Wed
Mar 4 2009 2:35pm
New Online Fiction for March

March 2009 Clarkesworld Magazine coverPerhaps this will be stealing the thunder from my Weekend Getaway, but since I’ve posted links to both Clarkesworld Magazine and Ideomancer in previous getaways, I thought it would be fine to list them earlier in the week. I think it’s also notable to open up a discussion of how I learned about these updates, and see how other people find out about this stuff.

First up, the March issue of Clarkesworld Magazine went live on Monday.The issue includes fiction from Ekaterina Sedia and Rachel Sobel, an interview with Tobias Buckell, and typically fantastic cover art from Harout Demirchyan. There’s even an audio version of the Sedia story available for your listening pleasure!

Next, the March issue of Ideomancer has fiction by J(ae)D Brames, Michaeala Kahn, Steve Mohan Jr., and J. C. Runolfson. The magazine is under new editorship, and well, it hasn’t been easy for the new staff. That’s not to say the old staff left things in disarray (much of the old staff is still there), to steal words out of current editor Leah Bobet’s mouth, there was “a lot of learning the ropes, back-and-forthing, heroic efforts on Production Editor Celia’s part, and serious excitement.”

I learned about the new Clarkesworld Magazine posting through several sources. Since I follow the magazine through two RSS feeds (its blog and the magazine site itself) I saw updates there. The issue was also announced on a massive round-up page from SF Signal. Nothing too unusual there. Basically getting the information from the source.

Ideomancer was slightly more unusual. There was a post in the LOCUS blink RSS feeds, but that isn’t where I heard about the new issue being live. I first got a message in Facebook from editor Leah Bobet about the issue being online. Now, I’ve used Facebook for some simple notices about the Electric Velocipede, but mostly I use the main website and the blog for updates. Still getting the information from the source, but getting it through a different medium.

I’d like to assume that everyone out there is using RSS feeds, but are you? About a year ago I had overloaded myself with RSS feeds and I cut back significantly. At that time, I had dropped from 400+ feeds to 340. Now I’m at ~180 and that number is still going down as I’m currently dropping all RSS feeds that don’t provide full feeds. And recently, I switched from ‘expanded’ to ‘list’ view in Google reader and went from all my feeds being 100% in my ‘trends’ section to averaging about 45%.

But I still read RSS feeds. I’ve just gotten more selective about it. Mostly I’ve switched to following a few close friends, as many magazines as have feeds, and a handful of places that provide decent round-ups (such as SF Signal) of things happening online. Switching over to list view probably allows me to follow a few more feeds than I am right now, but I’m happy here. I’ve got enough going on without feeling like I have to read the world.

As for Facebook, I thought this was a great place for an announcement. I have to assume that it wasn’t the only place that Bobet mentioned the new issue. It would be silly for her to limit the announcement to one location since there’s no guarantee that all Ideomancer fans/readers are on Facebook. However, since there is an Ideomancer Speculative Fiction group, people who are on Facebook and like the types of things that Ideomancer publishes can join and get relevant announcements. I have a similar group for Electric Velocipede. The cool thing about this is that there are members of my Facebook group that are not subscribers. Why is this cool? It’s exposure of the magazine to a wider audience than I hit with just subscriptions.

So how about the rest of you? Where are you learning about online fiction? Anywhere? Here?

4 comments
Charles Tan
1. charlesatan
Usually from Livejournal, especially when you've friended several of the authors/editors/publishers. More of a glorified RSS feed.
Diatryma
2. Diatryma
I am old-fashioned and check Strange Horizons weekly, Clarkesworld monthly, and others as necessary. If it doesn't update regularly, I don't read regularly-- I'll check back when I think of it, if I think enough time has passed that new content will be up. Anything out of the ordinary, I get from Livejournal updates (also not aggregated into a friendslist).
Diatryma
3. Tinkoo
At Variety SF, I maintain 3 pieces of software code that troll more than 100 pre-approved sites automatically & continuously looking for new fiction - original fiction, reprints, & misc fiction links are separately tracked. Feeds of these bots are publicly available:

Original fiction:
"http://feeds2.feedburner.com/VarietySF/Joe/free-fiction/original"
Sites tracked:
"http://variety-sf.blogspot.com/2008/08/tracking-free-fiction-part-1-of-3.html"

Reprints:
"http://feeds2.feedburner.com/VarietySF/Joe/free-fiction/reprints"

Misc links:
"http://feeds2.feedburner.com/VarietySF/Joe/free-fiction/misc"

Your own "Weekend Getaway" column is picked up by misc, I think.

Caution: First two are very high traffic feeds - averaging several magazines worth of fiction links delivered to inbox everyday, though some days are more prolific. Be ruthless in deleting what doesn't immediately appeal, or it can get overwhelming.
Paul Jessup
4. pauljessup
Don't forget Fantasy Magazine-
http://www.darkfantasy.org/fantasy/

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