I’m setting off on a quest. I won’t be sailing after the Golden Fleece, or throwing jewelry into a volcano. Instead, I’m searching for a science fiction / fantasy magazine worthy of my subscription dollars.
I haven’t read a magazine in quite a while. For many years, my reading time was entirely devoted to scientific papers; enjoyable stories had to be consumed in audiobook format while commuting. Later, I didn’t want the additional clutter of physical magazines, and when Kindle editions came out, the subscription policies weren’t entirely clear.
Now, I’m ready to brave the choppy waters of unclear disclaimers and misleading reviews. My method isn’t scientific; I’m haphazardly choosing a fairly recent issue of each magazine and reading its short stories (I don’t plan to evaluate the non-fiction content, at least for now). I’ll write a couple of sentences for each story, describing the genre/topic and letting you know my general impression. I may describe exceptionally good (or bad) stories in more detail.
I’ve identified twelve magazines to review. While I expect my task will be easier than the Twelve Labors of Hercules, it’s possible I will fail. For a magazine to win my subscription dollars, it will have to defeat not only the other magazines, but also the anthologies and individually-published short stories available on Amazon. I may send myself on a side quest, searching out additional anthologies for my “Bookends” posts.
To avoid monotony on the blog, I’ll mix in other reviews and articles. This will cause my quest to last for several months (assuming no Greek gods interfere).
If you subscribe to, or occasionally read, a science fiction or fantasy magazine, please let me know in the comments section.