So, here we are, our second post-paper issue. At some point, that will be so unremarkable that I can stop remarking on it, but for now, it’s still . . . futuristic, weird, uncanny, astonishing, all of that. For the next few months, a lot of our attention is still going to be absorbed by the transition. But not all of it! So, here’s our hit parade for this month.
Weightless Books: Eventually I’m going to stop raving about Weightless Books, but it won’t be soon. I’m utterly tickled by how accomodating and helpful they’ve been during our transition. If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do—Weightless Books. You can find hundreds of fine publications both booknal and magazinetastic, including the last 15 issues of NYRSF.
While you’re there, subscribe! It’s cheap and easy (just like us). And if you believe you had issues remaining on your paper subscription, drop me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure your Weightless subscription covers them.
Print on demand: Our original hope was that we could find a print-on-demand publisher that could offer us reasonably priced bimonthly issues in our traditional size (8.5″ × 11″) either individually or by subscription. Well, it turns out that it’s a “pick 2 but not all 3” situation. Lulu.com offered us the best price for our format, but does not offer a subscription service (at least, not that I could find). I’ve test-printed several of our issues and they look simply smashing—a simple but attractive wrap-around color cover around 48 sharply printed, smudge-resistant pages of what you’ve come to expect from us. If you really want to continue the NYRSF experience on paper, this is a great option.
The inability to offer true POD subscriptions through Lulu.com is one major reason why I’ve been pushing so hard on the web site, Twitter account @NYRSF, and Facebook page. These are our best tools for making you aware when new issues are available.
Back issues: I want to note that the first 288 paper issues of NYRSF are still available, either individually ($5 each) or in grab bags ($20 for 40 unique issues of your choice, $30 for 60, or $40 for 80). But these supplies won’t last forever.
Contributions: We’ve been a bit low on contributions for the past few months. We always have just enough material to put together a good, solid issue, but having a surplus makes our little hearts all full of happy, because we can do more interesting juxtapositions of articles, take a little longer to edit, and so forth. So, consider this a reminder that we are open for contributions.
We are always looking for:
- Essays on any topic of interest, casual or lightly academic or anywhere in-between. We particularly love articles about overlooked books and authors; proto-sf; foreign-language works that haven’t found an audience in the Anglophone sf community; reassessments; thematic recurrences; and, of course, that old favorite, miscellany and whatnot.
- Reviews that discuss the strengths and weaknesses of good books. You know, the stuff we’ve been saying for 25 years about how to review Again, Samurai Vampire. (Cf. <www.nyrsf.com/writers-guidelines.html> for more.)
- Reviews of sf and fantasy theatre. There’s a lot of it out there, especially on smaller stages, that should be exposed to larger audiences and preserved for history.
- Interviews, introductions, personal essays, and other apparatus and associational pieces.
- Read This(es): Short pieces on a book or multiple books you’ve recently read and enjoyed that you think would be of interest to our audience.
People always ask “How long should my [essay/review/short thought] be?” To which the only sensible answer is, “Long enough to reach the ground.” Which is to say, it should be long enough to say the things you want and need to say. Our typical reviews run 1000–3000 words, but we’ve run shorter and we’ve definitely run longer. We’ve run 80,000-word essays, split across multiple issues, and 250-word “short thoughts” or even shorter letters of comment in Screed. Say what you have to say, and say it well.
With that, I think I’ve said what I have to say for this month. Let’s hope I’ve said it well.—Kevin J. Maroney
and the editors
A PDF copy of the NYRSF issue in which this editorial first appeared is available for purchase at Weightless Books.
A print edition of Issues 289 and 290 is available from