HUGO AWARD-WINNING SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY MAGAZINE
Nice to Hear from You
Most of the science fiction magazines I read as a kid had a letters to the editor column. People would write in and respond to the stories or articles published in recent issues. There weren’t websites or email addresses, so dropping an envelope in the mail was your only chance to let the editors know what you were thinking. I was part of the silent majority, one of the people who never wrote in.
Clarkesworld is a child of the digital age, born online and with limited print distribution. We’ve never had the need for a letters column. People can post comments on our site or reach out to me via email, but despite the ease of such things over mailing a letter, such interactions remain quite uncommon. These days, most of the responses to a magazine is indirect and happening through social media, podcasts, and blogs. The community is more scattered and that can have the effect of depersonalizing things. It’s neither better nor worse. It’s simply different.
Last month made me notice how much I miss that old-fashioned direct line of communication. It seems as though my editorial struck a chord with readers and inspired many of you to reach out directly with thoughts, advice, and other demonstrations of support or concern. Scattered among the business advice and ideas were birthday wishes and a common theme of a desire to help make everything work for us. It was well-timed and inspired me to undertake a survey—which ended with over a thousand participants—on magazine funding and business models. The comments there built on what the emails started and while at times very blunt, said what needed to be said. Thank you!
Between my birthday, Worldcon, and my inevitable post-Worldcon crash, I haven’t had time to do the full analysis of that data. The preliminary results and all the comments have been interesting and very informative. I’ll likely spend a lot of time this month going over the finer points and using them to shape the direction this magazine will take as it enters into its next decade. I don’t want that to be the end of the discussion though. Please, stay in touch. We love hearing from you.
Normally, I’d end an editorial about here, but as I mentioned, Worldcon was last month. Much of it is a blur, but there are some high points I’d like to quickly mention before I sign-off:
Have a great September and see you next month for the start of Clarkesworld’s 10th anniversary year!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neil Clarke is the editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, and Upgraded; owner of Wyrm Publishing; and a four-time Hugo Award Nominee for Best Editor (short form). His next anthology, Galactic Empires will be published this month and followed by the next volume in his Best Science Fiction of the Year series later this year. He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two children.
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ISSN 1937-7843 Clarkesworld Magazine © 2006-2015 Wyrm Publishing. Robot illustration by Serj Iulian.