Final Staff

Stacey Janssen

Managing Editor:
Dave Noonan


  • 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


  • Marti McKenna
  • Bridget McKenna


  • Geb Brown

Publisher: Bluejack

February, 2010 : Feature:

Here We Go Again

Signals 29

I'm going to write two essays like this in two months. This is the first; the second is for my column in Baen's Universe. Both magazines are going away, both for different reasons.

If I were the pessimistic sort, I'd think I'll never work again. Or that internet magazines are doomed. Or that magazines in general are doomed. Or that writing is doomed.

But as anyone who has read this column through its first incarnation in Æon and now here at IROSF knows, I'm a realist. I know magazines come and go, markets come and go, and that's normal.

Robert Silverberg, in his column for Asimov's, once wrote about the various places he published that column. He used to write it for one of the incarnations of Amazing Stories and for a few other magazines, all gone now.

The bookshelf over my internet desk houses a wide variety of pulps, all beloved once upon a time, all no longer in existence. My own personal shelf of all my published writings probably contains a dozen different publications that have gone the way of the Dodo, including a few I edited, and a few my husband Dean Wesley Smith edited.

The same day I discovered that IROSF was going down, I learned that John Joseph Adams will edit a new magazine for Prime called Lightspeed Magazine. He's got a great track record as an editor, and Prime does as a publisher (they already publish Fantasy Magazine), so I have hopes for this new publication.

What kind of hopes? Hopes that it'll be around long enough to make its mark.

Because that's all we can ask for. The magazine must join the community of magazines, get noticed, and make a difference. Dean and I did that with Pulphouse; Baen's Universe did it as one of the first online magazines to pay well and get excellent fiction; and IROSF brought focused criticism and much needed nonfiction to the sf field.

I'm sorry to see IROSF go, but I'm hoping that the team which bought you this lovely publication (and Æon as well) will venture into the murky waters of publishing again. Because once you make that difference, you have the knack. You'll make a difference again.

As for opinionated little me, I'll keep writing my essays and columns. I used to write editorials for Pulphouse, then moved to F&SF, then fell silent for a few years. I wrote for Æon and now IROSF. I do an occasional essay for other publications.

I like to say I gave up writing nonfiction in 1987 when I became a full-time fiction writer, but really, that's sooo not true. I've continued writing nonfiction—just not the research-heavy journalism that I'd been doing before.

I'm sure I'll continue doing the rest. I hope that the other contributors to IROSF will find new venues for their work as well.

You guys have been a great, marvelous, interactive audience, and I hope you follow the whole IROSF team to our new ventures, whatever they may be.

But mostly, I hope you continue to consume science fiction in all of its forms. Because without sf, we really would fall silent, and that would be the greatest tragedy of all.

Copyright © 2010, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. All Rights Reserved.

About Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Kristine Kathryn Rusch is a Hugo award-winning writer who was, once upon a time, a Hugo award-winning editor. She has published fiction in almost every genre under a variety of names. Her most recent science fiction novel is Diving into the Wreck which Pyr
published in November. Her novella, "Recovering Apollo 8," won last year's Asimov's Readers Choice Award and was nominated for a Hugo. The novella has just been reprinted in Russian. For more information, go to her website at


Feb 11, 05:23 by IROSF

Comment Below!
Feb 11, 15:14 by Ellen Datlow
Hi Kris,
Actually Baen's Universe was not "one of the first online magazines to pay well and get excellent fiction;"-not by a long shot.
Maybe the 5th?

OMNI Online,
Event Horizon
Strange Horizons

Those were the first.
Feb 11, 19:16 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Okay. I thought I had it covered with "one of the first." How's "one of the first 5"? <VBG>

Feb 12, 15:26 by Ralan Conley
Not to forget Oceans of the Mind (Winter 2001-Spring 2006), which while not a SFWA qualified market, did pay a minimum of 6 cents per word and published on a perfect quarterly schedule. It fell short in the circulation part of the SFWA equation.

Good luck to all the IROSF staff. You did a great job and will be missed.
Feb 12, 20:37 by Ellen Datlow
Also Infinite Matrix :-)
Feb 13, 16:00 by Sean Wallace
Do we count CHIZINE?
Feb 13, 23:11 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Okay, I give. How about "an e-market that paid well"? <VBG>
Feb 14, 00:23 by Bluejack
lol. who knew *that* was going to be the controversy this month?
Feb 14, 01:10 by Sean Wallace
It just seemed like very odd claims, the entire paragraph, but compounded by an almost-disregard for anything before BAEN'S UNIVERSE, both in terms of pay, and in terms of quality, suggesting that there was neither in existence. And of course there were plenty of online zines around before BU. :p
Feb 16, 21:07 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
What's wrong with that paragraph, Sean? Either a magazine does well or it doesn't. Very few magazines, online or in print, last forever. Context. Did you read the entire essay? Aren't you connected to Prime Books? Isn't Prime Books behind Lightspeed Magazine? Wasn't there a compliment for your project in this? Will Prime Books and Lightspeed be around in ten years? I sure hope so. But there are no guarantees. Will they be remembered? Certainly.

Jeez, folks, get a grip.

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