I swore I’d get back to…

I swore I'd get back to you yesterday, didn't I? Sheesh -- I don't know why you guys put up with me.

Kevin got back into town around lunchtime; we ended up taking our work to B&N, hanging out there, and eventually going for a late dinner. When I got home, I basically fell into bed; didn't even check e-mail, much less post a journal entry. Still, sorry 'bout that.

So, the magazine! There's so much to tell you -- I'm not sure where to start. And some of it is definite, and some of it is tentative, and some of it is final, and some of it is still in draft...confusing!

But basically, it'll be a weekly speculative fiction magazine. That's the important thing. It'll cover fiction, art, poetry, reviews, articles (sound familiar? hey, if it works...). It'll probably have a heavier emphasis on fiction, though. We're still drafting the final form of our official purpose -- I'll post it here once we nail down the wording.

You may be wondering -- "Why is MA taking on a sf/f magazine? Aren't her hands full already?" Well...there are a couple of reasons:

1. The markets for sf/f short fiction are dwindling; two of the major magazines died this year. I personally think short fiction is an essential component of the field, and I would hate to see the markets for it disappear -- can you imagine if there had been no place for Asimov's "Nightfall", or Ellison's "Repent, Harlequin!" or Clarke's "Nine Billion Names of God?" Tragedy. So I want to do my bit to make sure that there are still some decent pro markets out there (in sf/f terms, pro is at least 3 cents/word, which is what we'll be paying).

2. The markets that are there tend to be a little...umm...inbred. Now, no offense to any of the editors; there are good and complex reasons for why they publish what they publish. But I'd really like to see a market that was more actively open to minorities, to women, to varied genders and orientations, to cultures other than Anglo-Celtic (much as I love the Celts), etc. I'd also like to publish some of the really good young writers who have such a hard time breaking into the established markets who have their steady stable of trusted writers. So part of it is an attempt to widen the market.

3. Because it'll be lots of fun. :-)

Not tons of fun at this stage, of course; we're at the crazy figure everything out stage (which is exciting, but often frustrating too). The magazine is starting to take shape, though. It's got a fair bit of its staff, though we're still looking for a few good people. Interested? We currently still need:

  • Managing Editor (handles Web stuff including posting material and general Webmaster-type tasks; keeps us on schedule; tech job)
  • Associate Editor (backup/understudy to Mary Anne; fun job)
  • PR/Advertising Person
  • Articles Editor (1 more)
  • Art Editor
  • Copy Editor/Proofreader (1 more)
  • Reviews Editor (1 more)
  • Poetry Editor (1 more)
  • Newsletter Editor (1)
  • "Development" people (1-2) (looks for funding sources)
If you're interested in any of these (and love sf/f), please send me mail soon and let me know. Do note if you have any experience at the tasks, though that's not necessarily required.

Despite that long list, most of the staff is actually in place. Some of those people are back-ups; others are wishlist. (It would be really nice to have development staff, for example...) We also have the minimum donated funding for this year (as of this weekend!), so we're going to go for it. But we're certainly going to be looking for more donations. Interested?

We're going to apply for tax-exempt status; if we get it, then any donations will be tax-deductible. We can't count on that yet, and it'll be months before we know; probably after launch, in fact. I'll feel a lot more comfortable once we have a few more thousand in the bank; it'll let us spend a little more on advertising (which will undoubtedly help with getting our hits up quickly, which is fairly critical to our success). It'll also let us purchase longer stories, and many very good stories are on the longish side.

If you *are* interested, we can offer you a little glory. Contributors of $250 - $1000 get the title of Founder on our Sponsors page. Contributors of $10 - $250 get the title of Supporter. *All* contributions are much appreciated -- if each of my journal readers sent in $10, that'd be $900 right there, which is a pretty respectable amount. But I'm not trying to guilt you into it...(reading my journal certainly doesn't obligate you to support each of my pet projects). If you do want to contribute, do it because you love science fiction and fantasy, and because you want to help the genre flourish. Again, send me a note if you're interested.

Okay, I'm done asking you for money. (Anyone still reading? :-) You may see such things again, though -- in fact, you'll probably see them periodically. We hope, of course, to eventually be self-supporting through advertising, but the truth is that it'll be a couple of years at least before that happens. In the meantime, we'll be living on donations from people who believe in the project.

Anyway...you'll hear lots more about this, I'm sure. If you've got any questions, please let me know. I'm trying to remember everything important to tell you, but I'm sure I'm forgetting things.

Oh -- we will soon be having a naming contest (and probably a graphic design contest after that), so please, do start thinking of names for our magazine. We have a working title of "Worlds Beyond", but we aren't planning on using it for long. More about the contests soon.

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