Welcome to Issue #2 of OUTSIDE*:
Clocktower Fiction's Magazine of Speculative and Dark Fiction
This year's Summer issue has become a Fall issue, and we appreciate your patience. It was a one-time delay we anticipated for various reasons having to do with our being a start-up. Future issues, starting in December, will appear on time.
We were delighted to see ourselves in print this month -- the first, and only, paying, professional Web-based magazine of SF (speculative fiction) to appear in the SF/F/H section of the 1999 Writer's Market. While somewhat awed, we feel right at home with these magazines that have inspired us all our lives, including Asimov's, Analog, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. We're actively looking for the best manuscripts this exposure will bring us.
We'd like to thank John O'Neill of The SF Site -- my favorite SF resource website -- for his support over the past year. John's outstanding webplex is a fine example of how the print and web media can meet comfortably and productively on common ground.
Ellen Datlow's new website has made its promising debut on the Internet. Check out *Event Horizon* (defunct 2022), participate in their promotions, and read the fiction! Ellen is one of the genre's premier anthologists and editors, having for years been fiction editor of Omni.
And then there is that rascal Pete at Spicy Green Iguana, who's been raising all that cain on the Internet. He's the only iguana who maintains a resource list of magazines -- one of the top ten on the Web, mind you -- with the help of his loyal master Matt Hayes. Check those guys out at *Spicy Green Iguana* (defunct)! Seriously, it's a great site, and leads me to the next point:
Professional fiction on the Web. Matt Hayes and Mary Soon Lee have resource lists that include web-published fiction in "professional" categories, based on a minimum payment of 3 cents per word. Matt has actually created new categories including Pro Webzine and SemiPro Webzine. The appearance of sites like these, together with magazines like Outside:S&DF and Event Horizon, signals the beginnings of a professional writing presence on the Web.
Professional recognition will follow in time. We at Outside:S&DF are anxious to reach the point where SFWA will recognize publication in our magazine for the purpose of giving our authors credit toward SFWA membership. It would seem really unfair to delay that day any more than necessary. Hopefully, SFWA is seriously addressing this issue.
Follow-up on the eminent demise of the offline publishing industry. In our premier issue just a few months ago, I voiced my prediction that, within 5-10 years, e-books will cause the print industry to collapse on all fronts (textbooks, trades, and newspapers/magazines). Lo and behold, the speed of evolution in the Web world made itself noticed again -- 5 to 10 years turned into 5 to 10 weeks as several e-book manufacturers made their products available. SoftBooks and RocketBooks are just two of the startups that have appeared -- and the perfect emulation of a printed page may not be quite there yet -- but the point remains: avid readers will gladly pay $3 for a text file than $26 for a hardcover. Sense just doesn't get more common or more basic than that.
We've been pleasantly surprised by the overall quality of the fiction we're getting, though we're always reaching for the best quality possible. Happy reading, and I'll write again in December. That's a wrap!
*As noted elsewhere, we started out as Outside: Speculative & Dark Fiction. How a dark sffh magazine (fiction) could be confused with a nonfiction backpacking magazine is incomprehensible. Nevertheless, we succumbed when a ten-pound, thousand page (or so it seemed) manuscript of legal incantations and death threats arrived from a Chicago law firm with a battalion of partner names. Brian suggested that we tweak the title to 'Deep Outside' and I suggested we add SFFH to further differentiate ourselves. The latter stands for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror not Shuffle Feet, Fart, and Hold breath as some of the backpackers might have thought. Oh well. JTC 2022.