Category magazine

Magazine: Fantasy Scroll issue #11

Fantasy Scroll Magazine, issue #11 My doorbell chimed, and I opened my front door to find an enormous, bright-red dragon blocking my entire field of view. The dragon puffed smoke from its nostrils and reached out with a talon to poke me in the chest.  “So, dragonslayer, the tables have turned.  How does it feel […]

Magazine: Cirsova #4

Cirsova #4 Cirsova’s fourth issue isn’t part of my magazine quest/contest, but I decided this would be a good time to blog about it.  Cirsova launched a Kickstarter campaign recently, covering issues 9 and 10, and a friend of the editor is doing a Gofundme fundraiser to cover some unexpected veterinary bills. Lately, my job hasn’t left […]

Magazine: Astounding Frontiers #2

Astounding Frontiers, Issue #2 With its second issue, Astounding Frontiers moved almost entirely to a serial-story format.  I’ve seen very few serious attempts to bring back serials, so it will be interesting to see how this magazine does. I don’t think it’s fair to compare episodes of a serial to stand-alone short stories, so I […]

Magazine: Analog, Jul/Aug 2016

I fire my blaster pistol into the last of the space pirates and step over his smoldering corpse, taking my place on the bridge.  “Computer, all of the pirates are dead, and our cargo of Analog Magazines is safe.  End the self-destruct routine.” A pleasant voice, obviously synthetic as it shows no signs of stress, […]

Magazine: Cirsova, issues #2 and #3

The hospital room isn’t clean enough for Heaven, but not dirty enough for Hell, so I guess I’m still alive.  I close my eyes again and sleep.  When I wake up, the captain is there, showing his badge to the nurses and telling them he won’t stay too long. He sits in a chair next […]

Magazine: Red Sun, issues #2 and #3

I warm up the temporal transporter and double-check the contents of the box I’m sending.  If I can get my collection of Red Sun magazine into the hands of the right person at the right moment in history, I might end bad science fiction forever. Red lights flash and a klaxon sounds, warning of an […]

More Charts and Tables!

How’s that for a clickbait title?  It’s a mystery why internet marketing firms aren’t flooding me with high-paying job offers and consulting gigs. I’ve realized that in my hurry to look at the stories in my 49 ranked magazines broken down by genre, by nation, by gender, and by pay, I didn’t present the entire […]

Are they getting their money’s worth?

It would be reasonable to assume that magazines which pay more for their stories end up with higher-quality material to publish. I decided to plot my ratings of short stories in 49 ranked magazines against the cents per word paid for them.  I was only able to use 299 out of 365 stories, as some […]

Gender Breakdown

Let’s break down the stories in my 49 ranked magazines by the author’s gender. Gender Avg Stars (5 max) # of stories Avg Wordcount Unknown 2.88 4 3,982 Male 2.79 217 4,342 Female 2.46 138 4,406 Indeterminate 2.42 6 3,667 “Unknown” means that the author used initials so I couldn’t guess at their gender, and […]

National Breakdown

Now, let’s break down the stories in the 49 magazines by the author’s nationality.  I couldn’t always find this information, and I’ve left out countries which only had one data point.  Here’s what’s left: Nation Avg Stars (5 max) # of stories Avg Wordcount Australia 3.08 18 5,513 South Africa 2.83 3 3,660 New Zealand […]

Genre Breakdown

It’s time to look at the stories in my forty-nine ranked magazines by genre.  First, let’s see if editors prefer one genre over another.  I removed magazines which were only science fiction or only fantasy, and came up with the following breakdown: Genre # of stories % of stories Science Fiction 120 41.0% Modern-Day Fantasy […]

Five Star System

  Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be writing at least four posts discussing the results from the first round of my magazine quest.  They will reference the ratings from one to five that I gave individual stories.  So that you’ll have some perspective, I decided to describe what the different star ratings mean […]

49 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Magazines Ranked from Best to Worst

In my last post, I explained why I’ve cut off my first round of magazine reviews at 49, and described my ranking method.  So, on to the results, giving my first issue of each magazine an Olympic-style score from 10 to 1: [WARNING:  Do not go to the website of Red Sun Magazine, as its […]

DingDingDing!

