February 26th, 2011

Summary: Cosmos, 2010

Summary: Cosmos, 2010

Cosmos is an Australian popular science magazine that features an SF story in each issue. They also occasionally feature stories on their website (and the website also sometimes reprints stories from the print magazine, a few months later). The fiction editor through 2010 was Damien Broderick, but he has resigned, and Cat Sparks will be the editor in 2011. They are bimonthly, so 6 issues appeared in 20109. Including the stories on the website, there were 9 stories, all short, for a total of some 28,000 words.

Their fiction is consistently interesting -- always SF, often fairly near future focussed, as befits a popular science magazine in many ways. My favorites from 2010 were Jenny Blackford's "The Velvet Revolution" and Ian McHugh's "Rust Night", with some nice work from Jennifer Povey as well.

I think 5 of 9 stories were by women, and all of them were SF.

Summary: Some Miscellaneous magazines and websites, 2010

Summary: Some Miscellaneous magazines and websites, 2010

For a variety of reasons, mainly day job responsibilities, I couldn't read as much this year as before, and no I perhaps unfairly missed some potentially good stuff from some of the below-mentioned sources, to say nothing of the places I missed entirely.

1. M-Brane

M-Brane was one of the casualties of my reduction in reading in 2010. It began in 2009, published an ambitious 11 issues that year, and as far as I know has continued on at least a nearly monthly schedule. It is heavily focussed on SF. The editor is Christopher Fletcher. I saw only one issue this year, the April issue (#15), which feature six short stories (one short-short), about 15,000 words. Four were by women, two by men, and the four stories by women were my favorites -- the writers were Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Erica Hildrebrand, Deborah Walker, and Cate Gardner.

2. Marginal Boundaries

Marginal Boundaries, a pdf magazine, debuted with one ambitious issue in 2010, then went defunct. The editor was T. W. Anderson. The one issue featured 9 stories, 6 of them novelettes, for over 70,000 words of fiction. Seven of the stories were SF. All the writers were men. Notably, three of the stories were translations of Bulgarian pieces. One of these, "I Dreamed a Human Face", by Ivaylo P. Ivanov, about a harsh colony planet inhabited only by a variety of creatures all descended from human stock, is quite good. I also liked stories by Eric Del Carlo, Jason M. Tucker, and Thomas Olbert.

3. Reflection's Edge

Another source of guilt for me -- I didn't keep up with this online magazine very well in 2010, and at the end of the year I realized it had ceased publication with the October issue. It had been publishing fairly regularly since late 2004, so it lasted about 6 years. The editor was Sharon Dodge. I only read one issue in 2010, January, which featured four short stories (two short-shorts), about 10,000 words, two by men, two by women, all SF. They featured a mix of genres over their history, mostly Fantasy on balance, but lots of SF, some horror, occasional erotica, and some other stuff.

4. Hub

This is a British magazine, in downloadable e-formats, that has published with considerable frequency over the past few years -- some 30 issues a year, usually one story per issue. I only read three stories this year, 2 SF, one Fantasy, two by men, one by a woman, about 15,000 words total. The stories by Aliette de Bodard and Gareth L. Powell were both quite nice. Guilt again! -- the fact that I mostly missed it this year should not be taken to mean that it is particulary bad: indeed they publish some very good stuff (as in those two stories I mention) though rarely have I seen really top stories there, and they also publish a fair amount of weaker stories. But by all means check it out.

5. SF Crowsnest

This is a British SF newszine, edited by Stephen Hunt, that features occasional fiction. This year I read one story (though there may have been more), "Some Hope", a 5800 word SF piece from SF Crowsnest regular Geoff Wilmetts.

6. Quantum Kiss

The SF romance oriented site published only one 2900 word fantasy story in 2010, "The Princess and the Stone Picker", by Sarah L. Ashwood.

7. Innsmouth Free Press

As the title implies, this webzine is Lovecraft-oriented. It is published by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and edited by Paula R. Stiles. I read one issue in 2010, which featured 5 original stories, about 12,000 words, three by men, two by women, all decent work. (It's just that Lovecraftian stuff is not my usual first choice!) As far as I know, they continue to publish regularly, though they don't always feature fiction.

8. Daybreak

Daybreak is the site where Jetse de Vries promoted his anthology of optimistic SF, Shine. He also published some original fiction there, overflow from Shine, perhaps, or stories that came in too late for the book. 13 such stories appeared in 2010, four novelettes and nine shorts, for almost 70000 words of fiction. It looked as if the site was set to continue to publish every other week, but things stuttered to a stop towards late summer. It's not clear to me if Daybreak will resume publication. I hope it does -- Jetse published some nice work here. All SF, mostly near future. 7 by women, 6 by men. The best story was Dave Hutchinson's "Dali's Clocks", and there was also good stuff from LaShawn M. Wanak, Brenda Cooper, and Christopher Bennett.