Recently the news came down the pike that The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction was going to go bi-monthly after its March issue. Editor/Publisher Gordon Van Gelder cites “rising costsespecially postal costsand the current economy” as his reason for making the change. His other option would be to increase prices, and given that the economy is affecting everyone, he felt that changing the magazine made more sense.
Reaction has been mostly falling along the line as Jonathan Crowe’s post: “Better a bimonthly, double-sized F&SF than none at all.” I have to agree. And as Jonathan Strahan puts it, “If it proves to be a successful change then it’s a welcome one.” Strahan also talks about the changes that Asimov’s and Analog made to their dimensions, which I’m sure were driven by the rising postal costs. One of the many reasons that led me to partnering with Night Shade Books was to get help in shouldering both the financial and time burdens of running a magazine.
Gordon is more organized than me, so freeing up his time is likely not as paramount as the financial aspects, but I would think doing half as many issues would free up some time. Perhaps he’ll spend it with his family, or perhaps he’ll spend it chasing ad revenue, or perhaps he’s going to take that extra time and radically re-invent the design of F&SF. And perhaps it won’t really free up any time but the lessened production costs will allow him to keep publishing the magazine for a long time coming.
I hope it does.