Which sci-fi and fantasy magazines deserve more love?
Like theScience Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America deserving writers with Nebulas this weekend, I was reminded of the incredible variety and vibrancy of short fiction magazines. We are currently living in an era of unprecedented access to short stories. You can visit industry stalwart sites like by Asimov, Fantasy and science fictionand Analog right now and read dozens, if not hundreds of amazing short stories. There are also more recent magazines, FIYAH, The dead landsand Disconcerting magazinewhich quickly cemented their reputation as incredible opportunities for emerging markets and established writers.
So why aren’t they more science fiction and fantasy readers read news? I often find myself recommending SFF magazines to friends who are avid, avid, and voracious readers of science fiction and fantasy. Even fewer readers are subscribed. A relevant example is that of Speed of lightwhich, according to Locus Magazine Magazine Status in 2021, had 29,851 average monthly visitors, with 2,209 total subscribers. Nightmare magazine, according to the same report, had 13,651 visitors and only 1,477 e-book subscribers.
I’ve been the primary reader and editor of short fiction since around 2015. While that doesn’t give me much access to what’s really going on behind the scenes, it’s given me a huge appreciation for shorts. stories and their authors. Many magazines are run by volunteers, and running any magazine is a labor of love, done to support readers, writers, and future storytellers in the sci-fi/fantasy space.
If, like me, you like science fiction and fantasy, I encourage you to support a few short fiction markets. These magazines are often the proving ground for young writers and offer established voices a space to experiment and explore their own style with more freedom than is typically allowed in a publishing house. Short fiction is vital, exciting, and wonderful, and much of it is readily available through online publications, e-books, or even in anthologies published annually.
If you have a favorite short fiction magazine, share it in the comments! But, just in case, here’s an incomplete list of amazing magazines and marketplaces I’ve enjoyed over the past few years, not including the zines listed in this article:
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