Fri
Jan 9 2009 10:43am

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Going Bimonthly

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 costs—especially postal costs—and 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.

4 comments
Jonathan Crowe
1. mcwetboy
Thanks for the link, John. I've been enjoying your posts on the state of SF short fiction.
piaw na
2. piaw
I had a conversation with Gordon a year or so ago, and he was extremely anti-Kindle. With Asimov's available at the Kindle store and F&SF not there, I wonder how much revenue he's losing to his rival. Yes I know you can buy it at Fictionwise, but those Amazon.com storefront pageviews have got to count for free advertising.
bililoquy
3. bililoquy
piaw @ 2:

There's likely a somewhat larger percentage of Kindle users in SFdom than the general populace, but the thing is still very, very niche, and Kindle store sales of a given item tend to amount to little more than a blip.

I don't suppose it could *hurt* to have a Kindle version, but I imagine the benefit would be pretty negligible.
Dave Robinson
4. DaveRobinson
I haven't bought a paper copy of F&SF in years. However I do have a bunch I've bought on Fictionwise. Even though I don't always read it I'm much happier with the idea of bimonthly F&SF than no F&SF.

Interzone works as a bimonthly, so F&SF should be fine too.

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