That’s the bell signalling the end of round one of my magazine quest.  I initially thought I’d only review twelve SFF magazines, but that number ballooned to forty-nine.  I decided forty-nine was an appropriate stopping point, as my search for great stories has been like that of the 49ers who searched for gold in the […]

Magazine: Diabolical Plots

You’ve probably heard me mention the submissions grinder website before, as that’s where I found the majority of the magazines I’ve reviewed.  It’s an excellent tool for short story authors, as it will list magazines that are currently accepting submissions of a story’s genre and length.  Also, if you log your submissions there, it will […]

Podcast: The Overcast

The Overcast is a podcast, based in the Pacific Northwest, which puts out a short story every two weeks or so.  It must be as rainy as they say in that part of the country, as there are approximately one gigazillion podcasts there which have named themselves “The Overcast”. I haphazardly selected seven stories from […]

Podcast: The Drabblecast

The Drabblecast is a podcast which puts out a short story every week.  Their tagline is “strange stories, by strange authors, for strange listeners”, and they deliver.  I listened to five of their stories, and four of them are probably the weirdest stories I’ve read during my magazine quest.  (The fifth was a fairly conventional […]

Magazine: Alien Dimensions #12

Alien Dimensions #12 Short Stories Antlions by Elana Gomel.  First contact with some unusual aliens.  They get jealous when a human man gets too friendly with one of their females. The Exchange by Neil Hogan.  The main character is a woman whose job is first contact with aliens — by having sex with them.  Part of her […]

Magazine: Just a Minor Malfunction, issue #3

Just a Minor Malfunction, issue #3 Short Stories Left to Her Own Devices by James Armer.  A spaceship AI downloads its personality into a robot body, so it can explore a moon when the ship and its human passengers leave.  A fresh copy of the AI is left on the spaceship without the developed personality. Day […]

Magazine: Empyreome, issue #3

Empyreome, issue #3 Short Stories Quest for the Silver Shard by Adam O’Connell.  A story about some fairy/pixie creatures, with a death by lawnmower at the end. Oscars on the Rue Jules Verne by L Chan.  A human actress leads some mole-people in combat, because the mole-people need pheromone signals from queens, but mole-people queens are too […]

Magazine: Stupefying Stories, March 2017

Stupefying Stories, March 2017 Short Stories I Live the Warrior’s Life by Robert Russell.  An engaging story with an abrupt mid-story ending.  So, an engaging half of a story, I guess.  Set in a post-apocalyptic America, where the apocalypse was caused by an Indian shaman unleashing spirits.  The spirits don’t kill Amerindians. This is Not When […]

Magazine: Outposts of Beyond, July 2017

Outposts of Beyond, July 2017 (note that the linked item at Amazon has an incorrect cover image) You may have noticed that my last few magazine reviews did not have intro stories.  I’m trying to wrap up round one of my magazine quest (which, I’ve just realized, began in late 2015) by the end of the […]

Magazine: Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons is not a magazine in the traditional sense, with monthly or quarterly issues.  It’s a website with weekly issues, each containing one short story along with other types of content, such as poetry, articles, and reviews.  I selected roughly a month’s worth of issues, from March 20 to April 17 of this year. […]

Magazine: Lyonesse Volume 1

  Lyonesse, Volume 1 Lyonesse is another magazine in the superversive tradition, which I mentioned in my review of Astounding Frontiers.  Unlike Astounding Frontiers, Lyonesse has open submissions periods, so if you’ve written some superversive fiction, this could be a home for it. There are two ways to read Lyonesse:  you can subscribe and receive […]

