February 10, 2006

Ground Floor

Mini history lesson: Many years ago, science fiction was almost solely the purview of magazines. The decline and fall of the 'penny dreadful' left room in the pulp fiction field for more stories of The Amazing. When people began to believe that there was Someone Else Out There, alien encounter stories flooded the presses and the radio wires. The 1950's spawned some of the best science fiction, published in the short stories of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, in the fact vs. fiction episodes of Analog, and in the long running Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. All of the above was then reviewed in Locus Magazine. As science fiction became more mainstream, the magazines became the tool to introduce new writers into the publishing market. Classics like Stephen King's Dark Tower, Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon, and Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz had their debut in the pages of magazines, and the writers went on to further success.

Science fiction magazines have never entirely lost their readership, but as writing and publishing have become more commercialized, the link between the magazine and novel market has weakened. Formerly a refuge for new writers, with the decline in story magazines as a whole, now only the best and most well-known novelists can break in. Science fiction and fantasy novels, once inexpensive, are growing pricier as the genre morphs and grows into something more mainstream.

Enter Baen Books. One of the most cheerfully prolific science fiction and fantasy pulp fiction publishers around, they've decided that it's time to resurrect an aging genre. In June of 2006, they are launching a new science fiction magazine called Jim Baen's UNIVERSE and they're asking for writers. Two story slots per issue are being reserved for newcomers. If you're a science fiction fan and dabble in the genre, you simply cannot beat that.

They post their rates, and give you space to discuss your work, and edit work in progress. Check out their submission guidelines and welcome to the Universe. Hope you like it there. It sounds promising -- if you visit or write for them, let us know how it goes!

1 comment:

a. fortis said...

Oooh! I can feel some sci-fi coming on!