Neil Clarke

The Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

Month: July 2009

Semiprozine Series

I finished up my four-part post about the Semiprozine Hugo over at SaveSemiprozine.com this morning. In the concluding entry, I look more towards the future and ponder what can be done to clarify the definition of the fanzine, semiprozine, and editor (short form) categories. The vote takes place next week at Worldcon (exact place and time) and I’m hoping that we not only win, but also find a way start the ball rolling on fixing what is broken. Modernizing the definition is a good place to start and can dovetail nicely with education and promotion of what is eligible in (and from) all three categories. (also needed, judging by some of the comments I’ve read)

Anyhow, I’m told that lots of people have tried (and failed) to crack the nut of category definition. I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on my very simplistic way to redefine the categories. Agree or disagree… discussion is a good thing.

Room Available at Worldcon

I have a non-smoking room at the Travelodge for Thursday-Monday at Worldcon. There are some extra single beds and it would be nice to bring my travel expenses down a bit by finding some roommates. If you or someone you know is looking for a room, please let me know. (email: books at clarkesworld.com)

Save the Semiprozine

I’ve been very low profile for the last couple of weeks. Email piled up a little (if I still owe you a response, sorry, soon) while I worked on tieing up some loose ends at the day job. I’m not giving them any excuses to prevent me from going to Worldcon next week.

Back in April, I launched savesemiprozine.org in response to a movement to eliminate the Best Semiprozine Hugo Award. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a great group of editors and publishers over the last few months and couldn’t be more impressed by the things they do and what we, as semiprozine editors, represent. I have become even more convinced that this category should not be eliminated.

To close things out, I’ve started a four part editorial on savesemiprozine.org that addresses various statements made against keeping the award. My plan is to post the final entry on Friday and encourage discussion throughout. Whether or not you’ll be voting, I hope you’ll take the time to consider what is happening and be a part of the discussion.

The final vote that determines the fate of the Best Semiprozine Hugo will be held at Worldcon.

Thanks!

 -Neil

Online Magazines and the 2009 Locus Poll

I’ve been monitoring the rankings of online magazines in the Locus Poll for a few years now. For the reasons I mentioned in my previous entry, it’s statistically unsound for me to continue monitoring changes from year-to-year, but as a snapshot of single year data, it still has some use.

Online Magazines Represented in the Best Magazine Category
actual finishing place on left, unofficial place if only first place votes counted on right

#4 Subterranean Magazine (#8)
#9 Clarkesworld Magazine (#6)
#10 Strange Horizons (#9 – tie)
#12 SF Site (#9 – tie)
#13 Baen’s Universe (#13 – tie)
#14 Ansible (#9 – tie)
#19 Fantasy Magazine (#15)
#21 Internet Review of Science Fiction (#17)
#22 SFRevu (#16)

Interestingly, Tor.com did not make the list, despite having the #3 novelette and  #2 and #19 short stories.  Also missing is InterGalactic Medicine Show (which had the #19 novelette) and Abyss & Apex (which had the #25 short story.)

The most short stories from a single online market was two (Clarkesworld – #11, #15 and Tor.com – #2, #19). No single online market had more than one novelette on the list and there was no representation in the novella category. Several of the fiction that placed did not have a short story, novelette or novella place.

The Fallout from Last Year’s Locus Magazine Reader’s Poll

Last year, I made a stink about the change in Locus Magazine’s method of counting votes in their annual poll. In short, I was upset about their decision to start counting votes from subscribers twice and how this decision was made after the polls were closed. In my mind, this seriously damaged their credibility. Well, the results from the most recent poll have been published in their latest issue and their actions last year definitely had an impact. Here’s what they had to say:

 
"The 2009 Locus Poll got 662 valid ballots, down significantly from 1,012 last year. Usually we get more votes than either the Hugo nominations or Nebula voting, but we can’t make that claim this year since the 2009 Hugos got a whopping 799 nominating ballots. (They only had 483 in 2008.) Most ballots came online; only 47 came by mail, up a bit from 42 from last year. Locus subscribers dominated, with 357 voting, making up 54% of respondents; last year subscribers were only 38% of respondents, even though more of them (382) voted."
and…
 
"Conclusion: It’s a little disheartening to see the number of voters drop so much. We inadvertently alienated a lot of the online community last year when we decided to double subscriber points last year–particularly by doing it without notice–but we felt it was necessary to keep the LOCUS in the Locus Awards."
 

July Issue of Clarkesworld

The July Issue of Clarkesworld Magazine is now available online. If you enjoy it, please consider a donation, book purchase, or just spread the word.

FICTION
Placa del Fuego by Tobias S. Buckell
Placa del Fuego (AUDIO VERSION) by Tobias S. Buckell, read by Mike Allen
On the Lot and In the Air by Lisa Hannett

NONFICTION
Dirty Hands and Invisible Words: Speculative Fiction Book Editors Speak Out, Part 1 of 2 interview by Jeremy L. C. Jones
Doing Crappy Things to Good Characters: A Conversation with Jim C. Hines by Jeremy L. C. Jones
Helping Hands: Fairylands, Boneshops and More by Neil Clarke

COVER ART
Sea Monster by Jasper Ng

 

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