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Topic: New question: Science Fiction magazines...

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Subject: New question: Science Fiction magazines...
Date Posted: 2/15/2010 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I figure if I'm going to attempt writing a short story I should get a feel for what gets printed.  I planned on getting a subscription to Asimov's, but I'm not sure if I shouldn't get another as well, either Locus or Fantasy and Science Fiction.  Do any of you have (or have you ever had) subscriptions to magazines like this?  The subscriptions to these mags are a little outrageous, but still worth it at least for a little while.  I just don't want to go firing off subscriptions in the dark only to find I'd gotten myself a monthly deliver of crap set up for the next year or two.

Date Posted: 2/16/2010 1:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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It is my understanding that Locus does not have fiction.  It has interviews, reviews, and what's coming out.  With very very tiny print.  Their website is wonderful.  But really no stories.  These huge lists of what's coming out.  And this sort of insider's info on who has gotten contracts at which publisher.  They also cover what is in other magazines.  And which ones have folded.  

Locus is this strange mix of info that seems to be aimed at both fans, librarians, and writers.

Feb. table of contents

Another magazine is Weird Tales.  They are doing a lot of steampunk these days.

Date Posted: 2/16/2010 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2009
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never been into the subscription thing. I like novels, all at once :-)

Date Posted: 2/16/2010 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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You might want to check your local library for copies and see if you can check them out or buy them and get a feel for the magazines yourself. . . without investing the entire subscription fee up front! I know my local library is a dumping spot for someone in the community that has subscriptions to both F&SF and Asimov's, so I can buy them for only a quarter a piece and support the library at the same time. . . :)

Date Posted: 2/16/2010 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
Posts: 84
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Asimov's and Fantasy and Science Fiction are two of the "big three" sci-fi short fiction magazines, with Analog being the third.

If money is an issue (and when isn't it?) then I think you would be well served by checking out Strange Horizons, Subterranean Online, and Tor.com which are all free to read yet publish work from well established genre authors.

Another online magazine, Baen's Universe, requires a subscription (but you can read the first half of anything for free). What makes Baen's different is that with an annual subscription, not only do you have online access to that year's new issues, but for a year you have access to all of the past issues as well, of which there are 23 right now. So $30 will get you not 6 issues but 29.

Last Edited on: 2/16/10 5:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 2/16/2010 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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My local library only has Locus.  But they also have a link to a eBook site that has magazines.   EBSCOhost.  Which has FSF online.

Date Posted: 2/16/2010 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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I appreciate the tip on the free sites, but for as much time as I manage to spend online each day, I can't yet fathom the idea of reading actual literature on a screen.  I think I'll take Locus off the list if it's got no fiction, though it's good to know what it does have for future reference.  I almost wonder if I didn't mean Analog.  I know that I was looking at two magazines that appeared to be run by the same company, Asimov and one of the others.  Looking at their site, I see it's Analog I had lumped in with Asimov's; the subscription order pages are nearly identical.  We used to have a subscription to Asimov's when I was a kid, and I've a certain nostalgic loyalty to at least signing up for that. 

Derrick, I kind of know where you're coming from.  The ads are reason enough to lose my vote.  I also don't like feeling that there's really never an end to it, at least until the company folds.  I have that problem with comic books, so I stick to graphic novel collections of specific story lines.  But sometimes I decide I might be able to glean something from a temporary magazine experience, so I'll get a year or two, and just hold on to those as an exemplary slice of the topic, at the time.  I've still got some of the old Asimov's and they're just as important as most of my books. 

Phoenix, Emily, thanks for the tip about the libraries, too!  It's been so long since I've needed to go to the library, I forgot to consider it.  I used to hear about Friends of the Library sales here in the forums and wonder about checking the local library for such events, but to be honest I just completely forgot lol.  Now I have two reasons to go :)

Date Posted: 2/16/2010 10:41 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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This is a National list of FOL (and other non profits) sales.

Book Sale Finder

Subject: SF mags
Date Posted: 2/17/2010 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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I get Analog on paper and Asimov's electronically.  The things really valuable about Analog are 1) the Editorial, (which I find really thought provoking) 2) Brass Tacks, (letters from subscribers who comment on the stories and whatever) 3) The Reference Library (reviews on books) 4) The Alternate View (title says it all) and 5) usually some kind of science article, which may or may not be written for the layman.  Asimov's has pretty much the same kinda thing. 

I think the magazines help me stay "current".

When I retire and can find more time, I plan on getting a subscription to Locus.  Right now, I actually LIKE the mags short stories - I've had my subscriptions running since college.

Last Edited on: 2/17/10 12:54 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 2/19/2010 11:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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10 years ago I used to subscribe to a lot of them... Asimov's, Analog, F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, plus a lot of other smaller mags that I'd bet aren't in circulation anymore.  Unfortunately, money got to be a problem, not to mention time to read them all!  One of these days I hope to go back to them.

Subject: Writing Short Story Science Fiction at Baen's Bar
Date Posted: 2/27/2010 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2010
Posts: 69
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WWW.BAEN.com has a tab on their website where budding authors can register and start out by reading what other budding authors are writing and comment on it.  These works get edited and rewritten then vetted by working authors and Technical people to challenge the science to help improve the story.  Last I checked it doesn't cost anything to join.