Sing a little song! Eat a piece of cake! We're one year old today!
The one year anniversary is always important for a publication. On the Internet a year seems like an eternity, and The Internet Review of Science Fiction has certainly seen a lot of evolution in the first year.
So, before moving on to the big news, let's take a moment to reflect upon 2004. Our first issue was just over a year ago. John's first editorial began as something of an apology for all that was not yet finished about the magazine. But even though John is no longer running the show, one thing he wrote resonates still: "[We are] not a fly-by-night webzine. We are going to be here for the long haul."
In fact, the year saw substantial improvements in the technology (although my list of improvements to come gets longer just about every day); a steady increase in the size and quality of the publication; and several editorial changes. Those first few issues, John did pretty much everything, with only a little support from some friends. In the Summer of 2004, volunteers came on to help with a number of tasks, and most of those volunteers are now the editorial core of the magazine.
In the Fall, as most of you know, John had to bow out for personal reasons. Although our publishing schedule hasn't been quite as regular as we would like, we really only came up one issue short of the planned twelve issues for our first year. A proud accomplishment!
When we first opened up the call for a new editor-in-chief we were flooded, and I mean flooded, with expressions of support and interested applicants. Bear in mind, this is not paid work: the only people who get any money around here are the authors (and I'm afraid not a lot there either: $70 per article is hardly a living wage). The other editors and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which of these many skilled, enthusiastic, and talented people would be the best fit for the IROSF. We believe we have made that decision.
We are pleased to announce that Joy Ralph will be the new Editor of The Internet Review of Science Fiction.
Now, the issue you are currently looking at is another joint effort, primarily on the part of the section editors: Carey McGee, Travitt Hamilton, and Yoon Ha Lee. These three have put in some long nights editing, working with authors, formatting HTML, and all the other little tasks that go into putting together a magazine. You can expect to see Joy's influence at work in the next issue, which we fully intend to publish the last Monday of February, exactly four weeks hence.
So, when a magazine goes through a total change of editorial team in its first year, and yet keeps publishing throughout, I think that's a good sign that the magazine itself is—as John promised—in it for the long haul. Our goal continues to be to provide a unique view on the world of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, incorporating serious criticism, coverage of both the industry and the culture, and a true international perspective. Just as John began with an apology for everything that was unfinished at launch, there's still the temptation for those of us who look at this all the time to see the flaws. Personally, I continue to have big plans for improving the technology: a great number of desired features, from e-book formats to improved forums, remain undelivered. But I won't inventory everything that could be better: suffice it to say that being in it for the long haul means there's always more to improve.
All of that is fine, but what people really care about are the contents. As ever, we need your essays, your reviews, your works of criticism. I don't expect the vision or focus of IROSF to change dramatically under Joy's leadership, so if you have been toying with the idea of writing something for us, toy no longer!