Issue 75 – December 2012


Editor's Desk: Getting off the Roller Coaster

As those who have been reading my blog or prior editorials know, 2012 has been a roller coaster year for me. Between the heart attack, kidney stone, deaths in the family, defibrillators, award nominations and still being alive, I’m never quite sure what to make of things. Shortly after writing my previous editorial, Hurricane Sandy struck and left my family without power, heat, phone and internet service for nearly ten days. Several large trees crashed down around our home, but we safely weathered the storm. After the temperature dropped and our batteries died, we gave up, packed our suitcases and hit the road.

I was able to spend part of the time in Toronto (at the World Fantasy Convention) and the rest with family as they regained power in their homes. It was reassuring to be in the company of friends and family, but we missed home and were very happy to return. It’s hard to rest when you are displaced and while inconvenient, we didn’t suffer nearly as much as people who lived closer to the coast. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to our readers that were and continue to be impacted by this storm.

Shortly after recovering from the hurricane, the roller coaster took another plunge as I lost my job. Much to my regret, I don’t currently make my living from Clarkesworld. It’s an obtainable goal for which we continue to strive but I still need a day job to provide healthcare coverage and money to pay the bills.

What happened next was incredible. Once again, the genre community bent the tracks and leveled things out. People subscribed or donated to the magazine, started sending me information about new jobs, and made a serious effort to get word of my situation out there so that others could help too.

I owe a great deal of thanks to many people, but I need to single out Kate Baker, John Scalzi, Cory Doctorow, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, and Weightless Books. They amped up the signal and said some very kind things that made a big difference to me both financially and emotionally. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I had much to be thankful for and the confidence that everything would be ok.

I can happily say that thanks to everyone’s efforts, November provided our largest single-month gain in the history of the magazine. A big welcome to this month’s new subscribers! As a whole, you’ve made a significant difference and will continue to do so over the next year.

I consider my time with this magazine to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. It seems only appropriate that I continue to soldier on and this kind of support greatly encourages me. I hope that some of you will take the time to email me your thoughts about how we’re doing. We’re always looking for ways to improve the magazine and reader feedback has played a significant role in all our plans.

Despite all of 2012’s bad things, I can’t call it a bad year. There were just too many good things that helped offset the unpleasant. For me, 2013 is a new opportunity, a gift, a year I wasn’t supposed to have. I don’t know how I’ve managed to stay positive through all this (ok, not through it all, but definitely now), but I intend to ride it into the new year. From all of us at Clarkesworld, we wish you and yours all the best as we approach 2013. Stay tuned. The best is yet to come.

Author profile

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.

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