Magazine: Broadswords and Blasters, issue #2

  Broadswords and Blasters, issue #2 Broadswords and Blasters describes itself as “a pulp magazine with modern sensibilities.” By pulp, I’m assuming they mean that they publish both genres, action and adventure.  (I stole that line from the editor of a competing magazine, Storyhack.) By modern sensibilities, I believe they mean stories featuring heroes who […]

Magazine: Astounding Frontiers #1

  Astounding Frontiers, issue #1 Astounding Frontiers is a magazine put out by Superversive Press.  “Superversive” is the name of a recent literary movement you may not be familiar with.  This quote from author L Jagi Lamplighter serves as a nice, quick summary: You know how subversive means to change something by undermining from below? […]

Magazine: Lontar, issue #6

Lontar, the Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, Issue #6 Lontar is, as far as I know, Singapore’s only SFF magazine.  Like many regional SFF magazines, it is supported by a government grant.  [Update:  the magazine has lost its government grant and is now attempting to fund its final two issues through Patreon.] The magazine […]

Magazine: Daily Science Fiction

I stuff more shotgun shells into my backpack.  A reliable source tells me that where I’m going, there are more trolls than I “can shake a stick at.”  I’d prefer a more quantitative estimate, but that does sound like a lot of trolls. I have no idea what kills trolls, so I’ve spent weeks hand-loading […]

Magazine: Perihelion SF, Sep 2016

I pull over onto the shoulder of the desert highway.  The county Sheriff is waiting for me. He rolls down his window and points into the desert as I walk over.  “Tracks go that way.” “You’ve got good eyes, spotting them from the road.” “Family in a minivan called it in.” “They saw it cross […]

Magazine: Mothership Zeta, issue 2

Mothership Zeta The human brain isn’t perfect.  For example, most adults don’t remember the moment of their birth.  I’m different.  I remember the day I hatched, a fully grown human, from a pod on the mothership. I can’t tell you what the mothership told me that day, because the language she used has no written […]

Magazine: Beneath Ceaseless Skies

Tonight’s intro story is a continuation of my last intro story, which was a continuation of the previous intro story.  Heck, maybe you should just read the entire Four Apes Saga from the beginning. Herman is the first to break the standoff.  He charges into Balto’s tank, cracking it open, spilling the whale out and […]

Something Fishy at Strange Horizons?

Long-term readers of this blog will know that I’ve been searching for the best SFF magazine to subscribe to.  That search (still in progress) led me to submit a couple of my own SFF stories to magazines. I received a form rejection last weekend, from Strange Horizons.  Rejection isn’t surprising, as I’m not claiming that […]

Side Quest

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that I sent myself on a magazine quest to find the best SFF magazine, and ultimately subscribe to it.  When I began my quest, I thought I’d review a dozen magazines.  I’ve already reviewed 32 magazines here, and I’ve discovered so many others that […]

Magazine: Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #32

Tonight’s intro story is a continuation of my previous Four Apes intro story: … Ape-proof steel doors slam shut across the exits, trapping us inside. I scan the upper walls and ceiling until I spot a security camera, then face it.  “Quit screwing around, Director.  The Bad Guys are up to some bad stuff, and you […]

Magazine: Storyhack, issue zero

Storyhack, issue zero On the Fourth of July, I feel it’s my patriotic duty to write another Four Apes intro story: Traffic around the Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington DC slows to a crawl, as drivers gawk at the Eight Apes on the sidewalk outside. Samantha looks into my eyes.  “We don’t have to go […]

Magazine: Leading Edge, Issue 68

Leading Edge, Issue 68 The Saga of the Four Apes continues: Fu, Herman, Bobo, and I move quietly through the construction site, sticking to the nighttime shadows.  We know the bad guys have some connection to this piece of real estate, but don’t know the details.  We freeze when an attractive young woman steps from […]

Magazine: Phantaxis Nov 2016

Phantaxis Nov 2016 The following intro story will confuse you if you haven’t read my spaghetti western intro story: My phone rings, waking me up at 5AM on a Saturday.  Resisting the urge to throw it against the wall, I answer it.  “You better have a good reason for calling.” “Oh, I do indeed, sir. […]

