Editor's Desk: Adding Some Color
When something nearly kills you, it’s hard to avoid thinking about it. These events worm their way into your mind and color almost everything. Two years since my heart attack, my doctors continue to remind me that I’m very lucky to be alive.
Every morning, the voice in my head makes sure to echo that sentiment. Every morning, I push back the darkness and try to be the good little survivor. It’s not easy, but I have a loving family, good friends, and this job to help bolster me. I won’t lie. Some days it beats me up. Some worse than others.
The anniversary of that event likes to taunt me. Last year I fought back against the blues by scheduling the end of my cyborg anthology Kickstarter campaign to conclude on the first anniversary of the heart attack. The reponse to UPGRADED exceeded initial funding goals and the experience allowed me to color that date my own way. I continue to be grateful to everyone that participated. I enjoyed working on this project and learned a lot in the process. More good news: that project is finally done and copies will start shipping to supporters later this month.
I had hoped that by this second anniversary, I'd be well on my way in making Clarkesworld my full time job as my current employment is a constant source of stress. Shortly after my heart attack, I wrote in one of my editorials:
“To my knowledge, there hasn’t been an independent online magazine that has successfully made the jump to paying authors and staff professional rates without dipping into the publisher’s pockets or becoming a patron of some other organization. This doesn’t mean it can’t be done.”
We’ve made progress, but still have a long way to go.
I’ve always acknowledged that for us to reach that big goal, Clarkesworld had to expand. To that end, we promised to add extra stories to each issue when monthly subscriber and Patreon goals had been reached. In June, we reached the first of three Patreon goals!
Starting in August, we will have four original stories in every other issue. If we receive an additional $250 per issue in Patreon pledges by the end of August, there will be four stories in three of every four issues. At $500, it’s four in every issue.
So it looks like I have something new to color this month with after all. And that doesn’t even take into consideration some of the secret projects that are still bubbling behind-the-scenes. This could shape up to be a very interesting year.
Neil Clarke is the editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, and several anthologies, including the Best Science Fiction of the Year series. He is a ten-time finalist and current winner of the Hugo Award for Best Editor (Short Form), has won the Chesley Award for Best Art Director three times, and received the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award from SFWA in 2019. His latest anthology, New Voices in Chinese Science Fiction (co-edited with Xia Jia and Regina Kanyu Wang), is now available from Clarkesworld Books. He currently lives in NJ with his wife and two sons.