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SciFi Mags Struggling? November 19, 2008

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There is a really interesting article up on the PBS.org site now about the current state of the Science Fiction magazine market. At this point there are only three left: Analog, Asimov’s and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction

Personally speaking, we still buy Asimov’s regularly – though we don’t have a subscription. 

The latest circulation numbers for the print mags aren’t great:

Analog, the best performing of the three, had fallen to a paid circulation of 27,399, while Asimov’s dropped 5.2% to 17,581. But the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction saw the sharpest decline — 11.2% from the previous year — to a paid circulation of 16,489.

PBS want to lay some of the blame on the Web – but that’s nonsense. The people that buy those mags aren’t going online to read fiction the same kind of fiction. Those mags have a tactile feel that is still different.

We read lots online – but the scifi mags are still a very different animal. Often we’ve found that not all book stores carry the mags and if they do they’re not as easy to find as they once were. Actually trying to get a subscription to these mag is a difficult thing too.

Buying a subscription should include some kind of benefit – at least a reduced cost over buying at the newstand – but that doensn’t seem to be the case. For us it’s still cheaper to buy Asimov’s issue by issue.

Asimovs Sep 2008: Horse Racing by Mary Rosenblum REVIEW August 28, 2008

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Some months there are few (if any) really innovative stories in an issue of Asimovs, the September 2008 issue isn’t such a case.

In particular short story called Horse Racing by author Mary Rosenblum is worth the price of the issue. The basic premise is that human lives are controlled by corporations who big on children and then help to shape their lives with silent/unseen guiding hands.

It’s an innovative concept and one that is sparse on hard details – leaving lots to the imagination. As is typical with Asimovs the story focusses on character and not the speculative science. If this story were expanded to novel length I suspect that would change.

The idea that an unseen guiding hand guides destiny isn’t new but the concept of trading ‘Futures’ isn’t something that i’ve seen done in as elegant a fashion as Rosenblum has done with Horse Racing.

What Happened to Asimov’s Science Fiction mag website? July 11, 2008

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Is someone asleep over there? Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine is one of two surviving monthly scifi rags in existence. It’s usually pretty good too.

I just picked up the latest issue from my local bookstore – it’s the August 2008 issue.

Yet if you go to the mags website today – asimovs.com – it shows the current issue as June 2008 and they talk about a preview of July 2008!

WAKE UP!!