Magazine: Kzine #16

Kzine issue 16 I’m one of three gunfighters in a Mexican standoff, arranged in a triangle.  Our only spectator in this western ghost town is an unarmed flute player, watching from the roof of the saloon.  He plays his instrument.  Tootely toot … toot toot toot. To my left is my nemesis, Talking Chicken.  She […]

Magazine: Compelling Science Fiction #3

Compelling Science Fiction Love ’em or hate ’em, the Four Apes are back for tonight’s intro story: We pieced together that the bad guys were going to steal the gold from Fort Knox, and we wanted to throw a monkey wrench in their plans.  The problem was, we didn’t know how or when they planned […]

Rejection #3

OK, I know posts about my rejection letters scored next-to-last in the poll of what my readers are interested in, but I needed something quick and easy to write up this week.  My immediate superior at work will be getting medical treatment for the next week or two, so I’ll be doing his job.  That means […]

SFF Magazine News

I don’t have time to write up a magazine review (or a silly intro story) this week, but I thought I’d mention some news concerning two of the magazines which are competing for the top spot in my magazine quest. Red Sun Magazine’s third issue is out.  I haven’t read it yet, but it looks […]

Magazine: Deep Magic Aug 2016

Deep Magic, August 2016 I’m on the record as disliking prequels, but for today’s intro story, I decided to write a Four Apes prequel anyway: — The Assistant Director only makes me wait twenty minutes outside his office, so I know there’s a crisis. He motions for me to sit.  “We’re shutting down your program.” […]

Magazine: Nonlocal #2

Nonlocal issue #2 I help the other castaways push the raft into the ocean.  It’s a big raft that took us an entire week to build — we used the wood from the signaling tower that I’d pulled down the week before, waving too enthusiastically to a passing cruise liner. The others gasp, scream, and […]

Magazine: On Spec #102

On Spec #102 I don’t normally work for cartels, but my magazine quest is getting expensive, and this cartel doesn’t pay in worthless dollars — it pays in cold, hard maple syrup.  One of the cartel bosses lays out the problem he wants me to take care of, but I don’t speak French, so I just […]

Magazine: Space and Time, issue 125

Space and Time Magazine, issue 125 A steward shows me onto the cruise ship’s bridge and introduces me to the Captain, who reaches out to shake my hand.  “You’re that science journalist I’ve been hearing so much about.” “Science-fiction book-blogger, actually.  I’ve heard your ship’s library has a copy of Space and Time Magazine that I’d […]

Award Thoughts – Short Story

I haven’t made my choice for best short story yet, so I thought I’d share my top contenders with you. I read around 40 issues of SFF magazines in 2016, as well as several anthologies and a couple dozen stories off the web. I haven’t reviewed issue 125 of Space and Time Magazine yet, but I […]

Magazine: Plasma Frequency Q1 2016

Plasma Frequency My buddy Jack says he can get me a copy of Plasma Frequency Magazine. Well, he says he knows “a guy who knows a guy.” I’m at his house, helping him set up for a coworker’s surprise 70th birthday/retirement party. We lift an over-sized paper cake from the back of his truck, and […]

Magazine: Uncanny #8

Uncanny #8 I’m walking through a library, searching for a magazine, but I can’t seem to find one. Stuffed cats wearing hats and boots sit on the shelves of one aisle. Climbers in dark clothing move up the empty shelves of another. I avert my eyes from the next aisle, as a man and woman […]

Magazine: Grimdark #8

Grimdark Magazine #8 When I was a child, I passed my neighbor’s house every day while walking home from school. He would often be sitting on his front porch, tying his shoes, and would wave or say hello to me. I remember one day that was different from all the others: “Hi, Billy. I hope […]

