Aug 5 2009 3:49pm

Closures: Jim Baen’s Universe

Jim Baen’s Universe, the online subscription magazine edited by Mike Resnick and Eric Flint, is closing. The magazine is finishing its fourth year of publication, which means the publication schedule that started in June 2009 will run through April 2010.

People who buy a new membership will have access to the entirety of the magazine's run. It’s too bad that the magazine is closing. The list of contributors is impressive, including names like Cory Doctorow, Pat Cadigan, David Brin, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, Catherine Asaro, Ben Bova, Esther Friesner, and many, many more.

I was literally getting ready to finally get a subscription; something I felt I had set aside doing for too long. I will likely still do that, and take a gander at what I've been missing for four years now.

This has been a particularly hard 12 months for short fiction venues. Jim Baen’s Universe is one more in a long line of closings. I wonder if there were a lot of people like me, thinking about subscribing, and then not doing it. I wish there had been a way, or I had known of the way, to sample the magazine before subscribing.

Let’s hope the rest of Worldcon weekend goes by with better news and fun convention reports.

John Klima is the editor of the Hugo and World Fantasy nominated magazine Electric Velocipede. He works full time as a librarian at a small college in the Midwest.

1. euphrosyne
I'm always sad to see short fiction venues shut down.

BUT--and it's difficult to say this without sounding like a total jerk--I've never been a fan of JBU for one simple reason. The website design is terrible. It's a 90's-era assault on the eyes: the color scheme, the layout, the godzilla-sized font. It's just unreadable for me--so there's obviously no chance I would pay money for a subscription. That may not have been the decisive factor in their financial situation, but it certainly didn't help.

I've heard that they publish some worthwhile stories, so I'm sad to see them go--but I won't actually miss them.
Chris Meadows
2. Robotech_Master
To note, the first 25% of each JBU story is available to read on the JBU site, and the first 25% of the content of every issue is available in its entirety to read (as "sample chapters) in the back-issue listings on Webscriptions.
Eddie Cochrane
3. cobrabay
I'm sad to see it go, but not wholly surprised. I can't be the only one who was put off by what seemed to be an overly complicated subscription model. As euphrosyne mentioned, the site design didn't help either.
By the way, shouldn't that bit at the end say "John Klima is the editor of the Hugo winning magazine Electric Velocipede." Congratulations.
Blue Tyson
4. BlueTyson

There have been tons of JBU stories (and issues) online for ages. So for an award winning magazine editor you are really terrible at looking.
Nikki McCormack
5. Neyska
The subscription model may not have been perfect, but they had a great submission model that allowed writers to get useful feedback on their work even if it was not accepted. That alone makes this a tragedy. They also published some excellent work. I am really sad to see this happen.

Subscribe to this thread

Receive notification by email when a new comment is added. You must be a registered user to subscribe to threads.
Post a comment