Editor's Desk: An In-House Holiday
In October, Clarkesworld will celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of its very first issue, but for those of us behind-the-scenes, July (the seventh, to be precise) is where it all began. I was set on this path after a late-night conversation about the state of online fiction with Sean Wallace at Readercon. If you know your history, the state of things at that time could be best summarized as “in disarray.” There was very little respect for the medium and even less stability as markets came and went with high frequency. The closest thing to a success story, SciFiction (edited by Ellen Datlow), had recently announced that it was ending.
It’s on that backdrop that a publisher (Sean) and a bookseller/academic technologist (me) thought they could make something work. Naturally, people thought we were fools and told us we’d be out of business in a year. Honestly, I think that only encouraged me. We shocked everyone (including ourselves) by breaking even in our first year. We passed our second year and restructured. One issue at a time. Every month. Every month. We breathed for a moment and realized ten years had passed. We were stunned. Now it’s fifteen and I almost didn’t notice. I’m serious. I just realized a couple of hours ago that it was almost July and what that meant. Damn. We weren’t really supposed to make it this far. We didn’t even think we would.
I’m clearly not prepared for the big anniversary editorial, but I was planning on doing that in October anyway. I would, however, like to acknowledge the moment by thanking everyone that has ever been a part of the staff here: Paul Abbamondi, Betsy Aoki, Kate Baker, Cynthia Bermudez, Halsted M. Bernard, Cherae Clark, Jessica Silbaugh-Cowdin, John Emery DeLong, Gardner Dozois, Deidre Dykes, Fabio Fernandes, Jason Heller, Justin Howe, Storm Humbert, Jeremy L. C. Jones, Kathy Karch, Kehkashan Khalid, Jamie Lackey, Ann LeBlanc, Terra LeMay, Nick Mamatas, Sean Markey, Nayad Monroe, Cheryl Morgan, Carolyn O'Connor, Emma Osborne, HR Owen, Aimee Picchi, Achintya Prakash, Daniel Robichaud, Emily Schneider, Ekaterina Sedia, Arley Sorg, Jason Strawsburg, Chris Urie, Marie Vibbert, Sean Wallace, Cheryl Warner, Leslianne Wilder, Rebecca Adams Wright, and a few that have chosen to be less visible, but nonetheless important.
While you’ve seen or heard the work by our artists, authors, translators, narrators, and perhaps some of these people over the years, most of what goes on at a magazine remains unseen by our readers, so this is the staffs’ month to celebrate. They’ve all played a part in keeping the wheels turning, one day at a time and against the odds, towards this big milestone. Thank you!
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.