Magazine: Phase 2, Issue 3

Phase 2 Magazine I open my front door in response to the ringing doorbell. A man in a suit holds up a badge. “I’m Detective-Sergeant Joe Friday. I’d like to ask you a few questions about Phase 2 Magazine.” “Great, because I have this really elaborate story about how I-” “Just the facts, sir.” — […]

Magazine: Shoreline of Infinity #4

Shoreline of Infinity #4 I perform a final check of my shark cage and SCUBA gear as our boat bobs up and down on a Scottish lake. The constable lies on the deck, drooling. I probably shouldn’t have darted him with enough tranquilizer to calm an angry plesiosaur, but he wouldn’t shut up about needing […]

I am the 40%

My short story received its second rejection this week. This rejection was from Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine. My previous rejection was from a magazine with a 96% rejection rate, and I turned around and submitted to a magazine with a rejection rate of over 99%. You might be thinking “doesn’t this guy learn from […]

Magazine: Albedo One #46

A bowl of cereal in one hand, a jug of milk in the other, I head to the kitchen table. There’s no room to set down my breakfast, because a two-foot-tall man in a three-piece suit is stretched out there, snoring. I use my elbow to shove him off, and he hits the floor with […]

Something for writers, something for readers

First, some news: I received a rejection letter for my first short story submission. I was originally going to give this post the pessimistic title of “Rejection #1”, because I’m a ‘glass is 96% empty’ kind of guy, not ‘glass is 4% full’. (According to The Grinder, 96% of stories are rejected at Analog magazine, […]

Magazine: Red Sun #1

Red Sun Magazine, Issue 1 I’d have known Old Man Brady was on his deathbed even if his nurse hadn’t told me. He raises a skeletal hand and motions me closer, then removes his oxygen mask to speak. “Thank you for coming. I’m sorry my wife couldn’t be here.” I don’t have the heart to […]

Magazine: Fantasy Scroll #9

Fantasy Scroll Magazine This can’t be the place. I’m looking across a dirty, crowded train station at a magazine stand. My sources tell me this is where I should look for my next magazine, but I’m thinking about looking for new sources instead. I decide not to approach right away, in case it’s a trap. I walk to […]

The Other Magazine Quest

If you’ve been following this blog lately, you know about my original magazine quest. I’m reading at least one issue from 24 (up from the original 12) different science-fiction magazines, and picking which one(s) I’ll subscribe to. I’ve only posted 14 magazine reviews so far, but I promise I’ll write up the others over the […]

Magazine: Nebula Rift V4N1

Nebula Rift I’m not writing a silly intro story for this review, because I want to talk about the magazine’s business model. (OK, enough booing, settle down.) Most science fiction magazines pay a per-word rate to their authors. For “pro” magazines, this is six cents or more per word. For “semi-pro” magazines, it is typically one […]

Cirsova #2 at Kickstarter

Cirsova’s second issue now has a page at kickstarter. If you haven’t heard of Cirsova, you can read my interview with the magazine’s founder, or my review of Cirsova #1.

Magazine: Cirsova #1

Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine Issue #1 My magazine quest has gotten expensive, so I’m driving an 18-wheeler to make some money. I speak into my voice recorder.  “Trucker’s log. Date: 6-6, midnight. Weather conditions: clear, but no moonlight. Cargo: timber products. Many rigs headed same direction.” The chimpanzee in the passenger’s seat […]

Magazine: Aurealis #87

Aurealis #87 The guards drag me up the stairs and shove me onto the stage. The audience jeers at me, but most of the insults are colloquialisms that I don’t understand. I do understand that the entire population of an Australian writers’ commune showed up to deal with me, and that I don’t have a […]

Magazine: Sci Phi Journal Nov 2015

Sci Phi Journal #8 The orderly hands me a paper cup holding a pill — the pill that will make me forget about Talking Chicken. It’s one of those long, capsule-style horse pills. The doctors didn’t take the time to read my medical history; I have a narrow esophagus. I rotate the pill with my […]

Free: Cirsova issue #1

The kindle version of issue #1 of Cirsova magazine is free at Amazon through Saturday, March 19th. I recently interviewed P. Alexander, Cirsova’s founder/editor, and I plan to review issue #1 in a couple of weeks. Get your free copy so we can compare opinions of the stories!

