What’s It Like To Publish A Old/New SF Magazine?

Seeing as how we are just about six weeks away from the debut of our first issue, I thought I’d take a few words to let you all know what this experience has been like.

I’d originally thought of just putting a few choice adjectives on the page and then calling it a day, but then I thought what’s the point of having a blog, a website and a magazine if not to put words down on (at least in some cases figurative) paper?

Here are those adjectives:

Awesome Responsibility
Learning Experience
Mind Numbing

No.  Not all of those are adjectives (good for you!) and yes, some of them are repetitive.

Yes, we have staff to help share the burden, but I’m one of those old schoolers who believes that Harry Truman was not talking about deer hunting when he said “the buck stops here”.  The captain is responsible for whatever happens to his ship – whether he was aboard, whether it was his fault or not, even in the face of “acts of god”.  We as a species long ago determined that being in charge also meant being the scapegoat, at least if you aren’t politically connected.  (Or want to retain a decent reputation.  Or don’t mind people saying nasty things behind your back.)

I often don’t like it when people say things in front of my front, so I’m stuck taking the responsibility.  Not that I consider it being stuck.  I consider it the normal course of events for someone who wants to give a new project a shot.

While Ira and Kermit and others had their own issues and concerns, my two over-riding ones were the overall quality of our product and making sure that whatever we produced would fit into the sensibilities of the community we are trying to serve.

Those were my intentions, just as Ira’s was to find and edit the best stories he could and Kermit’s was to find great art and fashion an interesting layout.

I am supremely aware that our first effort is going to be judged on a lot of different factors:  the story quality AND story theme(s) AND story subject;  how well or poorly we represent the community; whether or not the majority like the format, the quality of the artwork, its suitability, its placement, the layout, are there too many words or too few,  did we strike the right balance between the pulpy past and the fizzing future, is the binding right, are the pages cut evenly, did you like the shirt I was wearing when we handed you your copy?

I am also aware of that old conundrum – you can please all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t make them lead a horse to water whether they are pleased or not.

Fortunately, everyone getting their hands on this first issue will have all of us trapped at Worldcon and will know exactly where they can find us. So, whether it be to praise or pummel, please stop by and let us know what you think.


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