Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Grander Vision

The last few years have featured, for me, a lot of getting beaten down: shoved out of my career, then a stupid job, then another stupid job, then my dream of owning and operating my own restaurant to then see that slip away over two years, then a whole heap of financial ruin, another stupid job, then moving to OKC (largely an impulsive blunder) where I had a lot of failure at finding a decent job and then settled on yet another stupid one…for considerably less money than I was getting even at the previous stupid one in St. Louis. I realized a few days ago that all of this distress has kneaded into me a real reluctance to embrace any kind of big idea, grand vision or dream ever again.

When I decided to start M-Brane SF, it was a very small-scale unambitious idea. I set up this blog a couple months before launching the zine and started getting the word out, thinking that all it was and all it ever would be was a small-circulation, small-time zine, a nice little hobby for me and maybe a home for me on the web to eventually try to promote my own writing career…in a very small, very ungrand, very non-visonary, not-expecting-anything- out-of- life kind of way.

Well, frak that. M-Brane SF is instead going to be a great big gigantic deal with vast ambition and a laser-like focus on a bright, huge future. It’s not in my real (and almost forgetten) nature to have it any other way. The official New and Emboldened Plan is not written yet, but here’s a little item from it: By one year from now, I intend to announce that M-Brane SF will be a professionally-paying market for its writers and that we have a monthly readership of not less than ten thousand people.

As we go, I will document here the various ways I will go about making this happen.

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Christopher Fletcher said...

By the way, I'm on a sort of diet, and as part of that, I have not had even a single beer since 2/ what I said in this update about going pro next year is NOT a drunken boast. Nor a symptom of delirium tremens!

D. D. said...


Way to freakin' go!!!! You rock! I stopped drinking about a month ago, so I understand the rush... :-)

D. D.

Anonymous said...

Here here! That's the spirit, my friend. :)

Oh, and I just drank a beer for you.


Anonymous said...

Damn straight! I figured this would be a zine that would go places the first time I saw what you had to say in the guidelines. You can make this thing awesome.

*hates beer but drinks one for you anyways*

Christopher Fletcher said...

Thanks, guys! Tomorrow night I am cooking dinner with some friends, and I am SO allowing myself perhaps 300 calories of festive drink to celebrate the New Plan!

I'll write more about it later, but I wanted to add the fact that attaining the readership level of 10,000 is NOT a prerequisite to becoming a prozine--that can be achieved at a substantially lower readership, but I don't think it's an unreasonable ambition. It sounds like a lot when you consider that the Big Three digests (F&SF, Analog, Asimov's) barely hit the 20,000 level anymore (I think I Asimov's monthy average is actually down in the 13 or 14K range), but I want to position M-BRANE to still be around when the Great Old Ones begin to I fear they will. F&SF has already gone bimonthly (fighting like everyone against the crazy cost of printing and shipping), and the other two have a single publisher, Dell, which is primarily a puzzle magazine company (they also do Ellery and Hitchcock). I wonder how puzzle mag circulation is doing? Could sudoku madness be supporting short science fiction like a life raft?

D. D. said...

Add a sudoku puzzle or two to M-BRANE and see what happens!

Unknown said...

Do it. Go big, but for the love of god, don't give up drinking!

Christopher Fletcher said...

No, Garrett, don't panic--I'm not going to give up drinking COMPLETELY. I just need to cut way back until I've lost about 10 more pounds. Giving up TOTALLY would create a situation where the living would envy the dead!


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