Final Staff

Editor-in-Chief:
Stacey Janssen

Managing Editor:
Dave Noonan

Editors

  • Mishell Baker
  • Bluejack
  • Amy Goldschlager
  • Emily Lupton
  • R. K. MacPherson
  • Scott James Magner
  • Robin Shantz

Copy Editors

  • Sarah L. Edwards
  • Yoon Ha Lee
  • Sherry D. Ramsey
  • Rena Saimoto
  • Paula Stiles

Editors-at-Large

  • Marti McKenna
  • Bridget McKenna

Publicity

  • Geb Brown

Publisher: Bluejack

August, 2006 : Editorial:

Catching Up With Fame

Regular readers of the Internet Review of Science Fiction probably understand that this is, in large part, an all-volunteer effort which manages to pay authors something just above a pittance for their efforts. (In genre publishing, $70 per article isn't actually as bad as it sounds, but personally, I consider it pretty shabby and wish we could do better.)

We try to keep the magazine as professional as possible, but things slip through the cracks: sometimes we lose submissions, sometimes we forget to pay authors, sometimes we pay them twice (that's you, Mr. Utley). Some of the bits of text around the place get a little out of date.

Every now and then I receive a query: "Are you still a going concern? I noticed something with an old date on it!"

Our publication schedule—theoretically the first Monday of each month—is of necessity rather fluid, and so far we're regularly one issue shy of the full twelve each year.

Nonetheless, here we are, well into our third year of publication, and I thought I would take a quick step back and review for those interested where we're going. If you're not an avid IROSF watcher, this is your cue to proceed to the really interesting part of the issue, which is a thick bundle of interesting articles.

There are a number of projects that we have wanted to do over the years, but which have not come to fruition due to the time constraints of the editors and the development team. A quick inventory:

  • We want to introduce regularly updated news items;
  • We want to offer IROSF in more formats: MobiPocket, PDF, Palm Doc, etc;
  • We want to spice up the forums with better features and smoother functionality;
  • We want to streamline the submission process for our authors and for ourselves;
  • We want to introduce some subscription choices that will enable readers to contribute to the financial stability of the publication and our authors;
  • We want to redesign the layout of the publication to be a little easier on the eye, without cluttering it up.

I think these are the big ones, but there are long lists of bug fixes, corrections, and wish-list items kicking around.

Much of this comes down to my time. All our editors are volunteers, and all our editors are doing great stuff, and IROSF would have folded long ago if it weren't for their energy, commitment, and enthusiasm. When some have needed time to regroup, or have moved on to other ventures, others have stepped up. IROSF has become a publication with a life of its own, able to weather the vicissitudes of personal crises. However, when it comes to these kinds of fundamental changes to the publication, there is no staff of programmers to fall back on. IROSF has no engineering department other than Yours Truly.

So, as ambitious as we all are, it's not really going to happen unless Yours Truly devotes some full-time labor to these improvements.

To that end, I will be taking October, November, and December to work full time on IROSF and our sister publication, Æon Speculative Fiction.

IROSF is as large and as popular as it has ever been, and continues to grow with each new issue. More authors, editors, and fans read this thing every month. It seems only respectful to all our readers to keep the actual magazine itself on par with the quality of its contents, and I can hardly express how excited I am about the prospect of getting to work.

Reminder: IROSF will be having a party at WorldCon, Thursday night. Keep an eye out for the location to be announced. If you miss the party, make sure to track me down and say hi somewhere else!


Copyright © 2006, Bluejack. All Rights Reserved.

About Bluejack

Bluejack resides in Seattle. In addition to publishing the Internet Review of Science Fiction, he herds cats for an Internet startup, designs and develops distributed software applications, and dabbles in a broad range of less useful endeavors.

COMMENTS!

Aug 9, 17:54 by IROSF

Feel free to chat about the whole issue here, or Bluejack's editorial, which can be found here.
Aug 10, 03:23 by Daniel M. Kimmel
As one of your writers (although not this month) I'll say I'm happy to be part of your enterprise and look forward to seeing/meeting you all at Worldcon. From my perspective I'm pleased with the editorial support and the promptness of payment. (Would I like more money? Sure. Can I complain to editors who aren't being paid at all? Not really.)

What would be helpful is a bit more certainty of publication. Not what day the new issue goes online, but what the status of a given article is. A brief note saying, "The article you rushed to get in for the August issue has been bumped and will run in September (or whenever)" would go a long way in reassuring the paranoid writers that you haven't a.) lost it b.) don't like us anymore or c.) are passing it around amongst the other editors and making fun of it.

So that's my wish: improved communication.
Aug 10, 09:25 by Bluejack
Thanks, Daniel, good to hear some feedback from an author. We'll definitely work on that.
Aug 10, 12:20 by Dario Ciriello
I think it's tremendous that you've made it three years paying $70 per article (not bad money in this field!) without any contributions from readers! When you figure out what kind of subscription/donation model to adopt, I'll be happy to contribute to an excellent publication.
Aug 10, 12:30 by Bill Lengeman
I've wracked my brain to come up with another publication that publishes "serious" genre non-fiction and pays more than $70 a pop. If they're out there, I'm not aware of it. I'd also agree with the other contributor who said that being paid promptly was a nice touch. That's a relatively rare thing in the publishing biz.
Aug 13, 09:05 by Ellen Datlow
Rob Killheffer's and my website, Event Horizon, paid $100 a column for 1 1/2 years.
Aug 14, 07:13 by Michael Blackmore
I'm a new reader, but I'm all in favor of a paid subscription model if it means your writers get paid fairly and you keep publishing.

Of course, I'm one of the few people I know that actually buys the books sold by web comics publishers. I'm insane that way, I believe in supporting the creators of works I enjoy...

I'd be on board.
Aug 14, 18:03 by Bluejack
Yes, we'll take a few steps, probably starting in October to figuring out how we can achieve a self-sustaining model. I have heard from others over the years who have been eager to contribute simply because they believe that it's the right thing to do. I expect that attitude is in the minority, but I think with the right encouragement and incentives we can figure out a way to at least break even, or maybe even finance some expansion.
Aug 22, 00:10 by Abby Goldsmith
I'll be at Worldcon, but not on Thursday. I'll keep an eye out for the IROSF booth.

Personally, I love everything you do here, from content to site design to payment. You're far more professional than 99% of the other web-based SF/F sites. Quintamid also rocks.

I'm all in favor of getting the monthly issues in PDA downloadable formats. Great idea! For what it's worth, I appreciate all the time and effort you put into this publication, and I'd like to see your readership grow.

Aug 24, 11:37 by Bluejack
Thanks Abby. We're not actually doing a booth, but keep an eye for is at the bar, or just around the Con. We'll be here all weekend.

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