Magazine: InterGalactic Medicine Show #47

Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, issue 47 The department took away my canine partner, my badge, and my gun, but I’m still going to take down Talking Chicken. I leave my car by the highway and walk, baseball bat over my shoulder. I ignore the signs saying “Rainbow Farms employees only”. The huge metal […]

Magazine: Apex Oct 2015

Apex Magazine Issue 77 I down the last of my Red Bull and crush the can, tossing it into the passenger footwell with the others. The pile of cans will reach onto the seat and mingle with the empty fritos bags soon. I rummage through the bags, but come up empty. I haven’t showered or […]

Magazine: Lightspeed Oct 2015

Lightspeed Magazine Issue 65 We got a call about a disturbance at the old Ferguson place. The house had been some rich guy’s mansion, then a nursing home, and most recently a failed bed and breakfast. We knew that empty places attract trouble (teenagers, meth cooks, and uglier things the people of the community pretend […]

Magazine: Galaxy’s Edge Jul 2015

Galaxy’s Edge Magazine – Issue 15 I’m shuffling through snowdrifts towards a Himalayan mountaintop temple. Why does it always have to be a mountaintop temple? Why can’t it be the ‘temple next to the burger king’? The wind dies down for a moment, giving me a glimpse of my goal through the blowing snow. Or […]

Cirsova Issue 1 Kickstarter is Live! (please share!)

Originally posted on Cirsova:
The Kickstarter for Cirsova Issue 1 is a go!  Issue # 1 is done and paid for.  We’re just taking orders and raising money for the future so I can start work on Issue #2 right away! Basic pledge rates are as follows: Individual Copies $2 – PDF $10 + Shipping…

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #58

I keep my eyes on the rearview mirror as I speed across the Australian outback. Most of the pursuing vehicles are burning wreckage fading into the distance, but two are still on my tail. If I gunned the V-8 interceptor’s engine I’d lose them, but my fuel gauge is hovering just above ‘E’, so I’m […]

Magazine: Clarkesworld Nov 2015

Clarkesworld Magazine Issue 110 The Sri Lankan mountainside is steep, and the ground is slick with mud and algae-covered tree roots, but I’m not even breathing hard as I ascend — I’m riding in a palanquin carried by a gang of jungle squid. They wrap their tentacles around upslope trees and pull, repeating the process […]

Magazine: Asimov’s Dec 2015

Asimov’s Science Fiction, December 2015 I follow the priests into the Temple of Asimov. Hooded grey robes hide their faces and bodies; I can’t tell what sex they are, or whether they’re actually human. They lead me to a reading room and motion for me to sit at an antique writing desk. One of them, […]

Magazine: Analog Dec 2015

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2015 I’m in the space station’s control room, watching two progress bars on a computer monitor. One is labeled “Analog magazine download”. The other is labeled “Space station auto-destruct”. The two appear to be perfectly synchronized. — Novelette: A Case of Identity by Edward Lerner. An AI private detective […]

Magazine: Fantasy & Science Fiction Sep-Oct 2015

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction September/October 2015 I wipe the dragon’s blood from my axe as I enter its lair. Everyone in the business of dragon-slaying knows that killing a dragon is the easy part; the real work is searching through its disorganized treasure hoard. I expect an open cavern, but the lair […]

Magazine: Interzone Sep-Oct 2015

Interzone #260 Sep-Oct 2015 My quest isn’t off to an auspicious start. I’ve spent eight weeks in London, trying to get into the archives of the Ministry of Science Fiction. Every morning, I arrive at the ministry to find a person I haven’t seen before sitting at the front desk. I show them yesterday’s approval […]

On a Quest

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 […]