It's Saturday evening, and the people at this year's RadCon (in lovely Pasco, Washington) know me as a fixture on the 2nd floor of wing two. I've been sitting in the carpetted hallway all day because this is where I can get wifi.
The goal was to take a two month hiatus during which we would redesign the site.
Mistakes, as Calvin once said, were made.
But then, eventually, we were going to launch at the beginning of the year.
And then at the beginning of February.
And then on Thursday before I headed off to RadCon.
Jay Lake relaunches IROSF by pressing the Big Red Button
Well, here we are. In a few minutes, Jay Lake will press the button and our long hiatus will be over. (A few minutes after that, we hope to upload images of said button pressing, so hopefully by the time you read this there will be documentation of the event. Publishing for the Internet is a little like having the ability to travel in time.)
But here's the facts of the matter: we're not all the way back to life yet. You will notice, on the front page, there are still placeholders. There are still unfinished features.
Here's the good news: most of the pain of this redesign was due to rewriting important parts of the site so they could be extended to other magazines, and so they could be better used to build on for new features. So, while it may look like we're returning to life half-finished, a growling Frankenstein of a web site, the truth of the matter is the hard work is all done.
From here on out, you can return often and watch nifty new features popping into place, and with the new editorial tools we have, it should be far, far easier on the editors to put out new issues.
If you happen to be an author or reviewer, you can experience just a little of the magic now: have something to submit? Go to your "My Account" page and upload your submission. Watch it flow through our editorial process!
(One of the worst things about the long hiatus: I, personally, was so focussed on getting the infrastructure built, the design implemented, the features working that I lost touch with many authors. If you have a submission in with us that you've never heard back on, I probably have it queued up in my todo list, but that todo list is several hundred items long. So, recommendation: use the new upload process to resubmit.)
If you encounter blank pages, server errors, or bizarre behavior, feel free to drop a note in the forums: we probably know about it, and will be queing up fixes nearly every day to make everyone's experience better.
Administrative details aside: it's great to be back! I am as enthusiastic as ever, and we're all looking forward to getting the remaining wrinkles ironed out. I look forward to hearing what you like or don't like about the new site. I look forward to seeing new issues come rolling off the press each month this year.
Most of all: I look forward to the energetic discussion of the literature, the art, the community, and the ideas of the several speculative genres.
Because truly, the worst thing for me about not having published these last seven months has been this: there's been no IROSF to read.