Magazine Publishing
BCS on SF Signal Podcast
Posted in: About BCS, Magazine Publishing by Scott H. Andrews

02-27-2012, 09:09 AM

Scott H. Andrews, our Editor-in-Chief, is in the latest SF/F podcast from genre news site SF Signal.

The podcast was a roundtable discussion on swords & sorcery, specifically current writers who’re putting new twists on this old classic and new directions that it’s being taken in. The “literary adventure fantasy” direction of which, of course, is exactly what BCS specializes in.

In addition to Scott, the roundtable featured authors Violette Malan, James L. Sutter, author/editor Lou Anders of Pyr Books, and SF Signal moderators Jaym Gates and Patrick Hester.

The first part of this roundtable is out now as SF Signal Podcast #108. Or you can stream it here:

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BCS at Capclave this Weekend
Posted in: Appearances and Cons, Magazine Publishing by Scott H. Andrews

10-13-2011, 12:24 PM

I will be at Capclave in the D.C. area this weekend, with a stack of shiny BCS flyers.

I’m on three panels, two of them dealing with short fiction or small-press publishing:

Friday 8:00 pm:
Short Fiction: Where is the new good short fiction found now?

Saturday 11:00 am:
Small Press Publishing: Running a publishing company, publishing a magazine or semi-prozine.

Feel free to drop by if you’d like to hear my insight on any of the above. Also, if you see me after panels or in the halls or the bar, feel free to say hello.

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Editorial: Don’t Penalize Non-Pro Zines for Pro-Level Respect
Posted in: About BCS, Appearances and Cons, Editorials, Magazine Publishing by Scott H. Andrews
08-15-2011, 10:37 AM
The committee to revise the Semiprozine category in the Hugo Awards has made their proposal, along with several minority recommendations by single members. (Followers of this issue may remember that the Semiprozine Hugo was slated to be abolished two years ago, but a grassroots campaign led by editor and publisher Neil Clarke prevented that.)

At the core of this issue is how to define the difference between a “pro” zine and a “semipro” zine, since the former are not eligible in this category.

The committee’s recommended criteria offer a good distinction. If a magazine provides a quarter of the income of any staff member, or is owned by a company that provides a quarter of the income of any person, it would be a pro zine. That makes perfect sense. Lightspeed and Weird Tales, for example, are both owned by publishing companies with full-time employees, and those magazines clearly have a different footing than Clarkesworld or Space and Time or Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

But the minority proposal by Ben Yalow, a thirty-year fan, that any magazine that pays a pro rate for its fiction must be a pro zine, is ludicrous. Other editors and publishers have pointed out the absurdity that such a criterion would make every zine that has been nominated in the Semiprozine category in the last four years no longer fit in that category.

The main flaw with his idea is its fundamental misunderstanding of why some non-pro zines, like Beneath Ceaseless Skies, pay a pro rate for fiction.

We do it out of respect. Respect for authors, in an era when it’s all but impossible to make a living writing short fiction. Respect for fans; the readers who still crave great short stories. Respect for established writers doing great work in that form and upcoming writers using it to develop their voice. Respect for a form of fiction that has a proud tradition in our genre; that we know is in financial decline but we love it so much we do it regardless.

Mr. Yalow seems to think it’s an arbitrary decision for these non-pro zines to use their money to pay pro rate rather than to pay their staffs. He could not be more wrong. Imagine giving an avid reader $100 to spend in the dealer’s room at a con. Sure, it’s theoretically possible they could spend it on steampunk goggles or chainmail t-shirts. But, as any avid reader can attest, their love for fiction means that the only actual outcome would be them walking out of the dealer’s room with $100 of books. If not more.

This committee proposal and discussion comes at a crucial time. WorldCon is this weekend, and Hugo business is conducted at the con.

If you will be at WorldCon and this issue is important to you (it should be, if you have ever read or sold a story to a semipro zine), go to the Preliminary Business Meeting at 10AM on Thursday morning. Make your voice heard. (Kevin Standlee, in this comment on my personal blog, provided detailed information on the business schedule. Thank you!)

With pro-paying, non-pro zines forming the majority of the pro-rate fiction markets these days, and publishing more fiction and a wider variety of it than the pro zines, it would be a sad day if the most prestigious awards in our genre were changed to no longer recognize this vibrant and crucial area of our field.

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Semipro Zine Hugo Award Revision this Week
Posted in: About BCS, Magazine Publishing by Scott H. Andrews

08-15-2011, 10:45 AM

The criteria for the Semipro Zine Hugo Award category are scheduled to be revised this week at WorldCon. (Followers of this issue may remember a campaign two years ago to keep this award from being abolished.)

The committee’s proposal is quite reasonable, but there is one minority proposal that would exclude all zines that pay pro rate–such as BCS.

I’ve written an editorial explaining why this minority proposal is a ludicrous idea.

If this issue is important to you (and it should be if you read BCS or have ever sold us a story); if you will be at WorldCon, please learn about what’s at stake and go to the Thursday 10AM business meeting to make your voice heard.

Thank you.

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Interview with Scott
Posted in: About BCS, Magazine Publishing by Scott H. Andrews

07-06-2011, 09:19 AM

I was recently interviewed about Beneath Ceaseless Skies by Margaret McGaffey Fisk of Vision: A Resource for Writers. Among her questions were why I do the magazine as both text and audio, types of stories that I don’t get sent as much as I’d like, and things I see more often than I would like.

You can check out the interview here. Thanks very much to Margaret for her interest.

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BCS and the State of Short Fiction
Posted in: About BCS, Magazine Publishing by Scott H. Andrews

06-17-2009, 10:05 AM

Neil Clarke, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Clarkesworld Magazine, recently posted his annual analysis of the state of the field of F/SF/H short fiction. He points to BCS as a new market of note and mentions our placing as runner-up for the storySouth’s Million Writers Award for the Best New Online Magazine of 2008. Thanks very much!

I agree with Neil that online markets are the most vibrant part of the field these days and will be in the days to come. I do worry that no one has yet come up with a great business model for online fiction magazines, and that that financial connundrum may keep other folks from starting their own magazines. But perhaps something will come along to change that, the way the iPod changed online music. We’ll see!


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BCS Interviewed by Paul Jessup
Posted in: About BCS, Magazine Publishing by Scott H. Andrews

F/SF writer and blogger Paul Jessup recently interviewed me about Beneath Ceaseless Skies, asking lots of interesting questions about my vision for the magazine and the exact type of stories I’m looking for.

You can read the interview on his blog and comment on it here. Thanks very much, Paul!

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