What the SF magazines need to do, Underpants Gnomes dept.

What does it say about me as an SF writer and reader, that whenever I come across a post that starts like this:

There is an large untapped audience for more popular SF magazines. … Whatever it is SF gives people … people want it and they want it in their millions. This is an untapped audience which exists as part of the mainstream in our society and wants more material … SF magazines could be selling more issues, to more people. SF short stories are an ideal way to give people contained bursts of the most intense and original SF. …

what goes through my head is:

is that true? I don’t think that’s true. assert, assert, assert, why is there never proof? do you believe this, and if so, why? and why not tell us? or do you just wish it was true? do you think that if you wish really really hard it will become true? do you think that’s an appropriate model of causality for someone interested in science fiction? discuss, with examples from the reading…?

To be clear, I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with Mr. Ellwood’s prescriptions. I mean, what the hell, it’s not like anything else has worked, and there’s at least some recognition that there were changes in the magazine industry between, say, 1955 and 1995. But his premise is about 200% wishful thinking, and worse than that, it’s the same wishful thinking that’s been stalely circulating through the print science fiction world since Star Wars — which is to say, since before half the best writers of short science fiction working today were born. I would like for once to see some evidence.

(Via Jeff Vandermeer, who makes a more valuable contribution than mine.)

4 thoughts on “What the SF magazines need to do, Underpants Gnomes dept.

  1. assert, assert, assert, why is there never proof?

    Hah! Moles, do you know what you have become? You have become a bitter, disillusioned graduate student of science fiction.

  2. Not sure. But it’s either “never” or “at some point in the distant future when it will no longer do you any good.”

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