WATCH IT NOW! JUST CLICK ABOVE AND YOU’LL BE THERE!
Meanwhile, sadly, I will not be attending Philcon. Scheduling screwed with things and no magic carpet ride from the Boston area materialized, despite my begging. I think I need to work on the begging technique.
Regardless, my HS buddy Joey Pickles is going to take a shot at it – he only lives a few relative blocks from the convention hotel in beautiful downtown Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Yes, there are trees there. No, you can’t see or smell the refineries. And BTW – the convention hotel is RIGHT OFF OF EXIT 4, in case you were going for that hoary old Jersey Joke.
Joe has volunteered to try his hand at guest-blogging for me next week – hopefully he’ll have some nifty pictures. I was planning on blogging from the hotel lobby/panel rooms and party rooms myself, but – see the opening paragraph.
Simon Owens over at Mediashift, has a rather nice piece about the collision of pulp magazines and the internet – specifically SF&F pulps.
He talks with Godon van Gelder of F&SF and John Scalzi (as the go-to successful ‘I give stuff away for free and still have plenty of sales’ guy): we’ve seen this discussion before and the people who’s opinions I agree with all agree that ‘it’s the marketing, stupid’ – not some inherent flaw of the subject matter or the publishing medium.
Actually (lest he chastize me yet again) Scalzi is not the ‘give stuff away for free guy’, he’s the ‘sterling example of how to manage successful internet marketing techniques to drive sales’ guy. One of three cited (Stross and Doctorow being the other two).
I’ll say it again: it’s marketing, not the medium or the message. The BIG THREE (really ought to be the small-minded three, considering that between them they command an unimpressive paid subscription circulation of only 61,469 or an equally unimpressive take of $2,059,610.93 in gross subscription sales (estimated from their stated prices and the numbers in the article).
The future of the industry is riding on 2 million bucks?
Scalzi comments in his whatever blog as well.
I’ll have more to say on this – probably later on today. What I do know is that – this is not the first time that the magazine field has shrunk. There have been die-offs and resurgences aplenty.
What I do find MOST interesting is the fact that the Big Three represent one magazine each from the three BIG eras of “pulp” magazine publishing: Analog as the successor of Astounding that hails from the primordial era (late 20s, early 30s) Fantasy and Science Fiction from 1949 (49, Simon, not ’48) – the big ‘cold war boom’ era and Asimov’s from the ‘late space race’ era of the mid 70s to early 80s.
What is also clear is that, in terms of ‘marketing’, trying to expand the reader base with media tie-ins is NOT the way to go. Amazing Stories suffered this fate, as did Omni, Science Fiction Age and several other relatively new publications.
Finally – PULP is long gone. For purists, ‘pulp’ refers to bedsheet sized rags printed on pulp paper. The current crop of ‘zines are ‘digests’ and, whole Analog can claim a pulp heritage, neither F&SF nor Asimov’s were ever printed on pulp in large-size format – they’ve always been digests.
(Asimov’s companion ‘zine Asimov’s SF Adventure was printed as a ‘slick’.)