H.Segal - But I wasn't identifying "slick" with "good," I was identifying "slick" with "high production values."
    I was identifying slick with high production values too - it's reflected in our cover price, and what we pay contributors. But I'd like to think we're good too! We aspire to pulp only in the sense of content not production.
    I like Weird Tales new mastehead but it's unlikely to stand out on a magazine rack, not that many of these magazines ever get to know what they look like on a magazine rack.
  4.  (1609.172)
    I like Weird Tales new mastehead but it's unlikely to stand out on a magazine rack,

    Yeah, I kind of feel the same way. I really like the current logo, but it doesn't have shelf presence. That said, I have to agree with the other half of your sentence too...

    not that many of these magazines ever get to know what they look like on a magazine rack.
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      CommentAuthorDebbieM
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008 edited
     (1609.173)
    Given the difficulties of getting US magazines here in darkest Kent, I usually get my fix from Best Of's. Seems to me there's been a decline in quality in the Dozois Best Of SF's in recent years. Either that or our tastes have diverged even further. Seems like sumptuous settings are all the rage these days, and to heck with story. Me, I like story. And lots of it! There's something wrong when a non-fiction book about Trafalgar is the most exciting thing I've read all year.

    The problem with commissioning stories from "names" is that you're then stuck with what the author submits. I suppose there are readers who think that whatever "name" writes is superb, but there are also lots of readers who aren't taken in that easily. If you care about the writing, not just the name, then commissioning doesn't guarantee to bring you what you're after. Equally, some of the writers we're fostering at GUD don't always produce the goods, even if their name does save them from swift ejection from the slushpile!
  5.  (1609.174)
    Seems to me there's been a decline in quality in the Dozois Best Of SF's in recent years.

    Having read a spread of magazines over the last several months, I think he's picking from the best that's there, but what's there ain't all that.

    The problem with commissioning stories from "names" is that you're then stuck with what the author submits. I suppose there are readers who think that whatever "name" writes is superb, but there are also lots of readers who aren't taken in that easily.

    On the other hand, even half an idea from Bruce Sterling tends to be worth 50,000 words of the old scrote they stuff into ASIMOV'S to fill it up these days.

    The gamble is that a Bruce Sterling will give you what a Bruce Sterling is fully capable of. But you'll get more people buying a magazine with Bruce Sterling on a cover. And that alone lets you live to fight another day.
  6.  (1609.175)
    I think he's picking from the best that's there, but what's there ain't all that.

    Re: best-of-the-year volumes -- if I may pimp some friends: I was pretty darned impressed with Matt Cheney and Ann & Jeff VanderMeer's first edition of the new Best American Fantasy series. Here's Matt's preface to the book, which IMO successfully conveys what makes it so special. Ann & Jeff looked waaaaaay outside the SF ghetto to find the stories they truly felt were the best fantasies of the year. Sure, there was one story from Analog -- but that was it, and the rest were from the likes of The New Yorker, A Public Space, The Oxford American, Zoetrope, McSweeney's, The Mississippi Review, The Southern Review, Tin House, Pindeldyboz, Strange Horizons...
  7.  (1609.176)
    Re: best-of-the-year volumes -- if I may pimp some friends: I was pretty darned impressed with Matt Cheney and Ann & Jeff VanderMeer's first edition of the new Best American Fantasy series.

    I'll never buy anything with Fantasy in the title. I have an irrational near-allergic reaction to the genre. I start seeing elves everywhere, and then I have to kill a puppy just to feel normal again.

    (and they would fairly obviously have to look outside sf to find fantasy, surely?)
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      CommentAuthorDebbieM
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008
     (1609.177)
    Save puppies! Don't mention the F word!
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      CommentAuthorkaolin
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008
     (1609.178)
    Not even "Fantasy Elves getting Ass-raped by Drug-crazed Cyborgs Chainsaws"? :)

    We've got a high-fantasy-esque piece in GUD Issue 0 that I really love--no elves, I think, though they wouldn't be out of place; but it's a much more real tale than most high fantasy, I think. High Fantasy for folks who find the tropes tired. If you ever let your guard down, I'll send you a copy. ;)

    Not to imply that it has fantasy elves getting ass-raped by drug-crazed cyborg chainsaws...
  8.  (1609.179)
    I SMELL ELF
  9.  (1609.180)
    Not to imply that it has fantasy elves getting ass-raped by drug-crazed cyborg chainsaws...

    why not?